Hypnotherapy is the use of a state of focused attention, achieved through guided relaxation, which accesses the unconscious mind. Hypnosis is used for memory recall, medical treatment, and skill enhancement or personal growth. It is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention. When our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully.
Hypnosis can help you do what you want to do (it can't make you cluck like a chicken, unless you want to cluck like a chicken!) What it can do is help you get past blocks in your subconscious and conscious mind, helping you to achieve the goals you set for yourself. You may want to change a less than useful habit, like biting your nails or smoking, or you may want to improve a skill, like sports.
Hypnosis encourages the use of imagination. Mental imagery is very powerful, especially in a hypnotic state. The mind seems to be capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining. It is also used to present ideas or suggestions that are compatible with what you want. Hypnosis can help you to better understand the original reason for a current problem, or identify possible past events or experiences that may be causing a current issue.
Hypnosis gets around the gatekeeper, the conscious mind, which can defeat what we know to be in our best interests. Hypnosis appears bypass the interference of the conscious mind, allowing your goal of change to take effect. Hypnosis can be of major benefit to some, and helpful with many others, but individual responses vary.
There are differences of opinion about how hypnosis works. Recent research supports the view that hypnotic communication and suggestions effectively changes aspects of the person's physiological and neurological functions.