The Primary Symptoms Of Ptsd
Intrusion– the reliving of the trauma causing event on a fairly persistent basis such as:o Recurring and disturbing memories of the event, o Distressing dreams of the event, o Feeling of re-experiencing the event itself, such as illusions, hallucinations and flashbacks, o An intense fear during exposure to events that could resemble the past traumatic event Avoidance This is very common mechanism in which, the individual attempts to avoid situations which are associated with the trauma Hyper arousal When the individual has problems with feelings of increased arousal or vigilance that were not present before the trauma:o Difficulty with sleep, o Intense irritability and angry outbursts, o Difficulty with concentration, o Hyper vigilance, o An over-exaggerated startle response when surprised, Signs of increased panic and stress response, such as rapid breathing, higher heart rate, sweating etc. when exposed to situations that resemble the earlier trauma.Other symptoms that could occur months or even years after the original trauma may include the following:
- amnesia, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate
- obsession – the experience takes over your life
- feelings of nervousness, anxiety and fear
- depression and avoidance behavior
- excessive shame, embarrassment or guilt
- emotional numbness or detachment
Combined Treatment Of Anxiety And Phobias
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy have both proven successful in treating anxiety. And, as they share the use of both imagery and relaxation, there is the potential for an integrated approach.
When these treatments are combined, cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy can improve the management of anxiety disorders and phobias .
Research has shown CBH to be successful at treating:
- General anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Can Help People With Ptsd
Theres a well-used expression in business, that theres a solution to every problem. It certainly doesnt feel that way when you have post-traumatic stress disorder and struggle with daily symptoms and trauma impact.
However, among the therapy options for PTSD, there are ones that focus on finding solutions! Positive steps forward that may help you to manage your symptoms.
This article explores what is solution-focused hypnotherapy? and its potential to be a successful element of PTSD treatment.
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How Hypnosis Can Help With Traumatic Memories
Trauma is not something we ever want to deal with in our lives. Unfortunately, it does happen. The memories of such events can be extremely painful to deal with. Our brain tends to work as a coping mechanism and store these traumatic moments deep within our subconscious.
Perhaps you have thought there is a way to completely erase these bad memories? Films and television may give you the impression that hypnosis is able to do so, and this is a big misconception. When reality decides to give you a dose of personal trauma, you become faced with the hugest urge to get it out of your head. However, the harder you try, the more the memories end up rebounding back into your conscious mind.
It is during these helpless moments when we feel hypnosis seems the way to go to erase these memories out of pure desperation, to flick the switch so to speak. Can we really use hypnotherapy to be free of these traumatic memories?
No. That being said, what I can do is to help you heal from these traumatic memories and move forward so you dont have the symptoms that the traumas created. Heres some more information on how that works.
Ptsd Symptoms In Women
Research suggests that men and women may experience some symptoms of PTSD differently from each other. Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD during their lives, are more likely to experience symptoms for longer, and are typically more sensitive to reminders of their trauma. However, researchers have found it typically takes longer for women to receive a diagnosis.
Common symptoms of PTSD for women can include intrusive thoughts, emotional detachment, a sense of guilt, flashbacks, hypervigilance, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in hobbies, and self-destructive behaviour.
Discover more about the research into how effective hypnotherapy is for treating symptoms of PTSD.
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Hypnosis For Ptsd: How Can It Help
When it comes to science, there are studies that show hypnosis is just as good at treating PTSD as other methods, such as other types of therapy.
Treating PTSD with medication is difficult because of the range of symptoms. If people choose to go on medications, its like three or four different pills.
Anti-psychotics are often used to treat PTSD, and they have some nasty side effects.
Hypnosis can help patients work through trauma so they dont need the medication as much or for as long. We never encourage going off of medication unless you speak to your doctor about it.
But we do recommend seeking out a plan for getting off the medication.
Hypnosis For Ptsd: Everything You Need To Know
Whats your trauma?
Its not a catchy expression, but it seems everyone nowadays has experienced something horrific. From school shootings to the opioid epidemic to returning from war, PTSD is at least diagnosed more oftenif not more common.
And its not an easy thing to treat. There are a host of medications someone has to take together to treat their personal symptoms.
Not a medication person or want to get off your meds faster? You may want to try hypnosis for PTSD.
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What Can You Expect During A Hypnotherapy Session
Every clinical hypnotherapist will have their own technique, but a session generally starts out by reclining in a relaxed position. The hypnotherapist will then guide you into a relaxed state, known as a trance, using a number of techniques, such as deep breathing and visualization.
Once youre in a receptive state, the hypnotherapist will deliver positive statements and affirmations to shift you to a more positive mindset. They may suggest ways for you to achieve your goals, such as handling situations without anxiety or eliminating the urge to overeat. Dont worryyou dont lose control over your behavior while in a trance. Youre fully aware of whats happening and are always in control of your actions.
