There are many public misconceptions of hypnosis. First, it must be emphasised that clinical hypnosis is different from stage hypnosis which is primarily designed for entertainment. Modern clinical hypnosis largely derives from the innovative work of the late psychiatrist Dr Milton Erickson. My training in hypnosis has largely been with Dr Michael Yapko, Dr Maggie Phillips and Dr Jeffrey Zeig.
Clinical hypnosis involves a client entering a deep state of trance for the purposes of addressing and healing specific problems. In this state, which is deeper than relaxation, unconscious resources, typically untapped by the client in waking life, can be accessed. Many other clinical objectives can be also achieved, including accessing strengths that are dormant, reviewing maladaptive behaviour and deciding to take up adaptive behaviour (e.g. exercise or eating well).
I often use hypnosis as a way for clients to consolidate their strengths and abilities. This typically happens before Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) to dissolve old traumas, and after EMDR to enhance positive strengths. Each hypnosis session is recorded so that you can have a copy of the hypnosis session to review or to replay again at a later stage.
Some clients have found hypnosis useful for turning down pain levels which are not managed adequately by medication.