Most people do not understand the condition of hypnosis. They presume to become unconscious, and this is not at all what the feeling is like unless you’re the one in ten who easily achieves the deep level trance. The possibilities are that you can maintain awareness of all things that are going on around you.

Most of the subjects felt a part of them feeling that they were on stage, and a part of them was somewhere else. This was like being in two locations at the same time. That does not mean that you’re not hypnotized. It means, somewhere between light and medium trance, that you undergo a hypnotic level. For each person, it is different, but we typically go a little deeper each time because you are trained, until you reach your natural level.

You can doubt whether you’re really in a hypnotic state during a hypnotic trance. Perhaps you say to yourself, “I should just open my eyes now and get out of the trance, but I just don’t want to.” The reality is, you can, but the fact you do not want is a sign that you are hypnotically relaxed.

How to awake a person form Hypnotic state

A person subjected to hypnosis can be woken up from that state without much difficulty. But the transition from a very different state, when compared to the normal conscious state, to the latter has to be done naturally and slowly. The subject should be freed of all kinds of conditioning before waking them up from the hypnotic state. For example, if anyone of these instructions like, the tightening of muscles, feeling of weightlessness, painlessness, difficulty in opening the eyes etc. was given, it has to be withdrawn before waking her up from the hypnosis state.

By giving the following instructions peacefully and precisely, one can be woken up from hypnosis:

Instruction 1:

“In a few moments, I am going to wake you up from hypnosis. You will experience enthusiasm and happiness after you wake up from this strange mental state. Your body is coming back to normalcy. Here, it has come. Now you are capable of moving your body. Your body is getting rid of its weightlessness. Gradually, you are regaining normal body weight. Your body has come back to its normal state. You are able to open your eyes now. Open your eyes… open your eyes.”

Usually, on giving the above instructions, the subject wakes up from hypnosis. Some might not wake up. There is nothing to be worried here. Give the following instructions peacefully:

Instruction 2:

“Rest peacefully… Listen only to what I say. Now your body is coming back to normalcy. You are waking up… I am going to count from one to ten. You would have woken up by the time I reach ten.”

Count from one to ten slowly. When tried this way, most of the subjects do wake up from hypnosis. If the person still does not wake up, the process could be repeated after a while. In spite of all these, if they still don’t wake up, allow them to sleep for some time. They would slip off from hypnosis to healthy sleep in no time.

By no means should they be physically forced to wake up by patting them, using noise by clapping your hands, by spilling water on their face, etc.? Once both their body and mind get enough rest from normal sleep, they wake up on her own.

Through hypnosis, nobody really gets “stuck.” And because all the hypnosis is self-hypnosis, if you want to, you may wake up and become completely alert right in the middle of a show. Hypnotists have no control over your mind, to the degree to which you are prepared to adhere.


The client in front of me struggles to put to words what she is going through. Her shoulders are slouched, her eyes avert contact with mine, and her breathing is shallow. I read her body language and her expressions; I’m forming a hypothesis in my mind as I take mental notes. She begins listing her issues one by one – she finds it difficult to get out of bed; she doesn’t feel motivated; she has trouble sleeping and rarely feels like eating. And yes, she has been thinking about ending her life, finding it all difficult to cope with. It comes easy to me, the initial diagnosis, with such overt symptoms you’d be hard-pressed to miss the demon of depression staring right at me. And as her psychologist, I know I am supposed to be telling her about the power of therapy, those of exercises, the right diet that can do wonders, how cognitive behaviour therapy can help, and there’s always medication to fall back on.

I do all these with her, my client. But I don’t tell her one thing. I leave that crucial part out. I don’t tell her that I too am depressed.

This is the situation I was in a year ago; I was dealing with patients who came to me with a variety of psychological distresses and problems. And I tackled them all head-on and always tried to be there at the forefront of effective treatments for my patients. I never knew or thought that one day I would fall prey to the silent killer. Psychologists who suffer from the symptoms of depression are rarely talked about.

What happened in my life wasn’t all that different from what happens in the lives of my patients. There were financial difficulties, the pressure of working in a challenging space like mental health and issues with family. It wasn’t overnight or all of a sudden, it was slow, it was silent, and one fine day, there were two depressed people in the therapy room.