When the session is over, the hypnotherapist will guide you out of the state of relaxation.
Learning And Your Unconscious Mind
Hypnosis is a state of tightly narrowed focus of attention, a state in which we become better at learning because this narrowing of focus makes us more suggestible. The kind of learning we do in natural hypnotic states tends to be unconscious learning we learn, but are not aware that we are doing so. But conscious learning also takes place in hypnotic states.
Whatever you have really learnt in life, you learnt in a state of trance. Whether it was good or bad, whether you were learning consciously or unconsciously, your attention was narrowly focused on the learning, and certain elements of reality were excluded.
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What Conditions Is Hypnosis Helpful In Treating
Hypnotherapy may help treat any number of medical conditions in which psychological factors influence physical symptoms.
Common mental health uses include:
- Gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome .
- Pain control, including after surgery, childbirth, cancer, fibromyalgia, burns and headaches .
- Skin conditions, including warts and psoriasis.
- Side effects of cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment, including nausea and vomiting.
Hypnosis continues to be explored for use in these and many other medical conditions.
Insights Provided By The Origins Of Solution
David Newton, a highly respected figure in the field of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, is often described as the Father of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
However, it has its roots in similar techniques used for many years. For example, Solution Focused Brief Therapy was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the USA some years before. This too is a treatment strategy that sets goals.
The basic principle of all solution-focused therapies is to help patients to envisage a better future for themselves, and then support them in finding ways to achieve that.
There have been studies on this strategy for treating various mental health conditions. One such piece of research by the University of York concluded: There was strong evidence that solution-focused brief therapy was an effective treatment, for a wide variety of behavioural and psychological outcomes. It seemed to be shorter, making it cheaper than alternative treatments.
The UK Department of Education reviewed available studies into Solution Focused Brief Therapy as a way of support children and families. The report concluded that though the evaluation material is sparse: Within this small pool of best evidence, however, the great majority of studies indicate at least some positive outcomes for the therapeutic target group.
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How Does It Work
- Proper diagnosis of PTSD
- The hypnotherapist should be aware whether he is dealing with a single, or multiple incidents of trauma.
- Client should understand the concept of PTSD and hypnotherapy goals
- Everything must be voluntary. If the patient has any doubts about this method, they should be excluded.
- Smoking cessation
- Curing a fear or a phobia
- Eliminating claustrophobia and agoraphobia
- Stopping nail biting and other habits
- Improving sports performance
Finding A Therapist Trained In Solution
The recommended place to start in finding a therapist trained in this particular technique to treat PTSD is the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. The AfSFH is a non-profit organisation with a database of local practitioners who operate within their code of conduct and professional guidelines. You can also find hypnotherpists at The National Council for Hypnotherapy, and UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations.
Its important to note, that while choosing your PTSD recovery path you need to address both the symptoms and the underlying condition. NICE guidance updated in 2018 recommends the use of trauma focused psychological treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in adults, specifically the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing and trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy .
Please remember, these arent meant to be medical recommendations, but theyre tactics that have worked for others and might work for you, too. Be sure to work with a professional to find the best methods for you.
Many thanks to Jason Langley of JPL Hypnotherapy for his insights and client account within this article.
Effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy: a systematic qualitative review of controlled outcome studies: WJ Gingerich and LT Peterson
Is Hypnotherapy Effective In Treating Trauma
Certain studies have shown hypnotherapy to be helpful in the treatment of trauma symptoms, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder , in some instances.
A meta-analysis of six studies on hypnotherapy found that hypnotherapy significantly reduced participants PTSD symptoms of intrusion and avoidance. Regardless of the nature of the trauma, participants who received hypnotherapy experienced a reduction in their symptoms.
However, not all studies used the same type of hypnotherapy, which compromised the findings.
Another study found that hypnotherapy can help reduce insomnia in those with combat-related PTSD. In fact, the study found that hypnotherapy, as an additive treatment, decreased intrusive and avoidance symptoms of PTSD and improved sleep.
Researchers have also found that hypnotherapy may be able to reduce depression symptoms. A study comparing the effectiveness of cognitive hypnotherapy, which is hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy , versus CBT alone, found that cognitive hypnotherapy was more effective in reducing depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.
The Concept Of Hypnosis
In its most literal sense, hypnosis aims to put a person into a temporary trance, where every outside input can be ignored or blocked. The person can then focus on the issues at hand, along with any thoughts and tasks that may be asked by the hypnotist. This input from the hypnotist is called hypnotic suggestion, and it can be very influential.
In some circles, it’s considered an aid to psychotherapy because it involves entering a trance-like state where the patient may potentially explore the painful feelings, thoughts, and memories that may be hidden from their consciousness. In terms of psychotherapy treatment goals, hypnosis is sometimes seen as a special entrance into the subconscious. It also seems to enable people to perceive aspects of their life differently, including blocking awareness of pain.
