But conflating hypnosis with sleep (the word is derived from the Greek for sleep), is inaccurate, according to the hypnotist and author Charles Tebbetts, as relayed by his student C. Roy Hunter in his book The Art of Hypnosis: Mastering Basic Techniques. Hypnotism “is actually a natural state of mind and induced normally in everyday living much more often than it is induced artificially. Every time we become engrossed in a novel or a motion picture, we are in a natural hypnotic trance,” Tebetts wrote. Hunter writes that it's more accurate to say that all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis. The hypnotherapist, much like a physical trainer then, is merely helping the subject convince themselves to do something they were already capable of doing, nudging them in the right direction.
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.