Hypnotherapy is a use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. It is used by licensed physicians, psychologists, and others. Physicians and psychiatrists may use hypnosis to treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, compulsive gaming, and post-traumatic stress, while certified hypnotherapists who are not physicians or psychologists often treat smoking and weight management.

Modern hypnotherapy has been used in a variety of forms with varying success, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy, or clinical hypnosis combined with elements of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Age regression hypnotherapy (or “hypnoanalysis”)
  • Ericksonian hypnotherapy.
  • Fears and phobias
  • Addictions
  • Habit control
  • Pain management
  • Psychological therapy
  • Relaxation
  • Skin disease
  • Soothing anxious surgical patients
  • Sports performance
  • Weight loss

In a January 2001 article in Psychology Today Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett wrote:

A hypnotic trance is not therapeutic in and of itself, but specific suggestions and images fed to clients in a trance can profoundly alter their behavior. As they rehearse the new ways they want to think and feel, they lay the groundwork for changes in their future actions…