Definitions & Terms


One of the best definitions:

If you will picture a horizontal line and think of one end as conscious awareness and the other as sleep, you then can envision and grasp the many gradients between these two opposite points.  You might accept hypnosis as an area between these two poles at which an individual’s awareness of his surroundings are diminished, while awareness of internal processes, feelings, thoughts and pictures are increased.”                                                            —Steven Heller, Ph.D. & Terry Steele

Simply put, hypnosis occurs when you are in a trance.

Hypnosis is effective in targeting a particular issue. Hypnosis techniques are also used to uncover and seek out the source of an issue.

The objective of hypnosis is to access the subconscious mind – or alternatively stated – to take the focus away from the rational/cognitive mind.


Hypnotherapy is applied hypnosis for the purposes of a therapeutic objective.

A good definition of hypnotherapy that captures its essence:

Hypnotherapy is a naturalistic approach that uses the client’s present resources and strengths to further and accomplish meaningful goals.”                              —Gil Boyne “Transforming Therapy”

The objective of hypnotherapy is to apply hypnosis to help create a desired change that is beneficial to your well-being.

Hypnotic Induction

The hypnotist guides you into hypnosis through the use of a hypnotic induction (a set of instructions that facilitate hypnosis).

You will have likely experienced hypnosis if you have ever taken part in:

  • Guided Visualization
  • Guided Imagery
  • Been caught-up in a daydream
  • Tuned-out
  • Inward focused
  • Been in between wakefulness and sleep
  • Gotten lost in creativity or imagination
  • Fantasy | Imagination
  • Engrossed in a good book, in a movie
  • Etc.


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Featured In:

Tina Romano National Guild of Hypnotists

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