Does Hypnotherapy Work In Addiction Treatment?

Hypnosis takes on a new role as many experts demystify its benefits in people’s mental health. Now, it is used as a form of therapy rather than remaining something that is seen as ritualistic in nature. Thus, the question begs to be answered–is it effective in addiction treatment? Read to know more.

The various methods of how medical experts address substance abuse has come a long way. From Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), 12-Step protocols, and other holistic alternatives, patients now have a range of choices that they can mix and match according to their needs and preferences.

One such example is hypnotherapy. Although relatively new in the context of addiction treatment, its roots date as far back as the Ancient Egyptian civilization, where evidence of hypnosis used as a medicinal treatment was found.

Modern hypnotherapy, of course, has evolved over time, and we will be learning about what it truly is and its effectivity through this post.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is the process of bringing an individual into a relaxed and highly focused state. At this trance-like state, the person being hypnotized is highly open to suggestion, which is why hypnosis is often associated with suggestive therapy. The power of suggestion is backed by research since many experts believe it is very helpful in treating conditions such as depression and eating disorders. Hypnotherapy is an holistic approach to wellness that can help with addiction and many other issues.

The process of hypnotherapy usually goes in this manner:

Step 1: Comfortable positioning

The patient will be asked to lie or sit in a comfortable area and position. This is crucial to achieving the intended relaxed state.

Step 2: Therapist-guided stimulation and imagery

After being seated comfortably, the therapist will proceed in providing a script that is heard by the patient. This script is used to help the patient feel relaxed, with contents relating to imagery such as nature or fantasy.

Step 3: Goal-related suggestion

If there is a specific goal related to the hypnotherapy session, the therapist may add content related to the patient being able to achieve their goals. These include:

  • Overcoming depression or anxiety
  • Experiencing financial success through hard work
  • Overcoming an eating disorder
  • Healing relationships between family and friends
  • Beating an addiction

Contrary to how popular media portrays hypnosis, the individual has the capacity to get out of this trance-like state. It is not mind-control, but rather a provision of an environment where the mind can completely focus. The intention of hypnotherapy is to provide a sense of motivation by reaching the brain’s subconscious state. It is believed that an individual who is easily hypnotized will benefit from this type of therapy even more.

What Hypnosis Feels Like During Hypnotherapy

The hypnotic state is often described as a relaxed sensation that is somewhat in between alert and asleep. Hypnosis may lead to sleep, but in regular hypnotherapy sessions, patients are provided with the right type of stimulation to keep them conscious but calm at the same time.

Put simply, the individual undergoing a hypnotherapy session will experience the following:

  • Relaxed muscles
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Slowed breathing
  • Calm state
  • Open to suggestions

Hypnosis often feels similar to being lost in a book or movie, especially when individuals are extremely focused during sessions.

How Hypnotherapy Helps With Addiction

Hypnotherapy can help people with addiction in several ways, namely:

Battling co-occurring disorders

People with substance abuse problems often have other associated mental health conditions. Sometimes, depression and anxiety can be triggers for increased severity of addictions. Hypnotherapy can help patients with co-occurring mental health issues to help decrease triggers, or even target the cause of addiction.

Increasing motivation for sobriety

As previously mentioned, the hypnotic state is a powerful tool to open the mind with suggestive statements. Hypnotherapy is an excellent tool to help imbibe subconscious thoughts such as staying addiction-free, being able to resist alcohol and drugs, and overcoming life’s challenges.

Aid for stress reduction

The period of drug detox along with recurring cravings for drugs and alcohol can cause stress in someone trying to recover. Hypnotherapy can be a supplemental treatment method to reduce stress, along with nutrition, exercise, and other holistic approaches.

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Benefits Of Using Hypnotherapy In Addiction Treatment

There are also several benefits in using hypnotherapy as a part of an addiction treatment program:

  • Minimal side effects: This is a type of treatment without the use of any medication, thus, the chance of experiencing side effects are slim to none. At most, patients may experience dizziness or drowsiness that dissipates shortly.
  • Ideal for those preferring alternative treatments: There are patients who may not be a great fit for conventional substance abuse treatment methods, such as the 12-Step. They may opt to have various kinds of Non-12-Step treatments such as hypnotherapy as a part of their program.
  • Improves sleep: Since the body is prompted in a relaxed state, researchers have concluded that hypnotherapy can increase the amount of deep sleep by 80%. Having adequate sleep is essential for better addiction recovery.
  • Relieves chronic pain: Drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include chronic pain. It is known that hypnotherapy can help in pain management by allowing the patient to gain more self-control towards the perceived level of pain.

Does Hypnosis Cure Drug Addiction?

If you’re someone suffering from substance abuse, you may assume hypnotherapy as your one-stop-shop solution to overcome an addiction. Although definitely helpful, there is no single cure for addiction. Sometimes, it takes a combination of treatment methods for people to fully recover from substance abuse.

Hypnotherapy is used as a supplemental approach for drug or alcohol addiction, but it is often used secondary to other treatments with stronger research evidence such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). When combined with these evidence-based methods, hypnotherapy can dramatically increase the chances of a successful recovery.

Should Hypnosis Be Used As Part Of Drug Addiction Treatment?

Hypnosis is an effective tool in battling many mental health disorders including substance abuse. It should be included in the many options that an individual can choose from when enrolling in a high-quality rehab center.

Some questions you may ask yourself to know if hypnotherapy is an ideal treatment option for you:

  • Am I open to non-conventional addiction treatment methods?
  • Am I willing to work with a hypnotherapist regularly for this approach?
  • Do my beliefs and principles align with the use of hypnotherapy?
  • Do I understand the potential side effects involved in hypnotherapy?

Although fairly a low-risk practice, hypnosis is not for everyone. Some people have difficulties going to a hypnotic state compared to others, and this method may be ineffective for them. A comprehensive assessment by addiction specialists is necessary for individuals to get the best type of treatment suited to their needs.

Hypnotherapy: An Alternative Treatment With Many Possibilities

Hypnotherapy is a budding frontier in substance abuse treatment that presents great potential. Although hypnotherapy is not an instant fix, people who are open to this alternative method may benefit greatly when combined with other evidence-based addiction management options.

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References

Are you or your loved suffering from addiction?

Addiction can hurt everyone you love. Searching for treatment can be overwhelming

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Do you have questions or concerns? Our intake coordinators will answer them. Day or night, wherever you are, we’ll do our best to help. You deserve it.

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References

  • Cdc.gov – “Fastats – Alcohol Use”.
  • Livescience.com – “Can You Really Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?”.
  • Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – “B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy–A Review”.
  • Health.usnews.com – “The Link Between Nutrition, Exercise, and Mood”.
  • Mayoclinic.org – “Alcohol Poisoning: Symptoms and Causes”.
  • Healthysleep.med.harvard.edu – “Sleep and Mood”.
  • Organicconsumers.org – “Yes, You Do Sweat Out Toxins”.
  • Healthxchange.sg – “Vitamin B: Best Sources and Signs of Deficiency”.
  • Aafp.org – “Outpatient Management of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome”.
  • Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – “Perturbation of the Glutamate–Glutamine System in Alcohol Dependence and Remission”.

Are you or your loved suffering from addiction?

Addiction can hurt everyone you love. Searching for treatment can be overwhelming

If you’re worried about privacy, your call is confidential. If you’re worried about being pressured to make a commitment, you don’t have to do anything until you’re ready.We will help you heal at your pace and on your terms. We’ll help you build a sober, healthy life.

Do you have questions or concerns? Our intake coordinators will answer them. Day or night, wherever you are, we’ll do our best to help. You deserve it.