Applications of hypnosis and hypnotherapy: a compilation of brief monographs.
Table of Contents Hypnotherapy Applications What Is the Difference Between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy? How Does Hypnosis Work? Does Hypnotherapy Work? Hypnotherapy and Relationships Five Ways to Treat Depression with Hypnotherapy How Can Hypnotherapy Support Pregnancy and Fertility? How Does Hypnotherapy Work in Treating Suicidal Patients Hypnotherapy and Mind-Body-Spirit Healing Hypnotherapy Applications: Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD Treating Anxiety and Stress with Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy Can Help Women Prevent Cancer and Treat Menopausal Symptoms Hypnotherapy for Pregnancy: Can it be Applied Effectively? Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Migraines Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy for Cancer Patients: Great Need and Wide Acceptance Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Can Reduce Dementia PTSD Related Insomnia and Treatment With Hypnotherapy Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy as a Way to Triumph Over Arthritis Hypnotherapy with Hospice Care and/or Dying Clients Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy for Spinal Cord Injury Pain Management Hypnotherapy with a Suicidal Eating-Disordered Client Healing Resistance to Life through Hypnotherapy How Hypnotherapy Can Treat Fear of Commitment Use Hypnosis to Double Your Fertility Rate Hypnotherapy with Authority Issues in our Relationships Highway Hypnosis: Applications in Hypnotherapy Alert Hypnosis Patterns That Effect Our Life - Knitting A Sweater Discovering Authority Issues with Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy Enhances Sports Performance What Are You Prepared to Lose? Treating Exhausted Stress Response with Hypnotherapy Five Principles of Existential Hypnotherapy How Does Hypnotherapy Enhance Jungian Psychology? What Is Intimacy And How Can 1 Achieve It? Hypnotherapy Can Reveal Your Past Lives Assumptions and How They Negatively Affect our Relationships Treating PTSD with Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss: How is it Different than Hypnosis? Containment Equals Energy Management Hypnotherapy Can Help Caregivers of Special Needs Family Members Heart-Centered Personal Transformation How Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy Reveals Shadow Parts Hypnosis and the Science of Visualization Hypnosis for Tourette Syndrome in Children and Teens Hypnosis in Dermatology: Warts, Psoriasis, Herpes Simplex Hypnosis Prevents Weakened Immune Status Resourcing and Reparenting How Hypnotherapy Can Stop Thumb Sucking in Children in 20 Minutes For Therapists: Hypnotherapy Best Practices Healing Trauma Without Re-Traumatizing Ask the Right Questions to Find the Best Training Program for You How to Obtain Hypnotherapy Certification Hypnotherapy Training In Only Six Days? Frequently Asked Questions Five Ways Hypnotherapy Certification Will Benefit Your Practice How to Get More Hypnotherapy Referrals From Other Professionals How to Retain Your Hypnotherapy Clients How to Attract New Hypnotherapy Referrals From Existing Clientele Why Are So Many Therapists Attracted to Hypnotherapy? What To Do When a Client Falls Asleep in Hypnotherapy Are You Feeling Bored, Frustrated, Unable to Really Help Clients? The Art of Clean Language in Hypnotherapy 15 ways Hypnotherapy Can Expand the Scope of Your Practice Why Hypnotherapy Is the Missing Link to Powerful Treatment What is Your Grand Bargain that Allows Spring to Replace Winter? On a Personal Note: Nelson Mandela's Passing
What Is the Difference Between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?
There are many different courses that call themselves "hypnotherapy certification programs" but are not truly that. There is a big difference between "hypnosis certification" and "hypnotherapy certification." Sometimes the difference between the two terms is blurred by schools in order to enroll unqualified people.
Hypnosis is the process of getting a person relaxed and giving them suggestions that may or may not help them to get their desired results. They may stop smoking or lose weight or decrease their anxiety. However, these hypnotically suggested changes are often temporary, and this is one of the reasons that both hypnosis and hypnotherapy have gotten the reputation of not having long lasting results. These terms have been used interchangeably and they are two very different concepts.
What is Hypnosis?
A professional therapist can easily learn to put someone into hypnosis, but then the question becomes, "what do I do now?" Let's take treating addictions. Most treatment facilities have a very low success rate. This is because they are treating a very complex issue with band-aids. They are treating addictions by only reaching the conscious mind, which comprises 10% of the individual's total being. When we put someone into "a state of hypnosis" we now have the potential of going into the other 90% of the mind, the subconscious, to discover and treat the underlying addictive pattern. Just putting the person in the state of hypnosis and giving suggestions, however, does not resolve the deeper issues. It is more like a tourniquet than a band-aid, but it still only stops the bleeding for a short period of time.
Hypnotherapy Certification: The Clinical Difference
Learning and getting certified in hypnotherapy gives you the skills to discover quite easily what the source of the addictive behavior is. Then, using the full 100% of the mind, you learn how to resolve the issues which have led to this destructive and often deadly behavior. Hypnotherapy training and certification can help you free the client from toxic behaviors. Hypnotherapy will lead people toward healing the unresolved issues that have been hounding them their whole lives. We have learned to uproot the causes which have been feeding this hungry tiger within. Most people during childhood are faced with unpleasant situations and then draw subconscious conclusions about themselves from this very childish mind. We also make decisions about how to behave which seem good at the time, but now are defeating us. These childhood decisions are so deeply hidden that only through the depth of hypnotherapy, not hypnosis, can they be discovered and treated.
A hypnotist (not a hypnotherapist) will mainly use relaxation and hypnotic suggestions to address the behavior. The hypnotist may ask the person to associate a nasty, disgusting substance with the food or drug they are addicted to. This may work for a few days or weeks. However, if the compulsive eater, say, encounters a situation where someone they love deeply threatens to leave, they are immediately back to consuming their addictive substance of choice. The pattern itself of using substances (food, drugs, etc.) to medicate unpleasant feelings has not been changed or healed.
With hypnotherapy, you can regress the client to childhood, discover these patterns and change them deep within the unconscious mind. The new affirmations and suggestions will stick for more than just a few days. This is a fundamental reason why the mental health professional must discern the difference between hypnotherapy certification and hypnosis certification.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnosis is a simple shifting back and forth between the conscious and the subconscious mind. Studies show that all humans experience this between 80-90% of the day.
