I’m often asked about the question ‘what’s the difference between hypnotherapy and mindfulness?‘ when I am doing presentations or self-hypnosis workshops. They do have some similarities but really are very different.
Although I’m happy to explain the difference, I much prefer to demonstrate and encourage people to have the experience because the practical of both is better than the theory.
I was a hypnotherpist before I trained to be a mindfulness practitioner, so was used to going into a deeply relaxed state (known in hypnosis as a trance). I actually had to learn in mindfulness to lighten my trance, so I could be present with my thoughts and observe my thoughts coming and going.
In hypnosis you are more deeply in trance and that’s how you are able to make significant helpful changes to your beliefs and behavours.
Comparison of hypnotherapy and mindfulness
I made this table to compare hypnotherapy and mindfulness which I hope helps you compare the two.
|What happens?||Hypnotherapy is delivered by qualified hypnotherapist who will use language and other techniques to relax your conscious mind and communicate with your unconscious.||A mindfulness practitioner or audio recording will use language to bring your attention to the present and think less about other things.|
|Can you do it yourself||A good hypnotherapist will teach you self-hypnosis. I use the example of a hypnobirth client who has to know how to deeply relax when the need arises!||Yes, lots of people do it themselves but lots can’t or don’t make the time to.|
|Where did it originate||
In the 18th Century, an Austrian named Frank Anton Mezmer was credited with the discovery of hypnosis. Mezmer would hold large healing ceremonies at his estate.
In 1840 a physician named James Braid made hypnosis accessible to the medical community and many other physicians began to incorporate hypnosis into their practice. Dr. James Esdaile was one such physician, he performed over 2500 surgeries in Calcutta, India, using hypnosis for anesthesia.
In 1950, both the British and American Medical Associations declared hypnosis to be a useful therapeutic tool.
Mindfulness has its origins in ancient meditation practices.
It originated in India.
The founder of modern day Mindfulness is Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970’s.
|Who offers it||Qualified Hypnotherapists||Mindfulness Practitioners|
|What does it feel like||Deeply relaxing in the mind and body with long lasting connection to your ‘calm place’. You will be able to move but you probably won’t want to. You are not asleep and can even have your eyes open during hypnosis.||Relaxing in the mind and body with connection to your ‘calm place’. You will probably have your eyes closed, but are not asleep.|
|What are the benefits||
Connect to unconscious mind
Make long lasting changes
Release anger, grief, shame
Heal your inner child
Increase positive feelings
Own your mental state
Feel ‘good enough’
Connect to unconscious mind
Be aware of the present
Connection to self
Own your mental state
|How much does it cost||Between £90 and £150 an hour with between 2 and 4 sessions required.||Between £10 and £25 an hour with the average course lasting 6 to 8 sessions.|
|Where does it take place?||In hypnotherapist’s therapy room or online.||Widely available and usually in a group in a therapy practice or local hall.|
|Is it safe for children?||Yes, children respond really well and have great success with hypnosis||Yes, mindfulness has been introduced to many schools with fabulous results|
|What it is||A mental state where the conscious mind is relaxed and the unconscious is present. A relaxing feeling where different solutions can be found to problems and issues to make permanent changes for the better.||
A mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
|What is isn’t||Stage Hypnosis||A mechanism for making pyschological and behavioural changes|
|What’s good about it||
Hypnosis accesses the unconscious mind where everything is stored, including past experiences that affect behaviour and emotions.
If you have negative behaviours or thought patterns they will be because of something stored in your unconscious mind.
|For people looking for a way to relax, it is a superb practice. It can ease stress and give you a better sense of yourself. It also helps with worry as it focuses your mind on the present.|
|What’s not good about it||Some people are worried that hypnotherapy will make them do something they don’t want to do, reveal secrets or control their mind. None of this is true.||
It doesn’t make changes in the unconscious to help with unwanted behaviours.
It’s called a practice because for it to be and remain effective, you do need to make it part of your life.
|What can it help you with?||
Relaxation and finding inner calm
Finding inner calm
Living in the present
|Is it approved?||Hypnotherapeutic treatment has been approved by the BMA (British Medical Association) as a form of ‘orthodox’ practice (as opposed to complementary or alternative medicine) for over 70 years.||Widely supported by the BMA and NHS.|
|Where can I find out more information?||I offer a free 15 minute consultation which you can book here||There’s a nice 2 minute video on mindfulness here|
So what is it that you are looking for?
I hope the comparison of hypnotherapy and mindfulness is useful and gives you an insight into both. It might be that you are reading this because you want to manage your own mental state better. I just want you to know that there are lots of ways you can manage your own mental state and it is important for you to do so. You can really deal with depression or anxiety. Yes, really!
Why not book a free chat now?
I would love to discuss any questions you may have about using mindfulness or hypnosis to help you in your life. Please book your free 15 minute chat here.