Can hypnotherapy help me get over my ex?

Going through a breakup can be tough. Even the most amicable of splits still mean the end of a relationship. For better or worse, knowing your time together has come to an end can be an emotional experience. According to one study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes around 11 weeks before we start feeling better after a relationship ends. A separate study put that figure at closer to 18 months, following the end of a marriage.

We’ve all heard the often-repeated phrase, ‘time heals all’, but could hypnotherapy help heal a broken heart? Or could hypnosis techniques help you to recognise why you’re really struggling to get over your ex, and help you to feel ready to move on more quickly?

We spoke with two hypnotherapists to find out more.

Can hypnotherapy really help mend a broken heart?

Experienced hypnotherapist and EFT (emotional freedom technique) practitioner, Christina Hetherington, explains. “When you’ve been through a breakup it’s always good to talk to someone you trust, to work through your feelings and make sense of things. But there’s an even better way to help you heal your heart and move on – hypnotherapy.”

Hypnotherapist Natasha adds, “People who come to see me for relationship hypnotherapy tend to fall into two categories; those that have ended a relationship but haven’t reached closure yet and those that have reached closure but don’t know how to start over.

“It’s basically about the struggle that occurs during transition periods. Those that have been in a relationship for a long time don’t know how to be single and those that are single don’t know how to be in a relationship – well, that’s their mindset anyway.”

But how does working with a hypnotherapist help? Christina explains what you can expect from a session, “The hypnotherapist will use her words and her voice to gently soothe you into a very relaxed state.

“For most people, this is the most relaxed you will ever be whilst awake. While in this dreamy state she will use imagery and suggestions to uproot the problem from your mind and to implant a more optimistic view of the future without that person.”

Hypnotherapy, in essence, can help you to reframe your thoughts, focuses, and goals – whether that’s to help you picture a more positive future without your ex, or to feel more comfortable and confident in yourself and your ability to feel happy and fulfilled.

What is hypnotherapy – and how can it help?

Generally speaking, when we talk about hypnotherapy, typically it refers to the therapeutic use of hypnosis – inducing a state of consciousness where you are highly responsive to suggestion. With the help of a hypnotherapist, in a hypnotic state, you can be guided to try and change habits, change or lessen symptoms of a wide variety of conditions. 

Hypnotherapy refers to the therapeutic use of hypnosis; you work with a qualified, experienced hypnotherapist to stop doing something, e.g. to quit smoking, or to tackle something that is holding you back, such as anxiety, stress, or even low self-esteem.

Hypnosis can help promote communication between your conscious and subconscious mind, something you can do through self-hypnosis, and that can support hypnotherapy sessions, but working with a hypnotherapist can help you to use hypnosis to achieve a specific goal or outcome.

But how can that help you to move on and get over your ex?

When you’re stuck in a rut, it can be easy to focus on what you don’t want. That could be how you don’t want to feel, what you want to forget, or in the case of a breakup, the kind of person you don’t want to be with. You may find yourself unintentionally focusing much of your time and energy on your past relationship, how it made and is still making you feel. 

By focusing instead on your future, be it love, career, travel, lifestyle changes, or self-development, you can get a clearer picture of your goals, of where you want to be, and what you want to focus your time and energy on. Through visualisation and positive suggestion, you may still feel sad in the moment, but you begin to create a new, clearer path forward. 

The effects can vary from person to person: you may instantly feel more energised, focused, and ready to face anything. Or you may see smaller, yet still, profound ways that hypnosis is able to help. There’s no set number of sessions that works best for everyone: it’s all about tailoring things to find which approach works best for you. Keeping an open mind, and being open to change and suggestion is key.

When you’re stuck in a rut, it can be easy to focus on what you don’t want… By focusing instead on your future, you can get a clearer picture of your goals, of where you want to be, and what you want to focus your time and energy on.

If your confidence has taken a hit following your break-up, hypnotherapy for low self-confidence could help you to overcome any deep-seated negative beliefs and improve your confidence levels. With the help of a hypnotherapist, you can start taking back control about how you feel about yourself – whether you have developed low self-confidence, or have low self-esteem. A hypnotherapist can help access your unconscious mind, to allow you to start seeing yourself in a kinder light. This way, you can begin to improve your self-belief and confidence around specific areas (such as romantic or platonic relationships), or to boost your confidence and drive, to work towards a new goal. 

Relationship hypnotherapy can also help you to break through the cycle of grief and loss that can often be felt after a break-up. Helping you to reframe negative thoughts and behaviours, hypnotherapy can also help you to see your break-up from a new, more positive light. For example, instead of thinking of your relationship as a failure or a waste of time, it can help you to see how your relationship helped you to learn, grow, and develop into the person you are today.

Image of a man sitting at a table, typing at a laptop

As one hypnotherapist explains, “You are the author of your story, no one else. By understanding this fact you become the master of your life. Create a happy ending for yourself. Now you are single you are free to find a more suitable partner.

“You have the opportunity to feel better and experience the happiness you have been looking for. And after all this upheaval, you will realise that problems are not problems. It’s your reaction to the problem that is the problem. Problems are just opportunities for new things and for new experiences and many times, it’s for the better.”

Is there evidence hypnotherapy can help?

Research suggests that hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool in overcoming negative self-talk and improving feelings of self-worth. A 2008 study into using hypnosis to improve how we perceive ourselves found that hypnosis offered an effective way of improving self-esteem in college students. 

An earlier study in 2004 into self-hypnosis and self-esteem saw participants who consistently used self-hypnosis reported overall higher levels of self-esteem and a sense of calmness, while a more recent 2013 study involving post-surgery patients and the effects of hypnosis for pain and self-esteem suggested hypnosis could have a positive impact. 

Yet another study from 2014 suggests there may be some truth in the old adage, ‘fake it till you make it’. By convincing ourselves that we are more confident than we feel, we are able to boost and further develop our confidence.

Finding help

To find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you recover from a toxic relationship, move on after a break-up, or begin dating again with more confidence, check out our hypnotherapy for relationship issues page. To find an experienced, qualified hypnotherapist who offers sessions in-person, online, or by telephone, use our advanced search to help find the right hypnotherapist for you.

If you are worried about a current relationship or recent breakup and need someone to talk to, speaking with a counsellor can offer an outside, impartial person to explore how you are feeling. For more information on talking therapies for relationship issues, visit Counselling Directory.

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Bonnie Gifford

Written by Bonnie Gifford

Bonnie Evie Gifford is a Senior Writer at Happiful.

Written by Bonnie Gifford

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