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Types of hypnotherapy

If you’ve decided to take the step to try hypnotherapy, our advice would be to take the time to do a little research. Hypnotherapy is an incredible tool and can be used in many different ways. If a type of therapy appeals to you or sounds appropriate for your needs, click through to read about the therapy in more depth.

You can then use our advanced search tool to find a hypnotherapist who offers this type of therapy, read their profile and get in touch. If you have any questions during or after your search, please do ask your hypnotherapist. They should be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have and explain more about the different types of hypnotherapy, the benefits of hypnotherapy and how it may help you.

Types of hypnotherapy

Below we briefly outline some of the common types of hypnotherapy available.

Cognitive hypnotherapy

Cognitive hypnotherapy incorporates hypnosis to help ‘update’ the subconscious in line with the conscious and its understanding of reality.

The technique draws influence from a range of theories and combines them so that they fall in line with the client’s personal goals, values and needs. Cognitive hypnotherapy can be used for many concerns but is particularly helpful for phobias and anxiety.

Many hypnotherapists find progressive relaxation very useful to help a person go into the trance state. By the time we work on the issue, the person is in a lovely relaxed state. It's like having a mental massage.

- Hypnotherapist Penny Ling explains in The Complete Guide to Hypnotherapy.

Ericksonian hypnotherapy

Milton Erickson was a psychiatrist who specialised in family therapy and medical hypnosis. His work is cited as being revolutionary in the hypnotherapy industry and his approach is now used by a growing number of hypnotherapists.

Differing from other forms, Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses indirect suggestion and storytelling to alter behaviour. This type of hypnotherapy may appeal to those who are looking for a different approach or even those who have tried and disliked traditional forms of hypnotherapy.  


This is an integrative approach, where hypnosis is used alongside another branch of psychotherapy (such as psychodynamic, Humanist, Gestalt or mindfulness). Professionals who offer this form of therapy will have training in both hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. Hypno-psychotherapy can be used to look at more deep-seated issues and may be helpful for those who feel they would benefit from more intensive work.


Drawing on concepts from analytical psychotherapy, hypnoanalysis looks to identify a ‘cause’ or ‘trigger event’ that has led to the current problem you’re facing. By identifying the root cause, the hypnotherapist helps to reduce negative associations and resolve resulting issues.

The process often takes a number of sessions, allowing you and your therapist to build a relationship and work together in a safe, trusting environment.  

Image of people standing together on a bus

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Not a type of hypnotherapy, but another technique that hypnotherapists often employ within their practice. NLP is a learning model devised by Dr Richard Bandler and John Grinder and looks to help people help themselves reach a state of ‘excellence, happiness and state of mind’. 

Past life regression

Practitioners of this technique believe we all have past lives and use hypnosis to help recover these memories. It is hoped that these memories can reveal why you are struggling with a certain issue in this life and explain who you are now. This therapy is holistic and works with body, mind, emotions and spirit. Past life regression may be useful if you feel you are stuck on a certain issue or find something keeps coming back into your life.

Rapid Transformational Therapy®

Created by Marisa Peer, a leading celebrity therapist and pioneering hypnotherapist trainer, RTT® combines elements from a number of different approaches to create a kind of therapy that offers quick results. Rapid Transformational Therapy® is a complete, solution-focused approach, helping to address the root cause of issues, rather than current symptoms that may be troubling you. 

Rapid Transformational Therapy® therapists aim to teach you how to communicate with your subconscious mind, helping you to access and address any issues that may be causing unwanted behaviour, reactions, or could be holding you back. Others have found it can also help them to boost their confidence and performance in sports, performing arts, and within their careers, as well as achieving an overall improved sense of well-being.

Image of a man reading a book outside

Solution-focused hypnotherapy

This form of hypnotherapy focuses on the here and now, looking at your current situation and how you would like your future to look. Solution-focused hypnotherapy is client centred, meaning that you take the lead in your sessions with your hypnotherapist guiding you.

Goal setting is key and questioning techniques are often used to help you uncover the solution to whatever challenge you’re facing. The core belief is that you have inner strength and resources to draw upon to help yourself, with the hypnotherapist acting as a facilitator.

Suggestion hypnotherapy

Suggestion techniques are employed within most types of hypnotherapy. The premise behind hypnosis is that when we are in a hypnotic state, our subconscious is more open to suggestion. Suggestions are offered by the hypnotherapist during this state to help alter thought patterns. This technique is ideal for changing habits, overcoming anxiety and reducing stress.

Time Line Therapy™

Deriving from NLP, Time Line Therapy™ is based on the premise that our memories are stored in a linear pattern (i.e. a timeline). Timeline therapists use different techniques to help you release limiting beliefs and negative emotions linked to past experiences.

While this approach can be used for a variety of concerns, it is thought to be especially useful for those struggling with depression, anxiety and stress.

Types of hypnotherapy

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