A form of trance in which the subject's powers of concentration are mobilized and subconscious memories and perceptions brought to the surface.

The hypnotherapist provides the subject with cues which allow the individual to overcome personal barriers and emotional blockages, and bring into consciousness abilities and memories formely neglected.

The term "hypnotism" was coined by the Scottish surgeon Dr. James Braid, who rejected the theory of Anton Mesmer that magnetic force could be transmitted from one person to another. Braid believed that mesmerism in reality produced a state combining relaxation and enhanced awareness. He derived the name "hypnotism" from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, although in coining this expression he clearly misnamed the process in question.

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