Hypnotherapy for cocaine addiction
The use of hypnotherapy for treating cocaine use and addiction
Cocaine use tends to be a prolific problem in current society as it has the appearance of a party drug. People usually only get involved with the drug when they are looking to have a fun time and unfortunately this starts the cycle of dependence.
The biological aspects of the drug don’t tend to be the cause of the addiction - it is more the psychological addiction which tends to be the issue. For example, the use of cocaine usually creates a surge in serotonin levels which impacts a person’s perception of self and the world around them usually in a positive light, however a person can feel that they require more and more of the substance over time to the same effect or the concept of using the drug is linked to the idea that it is a reward or even self-soothing for the person in some cases.
Unfortunately, the drug can also cause increases in anger, impulsivity, increases in confidence to a dangerous level and numerous physiological symptoms as well. There can be many reasons why some people utilise cocaine that are not textbook and these should be considered on an individual basis from the assessment. For cocaine use I would usually go through with the client about the concept of the unconscious mind and explaining how the unconscious mind works in relation to the problem. I would also go into the role of the unconscious and what the unconscious mind provides for the person.
A large part of the therapy would involve looking at how the unconscious mind deals with life issues and psychological distress, but also spend time explaining that this is how the unconscious mind has chosen to deal with psychological distress or other aspects which the client may feel has contributed to the problem with cocaine use and has tried to help the person in the best viable way at the time. As a therapist I usually utilise parts therapy, strongly related to ego state therapy as a method of facilitating unconscious processing and behaviour change. The therapist would allow the client to talk to this aspect of the unconscious mind where the cocaine addiction lies and attempt to mediate between the various parts until a resolution is achieved.
Other interventions that I have found to work well in conjunction with hypnotherapy would be EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I would even consider teaching the client mindfulness as well to develop tolerance and even consider developing self-compassion as part of the treatment plan. A good assessment will be needed at the beginning of the session so that you can assess what specific parts the client wants to work with and to us the language of the client in the hypnotherapy session.
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