In this article, I will explain to you how hypnosis therapy can assist you in overcoming 10 specific challenges. You will learn how the hypnotic trance-like state can allow your mind to open to suggestions. Suggestions introduced when you enter a state of hypnosis. Also, suggestions that your hypnotherapist will use to reframe how you think about these 10 challenges.
This article is the first in a 3-part series. This series covers the main areas where hypnosis therapy is used. Used to help you lead a happier, more relaxed lifestyle, enabling you to feel calm and relaxed. In a previous article I provided a complete guide about how hypnosis therapy works. That article also described how to choose a hypnosis practitioner. If you haven’t seen that article, you can find it here.
Hypnosis is used in these ten specific areas:
- Anger Management.
- Bad Habits.
- Bed Wetting.
- Chronic Pain.
- Focus and Concentration.
- Imposter Syndrome.
This article gives you an overview of these specific issues. It is going to share with you some examples from my own 15 years experience. 15 years of helping people overcome these challenges. In future posts, if there is sufficient interst, I will dig into each of these examples in more detail. If you would like more information, please let me know. You can post in the comments section or contact me through our contact page if you prefer more privacy. So, if you have any questions about hypnosis therapy please feel free to contact me.
10 Examples of Where Hypnosis Therapy Can Help You Win.
Hypnosis Therapy for Addiction.
I think the best description of addiction is that; it is what happens when a coping mechanism gets out of control. There are various forms of addiction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, addiction to pornography, addiction to weight training, food addiction, to name a few. In addition, usually there is an underlying unhappiness and negative emotional state that begins the need for a coping mechanism.
Sometimes Coping Mechanisms Go Wrong.
The coping mechanism provides relief to you up to a point. But over time your brain becomes used to the stimulation the coping mechanism provides. As a result, the pleasing effect gets less and less. This leads to you wanting more and more distraction from the issues you face in life. This in turn leads to you a vicious cycle of dependency on your coping mechanism of choice. This cycle deepens and can spiral out of control.
Because you are unhappy or anxious about your life, you seek out experiences that give you a boost. A boost of the neurotransmitters that provide happiness and reward. These neurotransmitters are dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals balance naturally in your brain. However, if their levels increase for a time, their presence in your brain will seek to balance. This balance manifests as overcompensating to the low side after a boost. This overcorrection leaves a feeling of tension in the brain. This in turn, leads to cravings to be back at the elevated chemical state.
Create a No-Fail Environment.
People, places and situations that you associate with the addiction of choice can trigger these cravings. So, if you see someone you used to get high with, that in itself can trigger a craving. A craving which can lead to relapse. As a result, it is good to try to avoid old haunts and people associated with your habit. Try to set up an environment where you are less likely to encounter temptation.
Hypnosis therapy can help by reframing triggers from bad habits to thoughts and habits that serve you better. Also, hypnosis can suggest other behaviors to the subconscious mind. Behaviors that can help to replace the addictive habits that are causing problems in your life and perhaps your health.
What About Cocaine Use and Hypnosis?
With dugs such as cocaine, there are specific times in the addiction cycle where hypnosis may not be appropriate. The time periods when hypnosis helps are at the start of the addiction cycle, before rehab, and after rehab. After rehab hypnosis helps to build constructive habits in your new life. Unfortunately sometimes your addiction becomes so strong that rehab is the best solution. Once rehab is recommended, hypnosis has little effect to change habits. This is as a result of the physical damage that has occured in your brain. If rehab occurs early enough, your brain can recover from the burnout it undergoes. Burnout that has occured as an effect of prolonged cocaine use.
You should understand that once the addiction cycle breaks; the underlying issues that you suffer from and that led you into addiction still remain. You still have to deal with them. This is an area where hypnosis can help. You can reframe these issues and negative thought patterns under hypnosis. In this way, you can learn to cope with life. Hopefully you cope without resorting to coping mechanisms that may lead you to addiction.
Hypnosis Therapy for Anger Management.
Anger is a response that your brain generates through the area that controls your fight or flight response. We call this area of the brain the amygdala. When you experience a threat, that signal bypasses the reasoning part of the brain. It goes straight to the fight or flight response which can cause you to lose control over your behavior. The only evaluation of the threat that takes place is to decide whether to fight or flee. This is instantaneous. That is why extreme anger explodes in a burst of energy before you can catch it and stop it.
