Clinical hypnosis is an important therapeutic tool with an increasingly understood cognitive and neurobiological basis, and evidence for efficacy. Hypnosis involves controlled modulation of components of cognition—such as awareness, volition, perception and belief—by an external agent (the hypnotist) or by oneself (self-hypnosis) employing suggestion. In this article, we describe what hypnosis is, how it can be used in clinical settings, and how it is done.

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