Unlike what most people think, depression isn’t an illness that springs out of nowhere. In hindsight, when I looked back, I see now the many small actions I took, the many inconsistent thoughts that I had prior to my big realisation. I would get stressed out over small everyday things, I was constantly in my own head asking and questioning myself, I couldn’t sleep and I would toss and turn as I struggled to sleep in spite of having stressful and tiring days. And even though I was a professional, I took all these signs as mere stresses of everyday life.

Then it happened. My partner knew I wasn’t sleeping well and she was concerned. Then one day on my way to work, I broke down and cried in the bus. Nothing happened, no one said anything to me, I didn’t witness a trauma, but I started crying and it felt like I couldn’t stop. At that moment I realised I was in trouble. That there was something wrong with me. In spite of this, I trudged along to work and tried to function as normal as possible.

Back home, my partner was scared and angry that I didn’t confide in her early. She took me to a general practitioner who prescribed a sleeping pill to me. I slept well that night, but I didn’t feel any different or better.

I took a few days off work and tried to come to terms with what I was feeling.  On some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, and on another day I was filled with so much sadness that all I wanted to do was curl up into the foetal position and bawl my eyes out. Whatever it was, I couldn’t see the way out of this.

I tried to do all the mental and physical exercises that I used to prescribe to my patients.  I would write down my thoughts in a journal, I would go out for a walk, I would try different combinations of diet, but forget these working, I couldn’t even bring myself to do half of these things. And this was the moment I realised what my patients actually go through in their lives.

My partner, who is also a therapist suggested a different doctor to me. This new doctor and the new pills started helping me. I slowly started doing the things that I had stopped doing. Things that I had always taken for granted, getting out of bed, wanting to take a shower, enjoying a meal. I began talking with my partner in a professional capacity, and even with the ethical tangle involved in it, she helped me through cognitive sessions where I realised that I had been far too alone in my life and that I needed to open up more and share more. The simplest of things, things that I often tell my patients.

After a month more of therapy, I went back to work. I took it slow and paced my sessions better. I paid better attention to the instances of countertransference happening that used to affect me more in the past. Things which possibly contributed to my condition. And this taught me to open up more, especially with my partner. Friends, when they heard about my condition, found it difficult to believe that I was depressed in spite of being a psychologist and even having a partner at home who was one as well.

Has it made me a better psychologist? It’s hard to say, having depression isn’t a superpower. But it taught me a valuable lesson. And it has also helped me empathise with my patients more. Having walked the same path as my patients have, I know exactly how scary and lonely it can get. And knowing this has undoubtedly helped me become a better and in tuned therapist.


In last March, Ashwathy named young girl committed suicide during the lockdown period.

Victims Mother’s View

Her mother said: “There was no severe grief occurred in her life.”

“She lived a life of unconditional love and we took care of all her needs. During the time of adolescence, when she watched the changes happening in her body with curiosity and embarrassment, we became her best friends. Of course, we know, her stress and sexual temptations can be an unavoidable. But we advise her to engage in hobbies like reading or creative activities in order to overcome this situation. Sometimes counseling sessions by psychologists are also given.”

“She was never banned from mingling with boys, but we ask her to control her prolonged telephonic conversations.”

Nowadays technologies like mobile phone are unavoidable. At the same time, they are incredibly prone to abuse.

“We thought she would become normal if the addiction to the mobile phone is reduced. So, we forcibly seized the cell phone from her. At that time, she replied nothing. But, the next day she committed suicide by jumping into the well.”

“She was our only daughter. We always tried our best to fulfil her desires. But, she ended her life for a silly reason.”

Kids Desires in the 21st Century

Children’s lives of the 21st century were different from those of the early days. They may leave home for silly reasons like for not providing an ice cream or chocolate.

They can be violent over trivial matters. They are not bothered about respect to the parents or elders. They were always in fond of latest versions smartphones or tabs. Modernity shows significant influence in the children’s lives, and they become a part of the global community. Their way of life is shaped by the forms of information technology and communication. These days kids aren’t very submissive. Parents have to work harder to make their children happy. Ever-evolving technology and social contexts affect the choices, activities and goals of children.

Modern parenting is different from that generation which brought up children by controlling children through disciplines and strict routines. Families are spending more on their children in today’s life condition, which is different from the days of poverty, starvation, disease and misery. They spent a significant amount of money on education, health and safety for children. And their thoughts and dreams were always connected to the progress of their children.