In ancient times this was necessary when hungry predators appeared and tried to make you their next meal. In our modern world, generally you don’t experience these types of threats as commonly as your ancestors did. Today our threats and stresses are more low-key. Angry reactions to people and situations can sometimes be out of proportion to the stress or threat you are experiencing.
You generate anger from a fearful state of mind. From past events and experiences and your emotional response to them at the time. As a result, this can cause triggers to store themselves in your brain that leads to similar responses to your current experiences.
Changing Triggers with Therapy
Hypnosis therapy will help to remove unhelpful triggers to allow you to react to situations differently. Hypnosis therapy will also help to uncover past traumas. Traumas that may be causing fear and anger to manifest from the subconscious. How you cope with stress and perceived threats depends on your subconscious programming and past experiences. Most importantly, a skilled practitioner can change this through hypnosis.
Sometimes with anger management, you have to release your pent-up anger. This is for you to be able to get into the relaxed state that hypnosis operates in. In these cases, sometimes it is necessary for you to experience a physical outlet. An outlet to work off the energy of frustration and anger. I have facilitated sessions with Clients who take out their frustration. They do this on mannequins or other physical things with a baseball bat or similar object. We do this, to release the pent-up energy before we move on with hypnosis. This process works well to release pent up energy. For people who are angry because of abuse, this process can be empowering.
Bad Habits and Hypnosis Therapy.
What constitutes a bad habit can be fairly subjective. What is acceptable in one tradition may not be acceptable in another. You learn and programme your habits into your behavior through reinforcement by repetition. Your bad habits have emotional and situational triggers that act at a subconscious level.
When you are conscious of what you are doing, it is relatively easy to stop yourself from engaging in the bad habit you want to stop. However, when life distracts you, you switch your behavior over to subconscious, or automatic, mode. Your habits emerge as a response to stimulus you receive at a subconscious level. Suddenly you catch yourself biting your nails or picking your nose. Because you are aware of it again, you are able to stop.
Triggers for Habits
Hypnotherapy helps in these instances by reprogramming your subconscious. Reprogramming to generate new triggers to more helpful behavior as you respond to suggestions provided by your practitioner. Consequently, a skilled hypnosis practitioner can reprogram existing triggers to new behaviors. Visualization of your new behavior is a powerful tool to replace old habits you want to let go of.
You can use hypnosis therapy to help you become more present. This, in turn, will help you to become more consistent in replacing your bad habits with better ones. It is important in this process that you notice the changes occurring. Take this as encouragement that change is taking place. The new neural pathways you want to support your new behavior take time to establish. Subsequently, they establish through repetition of the new behavior. You can expect lapses and it is important for you to be gentle with yourself as change occurs.
Hypnosis Therapy and Bed-wetting.
Anxiety can sometimes cause bed-wetting. Sometimes you sleep so deeply that you just dont wake when by the body signals that you need to go and relieve youself. Young children up to the age of around seven years occupy an altered state of mind. They are learning exponentially through their experiences and interactions in their young lives. This altered state sometimes causes an inward focus of the mind and you lose bodily signals. Sometimes you forget in the action of the moment.
Good Habits to Go to Bed With.
Setting up good habits before going to bed can help young children win against bed-wetting. Not drinking anything thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime helps. So does a visit to the toilet just before settling down. These habits reinforced by repetition can help your child win the battle.
Hypnotherapy is generally effective in getting your child to visualise. They visualize going through the night without having to go to the toilet. A big part of the visualisation, while in trance, is for the child to visualise his or her body waking up when they need to. They then visualize going to the toilet, going back to bed and sleeping through till morning.
The subconscious mind learns that this is the required behavior. It will better wake the little one so they can get up. Get up and go to the toilet without having an accident.
Real and Imagined Experience.
The strength of hypnosis in these cases is that the subconscious cannot distinguish between a real and an imagined experience. Therefore, visualization of the behavior you are developing starts to forge new neural pathways. Pathways to program new behavior, this is what leads to change.
From an emotional standpoint, it is important to compliment your child’s progress. Don’t stress too much about any small relapses. Focus on the positive.
If anxiety is causing your child to wet the bed; it is important that your children feel safe enough to tell you what is bothering them. Parents have to provide a safe environment so your children can tell you what they worry about. Once you deal with the stress and anxiety; the process of building new habits is the same as I have explained above.
Hypnosis Therapy and Chronic Pain.
