Does Hypnosis Work For Mental Health Issues
Hypnosis has long been fodder for television shows and stand-up acts, and most people are familiar with hypnotists who claim to be able to make anyone do anything while under hypnosis. But hypnosis is no longer just a sideshow performance, and an increasing number of people are turning to hypnosis to quit smoking, get over depression and anxiety, lose weight, and forget about phobias.
Hypnosis is still controversial within mental health, partially because its often part of a comedy act and not real treatment and partially because some hypnotherapists have induced false memories under regression-based hypnotherapy.
What Is It?Hypnosis isnt a magic trick. Its an altered state of consciousness that hypnotists induce via the power of suggestion. Hypnotists may use relaxation techniques, key words, guided imagery, or some combination of these to help clients slowly relax. Then, while under hypnosis, hypnotists make suggestions about changes in behavior.
But hypnosis is not a panacea, and is most effective when its used in conjunction with therapy and lifestyle changes. Particularly for long-term, chronic problems, it may take several hypnosis sessions to see results. Some people dont see any results at all because hypnosis thrives on suggestibility, if youre not particularly suggestible it probably wont work.
How Can Hypnosis Help Anxiety
Due to the misconceptions around hypnosis in society, many people often go into the practice believing its going to be something it isnt.
Susan clears up what the aim of hypnosis for anxiety is. She says thats its to be in control of anxieties and emotions, to have no anxiety at all, to get rid of it completely and, while to some this may sound too good to be true, Susan reiterates that we’re not born with anxiety. It’s a learned behaviour.
I always say to everyone, youre born with self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, self-belief. As youre growing up through childhood and teenage years, youre developing all the time through teachers, parents and siblings. But they get chipped away through situations and relationships, trauma, dramas and so on.
My role is to find those emotions and bring them to the surface, but to remove the misconceptions about things that have happened and why their anxiety has arisen.
Susan explains that she takes these misconceptions and anxieties out because its a negative file and in that way, you can live without anxiety. This idea of upgrading thinking patterns is common across the practice of hypnosis. Sheila says that while hypnosis isnt suitable for those with serious mental health disorders, like clinical depression, it can be hugely beneficial for those with both general and acute anxiety. In turn, it can help those who struggle with insomnia to sleep better and improve their overall health.
What Does The Process Of Hypnosis Involve
My patients are invited to sit in a comfortable chair or couch and relax. Sometimes I integrate essential oils, in particular lavender, which calms the limbic system .
During the first meetingin what I call the breakthrough sessionwe spend some time talking before we move into hypnotherapy, which can be 20-30 minutes of light to deep hypnosis. I use suggestibility tests to determine the clients ability to access a deep state of calm and take instruction from me which can be a bridge to accessing profound self-discovery.
Heres how suggestibility works: imagine a balloon tied to the index finger of your right hand and a heavy hard-covered book on your left does the hand with the balloon go up while the one holding the book goes down?
The reaction to an exercise like this provides a window into a persons suggestibility and helps me figure out which form of induction to use to induce a hypnotic trance state. Once in a trance state, were able to tap into the unconscious mind and start the process of changing behaviors.
If a person is analytical, the suggestibility test will show me that Ill need to work to put that part of their mind to rest. Generally speaking, creative/imaginative people have an easier time accessing their unconscious mind, which is the seat of all behavioral change.
Another way to think of hypnosis is an active state of imagination and as Einstein said Imagination is your unconscious mind.
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What Is Hypnotherapy And How Does It Work
Hypnotherapy is an ancient practice of relaxing the mind to enter a trance state. The trance is brought on by a combination of intense concentration and focus awareness on the patientâs part, using guided relaxation techniques delivered by the therapist. It allows the patient, with the help of the therapist, to examine and perceive their unconscious mind in a way that is free of distraction and emotion.
