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Originally published January 28 2009

Use Both Hetero-Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis for Best Results

by Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.

(NaturalNews) Like with many other great things, hypnotherapy can be categorized into 2 different subcategories. They are hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis. The key to understanding the difference between the two can be the key to a successful session and subsequently, successful results.

Hetero-hypnosis is defined as hypnosis induced by another person. Often times, hetero-hypnosis is induced by a licensed and trained clinical hypnotherapist. Self-hypnosis is also known as autohypnosis. Self-hypnosis is when the state of hypnosis is self-induced or when you are hypnotizing yourself. Self hypnosis is most often done in the form of imagery where the subject puts themselves into a situation of maximum relaxation. A study conducted determined that both Hetero-Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis are encouraged for best results of hypnotherapy.

The article was written in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis about a study performed using both hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Researchers involved in the study wanted to test the efficacy of using both methods.

During the hetero-hypnosis sessions the hypnotherapist established his/her supportive role acting as a positive parent figure. The hypnotherapist used words of encouragement throughout the session and helped the patients tap into their inner strength.

The hypnotherapist then teaches the patients self-hypnosis. The focus for self-hypnosis is imagery. Between weekly hypnosis sessions with the hypnotherapist, the patients are encouraged to practice self-hypnosis and to elaborate on the imagery already provided by the sessions.

The hypnosis sessions induced by a hypnotherapist are particularly beneficial because the hypnotherapist can re-work negative feelings and thoughts the patient has expressed. The initial concern of hypnotherapy is taking certain events or thoughts within a person`s mind and re-charging them with different feelings. Fears can be alleviated, substance dependency can be dropped, and ultimately, a person`s life can be changed. Self-hypnosis is beneficial because it allows the patient to be more aware of her/her internal dialogue and subconscious thoughts. In order to truly put these new thoughts and emotions to use, they can start off by practicing them at home, through the use of self-hypnosis.

The researchers found that by using both hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis, patients reported better results in improving their conditions and lives. They concluded that using both types of hypnosis is especially beneficial for those who have problems relating to control. They suggest that the focus when using hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis should be on imagery. By successfully imagining themselves in a newer and better situation, the subjects are going to be able to do so in their everyday lives.


Eisen, M. R. & Fromm, E. (1983). The Clinical Use of Self-Hypnosis in Hypnotherapy: Tapping the Functions of Imagery and Adaptive Regression. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 31(4). 243-55.

About the author

Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:

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