But modern methods of parenting, which inhibit the curiosity of the child and its ability to lead a social life, regulates every movement of the child. It blocks children’s natural learning ability and presents wrong information that compulsory training is necessary to acquire knowledge. In the name of modernity, they forcefully provide more knowledge than the child may handle.

Children Become Mentally Week

Children require emotional relationships apart from the costly materials for their lives. Their growth is happening not only by providing nutrition and security. We have to provide emotional requirements also. Society plays a significant role in children’s urges, motivations and emotions. Children’s emotional structures are more sensitive. Childhood is a time of dreams, hopes and free will. They give utmost importance to freedom. Children want to interact with their friends more than their parents. Suppressing these desires will lead to the development of internal stresses. Most children now spend most of their lives online and live with daily routines without external interference. Children’s privacy, freedom and individuality are sacrificed.

Many practices that parents and teachers prepare for the future of their children are absurd. Unnecessary pieces of information are forcefully filled inside the child’s brain. Thereby they failed to understand their surroundings and society. Although children may feel safer in modern life, their inner state is not secure. Children experience extreme stress and deep depression.

The Evils of Psychologism

Modern parenting is a field contaminated by psychologism. The prevalence of psychoanalysis of things can be seen in modern parenting. Parents have come up with new things about their children, such as brain plasticity training, grey matter growth, midbrain activation, multiply intelligence test, and brain gym. The inflating psychological conclusions distort even mild disturbances in children. Children are upset because, in today’s particular situation, they have to spend more time with adults. Attempts by parents to monitor children closely who fulfil their desires are causing internal distress to children.

Impact of COVID

The lockdown, due to COVID, changed children’s life significantly. They became bored and lifeless in this isolated situation. Children have lost the space to think and act independently because of the monitoring. The suppression of spontaneous mental expressions makes them insecure and anxious. Dissatisfied and anxious children who could not share emotions in adult domination are eventually ending up in a life-threatening situation.

Children are in very much fond of the outside world. They are curious and imaginative in everything. Their sensory cortex is always highly stimulated. Particular interest in the surrounding environment is their innate feature. Their senses are always open to assimilation. Therefore a rich external environment is necessary to solve the problems of the inner world of children.


Anti-depressants medication is the most commonly used treatment for depression. Even though medication brings good results, new research suggests that treating depression solo approach is not better. Given such findings, how can we decide which method should be used for a particular individual?

Most of the clients are getting pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy, and only a minority of patients are getting a combined therapy. Only patients with severe and chronic cases receive combined treatment. The researchers point out that combined treatment is also beneficial in mild cases. Because the two treatments’ effects seem to be independent of each other, this approach is also helpful for mild depression.

Study 1: Paula Young, head of the Institute at North Western University’s cognitive behavioral therapy department, examined this topic in a recent report. The study focused on evidence-based psychotherapy, known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is beneficial when used alone or in combination with antidepressants in the treatment of depression. Patients were trained to acquire some specific skills to resolve their problems. In this study, patients were randomly assigned to provide either antidepressant medications alone or antidepressants combined with CBT. The recovery rate of patients who received combination therapy was better than for those who received medication alone (73.6% vs. 63.5%). This difference was particularly pronounced for patients who had severe and recurrent depressions (82% vs. 52%).

Study 2: Pim Cuijpers, Marit Sijbrandi, and Charles F Reynolds conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials. This analysis studied the effectiveness of treatment with antidepressant medication were compared to the result obtaining in combined therapy in depressive disorder treatment. In this study, it was found that the combined treatment of CBT and depressant medications is very effective than treatment with antidepressant medication alone. In panic disorder treatment, also the same difference has occurred. The same results were found in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders. The superiority of combined treatment was statistically significant.

Study 3: Dunlop BW, LoParo D, Kinkead B, et al. attempted to assess sequential combinational therapy’s acute and long term effects of CBT and antidepressant treatment in adults who struggle with the mild depression. Out of 112 patients who underwent combination therapy, 54 (48.2%) achieved cure: 54.1% of the CBT plus drug group, and 45.1% of the medication plus CBT group. It was demonstrated Regardless of the order, the concurrent application of CBT or antidepressant medication to treat patients who have not achieved recovery on monotherapy alone is an essential approach to avoid relapse or recurrence of depression in this population.

