According to American Psychological Association, clinical hypnosis is defined as: “A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.”(2015). Some maintain that hypnosis is not really a state of consciousness, but involves a set of skills and interventions that a trained clinician uses to elicit trance for therapeutic purposes. Hypnosis interventions intentionally elicit trance experiences for productive and therapeutic purposes for treating both medical and mental health disorders as well as enhancing performance (e.g., athletes, public speakers, performing artist). Everyone, including young children (and most animals) naturally experience trance during their “waking” day. Consequently, most people can benefit from hypnosis. Like most human traits and abilities, some people are naturally gifted when it comes to hypnosis and can be quantified as more hypnotizable. These individuals possess talents and abilities that allow them to go into trance more readily and perhaps more deeply than others. Some individuals are generally considered to be poor candidates for hypnosis, and include individuals with histories of intellectual disorders, dementia, and psychosis since they lack the capacity to focus their attention in ways that facilitate therapeutic trance. Hypnosis requires the consent and willingness of another to promote and facilitate trance for therapeutic purposes.
There are many benefits that can be appreciated with hypnosis including, but not limited to the following: pain management, control of unwanted habits, depression,improved athletic performance, healthier sleep, improved energy, resolution of variousskin conditions including warts and psoriasis, enuresis, phobias, digestive disordersincluding Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and hot flashes.