The volume of scientifically validated data concerning clinical hypnosis increases day by day. Scientific evidence and effective clinical practice have proven that hypnosis can treat the following problems:
In a well-articulated psychotherapeutic strategy structured around the specific needs of the depressed patient, hypnosis facilitates the effective and brief treatment of depression. Well-orchestrated hypnotic strategies impact on the alteration of the depressive mood, establish positive expectations and change the mental attitude of the depressed patient. It can facilitate the treatment of invasive depression symptoms and lead to the interruption of ruminations, the transformation of conscious and unconscious cognitive distortions, and the activation of behaviours that aim towards positive actions. It can also help establish anti-depressive neural pathways through the experience of peaceful and positive emotions during the therapy sessions. Scientific research and valid clinical practice have determined that these therapeutic components are crucial for the effective treatment of depression.
Hypnosis increases the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety. Scientific data shows that hypnosis is effective in the treatment of phobias, anxiety associated to tests, social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks, anxiety associated with medical and dental interventions, ruminations associated with fear and preoccupations, generalized anxiety, as well as the over-activation of the central nervous system and the hyper-vigilance that are frequent in anxiety disorders. Hypnosis facilitates the acquisitions of skills that improve the quality of life of the anxious patient, such as effective communications skills, the practice of self-hypnosis and strategies of emotional regulation like concentration, sustained attention and mindfulness.
Hypnosis can be very useful in stress management by providing access to hypnotic resources that help to cope effectively with the demands of daily life. It may help by focusing attention on the relaxation response, concentrating attention in imaginary events that trigger positive emotions, receiving suggestions that help in the process of emotional modulation, and most especially learning to trigger inner states of comfort through self-hypnosis. Hypnotic states and therapeutic suggestions increase the person’s ability to detach himself or herself from negative internal and external stimulations and from intense negative emotional reactions, and helps the person reinterpret events in a manner that facilitates a sense of mastery and control. In this manner, hypnosis and self-hypnosis can increase the therapeutic effect of psychotherapy and help the person to manage stress.
Hypnosis and Ericksonian psychotherapy are effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress. They can help the patient regain control over invasive symptoms like automatic dissociation and recurring traumatic memories (flash-backs). It can also help re-establish normal sleep patterns, counter invasive nightmares, and calm down the autonomic nervous system (startle response) and the hyper-vigilance characteristic of the post-traumatic stress syndrome. Psychotherapy with hypnosis also helps the patient to re-establish normal everyday functioning in the spheres of work and social relations. Thus, the patient may regain their global wellbeing, their appreciation of life, the quality of their interpersonal relations, their spiritual life, their creativity and their future capacity to face the stresses of everyday life with flexibility.
Hypnosis can also treat:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Self-esteem problems
- Self-expression problems
- Creativity problems
- Self-assertion problems
- Interpersonal communication problems
- Couple’s conflicts and distress
- Sexual problems
- Sleep problems
- Sports and athletic performance problems
- Gastro-intestinal problems
- Dermatological problems
- Headaches and migraines
- Asthma and allergies
- Eating disorders
- Discomfort during medical or dental procedures
- Childbirth-related problems