This is a common question you get asked as a hypnotherapist & hypnosis trainer:
“Is hypnosis – and hypnotherapy – the same thing as meditation?”
A lot of people might be tempted to say yes to this but my answer would be no. They share similarities but they aren’t the same thing.
Any definition will be subjective but I like to describe hypnosis as, “The study of altered states of consciousness” – and hypnotherapy is where you make use of these altered states to create therapeutic change.
Meditation is ONE example of an altered state of consciousness – and a very useful one when practiced – but there are countless other different types.
You can get “up-time” hypnotic states where the person is amped up, excited, and motivated.
You can get a crazy fit of the giggles because your imagination is so heightened!
In fact, even many of our problem states – E.G anxiety – are examples of altered states of consciousness; where we become absorbed and intensely focus on a version of reality.
None of these are particularly like meditation, other than the fact that they all involve been deeply absorbed.
As a hypnotherapist, we tend to focus more on the “down-time” altered states so people sometimes simplify the subject to this level. It’s important though, not to confuse an example with the theme.
Hypnosis is a more generalised topic than meditation. Meditation is an example of an altered state of consciousness and hypnosis is the overall study of them; it’s the theme.
So when you think about hypnosis, i’d recommend that you widen the picture frame. There are so many ways to enjoy altered states so avoid reducing your focus down to a specific example.
Hypnosis is profoundly useful. And even after using it for 20 years I’m still finding new ways to apply it.
All the best,
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