The Conscious Mind
Let us understand what the functions of the conscious mind are. When we are in the daily activities of thinking, debating, analyzing, doing mathematics, figuring things out or trying to remember, we are using the conscious mind. These, of course, are very important activities and we need our conscious mind in order to process our everyday activities. The surprising part of this, however, is that the daily activities and requirements of the conscious mind only comprise about 10% of the total capacity of the mind. The other 90% of our mind is taken up by the subconscious. The subconscious controls all the activities which the conscious mind is largely unaware of.
In fact, a very good analogy for these two parts of our mind would be a computer and its memory system. All the programming in the subconscious part of the mind is akin to the files we store in our computer. So for example, the conscious mind can remember certain experiences, but only up to a certain point. When we ask a group of people how far back in their life can they remember, there is a wide range of answers. Most cannot remember younger than being 5 or 6 years old. And many people say, jokingly, things like, "My memory is not as good as it used to be and I can hardly remember what happened last week." So the conscious mind is like our e-mail. It contains the current information, but is very limited in access to the archive.
Hypnosis and the Subconscious Mind
With hypnosis, the subconscious mind can actually search (similar to a search engine like Google) the memory files as far back as required in order for the individual to see patterns that have developed that they may be looking to change. Each unhealthy current behavior, such as smoking, losing one's temper, excessive alcohol consumption, or compulsive overeating has a chain of events that laid the foundation for all of our current unhealthy choices. Through the "memory chip" that has been laid down in the subconscious mind, we can trace back the experiences and subconscious decisions we made as children that may be leading us to the behavior that is no longer healthy for us. An example might be a husband who flies off the handle whenever his wife or children question his authority. He would prefer to have a more gentle approach to his family discussions, but he can't seem to stop his triggered response of anger.
With the help of a certified hypnotherapist, our client can join us on the internal search through the stored files of the subconscious mind. Perhaps he discovers that as a child one of his caregivers was very explosive, which terrified him. We often make life decisions from these young experiences that continue to be operating until they are discovered and changed. As a young child he may have made the decision that, "power is scary and I must puff up and get bigger in order to keep myself safe."
This decision has been stored deeply in his subconscious mind and surfaces whenever his power or authority as a father, boss or husband is threatened. Now that he has, through hypnosis, access to the childhood computer program that was installed, only he can change it. With the help of a certified hypnotherapist our client can discover what the destructive subconscious programs are, where they are stored, and how to effectively change them. When the unhealthy programming is changed on this level, the computer can easily be reprogrammed with much more mature and effective responses. This is the beauty of hypnosis and its use in hypnotherapy!
Does Hypnotherapy Work?
You may be wondering, what conditions/issues does hypnotherapy work for and will hypnotherapy prove to be the most effective treatment method available?
The answer to the question, does hypnotherapy work, is largely dependent on:
1. The professional who is facilitating the hypnotherapy session
2. The individual who is receiving therapy treatments
Obviously, there are a wide range of people who advertise as hypnotherapists. It is preferable to choose a hypnotherapist who:
1. Is a licensed clinician with a Masters degree in Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, or a related professional field
2. Is certified in hypnotherapy from a well-recognized hypnotherapy training program
3. Continues to update his/her own hypnotherapy training to keep current with new techniques
4. Has personally undergone extensive hypnotherapy to understand the client perspective
5. Makes the client feel comfortable and secure
In order to answer the question does hypnotherapy work, we must also recognize that there are important requirements for the client as well. The client should:
1. Have a positive view of hypnotherapy, or at least be open to the idea that it can help them
2. Be willing to look honestly and deeply at what the root cause of their problem is
3. Be clear that hypnotherapy, while being a very powerful healing modality,
* Is not "magic"
* Is not a parlor game for fun and entertainment
* Is not accomplished in one session
What Problems Can Hypnotherapy Help Treat?
The exciting aspect of hypnotherapy is that it has and can be used to treat a wide variety of human illnesses, diseases, addictions, diagnoses and complaints.
It can also be used for motivation and to help people achieve personal growth and success in their lives. In fact, what hypnotherapy can truly work for depends upon the skills of the certified hypnotherapist, their creativity and their willingness to receive the most progressive training in the field. Any client that comes into the office of a skilled hypnotherapist may come in wanting to address one specific aspect of their life, for example weight loss. Upon working with them, however, the hypnotherapist may also learn that this person has a bad temper and would like to become a more positive, loving spouse or parent. After some time other issues may be addressed such as considering a new profession, wanting to increase their income, or time management.
The beauty of hypnotherapy is that it works effectively for all of these issues and more. Once clients realize the power of hypnotherapy as a treatment option as well as a way to improve their life, they begin to refer other friends and family members for sessions. Hypnotherapy benefits the clients as well as the hypnotherapist. There is no limit to what can be treated or improved, and there is no limit as to how many new clients the practicing hypnotherapist will receive just through word of mouth.
Nurturing Creativity Through Hypnotherapy
One of the most exciting areas that hypnotherapy works for is greatly expanding the individual's creativity. The creativity center is located in the subconscious mind. For example, some clients who begin hypnotherapy may come into the office stating that they have recently picked up their old ballet shoes and begun dancing again, or are newly invested in their relationships. Many clients bring in amazing poetry that they have written or a beautiful drawing or painting as a result of their hypnotherapy sessions. Once the subconscious mind begins to open, the client has access to a wide variety of gifts and talents that may have been previously unexplored.
This gift of recovering their own creativity also brings in new ideas into their lives. They may now have ideas of ways to expand their business, develop new programs to teach or new marketing ideas. The resource of the subconscious mind with its deep well of creativity is unlimited and is why hypnotherapy has grown into one of the most powerful healing methods, and effective tools for personal growth and expansion. Its resources are unlimited!
Hypnotherapy and Relationships
Traditional Marriage and Family Therapy trains counselors to always see the couple together, never individually. The reason for this is to prevent the counselor from "taking sides" with one or the other. The problem, however, is that often in marital therapy, the individuals do not tell the real truth in the presence of their partner. The next and even deeper flaw in this traditional method is that it involves only engaging the conscious mind (10%) of each individual.
