Does hypnotherapy help in curing addiction?

  • By Team TDO

Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is increasingly becoming a legitimate line of treatment for psychologists and psycho-therapists worldwide. A hypnotherapist skilled in de-addiction techniques can help a lot of people out of their addictions. It can also be used effectively as an adjunct to medication and counseling.

Does hypnotherapy really work?

Hypnotherapy is usually imagined as someone dangling a pendulum in front of you bidding you to 'go under'. And then you comply and do as the hypnotist bids you to. Well that isn’t exactly how it happens. Yes, in hypnotherapy there is a process whereby the patient is made to go in a trance to be receptive to the hypnotist's suggestions, but there is a problem. Unless a subject is willing to be hypnotized, hypnosis just doesn't work.

All the stuff that you see in the movies about ladies succumbing to a hypnotist's whims is pure fiction. So unless a subject is willing to co-operate with the counselor and has an open mind then gradually through a process of suggestion, the mind can be made to affirm to new habits and break away from old self destructive and addictive thought processes.

This is again possible if the patient is in a good mental and physical health. So a recovering alcohol or crack addict might have difficulty accepting external suggestions as the habits are too deep rooted. So hypnosis can only achieve average success in certain conditions. After a few weeks of recovery and de-addiction, the patient can be gradually induced to a hypnotic trance and probably will be more receptive to suggestions.

Can you hypnotize yourself?

Self-hypnosis is a popular method by which one learns to induce a trance in oneself and make suggestions to overcome certain habits or thought patterns. This generally starts off with a routine relaxation procedure after which the addict repeats a set of affirmations to himself.

What lies beneath?

Through the help of a skilled behavioural therapist, hypnosis can really help in discovering the real reason behind someone’s addictive patterns. The reasons for destructive patterns are sometimes buried in the various layers and inner recesses of the mind. Hypnotherapy can help the therapist to gradually allow a patient to come to terms with what he has repressed and which is coming out in a shadowy form to haunt him in the form of addiction. Hypnotherapy, of course, is not magic and hence one should also have the necessary patience and strong determination to give up addictions to make a complete recovery.


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