I discovered Depth Hypnosis when I hit a roadblock in my own healing. I had a good job, great friends, and a meaningful spiritual life, but past trauma was holding me back from the type of healthy, fulfilling relationship I wanted most. My old patterns around love, trust, and connection just weren’t serving me anymore. Intellectually, I understood the issue, but my body, heart, and spirit felt stuck. It was then that meditation teachers, therapists, and healers of all stripes began telling me the same thing: “You’ve got to meet Isa.”
They were referring to Isa Gucciardi, PhD, the creator of Depth Hypnosis—a therapeutic modality that integrates hypnotherapy, Buddhism, and shamanism, as well as transpersonal psychology. I quickly discovered that Depth Hypnosis was unlike anything else I had experienced.
Through an altered state brought on by guided meditation, I was supported to journey through my inner world to address the root causes of some of my deepest issues. I was struck by the way Depth Hypnosis could so easily help me move beyond my conscious mind to discover what was hidden, repressed, or unknown within me and take action to heal it.
Over time, I found myself on a powerful path of healing and learning. Ultimately, this led me to work with clients as a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner myself. If you’re feeling stuck and wondering if Depth Hypnosis might be helpful, here are some things I believe are important to know.
Depth Hypnosis Goes Beyond Traditional Hypnotherapy
In most forms of traditional hypnotherapy, clients are guided toward suggestions and visualizations that support them to change a habit, pattern, or limiting belief. This technique can be very effective, but it can also leave the root causes of the issue unresolved.
For example, smokers may finally be able to give up cigarettes, but the underlying anxiety, loneliness, or trauma that they were medicating with smoking can persist. Depth Hypnosis can help clients change a habit or pattern, but it will also take them to a level deeper by investigating, understanding, and healing the underlying causes of that habit.
Depth Hypnosis Draws on Buddhism and Shamanism
Buddhist practitioners and shamanic healers have known for thousands of years that turning toward the root causes of our difficulties can lead to great transformation. This wisdom is woven into all elements of Depth Hypnosis, particularly the Buddhist understanding of the causes of suffering and shamanic principles of energetic imbalance and its antidotes.
Each Depth Hypnosis client begins this work with a meditative experience similar to a shamanic journey during which they can connect with an inner guide—a part of themselves that is wise, powerful, and compassionate. From this place of inner strength and safety, clients can begin to explore the issues they want to heal in order to make lasting change.
This approach is highly effective for a wide range of issues: In a pilot study led by Depth Hypnosis practitioner Joanna Adler, PhD, and published in the International Journal of Regression Therapy, researchers found that over the course of eight Depth Hypnosis sessions, clients saw a significant decrease in depressive, anxious, and PTSD-related symptoms and noted an increased quality of life.
Depth Hypnosis Taps Into an Altered State of Consciousness
Depth Hypnosis helps clients access an altered state of consciousness through guided meditation, hypnosis, and shamanic journeying. Each of these techniques can elicit visionary states that feel outside of ordinary reality and help clients connect to parts of themselves that are unavailable at the talk level.
In fact, in a recent study conducted at the Center for Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found that shamanic practitioners performing practices similar to those employed in Depth Hypnosis enter a unique and powerful brain state. EEG measurements of these individuals’ brains showed significantly higher levels of gamma waves—the brain wave pattern associated with peak concentration, learning, memory, and perception.
As clients connect to their own inner wisdom through the altered state, the path forward for healing emerges. One of my clients described it like this:
“The experience itself was akin to being led into a deep meditative state where, with use of imagination and structured guidance, I could access and heal from subconscious places where I was stuck. After each session, I felt cleansed and transformed.”
For some, this altered state experience is quite vivid, while for others it is more subtle and strengthens with time and practice. Every person’s experience is unique, and often the best way to understand it is to try it.
If you’re interested in exploring Depth Hypnosis for yourself, you can begin by searching for a Certified Depth Hypnosis Practitioner through the Association of Depth Hypnosis Practitioners.
Just starting out with guided meditation? Read our guide.