Analytical hypnotherapy

Written by Katherine Nicholls
Katherine Nicholls
Hypnotherapy Directory Content Team

Last updated 14th December 2021 | Next update due 13th December 2024

Analytical hypnotherapy (hypnoanalysis) is a form of hypnotherapy that aims to discover and resolve the root cause of concern. It draws on concepts from analytical psychotherapy and uses these with hypnotherapy techniques. The hope is that hypnoanalysis can resolve problems rather than manage symptoms, and therefore address long-standing issues.

What is hypnoanalysis?

In this video, hypnotherapist Jonathan Garside explains more about hypnoanalysis and the power of hypnotherapy, and how we actually experience trance-like states every day. 

The theory behind hypnoanalysis is that for some issues or concerns, there is a cause. The aim of the therapy is to uncover this cause and therefore resolve it. This process is often longer than suggestion hypnotherapy and can take a number of sessions. This allows you and your therapist to work together in a safe and confidential environment. Over time, rapport and trust builds.

Having a trusting relationship is key, as you should naturally find yourself opening up and discussing things that may have been ‘bottled up’ from the past. These past events can often be the cause of a present-day problem. The same theory is used by psychoanalytic therapists.

What is the difference between hypnoanalysis and psychoanalysis?

The difference between hypnoanalysis and psychoanalysis is the use of hypnosis. When someone is in a hypnotic state, their conscious mind falls into the background, allowing the subconscious mind to come forward. This is the part of the mind that tends to ‘store’ information about the ‘cause’ of certain problems.

For example, when asked, you may not remember a specific event that triggered a phobia. So your conscious mind may not be aware of it. Using hypnoanalysis, a hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious to reveal the event/cause in your subconscious.

Once the cause is found and addressed, there is room for new, healthy ways of thinking. Hypnotherapy and suggestion techniques are typically used to help this process.

As this therapy is so intricate and involved, it needs the expertise of a trained professional and should ideally take place in person. Self-hypnosis recordings, for example, are not appropriate for this type of work.

Techniques used within hypnoanalysis

Two of the most commonly used techniques are free association and direct regression.

Free association

This technique was pioneered by Sigmund Freud. It involves simply letting your thoughts run free, moving from one to the other without judgment or consideration. As you do this within hypnoanalysis you speak your thoughts out loud, to your therapist.

With the guidance of a hypnotherapist, your thoughts will be directed towards the ‘truth’ that typically your subconscious may be resistant to. The idea is to identify events that may be the cause or root of your current concern.

Direct regression

Regression is a powerful tool used by hypnotherapists to access someone’s past through hypnosis. In hypnoanalysis, you may be asked to think about a recent event when you felt the symptoms of your problem (for example if you have a fear of lifts, it may be the last time you were in a lift). You will then be asked to really relive the experience and ‘amplify’ the feelings as much as you are able to.

Various techniques are then used to take your memories back to discover the original ‘event’ when you first felt like this. The height of your emotion should diminish as you get closer to the initial ‘event’.

The techniques used will be decided by your hypnotherapist who will assess which approach is best for you and your circumstances.

What can it help with?

Hypnoanalysis can help a wide range of concerns. It is worth noting however that in some cases, there may not be an underlying cause. For example, concerns like bad habits, pain control and not achieving goals may be better suited to suggestion hypnotherapy. This will, however, depend on individual circumstances.

Concerns that you believe do have an underlying cause, however, are certainly worth exploring with hypnoanalysis. Concerns that often respond well to this approach include:

Every individual is different and will respond to different approaches, so be open to exploring your options. If you are already undergoing psychological treatment, be sure to tell your psychotherapist that you are considering hypnoanalysis. They can ensure there is no conflict in treatment and communicate with your hypnotherapist if necessary.

How long will the treatment take?

Hypnoanalysis often requires a longer-term treatment plan than other approaches within hypnotherapy. The number of sessions you’ll require will depend completely on the nature of the concern you’re addressing and how you respond in sessions.

Speak to your hypnotherapist about this as they should be able to give you a rough guide on how many sessions you’ll need and when you can expect to see results.

Is this approach right for me?

Hypnoanalysis is immensely helpful for most people, however, it may not be suitable for every circumstance. We would advise you to speak to an appropriately trained hypnotherapist about this. They can learn more about you and the problem you’re looking to address and can suggest the right approach for you.

If your case is considered appropriate for hypnoanalysis, it is a worthwhile avenue that has long-lasting, positive effects.

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