One treatment option in the realm of mind body medicine that may be used by licensed professional therapists is called hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis. Some individuals may be skeptical of hypnotherapy because of hypnosis' reputation as a stage trick. However, hypnotherapy can be an evidence-based practice that may help people overcome significant concerns and symptoms.
Studies confirm that tele-hypnosis, or hypnotherapy with an online therapist, may help reduce anxiety symptoms. In one study, tele-hypnosis demonstrated many advantages over in-person treatment. If you're interested in exploring whether hypnotherapy may help you manage life's challenges and how you navigate your conscious mind, connecting with a licensed counselor can be a first step.
Hypnosis is a therapeutic tool used as a part of a more extensive therapeutic intervention to explore deep-seated thoughts, relationship challenges, fears, patterns, and repressed emotions. While some people may tout hypnosis as a fast track to losing weight or smoking cessation, the goal of hypnotherapy is often to reduce mental health challenges or physical symptoms. Guided relaxation techniques, focused attention, and concentration are all methods used by a hypnotherapist in clinical hypnosis.
Does It Work?
Common medical conditions and mental health conditions treated can include:
- Panic attacks
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatment side effects in cancer patients
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Post-surgery recovery
- Skin conditions
- Performance Anxiety
- Hot flashes
If you're considering hypnotherapy, it may be helpful to understand how hypnosis works. A qualified hypnotherapist may use several different strategies to aid you in unveiling your emotions and alleviating your mental health symptoms.
Often, a hypnotherapist may begin by helping you calm your nervous system and feel grounded within yourself. The hypnosis goal may be to achieve a relaxed but focused state of mind in which you may be open to a therapist's hypnotic state suggestion. The hypnotherapist does not want you to lose control but to focus on something like an object or your breathing, according to the National Institutes for Health.
Revisiting Other Times In Your Life
Once you are relaxed, your hypnotherapist may guide you through your life history to explore past experiences pertinent to your current challenges. They may ask you to recall details of the setting, the people present, and the sensations you experienced during these stressful events. You may notice yourself being unusually responsive as you feel free to discuss intimate details of your past.
Often, for the hypnosis process to be effective for stress reduction, you and your therapist may have previously met to discuss your life and your current mental health challenges during talk therapy sessions, paying attention to the potential you could create false memories. A therapist may not perform hypnosis during your first therapy session to ensure they understand your concerns and experience, such as psychotic symptoms, first.
Once you have become immersed in your experience, your hypnotherapist may suggest altering your thoughts, behaviors, psychological responses, or perceptions relating to this experience. You might also be guided through meditation practice.
Below are specific factors to consider when searching for a therapist with a clinical practice background who is trained in hypnosis.
A licensed hypnotherapist may be certified by The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH). To be certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, a clinical hypnotherapist must have a doctorate in medicine, dentistry, or psychology or a master's degree in nursing, social work, psychology, counseling or marital and family therapy. You may request a therapist's credentials if they are not readily available on their website or at their office.
Will insurance cover the prices of sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist? According to the American Academy of Professional Coders, most providers will cover 50-80% of the costs when you’re working with a licensed professional.
Each individual may have different personal attributes they desire in a therapist, so making a list of attributes important to you before meeting with a therapist for your first session may be helpful.
Trust can be a cornerstone of an effective hypnotherapy relationship. If you don't trust your therapist, you may not feel comfortable entering a relaxed or heightened state or fearing unintended suggestions during clinical hypnosis sessions.
Hypnotherapy Options And Other Treatments
If you are worried that there is insufficient evidence supporting its benefits or that there may be harmful reactions, professional hypnotherapists can walk you through the research behind the practice. Hypnotherapy is one evidence-based therapeutic practice that may support clients through life's challenges.
Tele-hypnosis may be effective for physical challenges like chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome and mental illness like anxiety disorders, depression, or controlling impulses like quitting smoking. If you're interested in meeting with an online therapist, you can sign up for a platform like BetterHelp, which offers a growing network of providers specializing in various other forms of treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy. Online therapy also gives you the option of video, phone, or live chat sessions with your licensed therapist, so you can partake in a method that feels most comfortable to you.
Additionally, studies performed by qualified professionals from professional associations back up the effectiveness of telehealth therapy. Clinical trials found that hypnosis over the phone had many advantages over hypnosis in person.