However, some researchers found that the effects of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are mostly independent. There is no interfering with each other. Both of them are contributing equally to the effects of combined treatment.

In summary, it is found that those superior effects of combined treatment over pharmacotherapy alone are significant and relevant up to ten months after surgery. These research studies supported the use of combined therapy for mental disorders than monotherapy.


Integration of Hypnosis with cognitive behavioural therapy was beneficial for the treatment of depression. During the development of psychotherapy based on various theoretical aspects, hypnosis had been using as a tool with all psychotherapeutic approaches.



  1. During classical conditioning: In the time of development of classical conditioning and behavioural therapy, the state of hypnosis was described from the view of classical conditioning. The phenomenon of the subject going to the trance is the effect of conditioned reflex action. According to classical condition theory, hypnotic suggestions can be used for re-conditioning the clients. Through this re-conditioning, the behaviour of the clients can be changed.
  2. During psychoanalysis: In the time of psychoanalysis, hypnosis was explained as the phenomenon of the subconscious mind. Psychoanalysis mainly focused on the unconscious process of mind. Freud believed that all the mental disorders were due to the inner conflict of the mind. Psychoanalysis therapist used hypnosis to reveal the mind of the clients to explore the internal conflicts. Hypnotic suggestions were used to refill the subconscious mind with new beliefs.
  3. During Conditioned learning: In the time of development of conditioned learning theories, by Pavlov, hypnosis was explained as the process of modified reflex actions, induced by language. According to Pavlov’s theory, behaviours and responses are the reflex actions, and it depends upon the conditioning process of the persons through the life span. In this theoretical aspect, the therapists used hypnosis to re-condition the clients, to change reflex actions.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive therapy was originated from Alfred Adler. Albert Ellis and Aron T Beck bring out the importance of thoughts and cognition to behaviouristic approach. For many neurotic disorders, behavioural strategies were beneficial. But behavioural approaches had limitations in the treatment of depression. When we consider the theoretical aspect of cognitive behaviour therapy, hypnotherapy is also a cognitive-based therapy.

CBT with the aid of Hypnosis

In the period of emerging cognitive behaviour therapy, hypnosis has its role in the treatment process. Now we can explain hypnosis as the cognitive process. Cognitive behaviour therapy focuses on changing cognitive distortions, which are unhelpful for the person. So, in cognitive behaviour therapy, the therapist tries to transform the client’s thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. So the clients can change behaviours positively. Significant areas were hypnosis helps CBT are following.

  1. Relationship: Cognitive behaviour therapy is a client-centred and problem focus therapy. So a good relationship between clients and therapist is essential. Active participation of the client is vital for a successful CBT. In the case of depression, it is challenging to develop cooperation and relationship with the client because the client will not have a positive mood or interest in communication. Hypnotherapy can be used as a relaxation technique to make the client be relaxed. Positive hypnotic suggestions will be helpful to create a positive mood in the client. Through these techniques, we can improve the rapport between client and therapist. That means we can use hypnosis to make an excellent platform for cognitive behaviour therapy.
  2. Problem focussed: CBT is a “problem focussed” therapy. For that, the client must have the ability to self-analysing to understand the issues and current emotional state. To improve the analysing ability thinking ability of the client should be enhanced. Imagination technique, which is one of the tools in hypnotherapy, can be used to enhance the thinking ability of the client. In imagination technique, after making trance, give suggestions to imagine positive mood creating visuals. The visuals of natures, flowers or birds can be used. This process will help the client to enhance the thinking ability.
  3. Experiencing nature: In the trance state, the subject will feel the imagination as a real experience. Experiencing natures is an amazing and unique experience. Experiencing nature will make positive mood and energy in human being. Exposure to nature can really improve human health physically and mentally. It will activate the secretion of serotonin, which helps to maintain a positive mood and to decrease stress in depressive patients. These all are happening without bringing the clients to be outdoor.
  4. Sound sleep: Hypnosis also can be used to help other symptoms of depressive patients. Hypnosis helps the client to enhance their sleep. Even though sleep is not a “deep” intervention, yet therapeutically it is a valuable one. Good sleep is essential for good health. Good sleep decreases anxiety and provides refreshment. Cognitive behaviour therapy is an action-oriented therapy. To do things and home works, the client should have to maintain the energy level. Good sleep helps the client to avoid fatigue.
  5. Specific skills: Hypnosis can be used to boost up skills acquisition. Providing training to acquire some particular expertise to the clients is a standard part of cognitive behavioural therapy. These specific skills may include social skills or problem-solving skills. The most potent form of learning is experiential learning. Hypnosis can be used as a tool for experiential learning. The imaginations in a hypnotic trance state are not mere imagination. It is something to be absorbed on many different levels.

