What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?

The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to discussion and suggestion. It can improve the success of other treatments for several conditions such as:

  • Phobias, fears, and anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Post-trauma anxiety
  • Grief and loss

Hypnotherapy might be used to help with pain control and to overcome habits, such as smoking or overeating. It might also be helpful for a person with severe symptoms or in need of crisis management.

What are the drawbacks of hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy might not be appropriate for a person who has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, or for someone who is using drugs or alcohol. It should be used for pain control only after a doctor has evaluated the person for any physical disorder that might require medical or surgical treatment.

Some therapists use hypnotherapy to recover repressed memories they believe are linked to the person’s mental disorder. However, it also poses a risk of creating false memories—usually as a result of unintended suggestions by the therapist. For this reason, using hypnotherapy for certain mental disorders, such as dissociative disorders, remains controversial.

Is hypnotherapy dangerous?

Hypnotherapy is a safe procedure when done by a trained therapist. Hypnotherapy is not mind control or brainwashing. A therapist cannot make a person do something embarrassing or something the person does not want to do.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy