Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. Clinical hypnotherapy uses the altered state or trance for a therapeutic intervention. It is a process that creates a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation in the mind of an individual. This relaxed state enables the individual to feel safe to work through difficult thoughts, memories, or feelings. Hypnotherapy has helped many people in controlling addictions, losing weight, managing chronic pain, improving sleep, reducing anxiety, dealing with childhood issues, helping to reduce daily stress through relaxation skills, changing undesired behaviors, and bringing insight.
Some people are a little apprehensive about considering hypnotherapy because of the misconception of what they have seen on television. Often what is shown on television is often extreme or exaggerated interpretations of hypnotherapy for the purpose of entertainment. Clinical hypnotherapy is generally quite different and offers many benefits.
When is Hypnotherapy Useful?
Hypnosis is an altered, safe, trance-like mental state characterized by deep relaxation, focused attention, and openness to ‘positive’ suggestions. This therapy is most effective when the person really wants to make the change in his or her life.
For example, smokers often say that taking a cigarette break helps them to deal with anxiety. Clinical hypnosis can be used to reduce anxiety, thus reducing the desire to smoke, making it easier to break the habit. Hypnotherapy has been utilized since the 1800's to control pain. It is a recognized pain management option in modern surgery, particularly for individuals with drug sensitivities or those at risk of addiction. Clinical hypnosis can reduce post-surgical pain, decrease nausea, improve recovery times, and reduce the potential for complications. For individuals struggling with chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, or arthritis, hypnotherapy may improve treatment outcomes by reducing fatigue, pain, and self-esteem challenges.
Does Everyone Respond to Hypnotherapy?
While hypnosis works for many individuals, some individuals are more or less susceptible to suggestion. In the initial session, an accredited hypnotherapist will work with you to determine if you respond to hypnotherapy. Based on your response level, and your treatment goals, the therapist will be able to suggest how long the therapy may take, and if hypnotherapy would be more powerful if combined with other treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There is a significant amount of research that combining CBT and hypnotherapy can, for certain goals, increase the rate of treatment success.
Is Hypnotherapy Safe for Children?
Hypnotherapy can help with many problems children experience. Children are often easier to hypnotize as they are naturally more open to suggestion than adults. Some children naturally fall into a state of self-hypnosis when they play imaginary games.
Historically, pediatric hypnosis has been used to successfully treat bedwetting, thumb sucking, hair pulling (Trichotillomania), tics (e.g. Tourettes), sleep terrors, nightmares, anxiety, food aversion, swallowing difficulty (e.g. medication, food), and general stress. Children treated with pediatric hypnosis may report feeling calmer and more in control of themselves. This tends to lead to a generally happier mood and more positive social behaviors.
How Can Adults Benefit from Hypnosis?
As previously mentioned, hypnosis can help you manage attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors. Research has shown hypnotherapy to help with issues such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, panic attacks, migraines, body image, fears and phobias, sexual problems, etc. Clinical hypnotherapy may address underlying issues which cause anxiety, such as poor self-esteem, historical trauma, low motivation, negative thinking, etc.
How to Find a Good Hypnotherapist?
As the term "hypnotherapist" is unregulated, anyone can call themselves a 'hypnotherapist". This means it is important for the client to ask about the clinician's credentials. Hypnotherapists who are certified through a national regulating registry such as the Canadian Federation of Clinical Hypnosis are required to demonstrate proof of competency through certified training courses, supervised practice, and examination. As hypnotherapy often works best in conjunction with other treatments such as CBT, it is also important that the is skilled in more than one area, and knows how to successfully blend the approaches.
Our hypnotherapists are professionals have years of experience and expertise in clinical hypnotherapy, CBT and additional treatment approaches. Feel free to contact us for more information.