MINDFULNESS AND SELF HYPNOSIS Archives - Childhood Trauma Recovery

Category Archives: Mindfulness And Self Hypnosis

Hypnosis, including self hypnosis, and mindfulness mediation can be a very effective method for addressing symptoms of childhood trauma, including anxiety, low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, intrusive thoughts, distressing ruminations and much else ; the articles in this section help to explain how and why.

Depression, Thinking Styles And Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis for Depression – Natural Treatment | Self Hypnosis Downloads : Try Introduction And First Module FREE.

We have seen from other articles published on this site that those who have experienced severe and protracted childhood trauma are, as adults, at an elevated risk of suffering from depression. We have also seen how hypnotherapy can benefit trauma survivors (in fact, research has shown that those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are, overall, more responsive to hypnotherapy than is the average person).

Depression And How People Think :

Those who are depressed tend to be, quite understandably, self-focused and self-absorbed, not least because they are in a great deal of mental anguish and turmoil (just as anyone suffering from excruciating tooth ache will inevitably be self-focused and self-absorbed). This is why it is unfair to accuse those who experience this extremely serious condition as ‘choosing’ to be ‘selfish’.

Another very common feature of depression is that it causes the person who is suffering from it to (falsely) believe that there is no hope of recovery.

A third hallmark of depressive thinking is that the afflicted individual tends to be extremely focused on the past, as opposed to on the present or the future.

Fourth. depressive thinking tends to be ‘ruminative’ as opposed to ‘experiential’.

Ruminative thinking is generalized and abstract and involves dwelling on distressing matters ; depressive rumination has been defined as ‘thoughts that focus one’s attention on one’s depressive symptoms and their implications’ (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). It is also decontextualized and self-evaluative. Such rumination has been found to be a major contributory factor to the onset of depression and its maintenance.

‘Experiential’ thinking, on the other hand, is specific to a current task being undertaken.

Traditionally, ‘rumination’ has been regarded as a negative style of thinking, whereas ‘experiential’ thinking has been regarded as positive. Herman et al., 2008 suggested that the tendency to over-generalize when indulging in ruminative thinking (e.g. by thinking things like : ‘I’ve never done anything right in my entire life’, or. ‘everybody has always hated me and always will’) is the strongest predictor of the severity and duration of depression, as well as of the likelihood of relapse ; in other words, the more prone one is to ruminative-style thinking, the worse, and longer lasting, one’s depression is likely to be ; furthermore, the greater one’s chances of relapsing after recovery are likely to be.

It is important, then, that we attempt to adopt a far more ‘experienttial’ style of thinking and keep to a minimum our negative, ruminating-style thinking if we wish to reduce our feelings of depression or to prevent ourselves from relapsing into further depressive episodes.

HOW HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP IN RELATION TO THE ABOVE :

Hypnotherapy can :

  • encourage us to think ‘experientially’ e.g by thinking about and planning achievable tasks and goals as well as motivating us to carry out such tasks
  • focus on the present and future rather than on the past
  • help us to feel more positive
  • reduce distressing, intrusive thoughts
  • help us to reduce dysfunctional, generalized thinking
  • reduce self-crticism
  • reduce the judgmental, internal dialogues we have with ourselves
  • increase our ability to recall traumatic memories without attributing to them self-blame
  • increase our ability to change out thinking style from ‘ruminative’ to ‘experiential.’
  • calm the brain’s amygdala which, in turn, puts us in a much better position to resolve traumatic events from the past.

RESOURCE :

If you are interested in how hypnosis can help with all of the above and much more, you may wish to visit the affiliated site, hypnosisdownloads.com, which I have used to aid my own recovery.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).


What Is Clinical Hypnosis?

what is clinical hypnosis?

What is clinical hypnosis? In the hypnotic state, the individual becomes extremely relaxed and has an increased ability to concentrate and focus which, in turn, can allow him/her to become more receptive to, and respond more positively to, therapy.

Hypnosis, per se, is not a therapy, but, rather, a tool that can increase the effectiveness of therapies administered to the individual whilst that individual is in hypnosis.

When hypnosis is used in this way (as a medium through which other therapies are delivered), it is referred to as hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis.

Therefore, a person is not actually treated with hypnosis, but, rather, whilst in hypnosis.

Why Might A Therapy Be More Effective When Received In The Hypnotic State ?

