What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state we all experience, often known as a trance state or a state of absorption. Think of occasions when you are so absorbed in something you lose time or feel like you are “in the zone.”  The best study sessions or periods of writing are one of those states, as is daydreaming. I remind people that we create negative trance states as well, like when we get stuck in repeating rounds of negative thinking.

In the words of Milton Erickson, an internationally renowned psychiatrist, considered the preeminent master of hypnosis,

So far as I know, hypnosis as a form of human behavior
has been in existence since the beginning
of the human race.

Milton Erickson

Hypnosis is:

  • Is a powerful adjunct in behavioral health treatment and psychotherapy.
  • Can shorten the course of treatment
  • Helps people mobilize inner resources.
  • Promotes understanding problems in a different way, engaging one’s mind/body and the imagination.
  • Appeals to the intellect of the person while giving them the power of an experience

Hypnosis is useful with many different issues or problems. I use hypnosis often with those I work with to enhance or build healthy thinking, habits and behaviors or to help people quit or reduce problem habits.

  • Stress management skills
  • Treating anxiety disorders including performance anxiety
  • Managing Emotions
  • Depression
  • Habit Problems
  • Building confidence
  • Seeing the solution

There are many misconceptions about hypnosis. Popular culture has taken hypnosis and used it for entertainment purposes; many people have seen stage hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis has many applications, perhaps the most familiar of which is smoking cessation, weight loss and pain management. There are many medical conditions where hypnosis is used to reduce symptoms or distress as well as in speeding healing or boosting the immune system. In many issues of thinking, feeling and behavior one can use hypnosis to foster change,  whether it’s finding a better thought/belief or garnering inner resources for health, healing and change.

Hypnosis isn’t a quick fix. We can all hope that someone can fix us, or a technique or treatment can fix us. Yet most often it comes down to our OWN efforts with the aid of helpful  techniques, treatments, people or strategies. Like with all treatments or techniques there is a range or variability of benefit or outcome, hypnosis is no different.


  • Certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Approved Consultant.
  • Past president Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis, served on the organization’s board for over 8 years.
  • Provide training for professionals in hypnosis.
  • Present locally and nationally.