Hypnotherapy Addiction Treatment
Many different therapies are used in the treatment of behavioural disorders, mental health conditions, and addiction; hypnotherapy is one of them. If your treatment provider has suggested that you might benefit from hypnotherapy, you might be keen to learn more about what it is and what to expect from it. In the below paragraphs, we explain what this therapy is like and how it might help you to get your life back on track.
What Is Hypnotherapy?
Many people confuse hypnosis with hypnotherapy or believe that hypnotherapy is a state of deep sleep in which they can be manipulated into doing whatever the therapist wants. The reality is that hypnotherapy actually induces a state of enhanced awareness where you will be in control of your actions and thoughts at all times.
While being treated with hypnotherapy, you will be in a completely relaxed state and will be concentrating only on the therapist’s voice. Your conscious mind will be suppressed, leaving your subconscious mind open to probing and suggestion. This is useful in the treatment of a range of things, including addiction and phobias for example, where the therapist can suggest reasons why your current thought processes should be challenged.
In the case of a fear of flying, for example, a therapist might be able to ‘reassure’ the subconscious mind that there is nothing to fear. Similarly, for those being treated for an addiction to alcohol, a hypnotherapist can make suggestions to the subconscious mind answering to the question “Why alcohol is bad for you?”, so that you do not want to abuse it anymore.
Hypnotherapy is a tool used to promote healing and positive development and is often referred to as a psychotherapy. During hypnotherapy sessions, the subconscious mind will be open to suggestions and ideas, which can then become firmly planted in your mind. This means that negative thoughts can be replaced with positive ones.
The whole point of hypnotherapy in the treatment of behavioural disorders, addictions, and mental health problems is to essentially re-programme the mind. Negative thoughts and subsequent actions can, therefore, be overcome. This type of therapy is able to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety and can encourage you to break any bad habits that you might have developed.
Hypnotherapy is also often used to treat conditions where the cause is not immediately obvious. A qualified hypnotherapist will use his or her skills to uncover underlying issues that may have led to an addictive behaviour or a mental health problem, for example. These problems often lie within the subconscious mind, so using hypnotherapy means that this part of the mind can hopefully be unlocked to reveal the issues that have led to the current issues being experienced by the affected person.
Therefore, with the use of hypnotherapy, it is also possible to deal with these unresolved issues, such as traumatic experiences, that can be attributed to the negative thoughts and behaviours. Hypnotherapy can be utilised to regress you back to a time when your problems began. It is then possible to change patterns of behaviour deep within the unconscious mind so as to help with the healing process.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
In a nutshell, and as alluded to in the above passages, hypnotherapy works by inducing a state of relaxation and awareness. While in this state, the unconscious mind is more open, and the therapist will be able to explore any suppressed memories or feelings that could be responsible for your illness.
The brain is a very complex organ and can hide away painful memories as a means of protecting you. However, while these painful memories are suppressed, you will be unable to move on from your current situation. The fact that these things are hidden from your conscious mind may make it harder for you to overcome the addictive or negative behaviour that you have been exhibiting. With hypnotherapy though, you may be able to uncover the underlying issues and address them effectively.
What you might not know about hypnotherapy, and indeed what many individuals fail to realise about hypnotherapy, is that despite being in a state of relaxation, you will still be in total control of your situation. You are in no danger of losing control of your thoughts or actions and your therapist will not be able to manipulate you in any way.
Hypnotherapy looks to alter your state of consciousness. It does this by basically switching off the left-hand side of the brain, which is responsible for analytical thinking. In doing this, it makes the right-hand side, or the non-analytical side, more alert. This results in the conscious mind being restricted and the subconscious being awoken.
It is necessary for your therapist to access your subconscious in order to help you change your negative behaviours. It is here that deep-rooted beliefs and thoughts lie and where they need to be changed. The ability to tap into the subconscious mind is that which makes hypnotherapy such a powerful tool in terms of overcoming illnesses like phobias and addictive behaviour.
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Hypnotherapy comes from the Greek word for ‘sleep’, and as a treatment for many different conditions, it has been used for centuries. Although you will not be put to sleep during hypnotherapy, your mind will be put into a sleep-like state to help you develop those positive changes in your thought patterns and behaviours that will help you get better.
For hypnotherapy to be effective you and your therapist must have a trusting relationship. You will need to be totally relaxed for this type of therapy to be successful. If you try to resist the process, then the process will not work; however, if you remain open to it, you will be induced into a state of relaxation that will enable your therapist to get to the root cause of your current behaviours. This is one of the best ways for you to get to the cause of your illness and to try to overcome it – hopefully for good.