It has been theorized that when in hypnosis the individual enters a state of altered consciousness (see below) that, temporarily, dampens down the activity of the conscious/rational parts of the brain which, in turn, allows the therapy being received greater access to the subconscious and, therefore, makes it more likely to help the individual overcome dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Hypnosis And Brain Wave Studies: 

When in hypnosis, there is increasing evidence to suggest the individual has entered an altered state of consciousness. For example, there are three types of normal consciousness :

  • rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (dreaming)
  • non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep (non-dreaming sleep)
  • being awake

By using brain scanning techniques to monitor brain activity it has been found that, when in hypnosis, the brain produces a different brain-wave pattern when compared to the brain wave patterns generated by each of the above three states of normal consciousness.

Which Therapies May Be Integrated With Hypnosis In Order To Augment Their Effects?

Hypnosis can be used as a tool to increase the effectiveness of various therapies and therapeutic techniques including the following:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • person-centered counselling
  • solutions focused therapy
  • cognitive analytic therapy
  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • therapeutic suggestions
  • exposure therapy
  • free association
  • physical and mental relaxation
  • exposure therapy

Those trained in the use of clinical hypnosis include some doctors, some psychiatrists, some psychologists, some dentists and some practitioners of various types of psychotherapy.

HYPNOTHERAPY : DISPELLING THE MYTHS :

Newcomers to the field of hypnotherapy have often heard things said about it by non-experts. Some of these things may be true, but other things may well be untrue. In this brief article, then, I thought I would clear up some of the misconceptions by exposing ten myths about hypnosis.

TEN MYTHS ABOUT HYPNOSIS :

1) WHEN YOU ARE HYPNOTIZED, YOU ARE ASLEEP – in fact, the person under hypnosis is fully aware of what is going on and is NOT asleep or unconscious. For example, if there was the noise of traffic outside of the consulting room window, the hypnotized person would be capable of hearing it just as well as the hypnotherapist if he chose to attend to it, even deep in hypnosis.

2) THE HYPNOTIZED PERSON IS ‘UNDER THE CONTROL’ OF THE HYPNOTHERAPIST – untrue.The hypnotized person is fully able to exercise free-will and cannot be made to do anything s/he does not wish to do.

3) THE PERSON BEING HYPNOTIZED MUST GAZE AT A SWINGING WATCH OR SIMILAR ITEM – no, this is incorrect. In fact, most hypnotherapists do not use any physical objects to help them hypnotize the client whatsoever – instead, they just use the sound of their own voice and, perhaps, some relaxing background music.

4) YOU CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE PERIOD IN WHICH YOU WERE HYPNOTIZED – this is another mistaken belief. This in an idea which comes from the spectacle of stage hypnosis which is carried out for dramatic effect. After undergoing therapeutic hypnosis, the person who was hypnotized is able to remember everything, and, indeed, will almost certainly remember some of the suggestion made by the hypnotherapist whilst s/he was under hypnosis better than s/he normally would.

5) YOU NEED TO LIE DOWN TO BE HYPNOTIZED – no. The therapist will most frequently ask the client to sit in a comfortable chair.

6) YOU CAN BE MADE TO REVEAL SECRETS WHEN YOU ARE UNDER HYPNOSIS – this is another misconception. Just as you have voluntary control over what you do or don’t do during hypnosis, so, too, you have full control over what you say and don’t say.

7) IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET ‘STUCK’ IN THE HYPNOTIC TRANCE – this is incorrect. Hypnosis is just a deep state of relaxation. You can choose to come out of this relaxed state just as easily as you could choose to come out of a non-hypnotic relaxed state.

8) YOU DO SILLY THINGS WHEN HYPNOTIZED – no. Again, this idea comes from stage hypnosis which is a very different thing from therapeutic hypnosis. As already stated, during a hypnotherapy session you cannot be made to do anything that you do not wish to do.

9) YOU ARE ONLY HYPNOTIZED IF YOU CANNOT HEAR WHAT THE HYPNOTHERAPIST IS SAYING – actually, the opposite is true, during hypnosis the client tends to be very focused on the therapists suggestions.

10) HYPNOSIS ‘ANTI-RELIGIOUS’ – another complete myth. There is nothing whatsoever supernatural about hypnosis. Hypnosis is essentially just a very relaxed state in which the client tends to become more receptive to therapeutic suggestions. It is based on scientific theory and is backed by scientific research. It is no more ‘anti-religious’ than taking an afternoon doze.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

Hypnosis : Why Some Throw Baby Out With Bath Water

Unfortunately, in the past, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have received a bad press. Why is this? There are, perhaps, three main reasons :

– Stage hypnotists who claim they are using ‘hypnosis’ to induce volunteers from the audience to do absurd, degrading and demeaning things – in fact, such behaviour is more likely to be play acting or due to the pressure to ‘perform’ once on stage (i.e. compliance with the ‘hypnotist’s’ instructions rather than a genuine, hypnotic response).

