The Difference Between Guided Meditation and Hypnosis

Whenever I speak about the subject of guided meditation, I am often asked if it is the same as hypnosis.

In this post I'd like to clarify the difference between guided meditation and hypnosis.

What is Hypnosis?

The American Psychological Association describes hypnosis as a cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist.

The participant enters a trance like state using the suggestions of the hypnotist and an even be touch induced. There are many ways to hypnotize someone depending on what method has been studied by the hypnotist.

Read more about what hypnosis is.

What is Guided Meditation?

Guided meditation is when a narrator guides you through a scene in your mind to specifically act upon a desired outcome in your life.

You are first helped to relax your whole body with a muscle relaxation exercise before being guided through a scene in your mind to help improve your life in some way. You will use your imagination in order to help the process of change.

Anyone can use guided meditation safely.

So, what is the difference between guided meditation and hypnosis?

There are a lot of similarities between hypnosis and guided meditation, however the major difference is that the hypnotist is using specific suggestions, words and touch in order to induce a trance like state.

It requires the participant to enter a type of hypnotic state of concentrated, and focused attention to allow the suggestions to enter the subconscious mind. The emphasis is more about how good the hypnotist is at inducing this trance like state.

Guided meditation is about using the power of your own imagination to plant the images in your subconscious mind in order to bring about change, with the gentle guidance of a narrator.

It uses your own imagination in order to help you replace the images and movies that you repeatedly play in your mind. The guided meditation is a way to replace these images and movies with new and better images and movies in order to bring about the change. The emphasis is very much on, you, the individual using the power of your imagination


Have you used guided meditation or hypnosis? I'd love to hear about your experiences with it. Leave a comment below to share your experience.