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Everything you always wanted to know about hypnotherapy!

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a scientifically recognized method used in psychotherapy, which has a long tradition. Its effective use has also proven to be very helpful in coaching.

Hypnosis is a very special kind of verbal and non-verbal communication and can be understood as a solution- and experience-oriented form of therapy. This can also mean leaving the therapy chair at times in order to establish the connection between the mind, body and feelings. 

Hypnotherapy serves first and foremost to mobilize your own powers. It focuses on your own resources and skills. Deficiencies and disturbances move into the background. The hypnosis therapy must be tailored to your very special life circumstances and personality structure in order to have a lasting effect.

What is trance?

Trance can be a state of relaxation but also a state of excitement. It is a state of complete concentration on one thing, totally natural and nothing that you have not experienced yet. You not only know it, but also experience trance-like conditions several times a day. For example, by daydreaming, watching a good TV program or movie, being absorbed in a book or a conversation, jogging or joyfully immersing yourself in music. These are all examples of a state of light trance.

The role of trance in hypnotherapy?

To clear up sometimes observed misunderstandings: In the context of hypnotherapy, trance has nothing to do with being motionless and unwillingly at the mercy of a therapist’s suggestions. Quite the contrary. Your active participation is an important prerequisite for the lasting success of a therapy or a coaching process. 

The so-called hypnotic trance can be of varying depth. It should be noted that the effectiveness of hypnosis therapy rarely depends on the depth of a trance. In most cases a light to medium trance depth is sufficient. 

How does hypnosis work?

The trance is induced by specific speech and behavioural patterns. During hypnosis verbal repetitions and mental images are used by the therapist. Your focus and concentration are significantly increased. This makes you more open to engage in experiences. As a result, you can usually reach your therapy goals faster. Hypnotic trance causes you to be particularly attentive and (typically) pleasantly relaxed at the same time. You hear your therapist’s voice, are aware of and alert to everything around you. You can also speak to the therapist or communicate non-verbally. Your consciousness is not switched off but calmed.

You can choose to open your eyes and stand up at any time. Afterwards you remember everything that happened during the hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is usually done with closed eyes. However, some treatments can also be carried out with open eyes. This can be, for example, a concentrated state during a conversation between you and the therapist (coach). The permissive approach (often referred to as Ericksonian Hypnotherapy) has proven to be very helpful in hypnosis. Here the unconscious is invited to join in and choose the path it wants to take. The hypnotic suggestions are thus usually not used directly but packed into stories. The conscious mind often does not understand these hypnotic stories at all, but they go directly to the subconscious. The choice to get involved is very important. 

Do I lose control during hypnosis?

No. People who choose hypnosis typically do not come to lose control, but quite the opposite: to gain control. Namely, over parts of their life where they have had little control. Hypnosis helps you to remain the “master of your senses”. It can also help you to find new ways to access your feelings. For many, this is a crucial step to achieve their goals with hypnotherapy. In any case, you always have full control over what you say and do in a session.

Do I reveal any secrets while I am in hypnosis?

Let me reassure you: you only disclose what you want to and what is important to you in the process. In addition, a professionally trained and responsible therapist will not ask you about things that were not discussed before hypnosis.

What happens if I fall asleep during hypnosis?

This can happen and is often a sign of relaxation. After the session you may not remember every single word that was spoken. However, your subconscious will remember everything.

Is it possible that I do not “wake up” from hypnosis?

No. There is never a danger of not waking up from hypnosis. Hypnotic trance is comparable to the state between waking up and sleeping. You always wake up from the trance, you are either woken up by the therapist or wake up by yourself. Most people report feeling rested and refreshed afterwards.

Are there any side effects when using hypnosis?

It depends on what you mean by side effects. After a hypnotherapy session you may experience dizziness or a little tiredness, like in the morning, just before getting up. These are natural reactions that usually subside quickly.

You may also experience a few nights of more intense dreaming or more daydreaming during the day. These changes usually do not last long. If hypnosis is performed correctly, there are no negative side effects, unlike with medication. Often clients report positive side effects or changes, they feel more „relaxed” or less harsh towards themselves.

How quickly does hypnosis work?