Applying Hypnotherapy to Relationships
With hypnotherapy, we engage the full 100% of the mind, in order to bring to conscious awareness the deeper source of the difficulty in the relationship. This is best understood by offering an example. In hypnotherapy we begin by speaking individually with each person to gain their trust and hear their truth. While this takes place, the other is filling out a relationship inventory. Then we switch so that the other gets their individual time with the therapist.
We then meet with the couple together and discuss the benefits of hypnotherapy and the plan for treatment. We suggest that they each come in for 3 to 5 individual hypnotherapy sessions. These individual sessions allow the clients and hypnotherapist to build rapport, but more importantly, to get down to the core of the relationship difficulties. It allows the clients as well as the therapist to have all the facts and an overall perspective, rather than just two narrow personal viewpoints.
The Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Relationships
Many people are in adult bodies and look like adults, but when they get "emotionally triggered" they automatically regress to a child state of mind. For example, a man comes home from work and finds his wife not at home to fix his dinner. He panics and then immediately turns that fear into anger. Or a wife is fixing dinner and her husband doesn't arrive home at the agreed upon time. For each, this may be what we call, "a triggering situation," meaning that they have a strong physiological reaction in their body to the event. They may feel breathing increase, indicating anxiety, fear and panic. Their heart may begin to pound and then the mind races through all the fearful scenarios. "He/she is having an affair" or "He/she was in an accident, may be in a hospital."
The woman may begin to cry and start making frantic phone calls. The man, having been trained by our culture not to cry, may become rage-filled. His racing mind certainly increases his angry reactions, judgments and conclusions.
In hypnotherapy, we acknowledge the physiological responses and then use this information new information to do an age regression back to what memory has been triggered to cause the intense physiological response. The woman in our example, when regressed in hypnotherapy to the source of her fearful reaction, may go back to age six, when perhaps her father had been drinking and didn't return home for dinner or perhaps for the whole night! She feels her mother's distress and feels helpless to comfort her mother. So here we have an adult, the woman who came into our office for marital therapy, regressing to a six-year-old time in her life, who was abandoned by an alcoholic father. Conversely, the husband's regression on his reaction when his wife is not home may immediately take him to his childhood when his mother may have been having affairs, perhaps drinking or otherwise not available for the children.
This is why hypnotherapy is truly a mind and body therapy, since all the reactions, emotional and physical, are used to determine what this strong reaction that is out of proportion to the situation may be about. This is especially important if similar scenarios have played repeatedly in the relationship. Hypnotherapy helps us to see that we humans have a huge memory bank stored in the unconscious parts of our mind, and allows us to take a current situation in our lives and to use it in a memory search to discover how old the child part of us is that continually reacts to triggering events.
Resolving Relationship Conflict with Hypnotherapy
Very often during a marital conflict, both parties literally regress back to an emotional state indicative of a younger part of themselves. If we discover that our clients (or we ourselves) are regressing back to a similar experience, it indicates that the childhood conflict was never resolved. Or that the child's emotional needs never were addressed.
During that younger time we made conclusions and decisions that have remained stored in our unconscious minds, just like the memory chips of our computers! An example may be for the woman, "I am unlovable. It's my fault that daddy left." And the behavior pattern that developed from this self-belief may be "I am responsible to keep everyone safe. I have to know where everyone is at all times." This unconscious programming pops up whenever a situation occurs that is similar enough to the original traumatic prototype experience.
The good news is that with hypnotherapy, we can use the emotional reaction of the husband or wife to do an internal search and discover why this couple seems to replay these scenes over and over in their marriage. And why couples often go from therapist to therapist searching for answers but nothing seems to permanently change the relationship or the intense reactions.
The major false belief that traditional relationship therapists have perpetuated is that consciously understanding the problem will change it. This is as false as believing that you can call an electrician to fix your car or your computer. The electrician does not have the tools or the skills to fix your car. And likewise, the conscious mind does not have the knowledge or ability to change the unconscious mind.
Advanced Hypnotherapy for Relationships
In several individual sessions with each partner, the certified hypnotherapist can easily discover the ages of the "children" who are fighting with each other. We can then change the deep underlying self-beliefs and grow these immature parts up to match the adult bodies in which they reside.
We can then bring this couple back into our office as adults so that they can de-role their partner from being whoever it was in their childhood who did not provide the healthy nurturing they needed. In other words, each partner can recognize they have been reacting to someone from their past, not the actual person in their life today. It is immensely healing to say, and to hear, "I know you are not my drunken father who didn't come home. You are my husband." Likewise "I know you are not my mother who was not available for us children. You are my wife."
Once the preliminary hypnotherapy is completed, we can use the advanced hypnotherapy technique of regressing the couple together so that they develop a more profound awareness of the pain or fear that lies underneath their spouse's reactions, and find compassion and tolerance for each other. When the physiological reactions are reduced and they can each remain in their adult state of mind, even if their partner is late without calling, the marital therapy is successfully completed.
Five Ways to Treat Depression with Hypnotherapy
Depression is often a reaction to a distressing or traumatic event. The people and situations who are associated with the traumatic event in our lives are referred to as traumatic triggers.
An example is someone reporting, "I never was depressed before my father (mother, child, spouse, best friend) died." After a loved one passes on, the individual often has to deal with their belongings including their home, or now has to take on their responsibilities. Any of these can become traumatic triggers. If the person or family member who has lost the loved one does not have time to fully grieve the loss, and to process unfinished feelings about the person, depression may set in almost immediately. Other traumatic triggers include losing a job, divorce, or financial reversals such as bankruptcy or home foreclosure.
The Signs and Symptoms of Depression
The following are some of the typical signs of depression that may take over slowly like a fog rolling in on what was previously a sunny day and now is becoming darker with each minute.
* Symptom #1--"Now, I can't get out of bed in the morning. I just don't have the same interest in things that I used to."
* Symptom #2--"I have body pains and I'm worried that I may have (fibromyalgia, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.)."
* Symptom #3--"I can't seem to stop overeating and I gained 40 pounds." Or "I have gone back to drinking, smoking cigarettes or pot, etc."
