Hypnotherapy: What is Hypnosis & How Can It Help You?

Have you ever considered hypnotherapy as a treatment for your anxiety problem? The word hypnosis can have a lot of misperceptions associated with it, like cheap parlor tricks or mind control. However, hypnotherapy is an actual therapeutic tool that, when used by a trained and experienced clinician, can help you find a resolution to your mental health issues.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis as a tool in a therapy situation.
Hypnosis, according to the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, is:

“A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.”

In the context of a therapeutic environment, hypnotherapy may be used to help a client become more relaxed and open to ideas and suggestions from the therapist in a session. This allows the client to be more receptive to change.

What Hypnotherapy is Not

This therapy is not the same kind of hypnosis you see as entertainment, at a party or carnival. Clients who participate are not under the control of the therapist, nor do they lose their free will. The therapist can’t make the client cluck like a chicken or stand on one foot! Instead, clients are in a more relaxed, focused state, allowing them to be more open to therapy.

How Can Hypnosis Help?

The American Psychological Association notes that hypnosis in therapy can help clients who are struggling with:

  • Chronic pain.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Depression symptoms.
  • Anxiety and stress reduction.

For example, a client struggling with anxiety participating in hypnotherapy, could better focus on why they are anxious and work with the therapist through traditional techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to find solutions.

Using Hypnosis to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The National Institutes of Health studied how hypnosis can help treat veterans who struggle with PTSD. They found that hypnosis was able to help control how veterans accessed traumatic memories that would have remained hidden. Hypnosis in therapy allowed the veterans to put the memories into context and reframe them. For example, a soldier who struggles with the loss of a comrade can, using hypnosis, see the situation in a new light. Instead of grieving about how their friend died, the veteran can acknowledge the helplessness that they felt, and recall how they attempted to save their comrade.

What are the Benefits of Hypnotherapy?

Some of the benefits of hypnotherapy include:

  • The ability to combine with traditional therapeutic techniques to achieve greater results.
  • The lack of medication.
  • The ability to do treatment during an office appointment.
  • The potential for client training by the therapist for hypnosis at home.

What are Some Hypnotherapy Techniques?

Hypnotherapy is more than just the cliché example of staring at a swinging pocket-watch. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health, discusses several hypnosis techniques, such as:

  • Muscle relaxation techniques
  • Autogenic Training: focus on different sensations within your body
  • Visualization/Imagery: using an image to create a sense of relaxation
  • Meditation, yoga, and tai chi practices.
  • The Mitchell method: clients form body positions that are opposed to how one would experience anxiety, such as keeping your hands open rather than shut tight.

Finding a Hypnosis Trained Therapist

When searching for a therapist who specializes in hypnosis, consider these things:

Does the therapist have training specifically in hypnosis and therapy?
What are the therapist’s professional beliefs regarding hypnotherapy?
When meeting with the therapist, do you feel comfortable and open enough to discuss your issues?
Hypnosis can be a valuable tool for practitioners and clients who suffer from mental health issues. Instead of keeping troubling thoughts and traumatic memories hidden from view, hypnosis helps you to bring those memories into the light, in a controlled manner. This way, you can find healing, and find new ways to be free from your burdens.

Questions, Concerns, Thoughts?

I invite you to call me for a free 15 – minute phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about anxiety, treatment and my practice. Please visit my website @ www.theanxietydocseattle.com or call me directly @ (206) 745-4933.