Hypnosis is a very effective method. However, it is not a miracle cure. The number of sessions you will need will depend on your individual circumstances and the topic you bring along. In many cases a few sessions are enough to achieve the desired goal. However, a positive change can usually be felt after the first session, even if the cause has not yet been completely addressed.

How long do the positive effects of hypnosis last?

It is not uncommon that the effects lasts for years. Every now and then it is necessary to reinforce new behavioural patterns again and usually a single refreshment after months or even years is sufficient. Often, however, no further sessions are necessary if you have established new behavioural patterns so successfully that the old behaviour is completely abandoned.

Can everyone be hypnotised?

Almost everyone can be hypnotised. However, there are also people who have all the above described qualities, but who are still not capable of trance. Why this is the case is still unclear. Nevertheless, the relationship of trust with the therapist is a decisive factor for the success of hypnosis. Science assumes that for about 70-80% of people it is possible to induce a deep trance.

Is everyone equally well hypnotisable?

There are differences in the hypnotic suggestibility, i.e. the susceptibility to the hypnotic suggestions of the therapist. Suggestibility is a characteristic that each of us possesses. It depends on the situation and even on the day and is a prerequisite for the hypnotisability of a person. The time it takes someone to reach a state of trance can vary considerably. In any case, no one can be hypnotised against his/her will with the means of therapeutic hypnosis. Although the hypnotist guides and develops the hypnotic state, the ability to be hypnotised depends on the client.

What is the difference to show/stage hypnosis?

People who attend hypnosis shows bring a positive expectation with them. Hypnotherapy has completely different objectives. Hypnosis shows primarily use methods with which they can entertain the audience. One could also say that stage hypnosis is a skilfully and amusingly designed hypnotisability test. Wheereas, hypnotherapy is used for serious purposes only.

The stage hypnotist has an eye for who best cooperates from the audience and chooses them. The participants volunteer for it. The stage hypnotist takes advantage of the special hypnosis ability of these people and does his show, which tempts the participants to accomplish things in a very “remarkable” way. However, it can become problematic when a highly hypnotisable person is hypnotised who has existing contraindications. 

Medical as well as systemic hypnosis have nothing to do with show/stage hypnosis. The hypnotherapist uses hypnosis and the hypnotisability of a person to relieve or even completely eliminate their problems and disorders. 

When is hypnosis contraindicated as a therapeutic method?
  • For people who cannot distinguish between the imaginary and reality 
  • For people with significant communication and interaction problems
  • For people with suicidal thoughts
  • For people with acute confusion
  • For people who use drugs regularly
Do you also work with my family GP?

Yes, I cooperate with family GPs often and well, as the situation reuqires. A partnership with them helps to focus on your recovery and your well-being, and is, hence, very important to me. Conventional medicine and the scientifically recognized method of hypnotherapy can complement each other sensibly and meaningfully.

Do you also work with children?

Yes, I do. I usually work with children aged four and above.

For more information see also Kids & Teens

What are the typical issues hypnotherapy can be used for children and teens?

Hypnotherapy for children and teens can be used for a wide range of issues. Here you will find a selection of topics: 

Behavioral Concerns

  • Fears and phobias
  • Stress
  • Problems with sleep
  • Bedwetting (Nocturnal Enuresis)
  • Habits such as thumb sucking, nail-biting, hair pulling 

Pain Management

  • Tolerating procedures such as vaccinations, blood tests, or other procedures
  • Nausea
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Recurrent stomachaches
  • Other chronic pain

Coping with Chronic Illnesses

  • Asthma (to reduce wheezing/stress cycle)
  • Cancer (for stress, tolerating procedures, pain, nausea)

For more information see also Kids & Teens

When is hypnosis inadvisable as a therapeutic method for your child?
  • If your child is receiving psychiatric treatment.
  • If your child is taking psychotropic medication.
  • If your child is very seriously emotionally disturbed or dissociated.
  • If your child cannot follow directions.
  • If your child is too frightened to relax.
  • If your child has epilepsy.
  • If your child is not willing to participate in such sessions.

For more information see also Kids & Teens

What is self-hypnosis?

Self-hypnosis can be a tremendous aid for self-help and supports many types of therapy. Learning self-hypnosis makes sense if you are already emotionally stable and feel confident enough to create a trance yourself without the help of a hypnotherapist. The advantage is that you can use hypnosis on yourself at home. The competence and self-determination gained through this can be very beneficial for the course of your recovery or the achievement of your goals. Self-hypnosis serves as an additional, useful aid and does not replace the therapist.

