What’s the difference between hypnotherapy and guided meditation? It’s a question I get asked a lot. Understandably, there’s some confusion about these two techniques which on the surface seem very similar—you shut your eyes, relax, and visualize something in your mind’s eye. In that way, they are identical. But as we explore deeper (no pun intended) we discover a number of important distinctions.
Hypnosis produces a deeper state of relaxation
Guided meditation can be done simply by shutting your eyes right now and visualizing. Hypnosis uses a process called “induction” to bring about a hypnotic state—a natural, altered state of consciousness. An induction is a specialized way of relaxing the conscious mind and the body. The process can be long or short, and there are myriad types of inductions. But every hypnotic state requires an induction. The induction prepares the mind in order to further open the subconscious mind. Only after the goal of the induction is achieved can the next part of the session begin.
Hypnotherapists specialize in the subconscious mind, which is the part of your mind that visualizes
A lay person can guide a meditation. I know firsthand, I used to lead guided meditation groups when I was in my twenties, before I earned my board certification in hypnotherapy. As a hypnotherapist, I’ve come to understand that the unconscious mind is powerful, highly suggestible, and has a unique set of dynamics and principles. In my twenties, leading guided meditations was like tinkering with a car’s engine—while having no idea how an engine works—before taking it for a drive. Researchers are still discovering the intricacies of the unconscious mind. Hypnotherapists are learned in the latest knowledge of the subconscious psyche; what to say, what not to say, and the language of the subconscious.
Hypnosis and consciousness
It’s natural to lose conscious awareness during a hypnotherapy session, whereas with a guided meditation that rarely happens unless you fall asleep.
Hypnosis is goal-oriented
You’ve likely heard of hypnosis being used for behavior modification, like losing weight, or healing a past trauma or phobia, but it can also be used (as HappiSeek does) to create greater enlightenment through self-exploration. Hypnotherapy heals the past and creates the future. Guided meditation is usually focused on finding peace and relaxation in the present.
Hypnotherapy follows the client
Hypnotherapists know that anything can be brought to light and addressed in a hypnotherapy session. As an example, I had a client who came to me to stop smoking. In the middle of our session, a traumatic spontaneous past life memory came flooding into his mind. I quickly aborted my original plan for the session and instead processed his past life trauma. Typically, with guided meditation, past life bleed-throughs don’t happen because the intention of a focused, specific healing hasn’t been set.
There is more interaction and conversing in hypnotherapy
The person in hypnotherapy and the hypnotherapist often talk during the session. In a guided meditation, generally, all of the talking is done by the person leading the meditation. Of course with your HappiSeek hypnotherapy session I can’t be with you physically (though I am with you in Spirit!) so where you would normally talk to me during your session, the carefully designed app will allow you space to process what is coming up for you.
I hope this has given you some insight into the differences between hypnotherapy and guided meditation. Whether you use hypnosis or guided meditation, with a board-certified or licensed professional you are sure to have a positive outcome.
At HappiSeek, I’ve thoughtfully crafted each session with the best practices of hypnotherapy. When you use our app, you can trust that everything you hear has been carefully considered to provide you with the highest quality experience.