Hypnotherapy is a reliable way to decrease stress and cope with triggers or cravings during recovery. According to the Western Journal of Medicine, during hypnotherapy, “Patients are given therapeutic suggestions to encourage changes in behavior or relief of symptoms.” The clinicians at The Family Place use these suggestions to encourage individuals to replace maladaptive behaviors.
What Is Hypnotherapy?
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), during hypnotherapy sessions, “The patient is guided into an altered state of awareness, perception, or consciousness where suggestions are then made by the clinician, or communication is had between patient and clinician, to help guide the patient toward the problem they are trying to resolve.”
The brain has a great capacity for change, and behaviors that might feel outside your control can be positively influenced by hypnotherapy, allowing you to overcome challenges and decrease symptoms related to substance misuse. We use every tool at our disposal to give clients a personalized experience.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnotic suggestion and talk therapy to facilitate healthier thought patterns and behaviors. A few of the ways this is done include:
- Memory regression: Often, there is a link between traumatic experiences and substance misuse. Memory regression is a safe way to examine and reframe the trauma.
- Anchoring to new emotions: Hypnotherapy takes place in a controlled environment where the hypnotic trance feels relaxing and safe. The therapist may use hypnotic suggestions to create a trigger or “anchor” to those positive feelings. When you encounter a highly stressful situation, you can use the anchor to bring yourself back to a state of relaxation.
- Post-hypnotic suggestions: The post-hypnotic suggestion occurs during a trance-like state and involves suggesting alternatives for coping with cravings, triggers, or intrusive thoughts. The Journal of Western Medicine reported that “Patients can be given a post-hypnotic suggestion that enables them to induce self-hypnosis after the treatment course is completed.”
Meditation, Mindfulness, and Hypnotherapy
Although it might sound strange, everyone experiences naturally altered states of consciousness regularly. Daydreaming, praying, sleeping, and even fasting all-cause altered states of consciousness. Research published in Palliative Care: Research and Treatment reported that “Hypnosis could be seen as a meditative state, which one can learn to access consciously and deliberately, for a therapeutic purpose.”
Visualization, imagination, and mindfulness are all used to create a safe space where you can easily fall into a trance-like state. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are some of the exercises a hypnotherapist uses to help the client fully relax.
For many people who attend rehabilitation programs, hypnotherapy enhances the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments like psychotherapy. Every case is unique, and at The Family Place, our team collaborates with program participants to find out what approach will have the best outcome.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Research has shown that hypnotherapy helps some people overcome challenges related to recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). However, many factors come into play, and there is no scientific consensus on exactly how hypnosis works. Hypnotherapy and clinical hypnosis are not the same as run-of-the-mill hypnosis, which does not focus on long-term behavioral changes.
“Hypnosis” is the act of putting someone in a trance-like or suggestive state. Hypnotherapy and clinical hypnosis involve placing someone in that state to apply some form of therapeutic technique meant to provide physical, mental, or emotional relief. It works by changing the way that the brain processes stimulus and input.
The Unconscious Mind and Addictive Behaviors
We offer multiple therapeutic methods to explore unconscious processes and their effects on everyday decision-making. In addition to hypnotherapy, we also use psychodynamic therapy for individuals who have difficulty recognizing their unconscious motivations. Find out more by visiting our Psychodynamic Therapy page.
A few ways that your unconscious mind can affect behaviors related to substance misuse include:
- Difficulty identifying and processing emotions
- Emotional triggers associated with people, places, or things
- Deep held unconscious biases that might be at odds with your rational thoughts and desires
Everyone can benefit from looking at what causes them to feel and act the way they do. At The Family Place, we encourage self-growth and healing through meditation and self-awareness. No one should have to live with the damaging effects of substance misuse. Hypnotherapy can enable long-term changes and decrease the risk of relapse.
Relapse Prevention and Building New Routines
Rehabilitation programs allow individuals to overwrite previous maladaptive behaviors with healthy, new routines and thought patterns. To adopt new ways of looking at yourself and the world requires an understanding of what caused you to make unhealthy choices in the first place. However, with hypnotherapy, you can often skip this step. Instead of analyzing your responses, behaviors, and thoughts, you will enter into a state of suggestibility and be encouraged to begin a routine that includes the new, healthy behavior.
The suggestion needs to be realistic and incorporate actions you would likely take if given a clear choice. For example, the therapist might suggest that you contact a member of your support system whenever you feel cravings or use coping skills whenever you encounter triggers.
Who Benefits Most From Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy and other alternative therapies can enhance the effectiveness of traditional evidence-based treatments. Individuals who have co-occurring mood disorders, high anxiety levels, or difficulty coping with stress may benefit from attending hypnotherapy sessions during rehabilitation. Highly imaginative people will react more positively to the various hypnotherapy techniques, including guided imagery and meditation.
Hypnotherapy and Continuing Care
Aftercare services include referrals to private or community-based therapy offices. Individuals who respond well to hypnotherapy might benefit from a few sessions during continuing care to find healthy ways to cope with daily life situations. Your case manager can provide you with referrals and additional information to keep you on track after completing the treatment program.
Establish new and healthy behaviors today! Hypnotherapy is one of the alternative therapies offered at The Family Place, and it provides excellent techniques for decreasing symptoms and increasing self-awareness. To speak with one of our intake specialists, call The Family Place at 1-800-501-7796.