* Symptom #4--"I'm having trouble sleeping at night and I'm exhausted."
* Symptom #5--"I cry at the drop of a pin, but mostly I feel numb."
Often these symptoms will be treated with drugs prescribed by a doctor. Anti-depressants, sleep medication, and perhaps a diet or stop smoking program will be prescribed. These treatment methods, of course, are aimed at symptom relief but don't get down to treating the underlying cause of the depression. If the depressed person goes to a counselor, they will talk about the feelings which may help for a while. Other therapists may try relaxation techniques combined with positive affirmations. There is a basic reason why these common responses to depression don't really work: they do not address or resolve the deeper underlying causes of depression.
How Does Clinical Hypnotherapy Treat Depression?
1. First, we drop down from the conscious mind, which is only 10% of the mind into the subconscious mind. Now we are addressing the whole person, 100% of the mind rather than just treating the symptoms.
2. People often have what Dr. Fritz Peris called "unfinished business" with whatever has been lost, be it a loved one, a job, or a home. These unresolved feelings, such as resentments, regrets, blame, anger, guilt, jealousy, and fear are stored in the body and must be released as soon after the triggering event as possible. Otherwise they become deeply buried beneath the numbness created by the anti-depressant drugs, the addictive behavior, and the concurrent repression that occurs when trauma and grief go untreated. Clinical hypnotherapy works for depression because it removes the underlying basis of depression and completes the unfinished business that otherwise continues to recycle as self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
3. With hypnotherapy, we can go down to the deepest level of these traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions to release them from the mind and body. When this hypnotherapy process is completed, the client reports that their depression has lifted, that they have stopped the compulsive thoughts or behavior, and that they are ready to resume living their lives again.
4. With each healing session of clinical hypnotherapy, we can replace the fearful repetitive thoughts that often haunt people following a traumatic experience. Positive affirmations now work because the underlying emotional release has been accomplished.
5. Hypnotherapy provides an effective way to access the individual's ability to affect the physical body. Once self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors have been resolved, the individual can begin to use hypnotic suggestibility to improve the body's functioning. Hypnotherapy can be very helpful in correcting patterns of restless sleep, low energy or libido, headaches or chronic pain. And one can use hypnotherapy to increase motivation to exercise and eat properly.
Consistent research and methodology refinement has allowed hypnotherapy to progress as an advanced form of therapy to the point where clinical hypnotherapy is now regularly considered as a treatment option for depression. Working in tandem with a group of powerful psychotherapy techniques, hypnotherapy can be a highly successful form of treatment for individuals with depression.
How Can Hypnotherapy Support Pregnancy and Fertility?
Desperate couples spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant, many to no avail. We have successfully treated young couples with hypnotherapy, who now profusely thank us for helping them to conceive their beautiful babies.
Hypnotherapy Works Miracles for Infertility Treatment
First of all, let's look at what may be blocking some couples from conceiving. Once tests are completed and found that there is no medical issue in the way of conception, we then begin the hypnotherapy to bring to awareness the emotional/psychological issues that may be at the root of this problem. Each of us holds hundreds of beliefs and subconscious conclusions about ourselves that were framed by very early experiences in our lives. When we experienced abusive or traumatic events in our childhoods, these conclusions were drawn without the benefit of our as-yet undeveloped adult understanding of the world.
Hypnotherapy is a process of self-discovery, uncovering the deeper beliefs and decisions we made as small children without the benefit of an adult consciousness.
The rational ten percent of our brain does not have the awareness necessary to change this child-mind thinking, because these experiences are held within the ninety percent of our mind that makes up the subconscious.
A common example of this is a young woman who may have been sexually abused, or even raped, as a young child by a male, perhaps even by a close family member. This experience is very distressing for a young girl and often causes symptoms of PTSD. She may have nightmares, flashbacks and a myriad of fears and phobias that develop in her life from this experience. Children consistently draw conclusions about themselves and make decisions about how to stay safe during these times of distress in their young lives. They draw many generalizations which the subconscious mind clings to as truth.
One of the common beliefs we have uncovered through using clinical hypnotherapy with women who have been traumatized by men is that, "All men are abusers." This belief is especially strong in women who were abused by their fathers, step-fathers, brothers or uncles. Since children commonly go into a state of dissociation and shock during traumatic events, this often creates a situation in which they do not remember what happened to them. Dissociation is a protective mechanism which helps children cope with abusive experiences so that they don't go crazy; it can actually appear as if nothing happened.
If a child abuse victim was also not protected by her mother or any other adults in the family, she may develop the belief system that tells her, "I am just like my mother and am unable to protect my own children." She may have drawn the conclusion that she might even harm her own children. This could lead to a subconscious decision, "I should never have children." Or, "I should never be a mother." Thus, "I will never get pregnant" may be a deep unconscious decision still affecting her even in her adult life. This belief, then, sends a signal to her female parts to stop ovulation or in some other way prevent any pregnancies.
Fertility, Pregnancy, and the Mind-Body Relationship
The amazing thing that we have observed in over 35 years and thousands of hypnotherapy sessions is that the mind and the body do work together to carry out the messages of the subconscious mind. We have observed this phenomenon and now there is clear medical research to support the assertion that a woman's body reacts to her deep subconscious beliefs in a similar way to what we commonly call "the placebo effect." The research is clear that when a control group is given a "sugar pill" and told it is an anti-depressant. Many in that group have the same diminishing of depression as the group that is actually given the anti-depressant. So the placebo effect consistently reinforces what we as clinical hypnotherapists have observed for decades. The mind and body are intrinsically connected and work together to follow the directions of the belief systems that we hold.
So when we apply this phenomenon to the infertile couple through hypnotherapy, we can get down into the subconscious mind and discover what experiences may be held there and what conclusions and decisions may be preventing her from conceiving.
These unwanted and unconscious conclusions can now be taken out of the hands of the young child who made them and brought to the adult to reframe into conclusions and decisions that support the adult to have her desires fulfilled.
