Understanding Hypnotherapy

HypnotherapyHypnotherapy is a proven method of helping clients heal. This article answers two questions. First, what is hypnotherapy and second, can it help treat anxiety?

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is often misunderstood and has been incorrectly linked to performance hypnotism (think making people cluck like a chicken). Hypnotherapy is not that. You may unknowingly be in hypnotic, trance-like states every day. For example, do you ever:

  • Drive to your destination without really remembering the journey?
  • Take a walk and realize you were lost in thought and hav not been taking in your surroundings?
  • Realize that while you are reading that you have been reading the same sentence over and over without absorbing it because your mind was elsewhere?

All of those experiences are examples of entering into a hypnotic or trance like state. The difference between these times and in hypnotherapy is that in therapy you put your trance-like state to good use.

Hypnotic or trance states allow people to tap into a different part of their brain and their experiences. They allow the mind and body to relax and focus on something specific. The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH) states that hypnotherapy is effective because “when the mind is concentrated and focused, people are better able to tap into and utilize their inner resources, to make personal changes, and learn how to better govern their own lives.”

Can Hypnotherapy be used to treat anxiety?

The short answer is yes. According to Verywellmind, a mental health online research source, this type of therapy has been shown to be effective in treating both anxiety and panic disorders. From personal experience as a therapist trained in this modality, I have seen it work very well for anxiety. For example, clients who have had a fear of driving for years have found that they experienced some joyful aspects of driving within a week of their first session! While everyone’s reaction to treatment is different, it may be worthwhile to explore if hypnotherapy might be right for you in working through your anxiety.

For more information or to set up an appointment with a therapist trained in hypnotherapy, contact Claire LaBriola.