Hypnotherapy: Can Hypnosis Treat Alcohol Addiction?
Hypnotherapy is a new treatment method for alcohol addiction that has been gaining popularity in the past few years. This method works by relaxing the mind of the addicted individual and opening them up to new concepts that can help them overcome their alcohol addiction.
Alcohol has been recreationally consumed for centuries. Many people drink alcohol and have no problem setting a limit to how much they drink and how often. Yet for some, alcohol is a substance which can have detrimental effects on their health and their lives. In fact, as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains, “throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.”
But in recent decades, researchers and medical professionals have spent quite a bit of time studying alcohol addiction, the effects of it, what contributes to its development, and, especially, treatment and prevention methods for it. Effective treatment methods include detoxification—a crucial process of ridding the body of toxins acquired through substance abuse, outpatient counseling or group therapy, such as Alcoholics Anonymous; and/or treatment within an inpatient drug rehab program. Other methods may involve various forms of therapy, such as behavioral therapy or medication. One newer method of treatment which is gaining recognition is hypnotherapy.
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Hypnotherapy is useful for treatment of substance abuse victims in that it teaches participants to relax. As defined by Hypnotherapy Directory, “hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilizes the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behavior.” Essentially, this form of therapy does two things: it relaxes the conscious mind, while allowing the subconscious mind to become more focused.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
It utilizes a series of relaxation techniques and skills to help a person reach the relaxed, focused subconscious state—a heightened state of awareness. Once a person enters into this state, the researcher can help make suggestions. These suggestions are where the real treatment lies. A person can be persuaded to avoid alcohol by using the power of the mind in hypnotherapy.
For example, the therapist may show a person images which may be associated with an alcohol addiction (such as drinks) and suggest that if the person drinks again, he or she will experience an adverse reaction, such as stomach pains. The mind is so powerful that it is highly likely that a person under the full of effects of hypnotherapy will then experience pains whenever he or she consumes alcohol, causing the person to successfully stop abuse. This is but one example; there are many different ways to utilize a person’s hyper-awareness for treatment.
What Would A Hypnotherapy Treatment Session Be Like?
To begin, many hypnotherapists start with a consultation during which they discuss with participants: personal details which will be important for therapy, outcomes and goals, how hypnotherapy works, cost, and duration. In subsequent therapy sessions, treatment can begin. The pace of treatment is different for each person but often is structured around this format:
- Introductory greeting and conversation to foster relaxation and comfort
- Induction: during this point, the therapist helps the person enter a state of deeply relaxed physical calm.
- While the person is in this deeply relaxed state, the therapist is able to start the “change work” during which the techniques and approaches previously agreed upon are used for treatment.
- After this stage is complete, the therapist begins to slowly bring the person back to wakefulness.
- Questions and discussion
How Can Hypnotherapy Treat Alcohol Addiction?
During the hyper-awareness of hypnotherapy, a person may access a deeper understanding of concepts. In other words, as Hypnotherapy Directory states, “relaxation techniques can help access an individual’s subconscious mind and uncover the root cause of the addiction.” For people struggling with alcohol abuse, hypnotherapy may help them understand why their behaviors quality as abuse and not merely use. Also, it may help them learn and understand how to implement good behaviors in place of old, destructive behaviors resulting from abuse. Further, during hypnosis, a person can (with the help of the therapist) examine his or her life. This allows the person to pinpoint the areas that need change, in order to cope and to view alcohol in a different light.
Many people suffering from alcohol abuse find it hard to admit (often for years at a time) that they have a substance abuse problem. For this reason, alcohol abuse can go untreated for years. However, with treatment and a strong support system, recovery from an alcohol addiction is possible. Paired with other treatment methods, hypnotherapy may be part of a successful treatment protocol for some individuals.Article Sources
Hypnotherapy Associates - https://www.hypnotherapyassociates.co.uk/treatments/alcohol-abuse/
Hypnotherapy Directory - https://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/articles/alcoholabuse.html
Hypnotherapy Directory - https://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/content/industryfaqs.html#whatishypnotherapy
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism - https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption