Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy utilized to produce change within a patient while in a state of sleep, or unconsciousness, known as hypnosis.
What hypnosis IS
Hypnosis derives from the Greek word “hypnos” which simply means, “sleep.” The therapy is facilitated by a trained hypnotherapist who uses relaxation techniques to invoke feelings of deep relaxation and concentration to attain an intensified state of awareness or trance-like state. Within this realm, patients can then explore hurtful thoughts, feelings, and memories which could have been veiled from their conscious minds. According to a study conducted by the Stanford School of Medicine in July 2016, researchers were able to see neural changes associated with hypnosis, revealing the connection between the body and mind. With hypnotherapy a negative mindset can be influenced to be more positive, improving mental and physical health.
What hypnosis is NOT
The dramatization of Hollywood has damaged the public perception of hypnosis, portraying the method as a stage trick or a parlor game. One common myth is the idea that a person under hypnosis gives complete rule or forfeits control to the therapist. Hypnotherapists are there to guide the patient through prompts and suggestions and can’t take over their mind and control their actions. When a person is in a trance state, they still can dominate all of their actions, can hear everything around them, and cannot be forced to do anything that is against their will. Again, patients have complete awareness of their faculties and can break the trance if desired.
What is the purpose for hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is implemented to help calm and relax the patient, through guided suggestions, accessing the mind-body link in order to free them from painful experiences and harmful behaviors. This method can help with injurious thought patterns—to release negative feelings and help to encourage a more positive mindset. Hypnotherapy is utilized to treat those who are struggling with:
- Sleep disorders
- Post-trauma anxiety
- Grief and loss
Other benefits of hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for coping with anxiety and stress related to a forthcoming medical procedure. This technique of relaxation has also been proven to ease the pain after surgery. A recent study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, relayed that patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort. Hypnotherapy has been effective in helping people quit smoking or reduce overeating by focusing their minds and suggesting healthier lifestyles.
Hypnotherapy is an instrumental method to delve deep into the subconscious to uncover the root source of mental disorders or unhealthy behaviors. The American Psychological Association states, “Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders.”
It’s important to recognize the falsehoods concerning hypnosis in order to appreciate its value concerning psychotherapy. Through this method, the connection between the mind and body can be brought to new levels of awareness, resulting in a healthier you.