Hypnotherapy: Hoax Or Help?
Controversy surrounds the use of the hypnotic state, and with good reason. A stage hypnotist suggests that his volunteer is a chicken, and the willing participant responds by squawking and flapping his arms. Are we supposed to take that seriously? Certainly not, but from our seats in the audience, it looks pretty real. What about the traveling hypnotist that holds seminars in city venues, using the hypnotic state to convince people they no longer want to smoke or eat candy? It sounds too good to be true. It usually is. Yet, there is one use of the hypnotic state that has proven to help people overcome significant problems in their lives. It's called hypnotherapy.
What Is Hypnotherapy?
Every hypnotherapy definition must begin with the use of hypnosis. After all, that is what sets this therapy apart from other types of therapy. Hypnotherapy, then, is a type of therapy that uses hypnosis as a therapeutic technique.
Before helping you enter the hypnotic state, your therapist provides a consultation to see if hypnotherapy will help you with your problem. He or she spends some time getting to know you, what is troubling you about your life, and what you would like to change. In fact, after this discussion, the therapist might propose a different type of therapy altogether. If you both agree that hypnotherapy is an appropriate choice for you, you'll likely begin the process at a later session.
In order to accept the suggestions from your therapist, you'll need to be mentally ready. The hypnotherapist begins by helping you calm and quiet your mind. The goal is a relaxed but focused state of mind in which you will be open to the therapist's suggestions.
Revisiting Other Times in Your Life
Your therapist may decide to guide you in remembering times in your life that are pertinent to the problems you're facing. This wouldn't be possible if the therapist hadn't worked with you before the hypnotherapy session to learn about your life and understand something of the source of your difficulties. They might ask you to recall details of the setting, the people present, and the sensations you experienced in that time and place.
When the therapist determines that you're ready, he or she suggests that you alter your thoughts, behaviors, sensations or perceptions so that they are in tune with your desire to change yourself. The therapist may describe the scene in a different way than you first remembered it. What was once painful may quickly become something neutral and bearable. What once seemed enjoyable, like smoking a cigarette, may seem unpleasant. With each experience you re-experience the habit, bad feelings, or psychological trauma in a way that makes your desired outcome seem the most pleasant and beneficial to you.
Therapy for Your Inner Child
Hypnotherapy isn't just for breaking unpleasant habits. A skilled therapist can use this technique to help you face and deal with childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect. They can help you come to terms with negative experiences that happened long ago or more recently. As your therapist helps your inner child create a new version of reality, healing takes place.
Hypnotherapy vs Hypnotism
As mentioned earlier, hypnotism is not the same as hypnotherapy. What is hypnotherapy, exactly, anyway? Hypnotherapy is a technique that a therapist uses as a part of a larger therapeutic intervention. A stage hypnotist, on the other hand, does it to get a laugh, perhaps to impress his audience and certainly to make money.
But, what about the traveling hypnotist who goes from city to city, hypnotizing people to help them conquer unhealthy habits? What's the difference there? The difference may seem subtle from the standpoint of someone observing the seminar. However, for someone who saw the entire process that happens in a therapist's office, the difference is glaring.
The traveling hypnotist knows very little about the people he hypnotizes. He doesn't know why they do or feel what they do or when their habits started. He can't possibly know what it will take to quit for them as individuals. The hypnotism is so brief that most people can't really benefit from it. Perhaps if you are a highly suggestible person, this technique would work for you, but for most, this quick fix doesn't take the place of real therapy. In addition, a therapist who uses hypnotism as a technique can help people who have problems that are far more complex and serious than undesirable habits.
Does Hypnotherapy Work?
If the question is "Does hypnotherapy work?" the answer is "yes, it works in some situations and for some people." Hypnotherapy won't solve all your problems immediately. It doesn't work that way at all. Yet, a well-trained, certified hypnotherapist can use this technique along with others to help you overcome your most important challenges over the course of your therapy.
Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?
Some people fall under hypnotism quite easily. Others are harder to hypnotize. In fact, some people can't be helped by this method at all. The only way to know is to have at least one talk session with a therapist and, perhaps, allow your therapist to try it. If it doesn't work, your therapist can propose other treatments for you. There is a way to get better, and your therapist can help you find it.
Types of Problems Helped by Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy has been studied by researchers for many years. The results of the studies show that hypnotherapy does in fact help many people with certain problems. Each of the disorders, physical and mental challenges, and other difficulties on the following list have been effectively treated with therapy that includes hypnotherapy as one technique.
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Post-surgery recovery
- Skin conditions
Even though each of these conditions has been treated using hypnotherapy, the technique might not work for you. Your therapist is the best source of answers to this question for you in your unique situation.
Choosing a Hypnotherapist
It's extremely important to choose your hypnotherapist carefully. While many people have the talent of making hypnotism seem easy and sure, not all of them are truly qualified to use the technique for therapy. So, it's important to examine the credentials of a therapist before you submit to their treatment. Know what makes a therapist gifted in using hypnosis as a technique. Finally, make sure you feel safe and comfortable with them. Otherwise, the experience you have during hypnosis may be far from satisfying for you.
A therapist who is qualified to use hypnosis as a part of treatment has completed hypnotherapy training and received hypnotherapy certification from a respected institution. Don't be afraid to ask to see their certificate and verify their credentials for yourself.
A therapist who uses hypnotherapy to help people with their problems must be a good listener. They need to be ethical beyond reproach and more dedicated to helping their clients than to advancing their careers or making money. It helps tremendously if they are patient, kind, and empathetic. Remember that you don't have to continue with a therapist after the first visit if something seems off to you. You're in complete control of the situation and can choose a different therapist at any time.
If you don't trust your therapist, their hypnotherapy probably won't work for you. The only way to enter the hypnotic state is to feel trust that you'll be safe and well-cared-for. You probably won't know whether you feel that trust until you have a therapy session. At that point, pay attention to your instincts. If you don't feel at ease with the first therapist you meet, you can always try again with another therapist.
Finding Hypnotherapy Near Me
If you live in a large city, you probably won't have trouble finding a therapist near you who uses hypnotherapy. You can get hypnotherapy near your home, although you may have to drive through heavy traffic to get there. On the other hand, if you live in a small town or rural area, you may have to drive a long way to get to a therapist who uses this special technique.
However, there is another option, whether you want to avoid traffic jams or prefer not to travel at all. You can choose therapy through on online platform like Better Help to find therapists as close as your nearest internet connection.
Because the technology of video chat, you can have a virtual face-to-face hypnotherapy session with a therapist who has hypnotherapy training and experience as well as hypnotherapy certification. Therapists are available to talk to you and offer treatments for a variety of physical and mental health challenges.
Not all instances of hypnosis are therapeutic. Many of them may not even be real. However, a skilled therapist who is qualified to provide hypnotherapy can help you banish fears, sadness, pain, and yes, undesirable habits. Even better, they can provide other types of sound therapy along with or instead of hypnotherapy. After all, dealing with your problems is probably your highest priority. A professional therapist can help you do that with or without hypnotherapy.