There’s a lot of hokey pop-culture depictions about hypnosis, virtually all of which are untrue. Unfortunately, these depictions have done a lot to erode confidence in hypnosis in the general public and among mental health professionals.
Hypnosis, however, is starting to achieve a small renaissance. Over the years, hypnosis has gone from being a mainstay of psychotherapy, to a niche practice, to something that is being appreciated in mental health circles once again.
Here, we’ll take a quick look into hypnotherapy, the use of hypnosis in treating mental health conditions like substance use disorder (SUD). Get in touch with our team at Boston Drug Treatment Centers to discuss your hypnotherapy options in the Greater Boston Area.
One can consider hypnosis to be a close cousin of meditation and mindfulness, practices that were niche during hypnosis’s heyday in the mid-20th century but are mainstream in the present day.
As with meditation and mindfulness, hypnosis puts the subject in a meditative or trance-like state, such that immediate experiences are heightened and the focus is directed to one thing, which is suggested by the therapist or the subject themselves.
The idea of hypnotherapy is to help the subject focus on issues related to their mental health condition. For people with drug or alcohol problems, the focus could be on directly mitigating their cravings or on things that exacerbate these desires, such as racings thoughts or a rise in heart rate. The focus could also be on external triggers that make the subject want to use their drugs of choice.1,2
This emphasis on achieving meditative focus and uncovering clear connections between the mind and body shows that hypnosis shares fundamental similarities with many other tools used in psychotherapy. Yoga, tai-chi, mindfulness meditation, pottery, music, art, and focused exercise all share similarities with hypnosis in those respects.
There are typically three basic styles of hypnosis used in SUD treatment. Clinicians can recommend one or more of these styles to achieve the desired outcome.2
In the 20th century, hypnosis was one of the primary tools used to help patients with drug and alcohol use disorders control their cravings. While its use has somewhat lapsed in favor of other techniques, recent reviews of scientific literature indicate that hypnosis can be effective when combined with other treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and others.1,2
As mentioned earlier, hypnotherapy is used to help improve the subject’s focus, which can help them better ideate and act on specific behaviors. This is especially useful for conditions that cause compulsive negative behaviors like SUD.
Hypnosis is not recommended as the only intervention for substance use disorder. In the vast majority of cases, it is included as part of a holistic approach, supplementing mainstream treatments like psychotherapy and medication-assisted therapy. It could also be used to complement other supplemental therapies such as exercise, music therapy, and nutrition, among others.1,2,3
While widely regarded as safe, there are a few rare risks associated with hypnosis. These are more likely if you have a serious mental health issue other than SUD, such as psychosis. Side effects may include:3
Notably, hypnosis requires the subject to be reasonably stable, which means it may be less appropriate during the early stages of recovery.
Get in touch with our team at Boston Drug Treatment Centers to find programs and therapists that offer hypnotherapy in the Greater Boston Area. Call (857) 577-8193 to discuss your options for hypnotherapy and other evidence-based treatments.
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, our calls are confidential and are available for 24/7 help.
Calls from your area will be answered by Legacy Healing Center, and network of treatment centers who can be found here www.rehabsnearyoudisclosures.com
We are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work for a treatment center and will discuss whether their facility may be an option for you.
These calls are offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither this site nor anyone who answers the call receives a commission or fee dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.
If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can: browse top-rated listings, visit our homepage, or visit SAMHSA, at www.samhsa.gov, or by calling 800-662-HELP. You may also contact The Florida Department of Children and Family Services at https://www.myflfamilies.com/