Hypnotherapy Can Influence Conception and Pregnancy
The blocks to conception do not have to be as severe as sexual abuse. This is only one example of what may be blocking a couple from conceiving. Couples need to also understand that, whatever may be uncovered in the sessions, it does not mean it is the woman's fault. We are not looking to blame or point fingers at either the man or the woman. A man's subconscious beliefs can also affect his sperm count and it is a good idea for both partners to use hypnotherapy to get down to whatever may be blocking conception.
The skilled, certified hypnotherapist has the tools to work with the couple in order for them to clear what is blocking their baby from entering the world. We at The Wellness Institute have many parents, grandparents and family members who send pictures of their babies and consistently thank our hypnotherapists for discovering a much less expensive and much less invasive method of treating infertility than going through traditional infertility treatment.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work in Treating Suicidal Patients
At The Wellness Institute, we have worked with thousands of people with suicidal ideation. Often these clients are just labeled depressed by family doctors and sent on their way with the latest anti-depressant. Traditional therapists may spend hours upon insurance-billable hours using CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), attempting to cognitively teach the client to "manage" their symptoms of depression. Too often this is what we call "band-aid therapy," like putting a band-aid on a survivor of a major car crash.
Applying Hypnotherapy to Depression and Suicidal Ideation
With Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy we begin treating the depression by identifying the symptoms and feelings, and then proceeding to where and when it began. Seeking the origin of the depression may lead us back to a recent devastating loss, failure, or rejection. However, ultimately the real source of the depression is often found in pre- and prenatal experiences. And what is most often discovered in this amazing journey of personal transformation is that somewhere down the road are several hidden beliefs/ conclusions about oneself and decisions about how to behave as a result of these self-sabotaging conclusions. For example, a client we will call Penny has been bulimic for most of her life, not allowing herself to receive nourishment. She then became very desperate with her inability to stop the bulimic behavior.
Penny found herself caught in the trap of the "Victim Triangle" with her food addiction. She always felt like a victim by not being able to control what she ate, then she would try to rescue herself by attempting to over-control her eating addiction behavior. When that didn't work she would persecute herself with all the judgments and negative self-talk about what an inadequate loser she was. And then she would subsequently push herself right into the victim role again. Penny was not consciously aware that by persecuting herself with negative self hypnotic suggestions, by regurgitating the nourishment from the food she was eating and then by diving deep into her depression, she was attempting to kill herself.
Using Hypnotherapy to Identify Past Trauma
As she attended many traditional treatment programs for eating disorders which never worked, she began to fall into deeper and deeper depressions. This ultimately led to several serious attempts of suicide by cutting her own wrists. When she finally found her way to a trained and certified hypnotherapist, she had given up any hope of ever healing. The first regression lead her to age five where she had intense body memories of a man forcing his penis down her throat and she felt like she was choking to death. Then she was gagging to the point of needing to throw up in order to get rid of the slimy disgusting stuff that was stuck in her throat. Then the next thing that came to her was that she was in the kitchen where her abuser proceeded to give her cookies and other sweets to soothe and make her feel better. These sweets were always around since her father owned a bakery and each night he would bring home the sweets that hadn't been purchased. She was taught to self-soothe anxiety, fear and panic with cookies, pastries and cupcakes.
In several subsequent sessions, Penny visited different places of anxiety connected with food. Her father being an alcoholic and a control freak made the dining room table a place of horrendous fear and panic for his wife and their six children. He always inspected their nails, clothes and hair like he had done when he was in the Marines. He demanded that they fill their plates with food and sit there until it was all eaten. He continually reminded them of all the suffering children on the planet, how he had fought overseas so that he could feed them this food and what ungrateful little wretches they were. He would yell at one or two of the children each meal time for obscure offenses that they had supposedly committed. One night he turned over the whole table and all the plates, silver and glasses went crashing onto the floor. Utter chaos ensued just as it had so many other times at the family table. One night he picked up a very hot beef roast and threw it at their mother, who began screaming in pain, humiliation, terror and rage. He felt the roast was not rare enough for his liking. The children, of course, always had to clean up the messes, pick up everything from the floor and wash the dishes, floors and walls. When the dishes were done, he would come in to inspect them. If even one spoon had a smidgen of food on it, he would make them pull down all the dishes, pots and pans and glasses and rewash everything all over again. Then of course they had to do their homework. By then the children were so exhausted, nervous, and anxious they could barely concentrate on their homework assignments. It was at this time when she had made a decision to die.
Achieving Healing Results
There were many regressions of our bulimic, self destructive client where she used the energy release bat to get out her fear and rage. She began to feel her depression lifting and discovered what it felt like to be relaxed, peaceful and even joyful. We did, however, have one more hypnotic regression to do. She said that whenever she met new people or came into a new situation, she always felt inadequate, unacceptable and extremely self-conscious. She would be so anxious that she wanted to run out of the room, but she knew she had to make herself stay. So in the next session, instead of focusing on the specific eating disorder symptoms, we focused on her experience of not being accepted for who she was every time she entered a new situation.
In the regression, she discovered herself in her mother's womb. At first it was dark and pleasant and quiet. Then she began to look upset. We asked her what was happening and she replied, "I'm a girl. My father definitely wants a boy. I'm not right for him. He will never be able to really love me." She soon began to realize that as she was being born and her gender was announced by the doctor, "It's a girl," her mother also felt very disappointed. Our client could feel that her parents were both expecting and wanting a boy, since they already had four girls. Her early conclusion about herself was, "I'm a mistake." "I'm unwanted." "I'll never be what they want." Her decision was, "I shouldn't exist."
This combination of traumatic experiences, is the perfect recipe for an eating disorder which can become deadly. The original rejection of the child for her gender, oral sexual abuse forced on this same small girl followed by attempts to soothe her with cookies, and all this amidst almost continuous gut wrenching anxiety-filled abusive meals: these are the perfect ingredients to form an alcoholic, food-binging eating disordered woman with suicide attempts.
Penny resolved her eating disorder, her anxiety, and her suicidal depression all at the same time, because they were all symptoms caused by the same source traumas. In this instance, hypnotherapy was directly applied to treat a complex web of symptoms that, to the patient, seemingly had no end.