To conclude, when we focus on the clients on their cognitive dimension of experience, hypnosis can be used for identification and corrections in a very natural way.


Theories of Hypnosis

The phenomenon of hypnosis was widespread from the ancient period itself. But people were not aware of the scientific base of this phenomenon. Many theorists brought out different types of concepts regarding hypnosis. Under hypnosis state, the hypnotist can help the client to make positive changes in behavior.

There are many theories regarding hypnosis, such as psychoanalytical theory, reality testing, cold control, and discrepancy theory-attribution theory. The socio-cognitive theory and dissociative theory were prevalent at the end of the 20th century.

Dissociative theory: dissociation theory is the splitting of subunits of mental life into one or more parts left out from conscious awareness and voluntary control. It also describes the phenomenon of hypnosis.

Neo dissociative method: Hilgard developed the Neo dissociative method. According to neo dissociative theory, the behaviors under hypnotic state are produced by dividing consciousness into two or more parts. It explains that hypnosis alters the functioning of the executive ego, which tricks the mind about what is going on.

Socio-cognitive theory: The socio-cognitive theories opposed the concept that hypnosis requires an altered state of conscious state to execute the application of it. According to socio-cognitive theory, the same individualized social and cognitive variables that shape complex social behaviors are thought to determine hypnotic experiences and responses.


Hypnosis became an acceptable intervention for treatment by the contribution of Harry Arons. He conducted many hypnotic training courses in the US, thereby training thousands of psychiatrists and psychologists. They widely used hypnotherapy to treat depression, which helped to spread out the concept and applications of hypnosis worldwide.

In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the hypnotherapy is the recommended therapy category.

There are many opinions regarding the use of hypnotherapy for depression. Some studies suggest that hypnotherapy can positively result in the treatment of depression because hypnosis can help the clients develop positive thinking and modify the thought patterns. A hypnotherapist can make the clients retrieve past positive life experiences by using the application of hypnosis. In the hypnotic state, the ability to memorize things will be increased. This state is known as hyper amnesia. Hypnosis can help the clients to develop the coping skills to resolve the problems.

Treatment Methods

In many ways, hypnosis helps the treatment of depression.

Hypnotherapist tries to alter behavior patterns of the patients. Before undergoing the clients through hypnosis, hypnotherapist gives proper awareness of the hypnotic state and how the suggestions work. The clients should come to know what they will experience before the therapy session by undergoing the suggestibility tests. The techniques to be used to induce hypnotic state are based on the clients’ suggestibility and nature. The various types of treatment methods are as follows.

Relaxation: The state of hypnosis is profoundly relaxed. It helps the persons to reduce the muscle stiffness developed by depression. Relaxation decreases tiredness and increases the ability to sleep. Relaxation increases the secretion of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which reduces stress.

Acceptability: In a normal conscious state, persons will criticize positive suggestions given by the therapist. It is because of the conditioned mind through negative experiences and negative reinforcement. Hypnosis is another conscious state, in which the criticizing tendency is very low. So the client can accept the positive suggestions given by the therapist.

Positive feel: hypnosis can generate positive feel by allowing the subject to imagine the positive feeling making atmosphere, like beautiful natures and actual events. It helps the subjects to create a positive mood. In the state of hypnosis, the same mood of the real situation will be generated by imagining the same circumstances.

Retrieve the past positive experience: Recalling past positive experiences will help the subject enhance self-confidence. It is also a mood generating process.


In ancient times also People have used hypnosis to cure the disorder as well as the diseases. Almost all the ancient cultures, the Sumerian, Persian, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, have used some hypnotism. In India, there was a practice, called “Nidra”, or “Temple Sleep”, in which the patients were brought to the temple and allowed to stay there for a meditational sleep and communication with God overnight.

A Persian psychologist Avicenna (980-1037) was the first person distinguished sleep and hypnosis. He named hypnosis in Arabic as al-Wahm al-Amil.