Psychology assumes that in general every hypnosis is a kind of self-hypnosis. The therapist only gives the lead. The immersion to relaxation and the trance is always done only by the client himself/herself.

How do online sessions work?

You can book online sessions with me for the preliminary conversation as well as for hypnotherapy, mentoring, and coaching. After we have talked on the phone and you decide to have an online session, please pay prior to our meeting. As soon as I have received the payment, we can start. Of course, I will send you a receipt after your online session.

The benefits of an online session via video-conference are that you do not have to travel to and from the hypnosis office and that you save time. It is also a good alternative to face-to-face meetings for urgent topics. And in times like today with the COVID-19 outbreak, it is obviously a 100% safe way of meeting. Studies have shown convincing results on the effectiveness of online sessions in hypnotherapy, coaching, and mentoring.

Our session via video-conference is technically designed in such a way that the data stream is exchanged directly between the devices of the participants (so-called “peer-to-peer connection”). It prevents the data stream from being routed via servers that third parties could “read”. This security mechanism protects our communication.

Here is what you will need to make your online session through the most effective:

  • Technically you need a computer or a notebook with a camera, a microphone, and speakers (or a set of earbuds or headphones) connected to the internet (e.g. W-Lan).
  • Please use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari as your browser.
  • You will receive an E-Mail with a link/code from me that you will simply need to click on when it is time for our online session.
  • Before the online session, you click on the link and enter your name and the code. Activate your camera and microphone. Click on RAUM BETRETEN.
  • Please make sure that during the online session your device is connected to the power supply.
  • During the session, you should make yourself comfortable in an armchair or on a sofa with a blanket to keep you warm and cozy.
  • You should position your technical equipment in a way so that I can see and hear you well from the front (ideally head to hands).
  • Please ensure that you are not disturbed by family members or pets. Set your mobile phone to silent and switch off the tone of any e-mail functions.

If you prefer a different video-conferencing technology, such as MS Teams or Skype, we can use this as well. 

How does a coaching or mentoring consultation work via e-mail?

Please send me your request by e-mail to You will receive an answer of about one A4- page within 48 hours, tailored to your request.

Please pay for this service in advance. As soon as I receive the payment I will start working on your request. Of course, I will send you a receipt afterwards.

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a therapeutic approach for people who suffer from the consequences of an emotional or physical injury. It enables the processing of extensive stress without the need for conscious memories. Thus, during a Brainspotting session, unprocessed, unconscious experiences hidden deep in implicit memory can be sought out and carefully processed. If the events that trigger the symptoms took place from about the age of three, it is possible to bring these memories into consciousness. If the triggers occurred prior to this, i.e., earlier than the age of three, it is often difficult to retrieve them. Nevertheless, with Brainspotting it is possible to surface and relieve these triggers without them becoming aware. I often find it amazing to experience and observe how the body has stored stressful events and solves them.

Who benefits from Brainspotting?

Everyone can benefit from Brainspotting. Adults, teenagers and children! There is no age limit. Although Brainspotting was initially developed for people who had experienced traumatic events, today it is widely applicable. It helps to resolve stress and trauma. It has also proven effective in relieving performance blocks, encountered by athletes, musicians, artists and others. Moreover, Brainspotting has been shown to positively impact not only mental well-being, but also physical well-being.

Brainspotting is beneficial for people who find it too difficult to talk about painful emotions or past traumas, but also for people who feel sad, anxious, or paralyzed and don’t know why. In these situations, talk therapy can have limited effectiveness and, thus, the fact that Brainspotting requires little to no talking is particularly appealing.

What is a Brainspot?

A Brainspot is a point in the visual field that triggers a noticeable physical or emotional reaction in clients. The activity in the brain associated with the corresponding eye position can seek out (un)conscious memories, associated with distress or emotions. Through the trusting therapeutic relationship, the traumatic experiences and stresses that have now been detected can be reprocessed, sorted, and integrated in the limbic system.

What an you expect in a Brainspotting session?

There are different approaches, depending on the degree of stress and the client’s age.

