According to WebMD, hypnotherapy is a guided relaxation, intense concentration and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance.
A session will start out by helping you to relax and deeply focus on a specific time in your life. Once you reach this point, you block out everything happening around you except for the therapists voice. The therapist will say things to you in a whispered voice that will help you work through a moment in your life. That moment is usually one that causes great distress in your daily life.
Hypnotherapy has many benefits. It can help people who experience stress, anxiety, unhealthy behaviors and more. If you have an intense fear of tight spaces, hypnotherapy can change the way you feel the next time you are in a tight space. It can make you see it has a positive space. This is because people are more responsive and willing to change while under hypnotic state.
This form of treatment can be harmful because it brings up repressed memories. These memories are ones we forget because they caused a lot of pain to think about. When you try to bring back a repressed memory, the pain can come back.
Another drawback of this form of treatment is the way it is meant to help people. In order to change how someone feels about a stressful moment in their life is to change that memory. This turns that moment into a false memory. An example would be a hypnotherapist making you believe someone who makes you feel safe was in that stressful memory with you or making you think you acted differently.
I have tried this form of therapy with my therapist in the past. It was used to help me with my anxiety. I would tell her the details of moment in my life where I experienced severe anxiety. She waved her hand in front of my face to put me in a relaxed state. In a soft voice, she replayed the memory for me. When she got to a stressful moment, she changed it by telling me to imagine it happening with my boyfriend being there or me staying calm and not experiencing any anxiety in that moment.
Did this form of therapy work for me? I can easily say no. There were moments when I did react negatively when my therapist got to a stressful moment but I wasn’t able to change how I felt about it. I tried hard to focus and think about everything she was telling me to. It isn’t for everybody.
I wouldn’t recommend hypnotherapy for anxiety or any kind of mental health. Hypnotherapy works best for people who are experiencing. While focusing on the pain, a hypnotherapist can help you find suggestions to think about to shift your attention away from the pain.
Have you tried hypnotherapy? Did it work for you?