Hypnotherapy and Mind-Body-Spirit Healing
Many schools of psychology and even hypnotherapy do not understand how to integrate the mind, the body, and the spirit with the clinical treatment of clients using hypnotherapy. In a Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy model, people often discover emotions that they never knew they had or that they did not have an ability to express. Using hypnotherapy, we can teach the client to identify their emotions and then to put the appropriate label on these feelings. The most effective way for clients to have absolutely certain that an emotion is in fact present, is to bring their awareness down into their body and notice what is happening.
Many try to simply "think about" what they are feeling. The problem with this attitude is that these feelings are not located in their head, nor are they located in the conscious mind. These emotions are located in the subconscious part of the mind and physically in the body. Hypnotherapy is most effective for mind-body work because every emotion that we experience has a corresponding reaction in the body.
Hypnotherapy Can Address the Mind/Body Relationship
For example, when you begin to feel sadness, your eyes may start to tear up; you may have a slight pressure in the center of your chest, the heart center. The heart center is not your physical heart; it is your emotional heart. When you experience joy, you may feel like laughing or smiling (a physical reaction) and you may feel a warm feeling in your chest. Some people experience anger in their chest with a pounding sensation, rapid breathing and tightness, perhaps in the stomach. Fear often expresses as tightness or burning in the stomach or chest. Shame or embarrassment usually causes the person to put their hand over their eyes or cover their face.
The body never lies and is the most consistent reporter of our current emotional status at any given time. In Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, we always ask the client to bring their awareness into their body to find the place where the feeling or emotion is located. Then we use the Gestalt Therapy approach taught by Dr. Fritz Peris of "giving that part of the body a voice" and letting it express to us our deeper emotions of which we are usually unaware.
Many people hold their emotions inside their bodies, which is what some of us were taught to do as children. When this holding-in of powerful emotions has become a lifelong pattern, it can certainly lead to disease and chronic pain or illness. With the Heart-Centered types of therapies, the stressed person can learn to identify and release these powerful emotions in a healthy way so that the internalized stress does not lead them to a fatal illness such as cancer or heart attacks.
When a client is in a hypnotherapy session, they have much more direct access to their emotions because they are in the subconscious mind. The client in the trance state is much more aware of their body and can be easily directed to notice and express in a healthy way, the feelings that have been stored within the body. This release of emotions is like opening or loosening the valve of a pressure cooker. The steam can slowly be released without exploding. This is how hypnotherapy heals the mind and the body, through the information revealed, expressed and released from the client's energy field. This is also the reason why hypnotherapy can be so successfully used by psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and school counselors as well as by doctors in the field of integrative medicine.
Hypnotherapy and the Spirit
Now how does spirit fit in? While the person is in the hypnotherapeutic trance state, clients often experience warmth or a light sensation near the end of their session. This phenomenon occurs with such frequency during the hypnotherapy experience that we have not been able to ignore it. We have learned after more than forty years of experience that many people are longing for some type of spiritual connection. This connection is available through the hypnotherapy process and can be used to help the client reclaim what may have been missing in their lives since they were children: the deepest and highest parts of themselves.
Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD
It has become clear in recent years that there are degrees of wounding in traumatization, some being more pervasive and complicated than others. One attempt to distinguish between them is the distinction between trauma and complex trauma, or PTSD and Complex PTSD. Complex trauma refers to trauma experienced as overwhelmingly intolerable, that occurs repeatedly and cumulatively, usually over a period of time and within specific intimate relationships which violate the human bond and sever the vital human connection.  The victim of complex traumatization is entrapped and conditioned by the perpetrator whom the victim relies on for safety and protection.
In families, it is exemplified by domestic violence and child abuse and in other situations by war, prisoner of war or refugee status, and human trafficking. Complex trauma also refers to situations such as acute/chronic illness that requires intensive medical intervention or a single traumatic event that is calamitous.
Understanding Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD
Unresolved complex trauma results in Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD), which produces apparently contradictory symptoms.
When children and adults are traumatized beyond their breaking point, they retreat inwardly to call on unconscious resources. The child tried fight or flight and it didn't work (the abuse got worse), so he had to stop responding with that behavior. But his body's nervous system didn't stop reacting with sympathetic activation, and this energy just built up because it was unsafe to express it. So he had to find a way to override the body's natural response to stress, and to tolerate the growing accumulation of undischarged energy.
The mind dissociates from paying attention to what is intolerable; the body dissociates as well, through compensating activation, which we call shock. This is the central distinction between trauma and complex trauma, between PTSD and complex PTSD. This is the clinical definition of Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; exposure to sustained, repeated or multiple traumas, particularly in childhood, resulting in a complex symptom presentation that includes not only posttraumatic stress symptoms, but also other symptoms reflecting disturbances predominantly in affective and interpersonal self-regulatory capacities such as difficulties with anxious arousal, anger management, dissociative symptoms, and aggressive or socially avoidant behaviors. 
The Individual Split
These other symptoms are really defenses which formed early on and were effective at surviving the ongoing trauma by allowing body and mind to dissociate. In a sense, the person is now accompanied by a powerful companion, a protective bodyguard for the traumatized and overwhelmed person to hide behind. Creating this bodyguard comes at a steep price, however; the person must turn over to the bodyguard, the set of defensive behaviors, the moment-to-moment decision-making about when and how to protect him/her. So the bodyguard might perceive an imminent threat, whether there is actually one or not, and throw himself in front of the one he is sworn to protect, suddenly, without warning or explanation or even rational purpose. That happens when I begin to experience loneliness and my protector ushers me into the kitchen to eat three pieces of cake; or when I experience that my boss is angry at me and my protector forces me into the nearest hiding place; or when I experience my spouse getting cozy with someone I consider to be a rival for her affection and my protector explodes in a jealous rage.
The result is a split in the individual; the bodyguard develops into a powerful neurotic pathology in the form of addictions, thought disorders, anxieties, depression, and other self-sabotaging behaviors.
