Hypnosis has long been defined as someone doing something to you, which is perceived as something strange and mysterious. The truth is that hypnosis isn't at all mysterious, supernatural or anti-religious or something that can be done to you. We all without realising it have been in a light hypnotic trance thousands of times but it seemed so natural that you didn't notice it as anything “different”. How many times have you driven somewhere and not noticed how you got there? How many times have people spoke to you but you didn't hear them and respond with something like "sorry I was in my own world". How many times have you been watching or reading something and don't acknowledge anything else going on around you?
Hypnosis is not asleep, unconscious or out of control and it is not something that can be done to you if you don't want to be hypnotised. It's a state of relaxed awareness in which through working with a therapist you are able to create suggestions for change. Through the relaxed state, these suggestions which are created collaboratively with your therapist are acted on more powerfully than is possible in normal awareness. This can be harder and take longer to do in awareness due to our self-talk and limiting beliefs we have taken on from childhood. The way we criticise ourselves "I shouldn't be smoking", "I am weak why can't I stop drinking", "I have no willpower", "We are all fat in our family, I have no chance of losing weight". These examples of self-talk that we all do to ourselves blocks and limits, our ability to change. During hypnosis, it is possible to change behaviour patterns, thought processes and reactions that are normally out of reach of your conscious mind.
Just about everyone is able to be hypnotised because they do it naturally without realising it, however, I believe that you have to feel safe with your therapist and know that you have control. The relaxation aspect of hypnosis also offers other great benefits resulting in a relaxed yet energised feeling by the end of your session.