There are some common misconceptions about this therapy. For some people who have never tried it, the idea of going into a hypnotic trance may seem weird or scary. But the fact is that we’ve all experienced trance states in everyday life – whether daydreaming, watching a movie, driving home on autopilot, while drifting off to sleep or just waking up. Essentially, trance is an altered state of consciousness marked by decreased scope and increased intensity of awareness. What distinguishes hypnotherapy is that it involves a deliberate choice to enter this state of consciousness for a goal beyond relaxation: to focus your concentration and use suggestion to promote positive change and healing.
The person in a hypnotic trance is always in control, just as someone who is daydreaming can decide to go on or stop at any time. While the practitioner serves as a teacher or guide, the only person who can hypnotize you is you, since trance is a latent potential of your own mind. Therefore, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. You are in control.
Dr. Dufford has found hypnotherapy to be a useful tool to make connections from current emotional reactions or feelings to underlying causes such as past trauma or core beliefs formed while growing up that can be the source of emotional patterns or self-destructive behaviors. It is also helpful in enhancing the use of imagination or visualization and reinforcing cognitive-behavioral tools and techniques.