Hypnosis for drug and alcohol addictions
2nd June, 20140 Comments
Written by: Biodun Ogunyemi ANLP,BNLP,SNLP,C.H,Dip.Hyp
Hypnotherapy for addictions
The traditional treatment for addictions usually involves a combination of medication and therapy that is reinforced over time. Many types of addictions are not only physical, but mental in nature as well. While many treatment programs have varying degrees of success in dealing with addictions, hypnosis is one that brings in the power of the mind to help kick the habit.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy has been used for decades in treating drug and alcohol addictions, although it is still considered by many to be a secondary type of treatment. Although hypnosis may seem on the outside when it comes to established medical treatments, the British Medical Association approved the use of hypnosis for pain management in childbirth and surgery back in 1955. At the same time, the BMA recommended that all physicians and medical students get basic training in hypnosis as well. Three years later, the American Medical Association approved hypnosis for medical uses as well.
However, the power and effectiveness of hypnosis in helping people overcome their addictions is such that it has garnered a considerable amount of attention in recent years thanks to its overall effectiveness at reaching the subconscious mind and changing the mental attitude of patients so that they were more likely to overcome their drug or alcohol addiction.
Hypnotherapy for treating addictions
Despite being practiced for many decades, hypnosis is still arguably one of the lesser understood methods being used in the treatment of addictions. This is despite the fact that many people make a living demonstrating their hypnotic ability on others in shows and performances around the world. While all of us have seen the power of hypnosis to create a temporary condition where people are given commands that they follow, it is less understood how influencing the mind in this manner can lead to long term conditioning when it comes to overcoming addiction.
Unlike the performances that many of us have witnessed over the years, actually hypnotherapy that is used to treat addictions is a private, one-on-one treatment that establishes a long term influence on the person being treated. Although powerful on its own, hypnotherapy is only truly effective when the subject is ready and willing to put their addictions behind them.
Hypnotherapy bypasses the conscious mind and speaks directly to the subconscious where the normal barriers no longer exist. In traditional treatments that include therapy, the conscious or “critical” mind will often question, doubt or even deny the suggestions made by the therapist. In hypnotherapy, all that is bypassed so that the suggestions go directly into the mind without being warped or even denied by the patient.
How hypnotherapy works for alcohol and drug therapy
The key in hypnotherapy when it comes to drug rehabilitation or treating alcohol addiction is anchoring the suggestion in the subconscious mind until the patient accepts it as fact. The power of hypnosis performed by a trained hypnotherapist is such that results can be seen quickly, often within days of the first treatment.
However, this does rely on the person wanting treatment and even suggestions that are sent directly into the mind can be rejected if the subject is not willing to abide. For example, a hypnotic suggestion that directs a person to do something immoral or against their better judgment is most often rejected because there is a conflict in which the person will stick to who they are rather than what has been suggested.
If a person wants to end their addiction, then the subconscious suggestion will take root because the mind is ready to go in that direction even after years of alcohol or drug abuse. However, it does take more than just planting the suggestion - the root causes for the addiction must be revealed in order for the suggestion to properly take hold and become anchored in the mind of the subject.
Hypnosis for alcohol addiction
Alcoholism is arguably the most widespread addiction thanks in part to the cultural acceptance of alcohol over the centuries. While alcohol is arguably not as addictive in nature as prescription drugs or harder forms of narcotics, the fact that it is far more widespread in our culture is why so many people become alcoholics.
Hypnosis for alcohol addiction starts by addressing the root causes of the addiction and assisted by the appropriate medical treatment as well. In other words, abruptly stopping the consumption of alcohol may have a devastating effect on the body depending on the level of addiction. Hypnotherapy works in combination with other treatments to ease the withdrawal symptoms and establish in the mind the rejection of alcohol consumption.
Alcoholism is a very pervasive addiction and the widespread availability and social acceptance makes it very difficult even with the use of hypnosis to overcome initially, but repeated treatments along with the proper support can be very effective in removing the temptation that alcoholism presents.
Hypnosis for drug addiction
Although arguably not as widespread as alcoholism, drug addiction is more insidious and in many ways a deeper addiction with root causes that can be difficult to overcome. Hypnosis for drug addiction often works in concert with other treatments to remove the physical addiction and ease the withdrawal symptoms so that the suggestions delivered to the mind are most effective.
The induction of relaxation through hypnosis allows the patient to better combat the addiction that they are undergoing. As with treating alcohol addiction, the basic premise is to find the root causes for the addiction and then overcome them with specific suggestions so that the patient can then develop the mental state to resist falling back into temptation once again.
The overall success rate for hypnotherapy in alcohol and drug addiction is such that it is garnering new support from the medical community as a potent treatment. Today, hypnosis is becoming more successful in this field thanks to its direct approach in planting positive suggestions directly into the mind. When it is used with other types of treatments, it can increase the chances of a person overcoming their addictions and leading a normal, happier life as a result.
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