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Find a professional for Hypnotherapy in Los Angeles

A Hypnotherapist is a therapist that specializes in providing treatment to a patient while the patient is in a psychologically hypnotic state. Hypnotherapy is often applied in order to modify a subject's behavior, emotional content and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions including: obesity, substance abuse, pain, ego, anxiety, stress, amnesia, phobias and matters of performance. Hypnotherapy is used to bypass the conscious mind and open the unconscious mind to get at the hidden motivations underlying the unwanted behaviors and beliefs.

Some techniques used by hypnotherapists include: age regression, revivification, guided imagery, parts therapy, repetition, direct suggestion, indirect suggestion, hypnoanalysis, post hypnotic suggestion, and visualization.  Age regression is a technique used by hypnotherapists to return to an earlier ego-state.  In doing so, the patient can regain qualities they once had, but have lost. Remembering and acknowledging the event(s) that altered an earlier, healthier, ego-state can increase the patient's strength and confidence.  Revivification is a technique of bringing up past experiences as therapy.  Guided imagery is a method by which the patient is given a new relaxing and beneficial experience to replace a traumatic one.  Parts therapy is a technique used to identify parts of the self in conflict and then a negotiating process to bring a resolution to the conflict.  Repetition is used to enforce ideas in the hopes that it will be accepted and acted on by the patient.  Direct suggestion is used to alter a prior idea or thought with a new one to replace the less desirable ideation.  Indirect suggestion involves the therapist making a suggestion, that when logically followed leads the patient to a new idea to replace a less desirable idea.  Hypnoanalysis is used to induce the patient to recall moments in his past experiences, and then confronting them, leading to a release of the emotions related to the event.  A post-hypnotic suggestion involves a hypnotherapist introducing a new idea to be incorporated after the trance has ended.  Often a hypnotherapist will utilize visualization to use the patient's own imagination to "see" the outcome that is desired, rendering it more likely to occur.  

Hypnotherapy is thought to occur during certain brainwave levels as measured on electroencephalography (EEG). Electroencephalography characterizes four major brain-wave patterns.  Each pattern is identified by the frequency of electrical impulses firing from the brain. The Beta state (alert/working) is defined as 14�"32 cycles per second (CPS), the Alpha state (relaxed/reflecting) as the 7�"14 CPS, the Theta state (drowsy) as 4�"7 CPS, and the Delta state (sleeping/dreaming/deep sleep) as approximately 3�"5 CPS.  One physiological definition of hypnosis states that the brainwave level necessary to work on issues such as stopping smoking, weight management, reduction of phobias or sports improvement, is the Alpha state.  Consequently, hypnotherapists endeavor to place a patient in an Alpha state prior to beginning work.  The Alpha state is commonly associated with closing one's eyes, relaxation, and daydreaming. Another physiological definition states that the Theta state is required for therapeutic change. The Theta state is associated with hypnosis for surgery, hypnoanesthesia and hypnoanalgesia, which occur more readily in the Theta and Delta states.

In the United States, hypnotherapy is regulated at the state level; however, there are no accredited qualifications needed to practice hypnotherapy.  There are laws regulating its practice in 16 states.  The following states regulate the practice of hypnotherapy: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Nevada (forensic hypnosis only). Connecticut, New York and Minnesota states have changed their status in 2006 or are undergoing change in the existing regulation.  According to the Federal Dictionary of Occupational Titles published by the United States Department of Labor under Hypnotherapist 079.157.010 it is defined as follows: "Induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns. Consults with client to determine nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degree of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client, using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client's problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning."

Author: Christopher  Holder, ND Candidate '07

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