Well the obvious question is what is recorded hypnotherapy and what is personal hypnotherapy, and why would they be different.
Lets start with looking in to what hypnotherapy is intended for, to understand the difference in between the two approaches. Often an individual might be looking for a solution to a problem, or concern so they turn to hypnotherapy for help and a solution. In recent years especially with the development and advances in technology, the internet has been flooded with different recordings in hypnosis, claiming to cure all types of problems, physical and mental.
Hypnotherapy is designed to help an individual overcome their problem, which is more often a mental state, it might be a phobia, addiction or related to stress perhaps. In this instance hypnotherapy has shown great success and is still one of the most effective ways of treating issues relating to our thoughts, which in effect transform in to our believes and actions.
Lets examine a recorded hypnosis to tackle smoking perhaps, and lets look at the strengths against weaknesses in the approach of publishing for downloads. One of the clear strengths is the number of individuals that can be reached quickly, and the shear access to vast population. The convenience factor is the appeal and the ease is the selling point. So what could be the weakness then, why does this system often fail. Most obvious issue would be the lack of customising the approach based on the individual client your working with to ensure success.
Clinical Hypnotherapy in its nature is a very personal approach and it's success does feed of the rapport, feedback, and understanding the client, that is where the strength to this approach actually is. Some hypnotists or hypnotherapists, they might have some success in overcoming other individuals problems by reading scripts and reciting what they have learned out of text books but that only works on a very small amount of the population. The real strength of a therapy session is the relating, understanding and tailoring the approach to suit the client as no two individual clients are the same. Two different people both wanting to quit smoking lets say, might be triggered by completely different triggers and their smoking is unlikely to be cured unless the actual issues are resolved. The recorded hypnosis session while it might strike success with some of the population, for a vast majority that listen to the recordings its unlikely that it will be able to tackle the specific issue that a person might need to have.
So as there is no one shoe fits all approach, a clinical hypnotherapist, uses a toolbox of techniques to really understand the client and uncover the source of the issue presenting, so that by utilising hypnotherapy techniques the issue can re resolved and clients cured. One of my main issues with the generic tapes of hypnosis, they sometimes do more harm than good. What i mean by that is that they are sometimes a reason a client that can definitely benefit from hypnotherapy will stay away from hypnosis, as the clients obtain a false understanding of what hypnotherapy is about and the ability for hypnotherapy to help them overcome the presenting issue. For instance listening to a generalised recording, while the clients might experience some relaxation, or relieve from the symptoms they are trying to fix, should the client not get a good response from listening to the hypnosis or perhaps not be hypnotised at all its safe to assume that most individuals would form an understanding on some level that as the hypnotherapy does not work for them. In reality most likely what has happened is that the approach of the tape, the induction process was not appropriate for the clients and their hypnosis session was going to fail from the start. A long time ago it was firmly believed that only a certain amount of the population is not responsive to hypnosis, and now we know that was obliviously completely wrong. All mentally healthy individuals can be hypnotised, and hypnosis is a natural state that we all experience many times per day. Hypnotherapy has grown and developed a lot in the last 50-60 years, and in the 70's and 80's hypnotherapist realised that different individuals will respond to different approaches of hypnotherapy. An analytical person, that is very much motivated by facts and figures is going to respond very differently to someone who is very visual and spontaneous in their decision making, so the approach (Induction Process) if a clinical hypnotherapist expects success with a grater number of people also relies on tailoring the approach to the individual based on their personality type and they view of the world.
So in short when it comes to expecting success by utilising hypnosis there is a very large difference in between how much more successful an in person hypnotherapy session could be compared to other methods of hypnosis, and for most people that are looking at truly overcoming concern i would recommend seeing a qualified hypnotherapist to ensure they are securing them self the highest success rate hypnotherapy can offer. For those who are looking for casual relaxation, or guided meditation i don't personally see any harm in trying out by listening to recordings to perhaps find one that works for them, but in case of dealing with stress, anxiety or any other issue that might be effecting someones everyday life, it might be worth wile seeing a professional and hopefully overcoming the issue at hand.