The Difference between Guided Imagery, Hypnosis and Meditation

Someone asked recently about the difference between hypnosis and guided imagery. Many counselors say they use “guided imagery” which they may or may not consider related to hypnosis or hypnotherapy. And if that weren’t confusing enough, sometimes people aren’t sure of the difference between meditation and guided imagery.

So what is hypnosis, what is guided imagery, and what is meditation?

There are many kinds of meditation — the common denominator being focused attention.

A famous definition of hypnosis is simply, “focused attention to suggestions given.”

So you could argue that many times hypnosis and meditation are the same, or they overlap.

In the end, however, these words are just labels.

So here’s my suggestion: Be interested in your experience of being — what it feels like simply to be — without relying on labels. Then, whether you’re experiencing something called “guided imagery,” something called “hypnosis” or “hypnotherapy,” or something called “meditation,” you’ll be awake to your experience.

That’s the best meditation and the best hypnotic state, in my opinion. Read more.

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I explain hypnosis to people, I give them a rough comparison to guided meditation. Because there’s so much myth and misconception surrounding hypnosis due to do Vegas stage acts and television depictions, I want to give people a ballpark idea of what it is before I launch into the ‘science of neuroplasticity’ or ‘post hypnotic suggestions.’

As some philosopher once said...

"It's all good."

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