Over the years I’ve found utilizing hypnosis an invaluable tool in treatment with eating disorders, addictions, stress disorders, not to mention self esteem, motivation and even phobias.
The best combination from my experience is coupling psychotherapy with hypnotherapy…which I find takes the patient to quicker long-lasting results. In fact, the ultimate, ultimate best formula I have found treating various disorders is body, mind, and spiritual all combined with hypnosis as part of the treatment modality leading to results that are quite impressive.
Yes, hypnosis really works and I assure you in my 20 years I never controlled anyone’s mind, made them do anything we didn’t agree on…we work as a team…and last, not one person got “lost in there.” It’s not uncommon for someone to ask if everyone can be hypnotized or that they are certain they can not. In my experience, everyone can get hypnotized if they are open to the experience, unless they suffer from severe mental challenges or any type of brain trauma.
Hypnosis has been going on in other countries long before it became popular in the United State where it has come and gone and come again in popularity, especially in psychotherapy…and with good reason. Hypnosis creates in patients a sense of mastery and control, rather than passivity and helplessness as they can partner (with therapist) in their own treatment rather than solely relying upon others, and they can take most of the credit for their own “cure.”
Hypnosis, or something quite close to it, existed in many ancient cultures; but in “modern” history, it began in the eighteenth century with Franz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian Physician, with his concept of animal magnetism. Times have changed since then with the likes of Abbe Jose de Faria, a Portuguese priest in 1819, and many others as it slowly morphed into what we know today based on the effect of suggestion.
First question I’m often asked is, “Does hypnosis really work?” Often the patient will go on and tell me about some “stage” hypnosis conducted at a night club with a cast of characters doing bizarre behavior as onlookers watch. This type of hypnosis is NOT what you will find a certified hypnotherapist with advanced degrees involved with. This is pure entertainment not the reality of a clinical setting.
So, does hypnosis really work? After conducting hundreds upon hundreds of hypnotherapy sessions for over two decades I can say a resounding YES! And the most interesting truth is it’s the person hypnotized doing the work over and above the hypnotist. In other words, if you want the change you will get it.
Let me assure you all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, meaning you the subject are hypnotizing yourself. The therapist or hypnotist embeds suggestions that you worked out together, long before any hypnosis begins. Your acceptance of suggestions promotes change. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis working through a script created between the hypnotist and the patients suggesting the unconscious mind will continue working on the problem, solving it in a safe way, perhaps even without the conscious mind becoming aware of it.
Yes! If you wish to experience a profound change by letting go of a long-term dysfunctional behavior and you are ready for the change you will go into a super deep hypnotic state. Take Don (*names and gender change to keep anonymity) who arrived at my office determined he was not the type to let someone control his mind. I listened carefully and understandingly to what he had to say but by the time we finished our session he was most ready to try this ” hypnosis thing” the next time we met. And guess what? Don let go of eating processed foods and dropped 40 pounds he was hanging on to for years. He also became very active in outside sports while making new friends.
Martha, a stunning beauty from Europe arrived one Monday morning out of breath, sweating from the heat and stress of getting lost, and nearly missing her appointment. You see Martha has tried every diet under the sun since she was 12 years old failing one diet at a time leaving her quite anxious as she made her way to my office.
Martha assured me I was “the last house on the block,” that there were no other choices for her outside of getting surgery which she was totally against. Martha sat across from me dabbing at her tears as she told me her heart breaking story of how her father died from complications caused by obesity and how every person in her family struggled with one addiction or another. She was tired…sick and tired…of being fat.We started our first session with gathering information and progressed in subsequent sessions working through psychotherapy and hypnosis combined. She began weighing 275 on her 5’4″ frame and to date weighs 135 pounds. Martha does not diet.We agreed on the areas to work on during hypnotherapy which included:
Guess what? All areas Martha worked on came into fruition. To date, she is a thin, lovely girl weighing 135 pounds. She’s not eaten sugar, flour, nor wheat in five years. She even had a baby in the midst of her hypnotherapy/psychotherapy sessions, in addition to three older children, husband, and a move to a bigger home. I could go on story after story with many Martha’s, Don’s, Bob’s, Lucy’s, etc., all winning at the weight loss game naturally, effortlessly, and spontaneously through self-hypnosis.
I’ve found hypnosis is a positive tool in adjunct with psychotherapy for all addictions. Some are a one and done while others require more time and attention depending on the disease or addiction. The quickest are addictions or habits of cigarette smoking, nail biting, along with anxiety and stress. Yes, anxiety and stress can be addictive…serving a purpose that is dysfunctional in the life.
You can change dysfunctional behaviors such as biting nails, picking at sores, sucking the thumb (many adults still suck their thumb!) and other irritants that stand in the way of a quality life. As noted above, in many cases only two sessions are needed—one pre-hypnosis session to sort out what appears to be the problem or problems to be dealt with, and another session of actual hypnosis.
Of course some patients will need more sessions, combining hypnosis and psychotherapy, especially if the problems are obscure or complex. If you are sensible, and follow directions worked together with your therapist, no harm will come to you and you will find that many desirable changes can be achieved. In time you should be able to throw your tranquilizers, sleeping pills…or whatever other habit you have…down the drain or out of your life: Forever!
If you are wondering about hypnosis and if it will work for you you’re not alone. Many wonder about this unique yet available tool in breaking free from habits and addictions that have long interrupted the flow of life.
If you are considering experiencing a phenomena such as hypnosis my first suggestion is to research in your area someone who is credentialed not only as a hypnotist but also with higher advanced degrees such as a medical doctor, addiction specialist, psychologist, psychotherapist to insure they are well educated and trained to help you with therapy and hypnotherapy combined.
Have you ever tried hypnosis?What was your experience?What habit(s) or addiction have you let go of ? Please share so we can all learn from you….
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Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.