Before you learn how hypnosis helps you cope with pain management; it is important that you understand that you experience pain for a reason. Pain is telling you that something is wrong somewhere in the body and you need to take care of it. For example, pain may indicate injury or other health conditions.
Sometimes the pain you feel is out of proportion to the problem. It may last longer than it should, or it may be a stronger pain than is necessary. This is what we call chronic pain. Different people cope with pain in different ways. Consequently, different people have different pain thresholds as to what is bearable and what is unbearable.
Pain is an electrical impulse in the brain that cause discomfort. Discomfort in your body in the area where your injury has happened. Hypnosis can help with pain because it is a process that happens in the brain. Hypnosis brings the pain down to manageable levels. The pain only goes away completely, when the injury heals.
Visualization and Distraction with Hypnosis.
Hypnosis therapy uses a process of visualization. It also uses a state of deep relaxation to tell your brain to turn down the pain to manageable levels. Some of the most extreme examples of pain management you will hear about, are when hypnosis helps people undergo surgery without anesthetic. This process requires in depth evaluation of the capacity of the person concerned to manage pain. In these cases, an anesthetist is always on standby in case the process runs into challenges.
Distraction is another hypnotic process for pain management. For example, imagine if you placed your hand in a bucket of iced water. Depending on your tolerance to pain; you may be able to keep your hand in the iced water for a few seconds or longer. If you imagine standing on a warm beach as part of a state of focus. Don’t look at the iced water. Then visualize the walk on the beach with all of your focused attention. You will be able to hold your hand in the iced water for longer. You have distracted your mind from the pain induced by the iced water.
Benefits of Hypnosis Therapy for Depression.
Negative thought patterns generally cause depression. These thought patterns become the habitual lens through which you view your life and experiences. Your interpretation of the experiences you have lived through and the emotions you have attached to them affect your thoughts. Emotions are attached to memories when you stored them. These emotions and memories have led you to develop limiting beliefs that are holding you back in your life.
Serotonin for Happiness
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that releases into your brain when you are happy. The levels of serotonin in your brain and your capacity to generate serotonin help to determine your level of happiness. Some people have low levels of serotonin, which lead to low levels of happiness and even depression.
When you experience a pleasant event in your life you release serotonin into your brain. As a result, you experience happiness for a while. You brain reabsorbs the excess serotonin released. Your brain stores this excess for release the next time you have a good experience. Some people have either, through habitual thoughts, or sometimes genetically; low levels of serotonin release which may not be sufficient for them to maintain a hopeful mood.
In these cases, Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-depressants. These can be in the form of SSRI’s to try to increase the base level of serotonin in your brain. This is to maintain a better level of mood than when you are experiencing your depression. The SSRI’s inhibit the re-absorption of serotonin. This is in an effort to maintain a higher base level of serotonin than would otherwise be present. SSRI is an acronym for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.
It is important for you to understand that hypnosis is never a substitute for prescribed medication. Unless a medical professional prescribes the reduction of dose or removal of medication; your medication should remain in place. Hypnosis normally helps treat depression, in conjunction with any medication your licensed medical practitioner prescribes. Consequently, a properly trained therapist in hypnosis will not instruct you to stop taking medication. Always refer any questions back to your health professional. Subsequently, if your medical professional agrees, you can use hypnosis along with other treatments.
An Example of Changing Thought Patterns with Hypnosis Therapy.
Hypnosis therapy helps your depression by facilitating a change in your thought patterns from negative thinking to positive thinking. For instance, Milton Erickson, a stalwart in the history of hypnosis, give us a brilliant example of how changing peoples thought patterns can help with depression. Erickson was challenged about the efficacy of hypnosis. As a result, he suggested that the doubters refer to him a sample of clients diagnosed as suffering from depression. Erickson worked with these people by getting them to recall and visualise experiences from their lives. Experiences where they felt true happiness and success. The patients then allocated a color to each of these experiences.
The clients, as instructed, placed colored pieces of paper around their homes. These were placed so that they saw them as they went about their day. Every time they walked past the colored piece of paper, they paused. They stopped for a minute or so, to visualize the experience that went with the color. They visualized with all of their senses and to feel the intensity of the happy emotion. Consequently, over time all of the subjects experienced a shift in their thought patterns. These shifts worked to the extent that on re-examination after the trial, all of them presented as not depressed.
I can personally testify to this type of hypnosis. I have used it extensively with my Clients with great success. Sometimes you may be so far down the rabit hole of depression that there seems to be no hope. Don’t give up, with a little bit of support you can start to make changes in your life.
