Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in dealing with a wide range of trauma-related issues. It is helpful in dealing with trauma from abuse of many kinds, PTSD and traumas from abandonment, bullying and failures or losses. It is, in general, quicker and more effective than other types of counseling or psychotherapy. It is not for everyone, but if people are open to trying it the success rate is very good. How and why does Hypnosis work in dealing with trauma and how is it different than other ways of dealing with it. It is also noteworthy to say that there is more than one way of using hypnosis to deal with trauma. In some cases, regression may be used to deal successfully with trauma and in other cases no regression is needed and other techniques may be used for reframing and changing mindset, fears and releasing energies and memories associated with the past traumas.
It is worth noting that The British Medical Council, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have all endorsed hypnotherapy as a valid therapeutic procedure for the treatment of PTSD.
How exactly does it work? Every Experience (both positive and negative) is stored in our brain encoding in neural connections. In our brain’s organizing system experiences or memories of a similar nature are stored or linked to those that are similar in nature. That is why a stimulus from one memory may bring up a similar memory or situation. The stimuli (such as sound, smell, song, color, voice tone) is called a trigger. An event that initiates trauma is different and usually painful and does not fall in with or connect easily with other life experiences. It is filed away in a special place, but still has its own set of stimuli associated with that event. Hypnosis can allow the patient to do a number of things which are helpful in healing trauma. First it is possible to isolate, retrieve and clarify the memory if needed. The client is looking at the trauma now from a more resourceful perspective and can allow them to see the situation resolved in a manner that brings calm, safety and a sense of accomplishment. Also, the client may be guided in visualizing a happy outcome and mastery over the fear or helplessness caused by the trauma. It can eliminate discomfort and anxiety and give the client the tools needed to reprogram their brain for better functioning and less anxiety and fear.
Hypnosis is powerful and deals with unlocking the subconscious mind. A qualified hypnotherapist can use it either by itself or in conjunct with other therapy. Knowing a lot about the client’s history and the nature of the trauma is very helpful in effectively using hypnosis. It must be used carefully. Defense mechanisms and blocking of traumatic memories serves a protective purpose and releasing these protective devices must be done with careful thought and intention. When done with a plan for replacing the panic with more positive and resourceful reactions it can be very helpful in permanently changing traumatic memory triggers.
In some cases, and with some clients it is possible to help the client look at the trauma from a new perspective where they are simply more capable and able to deal with the situation easily and without fear or panic. Seeing themselves in this new way will often be enough to eliminate future reaction to any triggers. Sometimes a past trauma may be modified with more information that was not available at the initial traumatizing event. This will often diminish its power.
So, the bottom line is that hypnosis is a tool that has the power to change and rewire the patterns and connections that stimulate the fear and panic reactions that are stored away in our subconscious. Through hypnosis those neural pathways can be replaced with more positive or resourceful reactions. It is a way of editing the story of the past, in order to create a better story in the present and the future.
About the Author
Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner & Certification Trainer, EFT Practitioner and Reiki Master practicing in Seattle at Embrace Change Hypnosis & NLP and Northern Lights Life Coaching .
She offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding path, purpose and peace. Kate focuses on integration of mind, body, spirit wellness with all of her businesses. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and change facilitation. Kate is a speaker, writer and radio show host of "Embrace Change with Kate" on Contact Talk Radio, in additional to her private practice. She is passionate about creativity, travel, personal growth and living with joyful purpose. Kate's businesses operate as Dba's under Total Well Resources, LLC.