Hypnosis is a form of focused internal absorption and in many ways is similar to guided mindfulness. It heightens openness to suggestions. When hypnosis is used clinically, suggestions are tailored to support people toward many goals, some of the most common being: accessing strengths, initiating/ amplifying coping strategies, initiating constructive changes, disconnecting from unhelpful behavioral patterns and/or cognitive/ emotional associations. All of these aims are similar to those of other forms of therapy. What sets hypnosis apart is that our non-conscious mind is more available to be entrained in helpful, even transformative ways, during hypnosis.
Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about hypnosis--that it's a form of mind control, that you 'go to sleep,' that you'll do things against your will, that you won't remember what happened, etc. In actuality, clinical hypnosis is nothing like what has been portrayed in movies, popular fiction, and stage hypnotism shows. Clinical hypnosis is not only quite effective in addressing numerous concerns, but is usually experienced as relaxing, empowering and enjoyable.
I'm a member of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis.