The Difference Between Hypnotherapy & Guided Meditation

Nov 12, 2017

When it comes to improving our mental health, we often turn to different techniques and therapies that can help us better understand and address our inner struggles. Two popular approaches in this regard are hypnotherapy and guided meditation. While both aim to promote a state of relaxation and self-awareness, there are distinct differences between the two practices.

Understanding Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy, also known as hypnosis, involves entering a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus. During a hypnotherapy session, a trained professional, such as Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, guides individuals into a trance-like state where they are open to positive suggestions. This altered state of consciousness allows for greater access to the subconscious mind, where beliefs, habits, and emotional patterns are stored.

Through hypnotherapy, individuals can explore and address various mental health concerns, including anxiety, phobias, addiction, and trauma. By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy aims to reprogram negative thought patterns and promote positive change at a deeper level.

Exploring Guided Meditation

Guided meditation, on the other hand, involves the process of using mental imagery and verbal prompts to guide individuals into a state of deep relaxation. It is often practiced with the assistance of an audio recording or an experienced meditation guide. During a guided meditation session, individuals focus their attention on specific thoughts, sensations, or visualizations, allowing them to tap into their inner peace and wisdom.

Guided meditation can be used to manage stress, enhance self-awareness, and cultivate a sense of calm in everyday life. It can help individuals develop a regular mindfulness practice and learn how to bring a greater level of presence and clarity to their thoughts and emotions.

The Key Differences

While both hypnotherapy and guided meditation encourage relaxation and promote inner exploration, there are key differences that set them apart:

1. Objective:

Hypnotherapy focuses on addressing specific issues or concerns, often with the goal of bringing about behavioral changes at a subconscious level. Guided meditation, on the other hand, aims to cultivate mindfulness, inner peace, and self-awareness, without necessarily addressing specific problems directly.

2. Level of Consciousness:

Hypnotherapy induces a trance-like state where individuals are deeply relaxed and highly focused, allowing direct access to their subconscious mind. Guided meditation, while also promoting relaxation, keeps individuals more consciously aware and engaged, allowing for greater clarity and insight.

3. Therapeutic Approach:

Hypnotherapy is often used as a therapeutic technique to target specific concerns, such as overcoming phobias, managing pain, or breaking harmful habits. Guided meditation, on the other hand, is commonly practiced as a self-care tool to enhance overall well-being and develop mindfulness skills.

The Benefits of Each Practice

Both hypnotherapy and guided meditation offer unique benefits for mental health and overall well-being:


  • Addresses subconscious beliefs and patterns.
  • Supports behavior modification.
  • Aids in overcoming addictions and phobias.
  • Helps manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Fosters self-discovery and personal transformation.

Guided Meditation:

  • Promotes relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Develops mindfulness and self-awareness.
  • Cultivates inner peace and emotional balance.
  • Enhances focus and attention.
  • Boosts overall mental and physical well-being.

By choosing between hypnotherapy and guided meditation, individuals can integrate the practice that aligns best with their specific needs and goals. It is important to consult with a qualified professional, such as Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, to determine the most suitable approach for your mental health journey.


The difference between hypnotherapy and guided meditation lies in their objectives, levels of consciousness, and therapeutic approaches. While hypnotherapy focuses on behavioral changes at a subconscious level, guided meditation promotes mindfulness and self-awareness. Both practices offer unique benefits that can positively impact mental health and overall well-being.

Embracing the services of a well-qualified professional, such as Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, can guide individuals in harnessing the benefits of hypnotherapy or guided meditation. By understanding the distinctions between these practices, individuals can make informed decisions that support their personal growth and transformation.

Choose the approach that resonates with you and embark on a journey toward transforming your mental health. Experience the potential of hypnotherapy and guided meditation to unlock new possibilities and cultivate a healthier mindset.

Johanna Gustafsson
Informative & enlightening 🌟
Nov 9, 2023