Benefits of Hypnosis Therapy for Focus and Concentration.
Hypnosis naturally helps with focus and concentration because it is a focused state. The more you practice something the more skillful you will become. So, reinforcing your ability to enter a focused state by repetition will increase your skills. These skills help in shutting out distractions and improve your concentration.
The most significant areas where hypnosis helps with focus and concentration is in study and sport. Concentration and focus require your brain to vibrate at the alpha or theta frequencies. These are states of mind where your mind better digests new information for study. Effective visualization of outcomes in sport can also take place.
When you are studying, you know that you need ot sit quietly. You need to set aside enough time to take in and understand the study material. Studies show that your best retention of study material is when you study in several sittings. It is essential to separate these with periods of rest.
Hypnosis can induce the necessary learning states of brain by creating sound files which you can listen to while studying. There are various examples of these programs that are commercially available as study aids.
You can always increase your focus and concentration through patience and practice. Be gentle with yourself. Understand that a state of focus or concentration is one of the natural states of your mind.
When I work with my sports clients, we sometimes explore the gamma brain frequency state. This is to develop better spatial awareness and better hand to eye co-ordination. Hypnosis uses the gamma state, to achieve a heightened state of awareness. This develops advanced sport skills and increased perception of space and time. It is sometimes called the flow state for sport. In this instance the goal of hypnotherapy would be to produce peak sports performance.
Forensics and Hypnosis Therapy.
Hypnosis can support crime investigation and help you with remembering detailed memories. This can help you find items that you may have lost, or forgotten where you put them.
Your Fickle Memory.
Your memory is quite fickle. It can embellish or add to recollections although the main thread of the events may be accurate. Your subconscious mind records everything that you experience. This is whether you are aware of it consciously or not and whether you are awake or not.
Hypnosis therapy will put you into a focused state. This is so that a skilled practitioner will be able to track the events of the time in question. This can be done in minute details. A session for this type of recall would start with steps to induce a trance-like state of hypnosis. The practitioner would ask non leading questions to have you relive the time period and relate the events.
The discussion might start with what time you got up. Then go on to whether you had breakfast or not. This line of questions assists you to focus on detail in your memories. For lost objects the questions may start with; when you last remember having the object in your possession. Then questioning follows the action from there to remember where you left the lost article.
A colleague of mine specializes in forensic hypnosis. He related a case study where a rape victim recalled a partial number plate. This remembering led to a vehicle owned by a barman who was spiking drinks in the bar. He was setting up victims for others, who would kidnap and rape the victims.
What the Courts Say About Forensic Hypnosis.
Information delivered by forensic hypnosis is inadmissible as evidence in a court of law. The courts do not consider it to be reliable enough to stand up to scrutiny as evidence. At best, the courts consider it to be hearsay evidence. This is not admissible in most legal systems around the world. However, sometimes hypnosis collects information that points the investigators in a direction under which they uncover the truth. Other admissible evidence then proves the facts and wins the conviction of the guilty party.
Hypnosis Therapy for Hypnobirthing.
The development of hypnobirthing has helped in removing fear and anxiety from the birthing process. The technique involves you practicing calming breathing techniques, guided meditation and positive thought patterns together with positive affirmations in preparation for your upcoming birth. These practices are likely to have benefits whether there is a baby on the way or not.
Your unborn baby has a level of awareness as it develops in the mothers womb. The baby picks up on the emotions and thought patterns as surrounding energy. Studies show that there are characteristics and thought patterns that develop genetically and pass on from one generation to another.
It has been suggested that using techniques similar to those practised in hypnobirthing; may lead to a reduction in post natal issues such as colic.
I would suggest continuing these practices after the birth of your child. This will create a soothing relaxing environment for your new baby. As a result, this can lead them to experience a feeling of safety in his or her new environment after birth. Keeping a normal routine will help your baby cope with your normal environment. Consequently, your baby will adapt to the usual noise levels that are around in your home. However, to reduce these for the sake of your newborn could cause adjustment problems. This in turn may cause sleep pattern to be easily disrupted by increases in noise levels back to normal.
Hypnosis Therapy Can Help Imposter Syndrome.
Hypnosis is sometimes used to help people overcome imposter syndrome. Lately, there has been an increase of the awareness of imposter syndrome. This has occured since it was given a label.
