Hypnosis has a long track record of having effective applications in the field of medicine. It has an equally long track record of being used for entertainment purposes. This has made many of us question its abilities and applications.
Like any other medical treatment, the effectiveness of hypnotic treatments varies from person to person. The mixed reputation of this science should not be a barrier in investigating its efficacy as a tool to cope with cravings and stave off relapse. In fact, studies have proven that regular sessions of hypnotherapy combined with psychotherapy bring about drastic improvements in addiction patterns.
When a person keeps repeating something like “I am Richard, and I am an alcoholic”, the belief of being an alcoholic is reinforced. Every time the term is mentioned, the mind automatically connects it to the negativity that led to the beginning of this addictive behaviour. When a hypnotherapist helps a client, they start by changing the identity and beliefs that are causing the addiction and create a new identity about who the client is now. When this is applied to addiction, some miraculous things can happen.
De-Addiction Process Through Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is induced in the later stages of the rehabilitation process. It is only effective if the substance is completely out of the subject’s system. A person may spend months cleaning up before even starting hypnotic therapy.
Once ready, a hypnotherapist guides the client to a trance-like state where they are highly susceptible to suggestions. In this state, the hypnotherapist tries to change the identity of an ‘addict in recovery’, and suggest an identity of who the person is or what they want to be.
However, the treatment only works for those who are positive and determined towards kicking away the addictions and destructive habits.
How Does It Work?
Hypnotherapy aims to modify or alter deep-seated beliefs of people about themselves. The human mind is constantly changing. The neuroplastic abilities of the brain allow hypnotherapy to create new neural pathways, that associate with different beliefs and information. For instance, if in the past, a person saw their favorite bar, or a friend pouring a drink, the mind will use the experience to trigger the emotions, needs, pleasure and cravings for alcohol. Hypnotherapy eliminates this phenomenon by rewiring the response of the subconscious mind to trigger an entirely new feeling.
In its full effect, hypnotherapy can use the same triggers that induced cravings and turn them into triggers that will make those cravings feel repulsive.
After a few sessions of hypnotherapy, a Brisbane woman claims she feels like dancing whenever she is in the alcohol aisle of a supermarket. She says, the sight of alcohol now reminds her of the freedom and happiness she enjoys being free from addiction.
Hypnotherapy tries to introduce a person to their future, addiction-free self. The suggestions allow the subjects to feel what it is like to be free from addiction. The feeling of freedom and empowerment associated with being addiction-free is the tremendous motivation to kick destructive habits away.
Limits of Hypnotherapy in De-Addiction
It is important to understand that there is two kind of addictions, namely, physical addiction and mental addiction. Symptoms of both are present in most patients. Psychological addictions such as gambling can be effectively treated with hypnotherapy.
Physical addictions, such as alcoholism have adverse effects on our mind as well as body. It is important to understand that while hypnotherapy sessions with a professional hypnotherapist can help a person kerb the mental damages of alcoholism, no amount of hypnotherapy will be able to reverse the physical repercussions.
Choosing the Right Hypnotherapist
One of the most crucial decisions is to identify the person that will be carrying out the therapeutic process. Only seek professionals that are recognized by Australian Hypnotherapists Association, Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists and
Hypnotherapy Council of Australia. Also remember, any hypnotherapy sessions should be conducted in close supervision of a qualified clinical supervisor.
Hypnotherapy, if applied in right areas, can prove miraculous in eradicating the destructive addictions a person might face.
Have you ever tried hypnosis to assist with an addition of some sort? Let us know in the comments below!
*This article was contributed.