Hypnosis has been used in every culture one way or another from Shamans, and witch doctors to modern medical doctors addressing pain relief in hospitals. In the 1700’s a doctor called Franz Mesmer used a successful technique to help patients and the word mesmerism comes from this forerunner to hypnotic suggestion. Major operations have been performed by hypnosis without anaesthetic chemicals . Freud used hypnosis, but it lost popularity until 1950’s when again it was used effectively to change behaviour.
Hypnosis is neither mysterious or strange. It is a natural phenomena which we enter several times a day. Think of the last time you took a journey that you make frequently, perhaps to work or to visit relatives or shopping. Any skill we have learnt we store in the subconscious, as with driving, leaving your conscious mind to plan your shopping list, organise your work schedule or decide what to do with the family. You arrive at your destination perhaps thinking how did I get here? Whenever you do something automatically you are more likely to go into a hypnotic state. Daydreaming is the first level in the trance state.
As hypnosis is a natural state I believe it is not harmful. In a hypnotic state you will not do anything you think is unacceptable, morally or ethically wrong. You can stop a session at any time, if you choose, but if your therapist did not bring you out of trance, you would do it yourself, perhaps after a pleasant nap.
Hypnotherapy can be very beneficial for sleep issues, fears, perhaps of future events like a trip to the dentist ,it may help with issues around food or cigarettes, phobias, stress and physical pain to name but a few. It is also used to motivation, self-esteem ,sports performance and creativity.
A session may last for 1-2 hours following a full medical and emotional assessment.