These self-sabotaging behaviors are the psychological component of the protection, i.e., the adaptation to perceived threat. And shock is the physiological component, the same dissociative and defensive pattern embedded in the autonomic nervous system. The bodyguard (who shares the body's real estate with the conscious ego-self) has conscripted the body to its service and manages to step into control, to take the steering wheel away from the conscious ego-self, through control of the nervous system. The over-eater literally "finds herself eating desserts" despite the conscious ego-self's best intentions not to. The bodyguard has taken control of the part of her that carries the willpower and ability to make healthy choices by putting it to sleep (parasympathetic shock) or by distracting it with busyness (sympathetic shock).
It is important to recognize that the bodyguard is just doing its job, what it was selected for so long ago and trained to do: protect me. It is not malevolent, bad, or mean-spirited, any more than the ocean is when it rises up in a tsunami. It is just doing instinctually what comes naturally. We showed great courage and wisdom as children in going out to seek and find a powerful ally to help us deal with the trauma. Surely now as adults we can find the courage and wisdom to confront those same powerful forces (bodyguards) to renegotiate the arrangement.
The way to retrain or recondition the bodyguard is to retake control of the body's nervous system. When the bodyguard cannot usurp the body through sleep or distractions, the conscious ego-mind is returned to its rightful place at the steering wheel. And then I can choose to say to the bodyguard, "Thank you for trying to help me, but right now there is no threat. So take a break. I'll take it from here. And that means I won't eat cake right now; I'm going to deal with my loneliness in a different way. Maybe I'll call a friend."
Hypnotherapy is a preferred method of working with both the psychological component and the physiological component of Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
 Courtois, C. A. (2004). Complex trauma, complex reactions: Assessment and treatment. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(4), 412-425.
 Herman, J. L. (1992). Complex PTSD: A syndrome in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5, 377-377.
Treating Anxiety and Stress with Hypnotherapy
There are three main traditional ways anxiety has been treated.
1. Medication is usually offered to the anxiety ridden patient as the first line of treatment. This may work for some people, but it is more like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. You need to keep reapplying the band-aid daily in the hopes that the wound will eventually get better. And the band-aid may not be big enough to cover the wound. There will be more bleeding and maybe an infection will set in and before you know it you may have to go to the emergency room because adequate treatment was not given at the beginning.
2. Some people will go to a counselor or take a stress reduction class, in hopes of getting some relief. This would be like putting the band-aid to treat the gaping wound on another part of the body. So let's say the wound is on your left leg and then you put the band-aid on the right leg. It obviously will not stop the bleeding at all.
3. Some people try to ignore it or get used to their anxiety for many years until the symptoms demand attention. Perhaps the person is so anxious that he is driving his family crazy and his wife wants a divorce. Or he begins to self-medicate his anxiety with alcohol, drugs, sex, food or gambling. Then he is referred to AA or put on a diet or sent to a marriage counselor. Again, the symptoms are being treated without going to the source of the anxiety and the so-called treatment will not solve the problem at all.
Why Is Hypnotherapy So Effective in Treating Anxiety?
We are addressing the underlying emotions that feed the anxiety. Effective hypnotherapy can quickly, usually in the first session, get right down to the source of the client's anxiety through age regression work. In the hypnotherapy session, we always begin with the current situation or triggering event in the client's life. So perhaps they describe becoming extremely anxious when facing a public speaking engagement or having to go in front of their professional board for an oral exam, having to speak to their boss or performing in a sporting event.
1.) We start with the feelings that they experience before the performance begins. The feelings that feed the anxiety are quite often fear, panic and shame. Then we ask where are these feelings located in the body. Perhaps they say in my chest or stomach. We then have them express these feelings to relieve some of the stress from their body. This is a main component in what makes hypnotherapy so effective. The majority of counselors and therapists have been taught to try to treat the feelings by talking about them with the client. Talking about feelings does not release or resolve or relieve them because emotions are not located in the brain. They are located in the body.
2.) Now we ask the anxious client to regress back to one of the first times they had these same or similar feelings of performance anxiety. Because we have hypnotized the client, we are actually addressing the subconscious mind and requesting that it bring to the awareness of the client the missing pieces of the puzzle of their anxiety. The subconscious mind is a huge reservoir of information, exactly like the memory chip in your computer. It stores a vast amount of information about patterns in your life and it can be accessed easily through hypnotherapy.
3.) We use the exact same situation of the client facing a performance and then experiencing anxiety, combined with the feelings of (for example) fear which is described as tightness in the stomach, and the feeling of panic may be sweating and the feeling of shame indicated by the person putting their hand over their eyes or face to hide the blushing. And when the client regresses to a similar situation it is often in their childhood.
So keeping with our example of performance anxiety, perhaps the subconscious mind takes our client to age 12 where he is asked to present something in front of the class at school. He reports that his teacher begins to yell at him because he did the wrong assignment. And then the other children start laughing at him and calling him names. He then may regress even younger to age five when he wet his pants in kindergarten and his teacher shamed and embarrassed him in front of the whole class.
4.) Now in the hypnotherapy session we are able to assist that five year old boy to create a different experience. He can tell the teacher that it hurts his feelings when she speaks to him like that, and tell her to never do that again. Ever! He can recognize that his best friend in the class is not laughing at him or mocking him, and he can find comfort in his friend's loving support. Incredibly, the relief that the five year old experiences actually relieves the adult's anxiety and bolsters his self-confidence.
The beauty of hypnotherapy is that we can follow the bridge that takes us through the life of the person and right to the sources of dysfunctional patterns and anxiety.
Hypnotherapy treats the complete mind, body and emotions as one complete package, and we can do that all at the same time.
By going down to the source of the anxiety we are rooting it out. It's as if you wanted to get the weeds out of your garden and you did so by cutting the upper part of the weed down to the soil. Now we all know that by doing that, we have not gotten to the root of the weed and it will certainly grown back very soon! Find the roots of the symptoms in a person's life today and resolve it once and for all.
Hypnotherapy Can Help Women Prevent Cancer and Treat Menopausal Symptoms
Hypnosis is a proven effective treatment for menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats, new research finds. This alternative therapy reduced hot flashes by as much as 74% in a study conducted by researchers at Baylor University's MindBody Medicine Research Laboratory.
Only hormone therapy, which many women can't take or want to avoid, is more effective for treating the most common symptom of menopause, says researcher Gary R. Elkins, PhD.
