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How Effective is Hypnosis?
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Since 1958 when hypnosis and hypnotherapy were deemed legitimate therapeutic treatments by the American Medical Society, a lot of research has been done to evaluate how effective hypnosis is as a treatment. Researchers have measured the effectiveness of hypnosis on various subjects to determine if hypnosis is effective in treating issues such as substance abuse, pain, weight loss, smoking cessation, anxiety and much more. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis has found that hypnosis is most effective when a subject undergoes five or more individual sessions.

The effectiveness of hypnosis is dependent on a number of different factors. In order to be hypnotized, subjects must first be comfortable, willing to be hypnotized and believe that they will be hypnotized. If these initial factors aren’t in place, the chance that hypnosis will be effective is significantly less than if the subject is fully compliant and open to being hypnotized. Hypnosis is also more effective if the subject is being hypnotized in a manner that matches his or her personality and level of suggestibility. For example, some people are more comfortable with self-hypnosis while others prefer individual or group hypnosis. Finding the right type of hypnosis for each individual influences how effective hypnosis will be for that person.

The studies done by researchers and summarized by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis found that, overall, hypnosis is most effective for most individuals when the hypnotized person has undergone five or more individual sessions. At this level, the success rate is around 90%. Individual sessions were across the board more effective than group or self-hypnosis sessions, which vary in effectiveness from 2-5% success rate. Subjects that were hypnotized 1-3 times in individual sessions experienced between a 17-50% success rate.

The effectiveness of hypnosis is also dependent on what time of hypnosis is being administered either by a hypnotist of self-hypnosis agent. Each hypnosis method has different strengths and weaknesses that may vary from person to person. Because each person has a different thought process, level of suggestibility and comfort level, the same method of hypnosis will not work for everyone. Trying out different hypnosis methods may increase the effectiveness. For example, someone who is overly analytical may not find traditional hypnosis effective because they have to be open to suggestions to make this method of hypnosis a success. This person may even subconsciously question the suggestions, making the session less effective.

Hypnosis is shown to be most effective when the person being hypnotized is induced into hypnosis by a trained, professional hypnotist or hypnotherapist. It can take many years for a professional to learn how to use hypnosis in a very efficient and effective way. Trained hypnotherapists and hypnotists are able to gauge a person’s suggestibility and how effective hypnosis will be in dealing with the person’s issue. This cuts down on the number of sessions that the individual and hypnotist need to deal with an issue or illness.

Besides individual sessions with a trained and professional hypnotist, one of the most modern and effective hypnosis techniques is video hypnosis. Video hypnosis is effective because most of the population learns more quickly by viewing information, rather than hearing. Because visual learning happens more quickly than auditory learning, video hypnosis has been known to induce hypnosis quickly, and also with great results. The effectiveness of video hypnosis for issues such as weight loss and smoking cessation can be seen after just a few viewings, whereas it may take five or more auditory hypnosis sessions to see results. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, however, and different methods will be more effective for some people than others.


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