Doing this allows the patient to be both open to suggestion and discussion, which allows greater freedom and range in addressing issues or bad habits. It is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Chronic pain
Hypnotherapy, due to its trance-like state, opens the mind in a way consciousness canât. Thus, it is not an appropriate treatment for those who have hallucinations, delusions, or mental illnesses with those as symptoms. This is because their hallucinations and delusions may cause the patient to create false memories under hypnosis, which renders the treatment a problem instead of a solution for them.
Some side-effects, such as headache, dizziness, or anxiety, have been reported but were mild and faded shortly after the session.
Other types of therapy can then be employed along with hypnotherapy to treat the underlying cause of the ailment or condition.
More Of The Same Misery
Back when Kevins psychiatrist was trained, the psychotherapy of the day was analytical. The patient was encouraged to focus on the unchangeable past. Sessions involved dragging patients through their pasts to get in touch with ultra-painful feelings and memories.
This ideology favoured the idea of cathartic collapse, in which the client was essentially re-traumatized. This was thought to lead to release and therefore better mental health. In reality, it was a very painful process.
Now if hypnosis were used as the delivery system for this kind of therapy, leading to uncontrolled cathartic collapse, it could indeed be catastrophic for the patient. Depressed patients can certainly be worse off after receiving hypnosis as part of such a scary therapeutic model. And theres a good reason for that.
Depressed clients already exclusively focus on painful memories at the expense of better ones. They are already likely to have lost perspective through over-rumination and analysis of why things went wrong.
So if the therapy is focused on bringing up lots of painful memories, essentially giving their feelings of misery a booster, its no wonder depressed clients could suffer.
Hypnosis simply powers and magnifies whatever therapy is being given through it. Thats why much of the advice about not using hypnosis for depressed patients was quite right: the type of analysis being used was, from a modern perspective, toxic for depression anyway.
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How Can Hypnosis Help Anxiety And Depression
I recognize that people who experience anxiety often get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking. These negative thoughts may be about previous experiences or possible future events, causing feelings of upset and worry.
We have learned these patterns of behavior from our personal experiences and observations, stretching way back into the past so that even experiences we dont consciously remember can still be influencing us today. Unfortunately, these unique ways of interpreting information about the world around us can be very unhelpful and destructive.
Working with techniques such as hypnotherapy and NLP, I can direct my clients towards healthy changes which calm down the anxiety response. These internal changes are made at a subconscious level, which means that new behaviors can be adopted naturally and easily.
As your subconscious mind learns to interpret your environment in a more realistic manner, you will find yourself coping better with those situations which caused you problems in the past. By changing your inner thought processes in this way, you can adopt a calmer and more relaxed approach to life, leading to a balanced, resourceful and positive future.
Hypnotherapy + Tms Therapy For Depression
There do not seem to be many studies that combine Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation , but the goals of the two are very similar. TMS treats depression and other issues by literally stimulating the brain to rewire itself using painless electromagnetic pulses delivered to targeted areas of the brain. The result is that the patientâs brain creates new neurological pathways that lead to happier thoughts and better mental health. With hypnotherapy, the therapist uses deep trance-like states and the power of suggestion to reshape thinking processes, and thereby the thoughts themselves. Combining the two could prove to be a very powerful depression treatment.
However, TMS is also a valuable depression treatment on its own. If medication or hypnosis hasnât worked for you yet, consider talking to your doctor and therapist about adding TMS to the treatment plan.
Depression is a tricky mental illness that requires a highly individualized treatment plan. When beginning treatment and therapy, consider adding hypnotherapy to the list of things to try. It may not treat the depression on its own, but combined with therapy or TMS, it could be the game-changer youâre looking for.
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Can Hypnosis Help With Anxiety And Depression
Yes, hypnosis can be a very useful and powerful tool to help people overcome anxiety and even depression. One factor that contributes to the success of my hypnosis clients is how hypnosis is used to build a strong sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
Meet Tea. She was referred to me by her sister who used hypnosis to quit smoking. Hear, in her own words, how hypnosis helped her to stop her anxiety.
Do you know someone who is dealing with anxiety and depression? Find out how hypnosis can help.Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation.The only thing you have to lose is a bad habit.*
To Facilitate Athlete Coaching
Sportsmen and sportswomen need to be fit and healthy, not just physically but also mentally.