Hypnosis with the Aid of Magnets

Magnets were used by Paracelsus (1493-1541) for hypnosis. He had the belief that the power of magnet induced the state of hypnosis. Valentine Greatrakes (1628-1682), Maximillian Hell (1720-1792) and Franz Anton Mesmer also used magnets to make the subjects to be hypnotized and for treatment. That means before revealing the scientific base of hypnotism, the phenomena of hypnosis was used for the treatment of depressive disorders and other mental disorders.

In the early 19th century, an Indo-Portuguese priest, Abbe Faria objected the concept of magnetic hypnotism and animal magnetism. He described that hypnosis is a state of trance and verbal suggestions induced it. He described the effect of recommendations and language on a human being. He is considered as the father of modern hypnotism.

James Braid, a Scottish surgeon, had done more researches in hypnotism and its applications. He first used the term “Hypnotism” in his unpublished writings, Practical Essay on the Curative Agency of Neuro-Hypnotism (1842) as an abbreviation for “neuro-hypnotism”. James Brade also opposed the theory of animal magnetism. Braid is the first person, writing a book on hypnotism, Neurypnology (1843). After braid, Hippolyte Bernheim and Jean-Martin Charcot have conducted more researches on hypnotism and its applications.

The Medical Application of Hypnotism before 20th Century

In the American civil war, doctors used first the therapeutic form of hypnotism. Before the invention of chloroform, hypnotism had been used widely as anaesthesia for pain relief.

Before 19th-century hypnotism was used widely as the treatment for hysteria. A famous neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, used hypnosis to treat hysteria. He used the benefit of post-hypnotic suggestions. In his studies, it is found that under hypnosis, some cognitive functions, including memory, were improved. Pierre Janet continued the research of Jean-Martin. Pierre Janet put forward the theory of dissociation, the splitting up of mental process under the hypnotic stage.

Ambroise-Auguste Liebeault (1864-1904), explained first the importance of cooperation of the subject with hypnotizer to develop rapport. Hippolyte Bernheim stated that the ability to receiving suggestions is an essential matter for a successful hypnotherapy process. Individuals are different in suggestibility. Hippolyte Bernheim and Ambroise-Auguste Liebeault founded the Nancy School, for the study and research of hypnotism.

American psychologist William James researched hypnosis in much detail and included his findings in his principles of psychology. In 1889, the first international congress was conducted in Paris. In August 1900, the second international congress was held. In 1892, the British Medical Association (IBM) authorized the use of hypnosis for therapeutic. Also, IBM rejected the theory of mesmerism and animal magnetism.

20th Century Scientific Application of Hypnotism

At the beginning of the 20th-century hypnosis became very popular in the world. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology, was attracted by the phenomenon of hypnosis. His psychoanalysis theory was mainly focused on the conscious mind, subconscious mind and unconscious mind. That time the process of hypnotism was also explained based on the subconscious mind. Sigmund Freud had developed abreaction therapy based on the phenomenon of hypnosis. He used hypnosis to treat depression and other mental disorders. Later he had discouraged the use of hypnosis in psychiatry.

In 1920 Ivan Pavlov brought out the theory of condition learning theory. Condition learning theory completely opposed the concept of subconscious mind regarding hypnosis. He explained the actions of the subconscious mind as the conditioned reflex actions.

To conclude, hypnosis has gained ground and recognition within the medical community over the years. Hypnosis and medicine are not the same, but now they are recognized as related. So it is only a matter of time before the practice of hypnosis becomes common.


What is cognitive behavioural therapy, and how it works?

The basic principles of behavioural psychology and cognitive psychology are integrated into cognitive behaviour therapy. CBT is different from earlier approaches to psychotherapy, like a psychoanalytic method where the therapist looks to the unconscious process behind the behaviours and then formulates a diagnosis and help the client to get solutions.

CBT is a form of problem-focused and action-oriented. It is used to treat the problems related to various mental disorders. The role of a therapist is to assist the clients in finding and practising effective strategies to achieve the identified goals and eliminate mental disorder symptoms.


CBT is based on the idea that thought distortions and maladaptive behaviours play a vital role in the development of psychological disturbances. That symptoms associated distress can be eliminated by acquiring new information-processing skills and coping strategies.


