Hypnosis is a method whereby a hypnotist seemingly induces a trance or trance-like state in a willing subject. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes, and should only be employed in this manner by a licensed professional. The main ingredients of this approach include: (1) deep relaxation, (2) intense concentration, and (3) high suggestibility on the part of the subject. During hypnosis, the hypnotist uses techniques that foster a very relaxed state in which defenses or resistance is lowered. Then, suggestions are given that are related to the purpose of the procedure, or the subject’s mind or imagination is explored in order to gain insight or access to memories (though accuracy is not enhanced). Contrary to popular myth, a person will not engage in any behavior that is against his or her will, either during the procedure or afterwards. That is, the person is not controlled by the hypnotist; both the hypnotist and the subject simply behave in accordance with their own expectations of the situation, and each play a learned role. Also, an “altered state of consciousness” is not actually achieved, but rather it is akin to the twilight state between sleeping and waking.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy that has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems. The therapy relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance.

Schema Therapy is essentially an integration of cognitive, behavioral, gestalt and psychodynamic approaches, using the best aspects of each in a unified therapy. It is similar to CBT (standard cognitive behavioral therapy) in that the person learns how to correct his or her habitual and problematic patterns of thinking and feeling, and the corresponding difficulties in behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. The goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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