– The use of hypnosis to ‘regress people into past lives’

– The use of hypnosis by poorly trained therapists to inadvertently instil false memories of abuse into their patients’ minds during attempted retrieval of ‘buried memories of abuse’ (hypnosis should not normally be used to try to unearth ‘buried memories’ from patients’ minds due to the patients’ high state of suggestibility whilst under hypnosis – to read my article about hypnosis and attempted retrieval of ‘buried memories,’ click here).

hypnosis

However, despite the above, it is important not to throw the baby out with the bath water when trying to ascertain the effectiveness of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Indeed, both the British and the American Medical Associations now recognize hypnosis and hypnotherapy as a valid treatment for psychological problems (for example, addictions, eating disorders and phobias).

There is also a growing body of scientific evidence to show how powerful the effect of hypnosis can be in bypassing our conscious awareness to have a profound influence on our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and beliefs. For example, individuals can be hypnotized to see black and white images as if they were in colour (click here to read my article about this experiment).

Other research has found individuals can use hypnosis to alter their body temperature and blood flow, as well as reduce their experience of physical pain (Casiglia, University of Padua, Italy).

Such studies suggest that hypnosis may be more than ‘just’ a highly focused and relaxed state and that, when hypnotized, something significant and special is going on in the brain which allows us to achieve things over and above what we can achieve using our non-hypnotized brain.

 

RETURN HOME TO ABOUT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA RECOVERY

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

Hypnosis For Headaches

hypnosis for headaches

Hypnosis Treatment For Headaches :

Research suggests that if we suffered from significant and protracted childhood trauma we will, as adults, have an increased susceptibility to suffering from headaches and migraines during our adult years.

Examples Of Research Studies Showing The Effectiveness Of Hypnosis For The Treatment Of Headaches:

1) A research study conducted by Olness compared the effectiveness of treating headache sufferers in three different ways:

Treatment Condition A: Participants in this group had their headaches treated with a medication called propranolol.

Treatment Condion B: Participants in this group were given placebos

Treatment Condition C: Participants in this condition were trained to use self-hypnosis to treat their headaches.

Results:

Those treated with hypnosis (treatment condition C) improved, on average, to a significantly greater degree than did those in both treatment conditions A (treated with propranolol) and B (given placebos).

2) Research conducted by Anderson was carried out by dividing the migraine suffers who participated in the study into two treatment groups as shown below:

Treatment Condition A : Participants in this group had their migraines treated using hypnosis.

Treatment Condition B : Participants in this treatment group had their migraines treated with medication

Results: Participants in treatment group B, who had their migraines treated with hypnosis were found, when followed up a year later, to:

– have experienced a significantly greater reduction, on average, in the severity of their migraines compared to those treated with medication

– have experienced a significantly greater reduction, on average, in the number of migraines they suffered from in comparison to those treated with medication

Additionally, in the hypnosis treatment group, a significantly greater proportion of participants reported that they had stopped suffering from migraines altogether than did individuals in the group who were treated with medication.

What Types Of Hypnosis Are The Most Effective For The Treatment Of Headaches ?

Aladdin, in 1998, conducted a meta-analysis of the research conducted on the effectiveness of hypnosis fir reducing symptoms of headaches and migraines and concluded that the most effective hypnotic treatments were relaxation training and direct suggestion.

Types of headaches hypnosis can help to treat include chronic headaches, migraine headaches tension headaches.

Resources:

Hypnosis For Tension Headaches

Hypnosis For Migraines Headaches

 

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

How Deeply Do You Need To Be Hypnotized For Therapeutic Benefits?

hypnosis levels

Many people assume that the more deeply a person is hypnotized, the more likely it is that s/he will derive therapeutic benefit from the hypnotherapy session. However, this is not the case. In fact, for most (but not all) problems an individual seeks to address through undergoing hypnotherapy, only a light hypnotic state is necessary.

