Addictive patterns of behaviours whether they are simply to chocolate, or something more damaging in the long term, such as alcohol or illegal drugs, are patterns that are locked in our subconscious mind, they are instinctive, and we barely take a second to process it in our conscious mind, it has become a habit. The subconscious mind will provide the fuel for the addiction, feed it and fan it.
To understand addiction, we need to understand that it is the result of a habit, a habitual behaviour, but a habit can be a positive thing, our ability to drive for example is the result of a habitual response, playing an instrument or indeed any skill we acquire. We need to take this ability to learn behaviour and introduce a new response, a new learning, re-framing the existing pattern and we can do this with hypnotherapy, as hypnotherapy can access those habitual behaviours in the subconscious mind.
Addictive behaviours are often the result of a response to anxiety and stress and providing the strategies for coping with the stress and strain of modern life is an essential part of the road to recovery. By working on the patterns in the subconscious, whether they be learned from an adult as a child, or more instinctive responses to stress and anxiety, hypnotherapy can help the addict to break that repetitive response.
We can utilise the ability to create an addiction to neutralise it, substituting alternative behaviours within the subconscious mind via a series of metaphors, metaphors and stories provide the link for the individual the connecting strategy which syntheses patterns, links ideas together to provide the new behaviour. We can also indirect and direct suggestions, embedded commands, the emphasise that change, building on the clients own imagination and creative response to lead to freedom from addiction. Sometimes we might use negative associations to help the client to understand the negative impact of the addiction upon them.
There is not a one size fits all approach to dealing with addiction but through hypnotherapy there a variety of techniques to empower the client to achieve the change that they want to achieve. The client has chosen that they want to stop the addiction, choosing to come for help is the first step, once you have walked through the therapist's door, you are half way to your objective, you have begun the change, you are on your way to helping yourself create a new you.
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About Zetta Thomelin
Zetta Thomelin is the chair of the British Association of Therapeutic Hypnotists, a director of the UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisation, director of Headtogether Hypnotherapy Training and runs a private practice in Deal, Kent and London.
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