Addiction involves craving the substance of choice to such a degree that it keeps the addict hooked forever unless the cravings can be stopped. These intense cravings are what lead to relapse even after a successful recovery from an established treatment program.
How Hypnosis is Used as Treatment
Hypnotherapists believe they can help curb addictive behavior and urges through the art of autosuggestion. This advanced hypnosis technique creates a deep feeling of relaxation together with a shift in consciousness.
In this state, the person under hypnosis is easily influenced by suggestions. The hypnotherapist can then introduce ideas to the subject who will be much more responsive than usual.
To be clear, hypnosis is not mind control. Instead, it is creating a state for an individual to effectively learn how to control their own actions.
What to Expect in a Hypnotherapy Session
If it’s your first time at a session, the hypnotherapist will explain the hypnosis process and review your goals. He or she will speak in a gentle, soothing tone and describe images that lead to a feeling of relaxation and security.
This puts you, the patient, in a receptive frame of mind and is a good time for the hypnotherapist to suggest ways to achieve your goal of sobriety by reducing cravings for the abused substance.
The hypnotherapist may also give instructions on how you can visualize vivid, meaningful images of yourself accomplishing their goals.
At the end of the session, the hypnotherapist will help you return to normal after this trance-like state. Often, the patient needs no help to return to normalcy and is able to come out of the hypnotic state on his or her own.
The subject does not lose control over his or her behavior while in the hypnotic state and will remain aware of and remember what occurred during the hypnotic session.
Many people after experiencing a number of sessions have learned how to induce a hypnotic state on their own and are able to call upon this skill to stop cravings whenever they need to with no help from a hypnotherapist.
Hypnotherapy is Not Without Problems
While hypnosis is well-respected, there are still a few concerns. For instance, there doesn’t seem to be a standard definition of what constitutes a hypnotic state nor a standard procedure to produce a hypnotic state. And as with any field of study, the field of hypnotherapy has many impostors who make it very difficult to distinguish from reputable practitioners.
At the same time, evidence has shown that hypnotherapy can help some people resist cravings. While it may not help everyone, people have been successfully treated with hypnotherapy together with cognitive behavior therapy and other treatment methods to beat addiction.
No one considers hypnotherapy to be the magic bullet to bring an end to addictive behavior, but it isn’t a bad idea to pay close attention to alternative therapeutic methods when researching drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. From there, you can choose the facility that offers the most appealing therapeutic methods for you.