The term was originally coined by Pauline Clance, PhD, a clinician at Oberlin College in 1985. Imposter syndrome is the mindset that you are not good enough. You may think you don’t have the skill and knowledge to occupy the position you find yourself in. Either as employee, member of a sports team or other position.
Generally, the biggest fear of the sufferer is to be exposed as a fraud. Or to be found wanting in experience, skill or knowledge. As a result of this fear, sufferers don’t look for help. This is because they don’t want people to know they consider themselves to be imposters. A recent anonymous survey suggested that as many as 70% of people consider themselves to be imposters at work.
Life is About Learning
When you understand at the level of your subconscious that life is a journey of learning. You can realise that to think that you still have things to learn is a natural state. Hypnosis will help to take away the negative emotions around this state. It can be used to set positive triggers and emotions in place. This will help to encourage you to learn more and develop your skills to the next level. If you can understand at an emotional level that life is a never ending process of learning, development and experimentation; you can understand that all of us are at different stages in our respective journeys. If we knew everything there was to know life would be quite dull.
Hypnosis can help us reprogram our beliefs. Beliefs about life learning and how to communicate. It can teach us to ask for help, when we come to the limit of our current knowledge about anything.
Some General Frequently Asked Questions about Hypnosis Therapy.
Q. What is hypnosis?
A. Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and heightened awareness. It is a therapeutic technique that involves inducing a trance-like state. As a result, this state helps you relax and become open to suggestions for behavior changes.
Q. What is hypnotherapy?
A. Hypnotherapy is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes hypnosis as a tool. It is a tool to address various psychological and physical conditions. Hypnotherapy combines elements of traditional psychotherapy with the use of hypnosis. It helps you overcome challenges and achieve positive change.
Q. What is a hypnotherapist?
A. A hypnotherapist is a trained professional who specializes in using hypnosis as a therapeutic tool. As a result, they are certified and licensed to guide you into a state of hypnosis. They provide suggestions for behavior changes and personal growth.
Q. How does hypnosis work?
A. During hypnosis, the hypnotherapist guides you into a relaxed state where you are more open to suggestions. This state of deep relaxation allows you to bypass your conscious mind. As a result, you can access your subconscious. This is where changes in thoughts, behaviors, and emotions can be made.
Q. What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?
A. Hypnotherapy can help you cope with various health conditions, such as stress and anxiety, pain management, and quitting smoking. It can also be used to address past trauma, improve self-confidence, enhance performance, and achieve personal goals.
Q. Can hypnosis be used for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)?
A. Hypnotherapy may be used as a complementary treatment for people with IBS. Research has shown that hypnosis can help alleviate symptoms. As a result, it can improve the quality of life for those suffering from this condition.
Q. How can hypnotherapy help with quitting smoking?
A. Hypnotherapy can be an effective tool for smoking cessation. By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnosis can help you overcome cravings. Also, it helps to change your perception of smoking and reinforce your motivation to quit.
Q. What happens during a hypnotherapy session?
A. During a hypnotherapy session, you will be guided into a relaxed state of hypnosis by the hypnotherapist. While in this state, you will be more open to suggestions for behavior changes and personal growth. The session may include visualization exercises, positive affirmations, and guided imagery.
Q. How do I find a qualified hypnotherapist?
A. To find a qualified hypnotherapist, you can start by asking for recommendations from your healthcare professional. You can seek referrals from trusted sources. Look for a hypnotherapist who is certified and licensed. Someone with experience in addressing the specific issue, or condition, you wish to work on.
Q. Is hypnosis safe?
A. Hypnosis is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and trained therapist. It is important to work with a qualified professional. Someone who follows ethical guidelines and ensures the well-being of their clients throughout the process.
Please note that hypnosis may not be appropriate for people with severe mental health conditions. Also those who are unable to follow instructions due to certain limitations.
Conclusion: Take the first step!
If you found the content of this article of interest and you would like to try hypnosis; I would encourage you to discuss this with your medical practitioner. You may also want to read my advice on what to look for when you want to find a hypnotherapist. You will find this here.
My aim with this series of articels is to demystify hypnosis for people all over the world. In order to help you see that hypnotherapy is used based on the natural states of your mind. It can change your thought patterns. It uses effective suggestions for behavior changes. These suggestions can influence you to such an extent that your experience of mental suffering can drastically reduce. As a result, you can move forward to the life of your dreams. If you believe, you can achieve.
With Love. R
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