Hypnotherapy derives its name from the Ancient Greek term of " Hypnos " which means to sleep. Although hypnosis is not about being asleep. It is a state of altered consciousness where positive & beneficial suggestions are given to someone in a trance state. An analogy that makes this easier to understand is to imagine a flight of stairs. Wide awake would be at the top of the stairs & fast asleep is at the bottom. Hypnosis is somewhere in the middle of the stairs. You are not awake, but you are not asleep either.
By inducing someone into a trance state it is possible to communicate with the sub conscious mind. This is where our memories are stored of all our experiences in life, whether they be good or bad. Guarding these memories is a sentry whose job it is to test new information to see if it fits within our core beliefs of life. Anything that the sentry is not happy with is unlikely to gain access to our sub conscious mind. Unfortunately this can also be negative experiences & habits we have learned that becomes a skill ( i.e smoking, excess weight; ect ). The sentry will fend off anything which they feel will conflict with what we believe in, even if it is wrong & we know that it is wrong.
The job of the hypnotherapist is to induce a trance ( lulls the sentry into falling asleep ) so that we can gain access to the sub conscious mind & put things right. It's similar to going to a filing cabinet that has been muddled up & putting things back where they should be. In the correct order & in a tidy state.
So what is it like to be in hypnosis? It is a very relaxed state which the majority of people find very pleasant. You are still aware of your surroundings in that you can hear the noise of things happening around you, but it has no effect on you. However, you would still be able to respond to a fire alarm, the smell of smoke or wanting to go the toilet. In this state the therapist can re visit past events in your life that are the root cause of the problem & resolve the issue with a combination of Neuro Linguistic Programming & clinical scripts. Once this has been done the therapist will bring you up out of hypnosis & ensure that you are fully awake & alert.
It can typically take around three to four sessions to resolve most issues. Curing things in one hit seldom works in the long term & it is unethical to let people believe that. It is also important to make sure that your hypnotherapist is properly qualified, registered with a recognised professional body & is fully insured.