I have written in other articles on this site about how helpful I have found self-hypnosis in my own (I hope) continuing recovery (although I have, of course,undertaken many other forms of therapy as well, some of which can be read in the ‘David’s Own Experiences’ section of this blog – seee MAIN MENU).
In this post, I want to give a concise, summarized, general overview of both how and why hypnosis can certainly benefit those suffering from a variety of psychological conditions due to mental illness.
What Are The Psychological Mechanisms At Work That Underlie The Effectiveness Of Hypnosis?
These mechanisms include:
– a deep state of concentration
– highly focused attention
– an elevated state of awareness
– a change in our perceptions (eg studies have been conducted demonstrating that hypnosis can be used by individuals to block the perception of pain – some dentists use it instead of anaesthetic, for example)
– increased motivation
Ways Of Experiencing Hypnosis:
The experience of hypnosis can be achieved:
a) by using self-hypnosis (eg using an MP3 or CD)
b) with the support of a fully professionally qualified therapist (although this can be very expensive)
Two Main Types Of Hypnotherapy:
a) SUGGESTION THERAPY – Once under hypnosis people become more susceptible to therapeutic suggestion and are more likely to respond to these suggestions. Because of this, suggestion-based hypnotherapy is often beneficial in helping individuals who are trying to change their patterns of dysfunctional behaviours ( such as over- eating/comfort eating). This type of therapy can be achieved utilising self-hypnosis.
b) ANALYTIC THERAPY – This type of therapy is employed to help the individual uncover the underlying cause of a psychological disorder which the person may have blocked off from conscious awareness (but see the Important Information About Hypnotherapy section below). This type of hypnotherapy requires working with a fully trained, professionally qualified and experienced therapist.
Status Of Hypnotherapy Within The Discipline Of Psychology:
In 2001, The British Psychological Society (BPS) stated:
‘Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.’
Examples Of Conditions That Hypnotherapy Can Help With:
These include, amongst many others:
– pain management
– general anxiety / trauma-related anxiety
– grief / loss
Important Information Relating To Hypnotherapy:
– individuals suffering psychosis should avoid hypnotherapy
– hypnotherapy should not be experienced under the influence of alcohol or drugs
– using hypnotherapy to try to recover ‘buried memories’ should be undertaken with caution due to the possibility of ‘recovering’ false memories (click here to read my article about this)
– hypnosis should only be used for pain relief once the cause of the pain has been diagnosed by a medical doctor.
For those who wish to try self-hypnosis, the most professional site on the web, in my view (which is why I have chosen to affiliate this site to it), is Hypnosis Downloads available by clicking here.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)