Given the rich history of hypnosis, it's surprising that few people actively practice it. There is no real difference between "hypnosis" and "self-hypnosis," as all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis: the former is guided with a therapist and the latter is self-administered. However, one can't be hypnotized without one's full participation - thus self-hypnosis is perhaps more valuable, since you can do it at home without paying the $100 an hour to a shrink.
Powers' A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis offers the basics of the techniques, explains what it is and is not, and how to perform it on oneself. It is a good book for learning the basics. Anything that affects the mind can be fixed or enhanced with self-hypnosis: learn to control fear, quit smoking, be more confident, lose weight, and strengthen your creative energies. That said, self-hypnosis isn't something you do once and are done. One must repeat the processes over and over to achieve results. And the first time is generally better done with a therapist (or a friend who you trust), because it will make all subsequent sessions of self-hypnosis easier. Hint: your first hypnosis session should include a suggestion that your self-hypnosis will be easy, natural and effective. Have fun!
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