Suggestions regarding changes to your thoughts and behaviours used during hypnotherapy may need to be practised by you to ensure they are reinforced and become permanent. You will more than likely be provided with self-help techniques to ensure that the positive changes stay with you indefinitely.
If you have a willingness to change and an openness to the idea of hypnotherapy, there is no reason why it should not work for you. Whether you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol or your life has been negatively affected by crippling anxiety, you will find that hypnotherapy can help you to regain control.
What Abuse/Addictions Is Hypnotherapy Used to Treat?
- Prescription Drug Addiction
- Sex and Love Addiction
- Internet Addiction
- Food Addiction
How Does Hypnotherapy Help in Addiction Recovery?
An addiction is classified as a pattern of behaviour that has a negative impact on everyday life. If addiction affects you, you will have limited or no control over your urge to use a specific substance or engage in a particular activity.
The worse the addiction becomes, the more of an impact it will have on your daily life. However, many people struggle to identify the cause of their addiction, which is usually because it is the result of emotional trauma or painful childhood memories that have been suppressed.
When used in addiction recovery, hypnotherapy can help to get to the root cause of the addiction by cutting through this suppression. Being in a heightened state of awareness means you will be more receptive to ideas and suggestions from your therapist as he or she taps into your subconscious mind. Doing this will not only uncover underlying issues that have potentially led to the addictive behaviour, but it can also help you to change your negative behaviours.
As an example, during hypnotherapy, your therapist can make certain suggestions that the substance or behaviour to which you are addicted is making you ill. Accessing the subconscious mind means that the negative behaviours can be changed when you are back using your conscious mind.
While hypnotherapy can be a useful tool in the treatment of addiction, it is not a magic cure. It works differently on each person, depending on how receptive this person is to the idea of change. This therapy works better with other forms of treatments and so is often included as part of a bespoke treatment programme.
Hypnotherapy can be used to help with withdrawal symptoms during a detox programme as well as in rehabilitation programmes to unearth the cause of the illness or to help reduce cravings.
Therapists can use a few different techniques to help treat their patients. Below are just a couple of examples:
- Traditional Hypnotherapy – Traditional hypnotherapy techniques use direct suggestion alongside therapeutic relaxation; it is often used for the treatment of addiction and phobias.
- Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy – A combination of CBT techniques can be used to treat a variety of conditions. It is believed that combining the two therapies can improve the chances of successful addiction recovery by positively influencing emotional and behavioural change.
- Ericksonian Hypnotherapy – Named after Milton H. Erickson, the person that developed this technique. His radical approach involved the use of informal conversation with therapeutic strategies. The indirect suggestion is commonly used for those who are resistant to the idea of traditional hypnotherapy, whether intentional or not.
- Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy – Solution-focused hypnotherapy combines Ericksonian hypnotherapy with solution-focused brief therapy. This is a goal-focused form of hypnotherapy helping patients to achieve their goal.
- Curative Hypnotherapy – As you might imagine, it is used to permanently cure a symptom rather than suppressing it temporarily. The aim of this technique is to correct negative thoughts and behaviours.
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming – Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is often used to help individuals overcome life obstacles that are embedded deep in the subconscious mind. With this technique, it is possible to alter restrictive thought patterns to make room for positive alternatives. Your therapist will work with you to understand more about your relationships with others and the attitudes you have. The idea is to help you improve your communication with others so that you can overcome the issues that have been preventing you from living a healthy life.
- Hypnoanalysis – Used to resolve issues instead of managing the symptoms. It is based on the concept of analytical psychotherapy and aims to get to the root of your problems. A key part of hypnoanalysis is the development of a trusting relationship between you and your therapist. This will help you to become more receptive to the idea of opening up to him or her.
How Hypnotherapy Differs from Other Psychotherapies?
While hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy, it differs from other psychotherapies in that it deals directly with the subconscious mind rather than the conscious. Because it deals with the subconscious, hypnotherapy can have quicker results than other therapies.
As hypnotherapists have the ability to connect directly with the subconscious mind, it allows them to get to the root of the problem almost immediately. Working directly with the area of the mind where the problem lies can help with permanent behaviour change, which is the ultimate aim of recovery.
However, as there is still a lot of cynicism where hypnotherapy is concerned, many people are reluctant to believe that it might work, and those who are not open to it may not respond positively. This type of therapy can be a powerful tool in the treatment of a variety of health conditions, but unless you are willing to change and open to its use, you may find that it does not work effectively.
Co-Occurring Mental Disorders Hypnotherapy Treats Include:
- Phobia Disorder
- Sleep Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Eating Disorders
Other Supplemental Therapies
- Art Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Experiential Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Fitness Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
- Family Therapy
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