Scientific studies have shown hypnotherapy to be far more than just a vital tool in helping people give up ingrained behavioural habits such as stopping smoking or reducing weight. The method has been shown to have a vital role in setting in motion the healing process associated with people’s mental health.
Hypnotherapy focuses on the person’s unconscious mind, often the seat of the client’s mental health problems. Through hypnotherapy (and regression/NLP therapy), the subject is gently taken back to the original cause of the mental health issue and invited to experience the feelings that occurred during the repressed original experience.
This form of therapy then allows the practitioner to help heal these emotions, giving the client the opportunity to “move on” and live a life unencumbered by destructive feelings associated with repressed life events.
How does hypnotherapy compare to other popular forms of therapy?
The answer is very well. According to findings published in the American Health Magazine (Psychotherapy Magazine, Vol 7, Number 1, Alfred A Barrios. Ph.D.), hypnotherapy had a 93 percent recovery rate amongst patients after six sessions. This compared favourably with Behaviour Therapy, with a 72 percent recovery rate after an average 22 sessions and Psychoanalysis (38 percent recovery, 600 sessions).
This overturns the theory amongst some that hypnotherapy is still in the experimental stage. Reasons for its success are that while a patient is in a state of hypnosis, they become more receptive to suggestions. The hypnotherapist is more effectively able to discover those feelings which lead to the patient’s current mental health state. This may include problems with low self-esteem and confidence or even humiliation due to previous negative life experiences.
It provides vital and direct access to the patient’s subconscious, where behaviours are formed and where memory is stored. This part of the mind reacts to visual stimulation and if the image is changed and accepted by the subconscious, it will also be accepted by the mind at the conscious level.
A patient's perception is crucial
How much a patient benefits from hypnotherapy will depend on a number of factors. These include: their perception of the benefits of hypnotherapy; their own assumption of their ability to be hypnotised and whether or not they believe hypnotherapy to be useful in dealing with their specific mental health problems.
Hypnotherapy puts the subject in the place that exists between awakened alertness and a deep sleep. Described as similar to daydreaming, or even performing tasks without being wholly aware of what you are doing, hypnotherapy allows you to access — and reprogram if necessary — the subconscious which makes up 90 percent of the brain. By changing thought patterns in the subconscious, the patient is able to change the conscious mind and make necessary behavioural changes.
Hypnotherapy can help people by:
- Training them in new ways of thinking.
- Increasing resourcefulness.
- Giving people the power to manage their behavioural patterns.
- Helping them to focus and learn.
- Giving people the power to change.
Hypnotherapy gives people control, something they may not have had for many years. By restoring the freedom to choose, the hypnotherapist helps people connect with their past through the subconscious. It is this that gives them empowerment, focus and the choice to change and modify their behaviour.
Clearly hypnotherapy is far more than a tool of last resort, it is a successful, behaviour-changing therapy that will give patients access to the parts of their mind their conscious mind cannot reach. Far from a therapy of last resort, hypnotherapy is now considered to be a key tool that will allow patients to both change their behaviour and empower them as individuals.