What is Hypnosis? Answers From Experts


What is hypnosis

In 1990 I studied hypnotherapy at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Tarzana, CA. The late Dr. John Kappas is the founder of this not for profit hypnotherapy college. In his book “The Professional Hypnotism Manual” his definition of hypnosis was  6 pages ( my copy was purchased in 1990). In summary, Dr Kappas’ answer to what is hypnosis …  hypnosis happens when over activity of the senses leads to extreme receptiveness.

John Kappas Hypnotism ManualI learned so much from those pages, such as how we developed the inhibitory process and the parasympathetic nervous system. I learned how developing greater consciousness affected fight or flight, and  more. A must read!

You don’t have to be a hypnotherapist to be captivated by Dr Kappa’s teachings on hypnosis and the mind. Pick up his book and you’ll have a hard time putting it down. You can purchase the book here

Other experts answer the “what is hypnosis” question

Wedi Frierson of Wendi.com

A relaxed, focused state of concentration. That is the definition. But the actual state of hypnosis is a little harder to define. Until recently it was assumed that it was similar to sleep, or that the mind was somehow unconscious. In reality, there is a specific state that the brain enters into when it is receptive to suggestion. This has been discovered on scans during hypnosis. It is not an unusual state of mind, and may feel like you are not in a trance, or in hypnosis. For most people they simply feel relaxed. There is a change in the brain wave activity, similar to that time just before sleep when the alpha state is entered. Your brain’s waking state is a beta brain wave, just as you are going to sleep it changes to alpha and then to delta and theta in deep sleep. The alpha state is a very dreamy, pleasant state. Continue reading

Michael Heap clinical and a forensic psychologist.

The aim of this paper is to acquaint the reader with current scientific knowledge and understanding of the nature of hypnosis.


Go into any large bookshop nowadays and you will most likely find that their shelves are liberally stocked with books about hypnosis and its numerous applications. Pick out any such book at random, open it anywhere and look anywhere on the page. The chances are that what you are reading is plainly wrong, is misleading, is questionable, has little support, or requires significant qualification for it to be accepted as a valid statement. Continue reading

UKhypnosis.com has compiled a list of answers from famous organizations an hypnotherapists.

Copyright © Donald Robertson 2002-2009.  All rights reserved.

[James Braid] [Hippolyte Bernheim] [Sigmund Freud] [Clark Hull] [Milton Erickson] [UK Book of Statutes]
[British Medical Association] [Dave Elman] [Gil Boyne] [American Psychological Association]

Hypnotism has always been surrounded by misconception.  Unfortunately, the internet is a very unreliable source of information and many websites contain extremely misleading information. Continue reading

Psychology Today

You are getting sleepy…. While hypnosis is often associated with sideshow performances, it’s not a magical act. Rather, it’s a technique for putting someone (or yourself) into a state of concentration where you are more suggestible and thus more open to messages about breaking bad habits or changing in other positive ways. Continue reading


Hypnosis — or hypnotherapy — uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person’s attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention — with the help of a trained therapist — on specific thoughts or tasks. Continue reading

Mayo clinic

Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions. Continue Reading

Wikipedia ( hey Wiki is an expert to)

Hypnosis is “a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state.”[1] One theory suggests that hypnosis is a mental state, while another theory links hypnosis to imaginative role-enactment Continue reading

It’s a wrap

Here’s my answer –

Hypnosis is a natural, suggestible, focused state of conscious awareness.  You go in and out of hypnosis on a daily basis – when you daydream, when you allow your emotions to be affected by a movie, a piece of music, or even someone’s conversation. I use the word allow because I believe you’re always in control of your experience. Continue reading

Your Turn

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