Does Hypnosis Really Work for Mental Health Issues?

You may have an image in your head about hypnosis from what you’ve seen in the movies or read in books. Some of it is accurate while some are not. It’s certainly not a sideshow act or a magic trick, even though it can be portrayed that way, such as with hypnotist comedy shows. But it’s actually a proven, validated approach to helping with mental health issues. Many people turn to hypnosis when they want to quit an addictive behavior, lose weight, deal with anxiety, or kick a phobia.

Most clinicians agree it can be an impactful, effective therapeutic technique for many conditions, including pain, anxiety, and mood disorders. Hypnosis is essentially a therapeutic technique where clinicians make suggestions to those who have undergone a procedure that relaxes them and helps them to focus their minds, according to the American Psychological Association.

What is It?

Hypnotherapists may use relaxation techniques, keywords, guided imagery or a combination of all of those to help clients relax. Once hypnotized, the therapists will make suggestions about changes in behavior. The idea is this: even though the conscious mind wants to do something, the unconscious mind does not always fully accept this change. Hypnotherapists can subtly alter the effects the unconscious mind has on the conscious mind and result in behavioral changes or gradually alter perceptions.

Clinical hypnosis uses many stress management and relaxation strategies. Here at CMPS, we use it to help with chronic pain and decrease anxiety, offering a usable strategy that gives you control over your own body. It’s also been proven effective in the treatment of phobias, insomnia, weight loss, smoking and IBS. It can even relax patients who are going through chemotherapy.

Does it Work?

This depends on the individual. Not everyone can be hypnotized. According to PsychCentral, only about five to 10 percent of the population is highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion; between 60 and 79 percent are moderately susceptible, and 25 to 30 percent are minimally susceptible.

Bottom line is, you can’t be hypnotized to do something that does not fit with your morals. Hypnosis doesn’t change the way you think. It simply makes it easier to follow through with a change in behavior. It will introduce a state of relaxation, which can help with anxiety issues, stress, or depression.

But hypnosis is not a cure-all and is most effective when used in conjunction with therapy and lifestyle changes. It could even take several sessions to change behavior over the long term. Because hypnosis thrives on suggestibility, it won’t likely work on you if you are not a suggestible type of person.

Contact Comprehensive MedPsych Systems

You won’t know if hypnosis is right for you until you speak with one of our therapists. We welcome you to call us today for an appointment at 941-363-0878.

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