Below I list the six levels of hypnosis a person can potentially experience (I say potentially as not all people are equally responsive to the process of hypnotic induction) and then go on to explain how each of these levels affect the hypnotized individual together with which problems are best dealt with according to the specific level of hypnosis into which the individual has been induced :

Six Levels Of Hypnosis :

1) light catalepsy

2) moderate catalepsy

3) deep catalepsy

(Catalepsy is characterized by a trance like state, lowered activity of the conscious brain and reduced registering of the external environment by the senses).

4) analgesia / no stress

(Analgesia is the loss of the sensation of pain)

5) light anaesthesia

6) deep anaesthesia

Now let’s look at which levels are best suited to the treatment of which conditions :

Levels 1-3 (Alpha brain wave activity) :

An individual at these levels of hypnosis responds best to hypnotherapy for, for example:

– the elimination of habits (such as nail biting)

– anxiety

– confidence

– sexual dysfunction

– motivation

(this is far from an exhaustive list).

Another benefit of being hypnotized at these first three levels is that they encourage the production of serotonin in the brain (a lack of which is associated with clinical depression).

Levels 4-5 (Delta brain wave activity) :

These two levels of hypnosis may be utilized so that an individual may undergo dentistry work without the need of anaesthetic. They may also be induced in the patient to facilitate minor surgery.

Finally, these levels of hypnosis may be used to help a patient relive traumatic experiences (a technique for treating PTSD) whilst feeling safe and secure. Obviously, this requires a relevantly qualified and experienced hypnotherapist.

Level 6 (Theta brain wave activity) :

This deepest level is sometimes used to facilitate psychosomatic healing.

Conclusion:

To reiterate, then, for most problems levels 1-3 (see above) are the most appropriate levels of hypnosis into which the individual should be induced.

RETURN HOME TO ABOUT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA RECOVERY

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Hypnosis For Simple Phobias

hypnosis for simple phobias

Research shows that those who suffered significant trauma as children are at elevated risk of developing anxiety conditions as adults; simple phobias are one (amongst many) expression of such anxiety.

A simple phobia is an irrational fear of a single object, activity or situation (unlike complex phobias that may have multiple triggers, such as social phobia). The individual who has the phobia is fully aware that his/her phobia is irrational, but, despite this awareness, at the point of starting therapy has been unable to overcome it.

Research:

Whilst further research needs to be conducted on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a treatment for individuals suffering from simple phobias, several studies have shown it to be helpful (e.g. McGuinness, 1984; Rustvold, 1994).

How Is Hypnotherapy Used To Treat Simple Phobias?

One of the most effective ways of treating a simple phobia with hypnosis is to employ the method of desensitization and I explain the process below, using the example of arachnophobia (a phobia of spiders).

1) A deep sense of relaxation and safety is hypnotically induced in the patient.

2) The patient is instructed to visualize a small spider from a distance

3) The patient is instructed to visualize the same spider but from a closer distance

4) The patient is instructed to visualize an average sized spider from a distance

…etc…etc

The final stage might consist of the hypnotherapist instructing the patient to visualize picking a large spider up with a people piece of tissue paper and dropping it out of the window.

The idea is that at each subsequent stage the patient is gradually exposed, in imagination only, to increasingly, potentially anxiety-provoking ‘encounters’ with the spider. It is unnecessary for the patient to come into contact with a real spider.

Throughout the process, the client receives suggestions that s/he will feel relaxed, safe and in control.

When successful, this process has the effect of gradually and systematically ‘desensitizing’ the patient to spiders (i.e .causing the patient to stop responding fearfully to them in a way that is TRANSFERABLE TO REAL SITUATIONS).

Phobias, Logic And Reasoning:

Many individuals who suffer from phobias become frustrated that they are unable to overcome their phobia through logical and reasoned thinking given that they know their fear to be irrational; repeatedly telling themselves the object of their fears presents no threat or danger to them tends not to work which means cognitive based therapies may be unsuccessful.

When individuals try to cure their phobia by logic and reason they are using the brain’s left hemisphere.

However, the benefit of using hypnosis to treat phobias is that it taps into the brain’s right hemisphere and this side of the brain is involved in emotional processing, feelings, instincts and visualization, all of which hypnosis harnesses to help the individual overcome his/her phobia.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Can Hypnosis Help With Mental Illness?

 

can hypnosis help with mental illness?

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.

hypnotherapy_for_mental_illness

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:

– fears

– insomnia

– pain management

– general anxiety / trauma-related anxiety

– phobias

– 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.

RESOURCES:

Hypnosis:

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)

 

 

 

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