Hypnosis can help them prepare for a game or their next challenge using techniques such as relaxation, visualization, and focusing, all designed to improve their mental stamina.
These techniques help them stay calm and eliminate distractions from their mind, letting them concentrate completely on what lies ahead.
Big names like Michael Jordan, Mary Lou Retton and Tiger Woods have all made use of sports hypnosis to bring them unprecedented success in their fields.
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What Are The Benefits Of Using Hypnotherapy To Treat Anxiety
Even though hypnotherapy isnt as widely known as psychotherapy and medication for treating anxiety, researchers and scientists have been studying the effects it can have on mental health conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , and depression for several years.
In one 2016 study, researchers scanned the brains of people while they were undergoing guided hypnosis sessions. They found that a hypnotized brain experiences changes in the brain that give a person:
- focused attention
To Cope With Emotional Trauma
Emotional trauma occurs as a result of a stressful event that can leave a person feeling insecure, helpless and alone.
One of the ways hypnosis can tackle this problem is through the use of regression. This involves taking the person back to the traumatic experience so that they can relive it and realize the danger is in the past.
It no longer exists and is no longer the threat that it once was.
Whatever the experience, hypnosis can help deal with the trauma and improve the persons quality of life.
It has been shown to be effective for survivors of sexual assault and accidents, in addition to children and ethnic minorities who have experienced trauma. Hypnosis is also being integrated into therapies for the treatment of PTSD and its symptoms.
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Hypnotherapy + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of talk psychotherapy that treats many of the same mental and emotional health issues that hypnotherapy addresses, such as anxiety and depression. CBT and hypnotherapy use similar skill sets, which makes them highly compatible and effective, such as mindfulness, relaxation, and identifying and reshaping negative or inaccurate thinking. Hypnotherapy can help to focus the CBT on the most troubling or active issues, and helps build a trusting relationship with the therapist. It also teaches the client one of the main components of CBT– relaxation. Hypnotherapy can also create cues and triggers to help the client access that deep sense of relaxation experienced in hypnotherapy any time when confronted by stressors or negative triggers– it assists the client in de-escalating. It also helps to teach the client how to step back, observe, and be objective about thoughts and experiences, a skill which the client can then also use to de-escalate, or even to prevent escalation, negative or inaccurate thinking. The client can recondition themselves through hypnotherapy and CBT to become better at emotional regulation, perspective-taking, and generally improving their emotional and mental health.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work
Hypnotherapy is usually considered an aid to certain forms of psychotherapy , rather than a treatment in itself. It can sometimes help with psychotherapy because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds. In addition, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.
Hypnotherapy can be used in two ways, as suggestion therapy or for patient psychoanalysis.
- Suggestion therapy: The hypnotic state makes the person better able to respond to suggestions. Therefore, hypnotherapy can help some people change certain behaviors, such as to stopping smoking or nail-biting. It can also help people change perceptions and sensations, and is particularly useful in treating certain kinds of pain.
- Analysis: This approach uses the relaxed state to explore possible unconscious factors that may be related to a psychological conflict such as a traumatic past event that a person has hidden in their unconscious memory. Once the trauma is revealed, it can be addressed in psychotherapy. However, hypnosis is nowadays not considered a “mainstream” part of psychoanalytic psychotherapies.
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Dealing With Anxiety With The Prison Population
While the aforementioned man in Albuquerque is sitting in a jail cell, other issues regarding inmates spreading the virus have also been in business news. Inmates in Italy had to be put in lockdown once they knew they would not be taken care of and could not keep a 6ft distance from the other inmates. There are also petitions around the United States to release non-violent inmates because of this outbreak.
Of those inmates that are not going to be released, there is increased anxiety about staying alive during this time as well. A leaked video recently hit the internet of a patient recording what was happening on the inside. With all of the other needs that need to be met by regular civilians, there is a concern that inmates may not be around once things go back to normal.