The concept of hypnosis has fascinated us for a long time. Although the process had different names in its earlier stages, historical accounts tell us that such a state of trance and relaxation was induced in earlier cultures as well. 

In modern times, the onslaught of the industrial revolution saw a lot of myths about hypnotism mainly due to a lack of research.

Hypnosis: The Process

Hypnosis is a process of taking the subject or a client into a deep state of trance where the brain is especially prone to receiving unconscious suggestions.

The ways of inducing trance can differ according to the practitioner’s school of thought but the commonality includes these three processes.

1. Focusing one's attention on one point

2. Leading (saying out the information the individuals already know)

3. Pacing (adding new information to the things you already know).  

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to therapy that focuses on how an individual sees the world around them and how they behave according to their perception.

The therapy largely focuses on how a person’s beliefs influence their behavior so that the therapist could provide accurate suggestions and medications to improve the individual's mental health.

For example, a person's fear of dogs might stop him from visiting his friend’s house which in turn might create a rift in their friendship. Here, the belief of the person might be that “dogs bite” or “dogs are aggressive creatures.”  

Here, CBT will aim to rectify the person's negative beliefs about dogs to facilitate positive change in his behavior. 

Using CBT and Hypnotism Together

The commonality between CBT and hypnotic treatments is that both of the processes aim to facilitate self-reflection.

According to a 1995 report published in the Journal Of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, hypnotic treatments and CBT worked better when practiced together. 

How Hypnosis Can Help a Subject?

A hypnosis process can lead the subject to feel a sense of detachment from the current problem. The hypnotized subject is usually manipulated to look at an issue from a third-person view so that the solution can be reached much quicker.

Furthermore, subjects under hypnosis can be guided (by self or through therapy) to slow down their negative thoughts as well as pause them.

In this way, a hypnotized person can be trained to dissect their thoughts and come to a better way of thinking.  

Past Life Regression

When we talk about hypnotism and hypnotherapy, we often tend to go into the esoteric dimensions of the phenomenon (hypnosis).

Similarly, past life regression is one such aspect of hypnotism which has seen an increase in popularity in the last century. 

This form of therapy puts a subject under hypnosis and asks them to go back to their past lives in the hopes of finding the answers to the subject's sufferings that seemingly cannot be explained by modern medicine and psychology.

The therapy uses hypnotic inductions to draw conclusions about the past lives of the people.

Past Life Regression Limitations

However promising it may be, past life regression therapy has not been able to generate a convincing scientific result from the studies conducted and thus has been labeled as an alternative therapy.

Most notably, the use of hypnotic treatments and suggestive questions from the practitioner can leave the client with false memories.

This reason is prominently why the form of therapeutic intervention has been discredited by the mainstream psychological community.