Hypnotherapy, or more correctly hypnopsychotherapy, is the psychotherapy that also makes use, among other methods, of hypnotic procedures. This happens when the therapists considers it useful and with the client’s/patient’s approval, of course. Unlike stage hypnosis which is more of an entertainment tool pursuing the sensational, hypnotherapy uses clinical hypnosis in order to help the client/patient for psychotherapy purposes, medical approaches, sports and intellectual performance. This is why it’s important that when you choose a hypnotherapist, make sure he/she also has certified degree in psychotherapy.
Clinical hypnosis is that quality of the mind to experience an altered state of consciousness, by developing the so-called hypnotic trance, thus switching to another frequency of cerebral processing and accessing the more profound side of the psyche which we know as unconscious.
In hypnopsychotherapy, along with other tools, clinical hypnosis can be employed in diverse disorders like: depression, anxiety, psychosexual problems, trauma related disorders, phobias, insomnia, twitches, enuresis (involuntary urination during sleep), eating disorders (nervous anorexia or bulimia) and addictions (like smoking or compulsive eating), but it doesn’t limit itself only to these issues – moderate hypnotic trances can be employed in a broad range of psychotherapeutic situations, depending on the willingness of each client. The advantages of also utilizing hypnotic procedures in psychotherapy are:
- diminishing and/or more efficiently managing the stress;
- accessing latent/forgotten resources and mobilizing the unconscious potential towards overcoming certain difficulties (personal, relational or work related);
- stimulating and developing more efficient modalities that the unconscious mind possesses and that are superior to the conscious limits in which the human psyche is often functioning in a restrictive way;
- securely reprocessing and integrating in a more healthy way some hurtful life experiences, that have been contributing to the development of some dysfunctional states or behaviours;
- approaching and solving inner conflicts at unconscious level, that can sabotage a balanced life;
- reconnecting to intimate parts of the self and to the authentic needs of the one who is experiencing the hypnotic trance.
The medical cases where clinical hypnosis is useful as an auxiliary intervention are:
- Surgery preparation and recovery – before undergoing surgery, patients can be more easily familiarized with the medical procedures and can overcome their fears in a more relaxed manner; then after the surgery, a feeling of control can be insured by also stimulating the recovery process.
- Pain management – by developing some specific hypnotic trances, the pain sensations can be substantially reduced among patients suffering from chronic conditions; in diverse medical interventions, clinical hypnosis can also be employed as anesthesia (suppressing physical/organic sensitivity) or analgesia (modifying physical/organic sensitivity).
- In dentistry, the hypnotic trance can be successfully integrated in reducing anxiety, managing pain (through hypnoanesthesia or hypnoanalgesia) and as well as in remediation of bruxism (repeatedly and involuntarily clenching and grinding the teeth, which is based on a nervous mechanism).
- Facilitating childbirth – the hypnotically induced relaxation state can be useful in coordinating the breathing and the muscles involved in the delivery process, while the corresponding sensations and the anxiety related to childbirth can be considerably diminished.
- Dermatologic disorders can be approached also with hypnotherapy as an auxiliary intervention since there is a strong connection between our skin and our affective functioning, as a follow-up of the way stress is being managed. Among these disorders there are neurodermatitis (manifesting like a patch of itchy skin), psoriasis, Zoster zone or plantar warts.
- To treatments in internal medicine, oncology and as well in autoimmune disorders hypnotherapy can be added. It is useful in treating cardiovascular disorders, breathing disorders (like asthma), allergies, gastro-intestinal disorders (like irritable bowl syndrome). Stimulating the immune system through hypnotherapeutic procedures can significantly contribute in the treatment of oncological and autoimmune disorders.
In the hypnotherapeutic approach of dermatologic and the above mentioned disorders, it is mandatory to first be consulted by the medical doctor.
Besides psychotherapeutic and medical field, clinical hypnosis is also useful in sports and intellectual performance. Through hypnotic procedures, relaxation techniques and guided imagery, athletes can develop an optimal state of mind, which allows gaining easier an attitude of confidence, emotional balance, efficiently adjusting the relaxation-straining alternation, boosting and maintaining an optimal level of concentration and strategic thinking in real time, increased speed of response and efficiently managing the periods of progress and regression. By involving the unconscious and the very resourceful side of mental functioning, hypnotic approaches have the quality of stimulating creativity, imagination, memory and problem solving both in athletes and intellectuals.
Also read MYTHS ABOUT HYPNOSIS