Essay on The Multi-Layered Nature of Hypnosis

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“What is Hypnosis” Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy

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Hypnosis is a complex concept. Forms of hypnosis have been around for thousands of years, with a more detailed historical account of the development and practice of modern hypnosis being available largely from the 18th Century onwards.
No one definition of what we understand under the term hypnosis is exactly the same, in the same way as no patient who considers hypnosis as treatment is going to be the same, or will experience hypnosis in exactly the same way as others. Academic and theoretic debates about whether hypnosis is a real or imagined phenomenon have been long
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Hypnosis in itself is not a therapy but furnishes the therapist with a set of techniques and approaches to form a particular course of treatment, hence this process being known as ‘Hypnotherapy’. [6]

State versus non state theory in hypnosis

At this point it is important to mention that there has been a long standing key debate in the academic study of hypnosis between state and non-state theorists. In simplified terms, state theorists argue that hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness, which includes a heightened state of susceptibility to suggestion. Non state theorists argue responding to suggestion is a natural psychological response which does not necessitate being in a special state of consciousness, and relies more on voluntary actions such as role expectancy, compliance and motivation of the subject of hypnosis. [4]

For the purpose of this essay, the state theory stance is primarily assumed but it is also acknowledged that aspects of voluntary action such as motivation, conformity and expectancy influence the overall picture to some degree 2.

To follow the logic of the state theory, it is argued that we experience hypnosis frequently in everyday life without being necessarily aware of it. This altered, detached state of mind is comparable to day dreaming or acting on ‘auto-pilot’. Conscious thinking and behaviour make way in favour of more unconsciously

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