When compared to psychoactive medications, researchers have found CBT alone to be as effective for treating less severe forms of anxiety and depression, tics, eating disorders, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress and borderline personality disorder. Combined treatment of CBT and medications is useful in the treatment of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorders, bipolar disorders and psychotic disorders. CBT is the baseline treatment for mental disorders in children and adolescents, including depression and behaviour disorder.


Therapists use cognitive behavioural techniques to help clients change their patterns and beliefs. And thereby replacing errors in thinking, known as cognitive distortions, like overgeneralizing; exaggerating negatives and minimize positives with more rational and healthy thoughts, thus decreasing the emotional distress and self-defeating behaviours. Cognitive distortions can be either a pseudo-discrimination belief or an over-generalization of something. CBT techniques may also be used to help clients to take a more open, mindful, and aware posture toward cognitive distortions to diminish their impact.


A.T. Beck, in 1960, used CBT as an effective intervention for the treatment of the depressive disorder. He stated that depressed persons hold irrational beliefs and schemas. According to Beck, these irrational beliefs make cognitive distortions, and it leads to depression. Cognitive therapy targets changing irrational thought patterns to create a positive mood and behaviour. CBT helps the clients for developing coping skills to resolve the problems and to face the usual struggles in life.

How to Practise

In CBT, the therapist and client work together to identify the negative thought patterns and behavioural responses to stressful situations. CBT helps the client to acquire new answers to stressful situations. These constructive responses help the clients to decrease or eliminate the behaviour disorder.

Phases in CBT

There are six phases in cognitive behaviour therapy.

  1. Assessment
  2. Skills acquisition
  3. Reconceptualization
  4. Generalization and maintenance
  5. Post-treatment assessment follow-up
  6. Skills consolidation and application training

After identifying the behaviours that need positive changes, whether they are in excess or deficit, and treatment has occurred, the psychologist must determine whether or not the intervention succeeded.

The steps in the assessment phase include:

Step 1: To recognize critical behaviours

Step2: Determine whether essential practices are high or low

Step 3: Evaluate frequency, duration, or intensity of critical behaviours

Step 4: If high, attempt to decrease the frequency, duration, or intensity of behaviours; if low, attempt to increase behaviours.

According to CBT, between events and feelings, there are some unidentified thoughts or beliefs. These thoughts and ideas are known as irrational thoughts. People are not aware of these thoughts. They are bothered only about their feelings. CBT helps the clients to identify the underlying ideas and beliefs that cause depression. These thoughts may be unrealistic or baseless, that means irrational thoughts. CBT teaches clients to modify these irrational thoughts to be rational.


Psychotherapy has an impressive track record of favorable outcomes in depression treatment.

Psychotherapy is referred to as “talk therapy” because it involves a person and a psychotherapist sitting in a chat room. Psychotherapists have expertise in a range of strategies to help people recover from their mental illness, overcome personal issues, and make changes in their lifestyle according to their wishes.


The primary reasons behind the success of depression treatment with psychotherapy are,

  1. It will help you look deeper at the potential causes of your depression.
  2. It can help relieve stress.
  3. It will give you a fresh perspective on issues.
  4. You will find ways to share your condition with others.
  5. It helps spot early signs of worsening the depression.
  6. It will help to develop new coping strategies.

Types of Psychotherapy

There are several kinds of psychotherapies that are extremely helpful and effective. The appropriate variables for you can be decided from the intensity of your symptoms, personal preferences, and treatment goals.

  1. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Interpersonal therapy targets solving personal relationships and social relationships that may lead to depressive disorder. It helps the client analyze their interactions so that they can make proper changes in interacting with others.
  2. Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic Therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on recognizing and understanding the negative pattern of behavior and feelings developed from past life experiences and working to resolve them. Concentrate on the client’s unconscious processes is another part of this psychotherapy. It is short-term or long-term period Therapy.
  3. Psycho-Education and Support Groups: psychoeducation involves giving people awareness and guidance about their disorders, how to take treatment, and how to recognize signs of relapse.

Individual Therapy: This method involves work between the patient and the therapist on an individual basis. It allows the patient to have the therapist’s full attention. Still, it is limited because it does not provide the therapist with an opportunity to observe the patient within social or family relationships.

Family Therapy: Family psychoeducation is also helpful for family members who want to realize their relatives’ experiences.

