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5 Practical Applications of Hypnotherapy

Author: Dublin Holistic Centre

16th May 2014

5 Practical Applications of Hypnotherapy

The use of hypnosis as a form of therapy has a long history, going back even earlier than that of psychoanalysis. Victorians didn’t just use hypnosis for parlour games and vaudeville shows. A number of therapists used hypnosis to help treat anxiety or, as it was known in those days, hysteria.

Later, more effective and subtle hypno-therapeutic techniques would be developed relying on more passive approaches rather than the direct suggestion of the Victorian period. These would in turn influence some of today’s more sophisticated therapies such as neurolinguistic programming and  cognitive behavioural therapy.


One of the areas where hypnotherapy is particularly effective is in dealing with habits. Unhealthy habits such as smoking can be quite difficult to stop even when the client really has a strong desire to stop.

Other habits that may simply be undesirable such as nail-biting may be due to an underlying anxiety. Hypnotherapy can be successful in intervening between the anxiety and the habit, helping to prevent both.

Anxiety and Phobia

Anxiety may not necessarily express itself through symptoms such as nail biting. Most sufferers simply experience mild to severe periods of anxiety throughout the day. These may be related to social or other environmental situations such as being at a busy intersection or they may be apparently random.

Phobias, rational or otherwise can be a source of inconvienience for some and a real disturbance for others. They are a specific form of anxiety that occurs in relation to a particular scenario or object. Common phobias we are familiar with include a fear of heights and a fear of spiders but other common phobias such as a fear of germs and social phobias can be very problematic.

Hypnotherapy can be very effective in treating phobias and anxieties as they are often irrational reactions to everyday situations.

Self Confidence

There are fundamental connections between anxiety and a lack of self confidence or  low self esteem. These are typically irrational anxieties about how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves.

Hypnotherapy can be an effective means of dissipating these anxieties and helping to create a more positive, confident concept of the self. Improved self confidence can lead to greater success in work, business, relationships and  social situations in general.


It might seem that being relaxed is the opposite of being anxious and that treating anxiety would make you relaxed. In a sense this is true but many people who do not necessarily suffer from acute anxiety or even abnormal anxiety can have difficulty in relaxing.

Being able to enjoy a weekend or a day off can be a challenge for some people who always have to find something to keep themselves busy. It is important to take time to relax and reflect on busy periods, to consider our relationships and make sure unhealthy or negative patterns of behaviour are not developing.

An inability to relax can also often lead to insomnia which can in turn have a number of negative health effects. Hypnosis is used successfully to help clients relax and put themselves into a state where they can more easily fall asleep.

Pain and Pregnancy

One of the most important areas that hypnosis helps to treat is in pain therapy. For sufferers of chronic pain hypnotherapy can be a far more desirable alternative to pain medication.

Where pain is expected and inevitable hypnotherapy can help to prepare the client and reduce the pain they ultimately experience. The most common example of this is in child birth.

Numerous studies show the effectiveness of hypnotherapy during  pregnancy at dramatically reducing the level of pain reported during childbirth. This reduces the need for analgesics. Hypnotherapy has also been demonstrated to shorten the duration of labour.

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