5 Key Principles of Hypnosis

Updated: Mar 25, 2019

Discover the five key principles underpinning clinical hypnosis, and the value of the trance state for therapeutic interventions.

The more we know and understand how a therapy works, the better off we are.


Here you can find in simple language, the five key principles behind all modern clinical hypnosis, and accessibility to the terms that may be used by your hypnotherapist.

  1. Continuum of the conscious: This is our brain’s ability to receive and process different inputs of information at the same time, without being necessarily consciously aware of all things at once. e.g. you can drive and listen to the radio at the same time. This is utilised within hypnosis and keeps the client out of a sleep state.

  2. Trance induced states: These differ from waking and sleeping states of consciousness, as the person is still aware of sound, sight, touch, hearing and smell but the senses are changed. They can become heightened or diffused, and time distortions can occur. This is why it can feel like you've only been in hypnosis for 5 minutes, when in fact it may be more like 30 minutes!

  3. Hypnotic interventions: These are therapeutic and specific devices that are utilised within a trance state (hypnosis) to achieve a specific outcome, and to disrupt and minimise cognitive distortions, and unwanted behavioural patterns. These can include suggestions, metaphors, and pseudo-orientation in time, to name a few.

  4. Trance logic: Non-rational involvement in a subjective experience of a trance induced therapeutic intervention. Think about the concepts and ideas that make total sense within the context of a dream or meditative state.

  5. Susceptibility to hypnosis: People who are willing to ‘play’ and to be induced, and who therapeutically have a pain point to be resolved, of their own free will and choice. This makes them ideal candidates for hypnosis. This has nothing to do with their level of ‘intelligence’, their strong will, or any other form of ego projection.


These are the core principles that are utilised within modern clinical hypnotherapy, to guide the therapist towards creating a helpful and healing therapeutic experience for the client. It's kind of like looking under the hood to see how the hypnosis engine runs.


The value of the trance state for therapeutic interventions


The mind, in a trance state more easily accepts new possibilities and suggestions, over and above simply having a conversation or talking about your problems or issues. The mind becomes open and receptive and the use of hypnotic devices such as metaphors, and by using relevant examples and concepts, drawn from the initial interview, creates a tailor made form of therapy.


Hypnosis draws on the client's inner resources, and views the client’s issues as not being caused by any one (or more) traumatic experience, but rather through a lack of process, and an underlying skills gap, that can be rectified, through practical tasking alongside the hypnotic delivery. This means that you don't have to revisit your past, and go over the old stories again, to get a beneficial outcome or breakthrough. In fact, that may be limiting to the present and future outcomes you desire. You cant change the past, you can only create your future, and clinical hypnosis can help you do that.



Complementary Medicine Practitioner

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Clinical Hypnotherapist

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