I found this really helpful – Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of medical treatment where hypnotism is used along with professional counselling to produce a relaxed state of focused awareness and increased suggestibility in which patients can resolve a range of problems and concerns. Hypnotherapy also involves the use of music, sound and light. A session typically involves the use of a hypnotherapist or a trained hypnotherapist who is skilled in inducing a state of relaxation and mental imagery and facilitating constructive thought process in the patient. In addition, hypnotherapy has been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of psychological and health disorders including pain and stress, addiction, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and phobias among other problems. The use of hypnosis for treating these and other psychological conditions has gained increasing popularity among mainstream medical professionals in recent years. However, there are still scepticism among many people and even among doctors as to the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a stand alone form of treatment for psychological conditions and illnesses.
Hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety disorders focuses on the ability of hypnotherapy and its practitioner to evoke strong emotional reactions as a result of embedded memories in the subconscious mind. The most widely researched form of hypnotherapy in the USA is called hypnotherapy/neuro-therapy. In this approach, a trained hypnotherapist will work with the person’s subconscious mind to access and neutralize repressed and buried memories of fears and behaviors. Once these repressed memories are uncovered, the therapist can then help the client manage their emotions that may be triggered by the traumatic events. Hypnotherapy helps the client realise and control their responses and behaviours in various situations.
An example of a repressed memory can be a traumatic experience such as physical or sexual abuse, social isolation or feelings of shame and guilt. The client may also have developed certain patterns of behavior such as compulsive smoking, chronic eating, gambling and addiction. These behaviors and habits are all associated with anxiety disorders. To explore these repressed memories, the therapist will use a range of techniques such as dream mimicking, imagery, relaxation exercises, biofeedback, personal mythology and conversational speech therapy.
This type of psychotherapy can be administered by either a trained psychologist or self-administered hypnotherapist. Self-administered hypnotherapy usually involves the use of CD’s and audio tapes which provide the listener with suggestions to help them overcome their particular challenge or to improve certain aspects of their lives. If you would like to address a more serious problem related to phobias or addictions such as alcohol or drugs, a trained psychologist might be preferred over self-administered hypnotherapists. In some instances, a qualified hypnotherapist will refer the patient to an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program for additional treatment.
Hypnotherapy/hypnotherapy session one is usually straightforward where the hypnotherapist provides a list of suggestions to help patients address a particular issue. The second session is somewhat different in that the first discussion often leads to the second and involves the patients making a number of suggested statements to themselves such as “I am losing my mind”, “I am positive I can make it through” and “I am positive I can have a panic attack”. After the second session, the therapist often asks the patient to indicate what they think he or she has experienced. The goal is to identify the memory or incident which led up to the current state of hypnosis.
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy depends on the ability of the individual to remain in a relaxed and controlled psychological state. This is only achievable if the client is able to identify the cause of his problem and then actively work towards addressing that problem. For this reason, hypnotherapists often advise their clients to make a list of their psychological issues so that they know what areas they need to address. The process of hypnotherapy can take from fifteen to thirty minutes. Some people who have used hypnotherapy as a form of quit smoking also report feeling refreshed and emotionally in control within an hour.