All of us face challenges in our lives; mental, emotional, relational and physical. For the most part we find a way through. We use skills we already have, talk with friends, write in our journals, exercise more, go fishing, learn to meditate or wait it out. Things improve with time.
And sometimes we need help. Professional help. We feel stuck. We cannot see a wider view or alternatives. The situation, the pain or the habit feels bigger than us. We have tried what we think should work and it hasn’t. We don’t want to lose anymore sleep/money/friends/jobs. We want to take steps, now, to resolve the issue. This might mean being able to change the way we do things, change a particular pattern of thinking, improve our emotional resilience or simply let go of the issue. It might mean finding a new way to better manage pain or illness and still live a good life.
Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in helping clients reach their goals quickly and effectively. In a typical hypnotherapy session you will explore the issue within a normal counselling process and then decide what outcomes you really want. You set your therapy goals and together we explore ways you can achieve them. We then use the hypnotic process to enhance any insights you have already had and reinforce your vision for change. Hypnotherapy gives your creative mind and your logical mind the opportunity, in a relaxed yet alert state of awareness, to find the solutions that are best for you. Hypnotherapy taps into the resources and wisdom of your unconscious mind surfacing knowledge and skills you have forgotten or never used, or if agreed in the counselling session, you can simply listen with an open mind to some new ideas and strategies for thinking, feeling and acting that can bring about the changes you want.
So does hypnotherapy really help?
In 2003, two researchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany reviewed 444 studies on hypnotherapy published prior to 2002.
The findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy.
Flammer & Bongartz, “On the efficacy of hypnosis: a meta-analytic study”, Contemporary Hypnosis, 2003, pp179 – 197
The fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions this is a high success rate. Improvement rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy’s strongest application, were higher still.
Anxiety & Depression: A 2007 (Alladin & Alibhai) conducted a randomised-control study comparing therapy outcomes for anxious and depressed clients using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with a CBT+Hypnotherapy protocol. Clients receiving CBT+Hypnotherapy had significantly improved scores in both the Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. They were less anxious and less depressed than the clients who received CBT alone. Furthermore this improvement was still maintained at the 6-month and 12-month follow-ups.
Pain: Benham and Younger (2012) state that “hypnotically induced analgesia is arguably the area in which hypnosis has proved itself most adequately, providing reduction of both chronic and acute pain.”
Smoking: Carmody et al (2008) conducted a randomised trial of 286 smokers finding 26% of the individuals in the hypnosis group were abstinent at 6 months compared with 18% of the behavioural group; at 12 months the quit rate was 20% for the hypnosis participants compared with 14% of the behavioral group.
Hypnotherapy gives you another way to transform a problem into a solution.