Hot flashes, which affect about 80% of women, are a sudden rush of heat, followed by facial flushing and sweating, often followed by chills and clamminess. The progression is familiar to most women of peri-menopausal age, although it is unclear why some women are more affected than others.
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Reduce Hot Flash Frequency
In an earlier study, Elkins and his Baylor colleagues showed that hypnosis dramatically reduced hot flash and night sweat frequency in breast cancer patients with treatment-related symptoms.
In the newly published study, they set out to determine if the alternative treatment would do the same in women whose symptoms were related to menopause.
The study's postmenopausal women reported having at least seven hot flashes a day, or 50 a week. The women in the study were given self-hypnosis training consisting of five, 45-minute weekly sessions. During the sessions they received suggestions for mental imagery designed to minimize the intensity of their hot flashes, such as images of a cool place. The women were also given a recording of the hypnotic induction, and they were asked to practice self-hypnosis at home daily.
The study participants kept "hot flash frequency" diaries, and they also wore small sensors on their bodies that recorded their hot flashes.
After 12 weeks:
* Women in the hypnosis group reported 74% fewer hot flashes on average, compared with 17% fewer among the other women.
* The skin sensors showed a 57% reduction in hot flashes among the hypnosis group, compared to a 10% reduction in the non-hypnosis group.
* The women treated with hypnosis were far less likely than the other women to report that their hot flashes interfered with their daily lives and sleep.
The study was published in the Oct. 26, 2012 issue of the journal Menopause, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Hypnotherapy and the Mind-Body Treatment of Women
The use of hypnotherapy in the mind-body treatment of women is concomitant in helping them to find healing and to take back control of their bodies. From the earliest age of beginning menses, many young women feel mystified, usually because they haven't been properly informed about what was happening to them and their bodies. The women who tend to have debilitating cramps and difficult menstrual cycles, painful intercourse and long arduous birthing experiences, are often the very same women who have been shamed about their menstrual cycles, ridiculed about their developing breasts, treated as sexual objects and even sexually abused or raped. So it is not surprising that these are often the same women who, when entering into the aging process, also find that to be just as painful, humiliating and out of their control. Hypnotherapy, then, is the key to giving them back power over their bodies and the cycles that are still mystifying them.
How can hypnotherapy give women back power and control of their bodies and prevent cancer?
1. Teaching them self-hypnosis and making healing recordings that they can play at home.
2. Using the titration hypnotherapy technique so they can:
* decrease the intensity of the hot flashes, with less or no medication needed
* decrease painful menses cramps, less use of medical drugs
* increase good feelings about being a woman, decreasing anti-depressant drugs
* decrease intensity of surges in childbirth (not using anesthesia, producing a fully present mother and an alert infant)
* increase their ability to relax when their body is tensing up (less medications)
* decreasing hot flashes and thus eliminating taking hormones (potentially cancer producing)
3. Treating sexual abuse, thus reducing the shame they
carry internally about being a woman.
All of the shame, fear, rage and self-hatred has a high correlation among women who eventually develop cancers in their breasts, cervix and uterus. Just take a look at the ever increasing number of women having hysterectomies at younger and younger ages. Treating these issues early on with hypnotherapy can certainly help to prevent or ameliorate some forms of dis-ease, including cancer, and perhaps decrease the number of women losing their wombs. When left unaddressed, all of this shame, terror, rage and self-hatred begins and continues contaminating a woman's internal organs. This cancerous self-loathing continues "eating away" at the sexual organs of the women when they have not had the profound benefit of hypnotherapy to cleanse their body, mind and indeed, their soul.
Hypnotherapy for Pregnancy: Can it be Applied Effectively?
People often call to ask if it is advisable to use hypnotherapy with a pregnant woman. The answer is YES\ Actually there are many uses for hypnotherapy and pregnant women. Recently there was an incredible program on NBC Dateline showing the use of hypnosis in delivering babies. Two young women birthed their babies, totally free of pain, quickly and without any drugs or pain medication.
This article offers suggestions for using clinical hypnotherapy techniques for pregnant women with any of four situations described: (1) any specific fears about childbirth; (2) nausea or vomiting; (3) any condition which requires her to stay in bed; or (4) desiring a baby of particular gender.
Hypnotherapy and the Conditioning Process
You will always want to teach and condition the couple in the use of hypnosis at least two months before the birth in several real-life sessions as well as making them audio recordings. You should make one 90 minute recording with all kinds of positive suggestions. The "mother-to-be" needs an audio player with headphones. This way she can begin listening to the tape as soon as she goes into labor to stay totally relaxed during the whole process. The more relaxed things are, the quicker and easier the delivery will be.
Educating the Doctor About Using Hypnotherapy
It is advisable for you as the certified hypnotherapist to make a visit to the doctor with your patient in order to explain what you will be doing and how he/she can support your client in not using anesthetic. One way is not to offer it to her. Another is not to ask any unnecessary questions, allowing her to remain undistracted and relaxed.
Know the Parents' Issues
Talk thoroughly with the parents to find out if either has any special problems such as:
1. Any specific fears and whom he/she may have learned those fears from
2. Any nausea/vomiting
3. Any condition which requires her to stay in bed
4. Wishing to have a baby of particular gender
Hypnotherapy can be effectively applied to pregnant women who exhibit one of these four special cases as well as many others. The application of hypnotherapy during pregnancy is intended to harness the power of suggestion and relaxation in order to access the part of a patient's mind that is responsible for physiological functions and reactions. Helping pregnant women cope with the fear and anxiety that typically accompanies pregnancy and childbirth is the chief aim of any application of hypnotherapy in this context. During labor, anxiety and fear can contribute to harder and more painful contractions. If hypnotherapy is applied effectively during childbirth, the expectant mother should have a more even breath rate, delivering oxygen more effectively to the mother and baby, and improved relaxation in the core muscle groups contributing to the delivery. Ideally, this will lead to contractions that are less painful and more effective.
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|Title Annotation:||page 3-47|
|Author:||Zimberoff, Diane; Hartman, David|
|Publication:||Journal of Heart Centered Therapies|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2014|
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|Next Article:||Applications of hypnosis and hypnotherapy: a compilation of brief monographs.|