As therapists, we often observe that certain feelings seem to be connected with specific directions of the client’s gaze. The client might look to the left when talking about a stressful event or a painful feeling. They may look towards a certain direction when recounting an assault and their eyes may blink repeatedly when remembering bullying as a child.

In a Brainspotting session, the activation process is set in motion by focusing a pointer that the therapist moves across the client’s visual field, or a look into the void or other creative tools, such as colours for painting with children. It is assumed that therapy-relevant emotional and physiological sensations correspond to eye and head positions. From the outside, this can be recognised as reflexes in the eye area, face, and head. Such reflexes can be like a blinking, twitching, pupil dilation/constriction, narrowing, and also abrupt inhalation, swallows, yawns, coughs, spontaneous tilting of the head, foot movement, etc. Among these signals, facial expressions are the strongest indicators of a brainspot. Where the reflexes are most strongly perceived is where the Brainspot can be found.

Where we look affects how we feel” as Hildegard von Bingen noted and this is the guiding principle in Brainspotting.

Once the Brainspot is identified, the therapist will ask the client to lock their eyes in that specific position and allow thoughts or emotions to arise naturally. During the sessions, there may be long periods of silence. The therapist will attempt to communicate as little as possible but as much as necessary in order not to interrupt the client in the search and finding processes and, thus, allow body sensations and emotions to rise into awareness.

The role of bilateral music in a Brainspotting session

During a Brainspotting session, listening to bilateral music through headphones is very popular. Special sound effects that oscillate between the right and left ear are intended to support the client’s brain in integrating processing in both hemispheres. Simultaneously, the sound effects act as a pleasant and gentle shielding, for most people, when coping with their problems. Bilateral music can also be used between sessions to promote relaxation, anxiety relief, and restful sleep.

How do clients feel after a Brainspotting session?

Everyone reacts differently, so the after-effects of Brainspotting may vary.  Many clients report feelings similar to those after an in-depth therapy session, with a general sense of fatigue and residual waves of emotion after the session and for a couple of days after.

There are no documented negative side effects to Brainspotting.

Brainspotting and Science

Although it is a relatively new treatment approach, the fact that this technique has its roots in the long-researched and proven EMDR therapy gives credibility and fundamental importance to the science of its effectiveness. In addition, tens of thousands of therapists worldwide use this technique every day with exceptional results.

See also publications under Brainspotting Austria.

Selection of scientific studies see under SCIENCE.

Brainspotting meets Hypnotherapy

Brainspotting utilizes both “focused activation” of implicit memory content and “focused mindfulness” in the therapeutic process. These mechanisms are also used in hypnotherapy.

In both techniques, Brainspotting and Hypnotherapy, the client focuses on his own resources. The aim is a gentle and effective accompaniment to self-regulation. Dr. David Grand who discovered and developed Brainspotting, once aptly said “Brainspotting is deep self-hypnosis“.

Methodological competence

The techniques developed by Milton Erickson and refined by Richard Bandler are among the most modern treatment techniques in hypnotherapy. I was also fortunate to be able to learn and experience more of these techniques through my teachers at the Swiss Health Academy and Swiss Hypnosis School.

My work is also guided by Dr. med. Dietrich Klinghardt, Dr. Burkhard Peter, Dr. Dirk Revenstorf, Dr. Cornelie Schweizer, Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, Dr. Gunther Schmidt, Dr. Francine Shapiro, Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig, Dr. David Grand and Mag. Monika Baumann. Their work in hypnosis and brainspotting research and their substantial input in theory and practice is unparalleled. I am very grateful to them all.


I do not provide diagnoses. If you are currently undergoing medical treatment, please discuss your intensions and do not stop the treatment without consulting your doctor first. This also applies to taking or discontinuing medication or therapies prescribed and recommended by your doctor. A hypnosis session does not replace a visit to your doctor. As in medicine, no promise of healing can be given in hypnotherapy. 

Kindly let me know if you are pregnant. 

For a successful course of treatment, I would ask you not to drink any caffeinated beverages 24 hours before the sessions. Furthermore, I assume that you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the session.

Tomorrow is soon, so let’s start today!

My office is located in Walchwil, Canton Zug.

Hypnotherapy & Coaching Barbara Bauer
Dorfstrasse 4, 6318 Walchwil/Zug