Can hypnosis get rid of Anxiety?

a guide for anxious people who may be anxious about hypnotherapy

Yes, hypnosis can help many anxiety disorders, like old “unwanted” habits that relate to anxiety, fears and phobias such as fear of driving over high bridges, fear of flying,  fear of the dentist,  fear of doctors and surgery,  anxiety about needles,  anxiety about storms, social anxiety, body dysmorphia anxiety, picky eating or AFRID (Avoidant  Restrictive Food Disorder), nail-biting anxiety, Tinnitus, hair pulling, sports behaviour and anxiety about sports performance, enhancement, panic, lack of confidence, relationship difficulties, etc.

So, what is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is the tool. Hypnotherapy is the means by which the tool works, using hypnosis with psychotherapy and counselling, helping people to change, understand and better use their emotions.

Anxious people may be anxious about how hypnotherapy works 

Evidence shows that hypnosis isn’t just a placebo (sugar pill effect of manifesting the expected result), instead, it does make changes happen in the brain. Neurocognitive research and the use of PET scans and MRI scans, demonstrate this.

What happens during hypnotherapy for anxiety?

Usually In a clinical hypnotherapy session, after a question and answer by the hypnotherapist, she/ he uses different ways to help you get into a trance-like state. Most people find they like to close their eyes and enjoy relaxing. Then awaken to calm relaxed awareness about their issue for the next few days, weeks, months, or years.

During a hypnosis session, your experience helps you relax and focus your mind. This state is similar to sleep, but your mind will be very focused and more able to respond to suggestions. While in this relaxed state, you’re more willing to focus on your subconscious mind.

The hypnotherapist may tell stories, or paint word pictures, or use direct talking to give positive suggestions while you focus your attention in this relaxed, pleasant and comfortable state.  Some people while in hypnosis use their imagination to help them imagine the changes that they want to make, while others half listen and drift off vaguely then returning to half listening.  You are in control.

Most people feel comfortable and just want to relax. At the end of the session, the hypnotherapist may ask you to open your eyes when you are ready, feeling motivated, refreshed, committed to making changes you’ve decided to make in your life. 

Are you worried that hypnotherapy may not work on everyone?

People need to want to change, so it needs to be the right time to change for them.

If a potential client is fearful of hypnosis or believes some of the myths (e.g. they will be made to quack like a duck, as in a stage hypnotist act), then they may not feel that they want to go into hypnosis. However, hypnotherapists are trained to provide information and help the person feel relaxed and in control. So, you need to have a good rapport and trust in the hypnotherapist who needs to understand the things that you want to change and they need to have the knowledge and skills to assist you. Usually when you’re in the office with the clinical hypnotherapist, you remain aware and remember what happens. 

Tried and True: how long has Hypnosis been around?

Hypnosis is one of the world’s oldest sciences.  As early as 3,000 B.C. Egyptians used hypnosis according to ancient hieroglyphics, with evidence of Greeks and Mayans understanding and using it as well. 

Hammond found that “Self hypnosis training represent a rapid, cost effective, non-addictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of Anxiety related conditions” Hammond DC “ Neuro therapeutics”, 2010



  • In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years. 
  • Around one in eight (13.0% or 2.4 million) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, an increase from 2014-15 (11.7% or 2.1 million).
  • 4.8 million Australians had a mental or behavioural condition
  • In 2017-18, one in five (20.1%) or 4.8 million Australians had a mental or behavioural condition, an increase from 4.0 million Australians (17.5%) in 2014-15. 
  • In 2017-18, 3.2 million Australians (13.1%) had an anxiety-related condition, an increase from 11.2% in 2014-15. 
  • One in ten people (10.4%) had depression or feelings of depression, an increase from 8.9% in 2014-15.
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