Hypnosis for PTSD
If you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you know that struggling with the thoughts and memories of the past can be debilitating. But now, there are avenues to help you cope with PTSD on your own terms, through uses of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a state in which a person – and/or a hypnotherapist – directs their attention to particular thoughts or memories while disregarding others. The process involves gently guiding the thoughts away from negative memories associated with trauma, like flashbacks that cause extreme anxiety and stress reactions such as dissociation or hyper-arousal.
How does hypnotherapy for PTSD work?
Memory is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about PTSD. When a traumatic event occurs, the brain links the memory with other memories – ones that may have preceded it – as well as feelings of anxiety and fear. But there is a way around this. According to Dr. Auke Tellegen at University of Amsterdam, these memories can be suppressed and repressed by means of hypnosis (Tellegen & Kalso, 1987). It is a therapy that involves the patient and therapist being in a hypnotic trance together, while they focus on the past traumatic experience – either through relaxation or active imagination (Tellegen, 1984).
A trance is a state of mind that seems to be separate from the conscious self. In fact, it is often referred to as an altered state of consciousness. The subject is extremely receptive to suggestions that may lead to changes in behaviour or attitude. It can also help promote a sense of security and safety (Masterson & Johnson, 1966). Although hypnosis is not a religious practice or belief, it can be understood as a way to influence someone to follow one’s requests. However, in the context of PTSD and related disorders, it is important to address the mind instead of manipulating someone’s behaviour.
There are many different types of hypnosis, ranging from simple relaxation exercises that help relieve tension and pain to complex sessions that involve imagery and visualizations (Lindsay et al., 2000). The depth of trance varies depending on each individual’s needs as well as any previous experience with hypnosis (Tellegen, 1984). If you don’t know your limits when dealing with hypnosis, you may create negative consequences or think that you are permanently in the altered state.
You Are Not Alone – Help Is Available
While hypnosis can help you cope with the past, it won’t make the trauma go away. It can be helpful in alleviating some of the symptoms associated with PTSD such as sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, and hyper-vigilance (Tellegen & Kalso, 1987). There are compelling studies that show hypnosis to be a valuable method of easing the symptoms for PTSD. The main thing is that help is available and you don’t have to suffer and endure your trauma alone. If you are suffering from PTSD please contact Quit Forever anytime for a 100% confidential consultation. Call us anytime on 0422 605 241. Quit Forever also have hypnosis solutions for weight loss, smoking, migraines, anxiety and many other symptoms.