There are many misconceptions about hypnosis but it is quite simply an altered state of consciousness. It is not sleep, unconsciousness, nor mind control. Day-dreaming is another altered state of consciousness, you remain alert and aware of your surroundings but your focus of attention is elsewhere. It is generally experienced as restful and relaxing. Many people prefer to use hypnosis because it does not involve a lot of talking but it can access the subconscious mind.
I use hypnosis with my clients to help:
Improve academic performance
Become confident in meetings
At present there is no strong firm evidence to suggest that hypnosis is effective. That said, many people report benefits. The main reason why no firm conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of hypnosis is that the research studies tend to be poor quality and small. However there is some evidence to suggest that frequency of hypnosis and an added CBT component can improve effectiveness of hypnosis for certain issues. I therefore allow clients to record the hypnosis session so that the session can be replayed. I also provide a brief self-help CBT handout that clients can use after the session.