Group Therapy: Support groups provide participants an opportunity to share experiences and coping strategies. Support groups are for persons with a mental health condition, family, friends, or a combination of both. Mental health professionals lead some support groups, but groups can also be peer-led.

  1. Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, and cognitive-behavioral Therapy: cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a combined form of cognitive therapy and Behavioral Therapy. CBT uses both behavior therapy techniques and cognitive model psychotherapy techniques. While behavioral therapy focuses on behaviors and actions, cognitive therapy aims at thoughts and moods. In CBT, the therapist and client work together to identify the negative thought patterns and behavioral responses to stressful situations. CBT helps the client to acquire new answers to stressful situations. These constructive responses help the clients to decrease or eliminate the behavior disorder.

In CBT, therapists try to modify the thought patterns to change mood and behavior positively. According to CBT, adverse actions and feelings are the results of a person’s beliefs or thoughts. That is, CBT doesn’t attribute the reasons for current distortions to the past life experience.

The majority of psychotherapists are highly educated in various forms of psychotherapy. A strong therapeutic relationship between the psychotherapist and the patient will help bring about a positive outcome.


The progressive relaxation technique continues to be the trademark of thousands of hypnotherapists globally. It is one of the simplest and easiest ways to hypnotize people.

Although it is prolonged and sometimes inefficient, it allows beginners as hypnotizing professionals to make progress in their carrier.

One of the advantages of this technique is that it enables the subject to be brought to the hypnotic state without conducting the induction.

Before starting, the subject has to be prepared mentally for the hypnosis based on Progressive Relaxation Technique. The misconceptions related to hypnosis has to be removed from his mind. If any wrong notions regarding the hypnotic process are there, it should also be corrected. The Progressive Relaxation Technique is capable of removing any unwanted fear or anxiety in the subject.


The ideal place for this technique, rooms or sites which are peaceful, aerated, well lit and which helps one to gain concentration. If the subject is wearing tight-fitting dresses, those should be loosened. The atmosphere inside the room should be comfortable enough.

Steps to follow:

  1. Allow the subject to lie down comfortably on his back, either on the floor or bed.
  2. Ask him to take long inhalations and exhalations. The time taken for exhalation should be double that of inhalation. The breathing rate increases under stress. Hence the breath control exercise brings change to the breathing pattern. The muscles which tighten up under stress get relaxed on breathing. Breathing exercise should be done for about five minutes.
  3. After that, ask the subject to hold his right hand tightly for a few seconds and then relax slowly. Following which he should tighten up and then loosen all the muscles from head to toe, one by one.
  4. Following that, the breathing exercise has to be done. On continuously tightening up and relaxing all the body muscles, the stress accumulated all over the body gets released. This is a method to keep the physical- mental stress under check.
  5. Once it is made sure that the subject has entered a state of effortlessness, give the following instructions clearly and steadily: “You are entering a pleasurable state of physical and mental relaxation. I am now going to name each of your body parts. For every body part mentioned, try to bring that part to memory. Along with it, give complete rest to those body parts. Thus, on giving complete rest to every body part, you will experience your body weight coming down fully. Now I am going to name your body parts…big toe…feet…heels…ankle…muscles below the knee….knee…thigh…waist…stomach…chest…armpits…muscles above the elbows…”
  6. Apart from naming each of the body parts, the hypnotist should make sure that the subject brings each of these parts into complete rest. And then continue the instructions: “The heaviness of your eyes is increasing..at the same time, your body weight is decreasing…you are moving deeper and deeper into the depths of your mind.”
  7. Repeat these instructions five or six times at least. After that, specific imaginative instructions can be given. A model for it is given below: ” Now your body weight has immensely come down…you are able to fly now…you are capable of suspending yourself in the air, you can fly slowly or quickly…you are able to see an island in the distance now…here you are flying towards that island…now you have reached that island…you are having a great time seeing around the beautiful island.”

An expert in hypnosis is capable of taking the subject to multiple levels through this technique. The imaginative skills of the subject can be ignited through such creative instructions. The path of the subject is made pleasurable by giving instructions continuously and making the subject think correspondingly. The subject can attain a state of deep hypnosis by providing proper guidance and is allowed to think for about twenty to thirty minutes.



We’ve experienced practising clinical hypnotherapist, consultant psychologist and Forensic Hypnologist in our team to work with people with a full range of mental health problems and emotional distress.

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