Hypnotherapy is a form of psychological treatment, used to create certain subconscious changes in a patient. These changes maybe in the form of different new responses, thoughts, attitudes, feelings or even behavioural changes.
Hypnotherapy, as the name suggests is done with help of hypnosis. So, the person who is hypnotized, displays unusual behavioural characteristics like heightened responsiveness, as compared to non-hypnotized people.
One thing to be understood well, is that hypnotherapy is performed and should only be performed by medically trained hypnotherapists. There are a lot of people who use hypnotherapy to make people vulnerable. That is a major offence.
The purpose of hypnotherapy, as mentioned by Dr John Kappas, founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, is simply, “Inducing a state of hypnosis in a client or patient, to increase or alter behavioural patterns.”
Let us now see how hypnotherapy has changed over the course of time.
- This was a form of hypnotherapy practiced majorly during the Victorian era. The method employed was mainly direct suggestions, in order to remove symptoms by way of therapeutically relaxing the patient.
- There were also instances when a patient would be given Aversion treatment i.e. exposure to external stimuli, like drugs or alcohol.
- It must be noted that for a time period where research had not advanced to such a high degree, any form of hypnotherapy was actually quite an achievement. The times saw some renowned hypnotherapists like James Braid flourish.
- Named after Milton.H. Erickson, this was a very different form of hypnosis, where Erickson made use of conversations to deal with patients.
- He would begin informal conversations, laced with complex language patterns and therapeutic strategies. This was a very big divergence from traditional hypnotherapy and hence, much criticised as well.
- It is a form of integrated psychological treatment, where hypnotherapists use clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT).
- The research on CBT being used in alliance with hypnotherapy has revealed greater treatment effectiveness. People reported about 70% greater improvement.
- The use of CBT hypnotherapy has become widespread and is also very helpful for behavioural analysis among people with tendencies (criminal or otherwise).
Usage of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is used mainly to help treat or simply control conditions. Various forms of disorders like depression, anxiety, etc. are brought under control by way of hypnosis. In the Victorian times, there were large number of reports stating use of hypnotherapy to deal with hysteria. Modern usage is also found in order to treat any unnecessary fears, irrational thoughts, treating insomnia (sleeplessness) and also cure alcohol and other substance addictions.
Hypnotherapy helps majorly in dealing with certain non-psychological conditions, like post-operation procedures, cancer care, etc.
An interesting fact is that hypnotherapy has been used for a long-time during childbirth. It is used to prepare the woman for the childbirth and also in order to reduce anxiety or pain during labour.
We often hear the term ‘talking down’. This is also a form of hypnotherapy, where a person is talked down to normalcy. We call it manipulation sometimes, but it is an effective form of hypnotherapy used in day to day life.
Having understood the usages of hypnotherapy, let us now understand what makes hypnotherapy important.
Benefits of Hypnotherapy
- Hypnosis helps to treat addictions. It helps induce a state of calm in addicts, so that they are able to control the urge to substance abuse.
- Hypnosis helps in pain management. In case of disease like cancer, where the pain is often beyond imagination, plain medication does not help. Hypnotherapy helps strengthen the mind. This helps to deal with the pain.
- Stress can be reduced. When people have a tendency to take unnecessary stress, very often meditation and yoga is not much help. It is a psychological issue. This is treated effectively with hypnotherapy.
- Helps cure sleep disorder. Excessive sleep, insomnia etc. can be cured pretty effectively with timely hypnotherapy.
- It helps recover buried memories that could be causing the current problems. The subconscious often hides very painful memories and it becomes hard to recall them normally. Hypnotherapy helps recover such memories.
- Hypnosis helps deal with anxiety and depression. Both these disorders play heavily on psychology.
Thus, modern day Hypnotherapy is a major boon to society at large.