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Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness which results in an increased receptiveness and response to suggestion. While associated with relaxation, hypnosis is actually an escape from an overload of message units, resulting in relaxation. Hypnosis can be triggered naturally from environmental stimuli as well as purposefully from an operator, often referred to as a hypnotist.
Hypnotherapy takes place when the subject is in a state of hypnosis. The hypnotherapist uses either direct communication or metaphor with the client’s subconscious to affect, modify, or change unwanted behaviors, and/or to establish positive behaviors.
The difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist is that though they may employ the same tool (hypnosis), the hypnotherapist is trained and experienced in discovering the root cause (often termed the Initial Sensitizing Event-ISE) of the behavior and work with the client for a long-term resolution.