Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can be powerful treatment for addressing addiction, but their outcome is not guaranteed. Factors like an individual’s willingness to participate in the process and receptivity of treatment are as important as anything else when considering success rates. Research into hypnosis has shown it useful for treating symptoms such as chronic pain, anxiety and psychological and physical addictions.
However, some types of personality disorders or psychosis may disqualify individuals from being suitable candidates for such treatments. Recognized as an effective type of psychological therapy by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, clinical hypnotherapy uses the process of hypnosis to alter brain activity.
We asked Danielle Byatt — Addiction treatment director of Step by Step Recovery, a residential rehab facility based in Essex, for her opinion about hypnotherapy for addiction.
“My concern is the lack of regulation around who can provide hypnotherapy. During addiction recovery, people are in a vulnerable position, and until there are stricter regulations, I wouldn’t be able to endorse hypnotherapy as a treatment for addiction.”
What Happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?
During a hypnotherapy session, a practitioner will help you reach a hypnotic trance-like state to access the subconscious mind where our behaviour patterns come from. This is referred to as an induction procedure. You may sit in a chair or lie down during this process. This will depend on the hypnotherapist and your personal preference.
Then, once you are in a deep enough hypnotic state, the practitioner will start making suggestions to trigger thoughts that help you change behaviours and take control over addictive habits. You will remember the session when you are brought out of the trance state and are in complete control of your actions when under hypnotherapy.
Is Hypnotherapy Safe and How Fast Does It Work?
Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool to help individuals with addiction, but only qualified professionals should perform it. The largest association in the UK is the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH). While generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with the treatment, such as headaches or dizziness that may occur temporarily after sessions conclude. However, these mild side effects often subside shortly after. Those considering hypnotherapy must disclose any relevant medical histories and mental health issues before beginning so practitioners can take necessary precautions during sessions.
Hypnotherapy can provide lasting results, but how quickly these take effect and to what degree often depends on the individual. Hypnotherapy has great potential to bring about positive change, although it takes commitment from the patient and practitioner for its effects to be fully realized. It may take several sessions before you notice any results, and it’s important to have realistic expectations about your treatment plan.
Alternative Addiction Treatments
For those looking to break the cycle of addiction, different kinds of alternative therapies may be able to help. Some examples include acupuncture which works by releasing endorphins in the brain and can reduce cravings associated with withdrawal; yoga and meditation for developing coping skills and reducing anxiety, which can trigger substance abuse; or herbal remedies meant to improve one’s mood while lessening cravings.
These alternative therapies should always be used alongside more conventional treatments such as medication-assisted and behavioural therapy — never solely on their own! Substance addiction is a serious issue, and conventional treatments such as medication-assisted and behavioural therapies are essential for better long-term outcomes. Alternative forms of treatment should only ever be used for addiction treatment alongside recognized approaches.
Need help? If you’re in England, numerous official services are available to provide counselling and treatment. Get all the necessary details and find support in the UK for addiction treatment and advice — HERE.
In An Emergency
Facing an emergency involving drug use? Don’t hesitate to call for help. Medical professionals will provide the best care possible; their priority is your friend’s health – they won’t report it to law enforcement or others not involved in clinical care.
To ensure they’re given appropriate treatment, let them know everything you can about what drugs you have taken and any medical conditions that may be present. It could save someone’s life! If there are still some of the drugs left, hand them over so those attending understand exactly what has happened.