In psychology, it is currently used in two ways:
- Suggestion therapy, where the person can respond to suggestions. Proponents claim that it can help people change bad habits, such as smoking or nail-biting, and even train their perceptions and sensations so they’re not affected by pain. It is important to note that some experts find this approach to therapy problematic.
- Patient analysis, an approach that utilizes the relaxed state to explore the psychological root of disorders, symptoms, or even trauma that’s hidden within the unconscious memory. Once the trauma is revealed, it is addressed with psychotherapy.
Does Hypnosis Work?
What Are The Drawbacks Of Hypnosis
Book Your Hypnotherapy Session At Core Hypnosis Today
The aim of hypnotherapy is to help you overcome unwanted symptoms or unhealthy behaviours caused by trauma. This wont only eliminate the symptoms you experience as a result of trauma, but greatly improve your quality of life at large. Interested in making a positive change and taking control of your life? Book your hypnotherapy session at Core Hypnosis today. We can quickly arrange an appointment with an experienced hypnotherapist for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Hypnosis
The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to discussion and suggestion. It can improve the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:
- Phobias, fears, and anxiety
Hypnosis also might be used to help with pain control and to overcome habits, such as smoking or overeating. It also might be helpful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.
The Effectiveness Of Hypnosis For Ptsd
Formal hypnosis procedures are particularly useful due to people with PTSD being shown to be highly hypnotizable. Furthermore, hypnotherapy allows for the controlled access of memories that would otherwise remain out of consciousness.
More modern uses of hypnotherapy in PTSD victims include combining dissociated trauma with the positive reconstruction of these memories. Hypnosis can then be used to help people face the traumatic experience and come to terms with it by injecting the memory of the event into a new environment or context.
Hypnosis For Trauma And Ptsd
Defining trauma can be a challenge not made easier by the fact that it has become a buzzword, often times used to replace everyday stress, as in, I had a traumatic day at work.
The official definition that psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose trauma is that it is caused by a stressful occurrence outside the range of usual human experience and that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone. A trauma is something that happens outside of our understanding of how the world is supposed to work. Or to put it bluntly, a trauma is any kind of life event that kicks your butt.
It generally takes about three months to re-establish equilibrium after a trauma. The return to normal is actually a new normal. Approximately one out of three people who have had a traumatic experience dont recover to a new normal, but instead develop P.T.S.D. . PTSD is failure to recover from a traumatic event. The behaviors brought on by PTSD can occur soon after the event or be delayed for many months or even years.
Why hypnosis for treatment?
Hypnosis is proven to be very effective as a treatment tool for PTSD. People who are highly hypnotizable score high on measures of dissociation. People with PTSD score high on measures of hypnotizability and dissociation. Hypnosis is essentially a controlled state of dissociation and as such is effective.
Just know this, PTSD is a normal response by normal people to a traumatic situation.
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Amazing And Gifted Hypnotherapist
Ron is an amazing and gifted hypnotherapist. He is knowledgeable, empathic, and intuitive and connects emotionally right away.I felt very supported and understood by Ron and I am happy to say that with his support, my improved self-confidence, faith and a positive outlook are the benefits of hypnosis and inspiration for me in creating a new beginning in life. Thank you Ron, I really believe you were put in my life for a reason.
How Does Hypnotherapy For Trauma Work
Hypnotherapy explores different states of consciousness, which play a major role in your everyday life.
The conscious mind involves the thoughts and feelings you can access directly, while the state of mind accessed during hypnotherapy can be deeper and more focused on accessing certain thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. This includes your habits, skills, and past learnings that you dont often think about.
PTSD occurs after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, and comes about due to a variety of factors. PTSD symptoms fall under four categories:
- re-experiencing symptoms
- negative shifts in thoughts and mood
- physical symptoms
Hypnotherapy is not as well understood as other treatment options but if you are interested in trying hypnotherapy for trauma, consider speaking with a mental health professional about what treatment plan may be best for you.
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Reframing The Context Of Memory With Hypnotherapy
Memories, with their associated thoughts and emotions, are adaptable and flexible, making us open to suggestion and more able to accept small changes to some of their original meaning. Each time your mind replays a memory, minor details of the memory are constantly being remoulded. Most of the time we dont even realize it.
You can change what a particular memory means to you, how you feel about it, and how you respond to it when you create and attach new associations and narratives to that memory. When these changes are applied, they do not have to have happened in reality, but should be reasonably acceptable.
Hypnotherapy is your reframing tool to re-edit the emotional clay in your mind and your negative associations with a memory. They can be reinterpreted toward your hypnotherapeutic goals. As you change the way you feel about the memory, you change your entire perception of it, including altering your mental discomfort and the negative physical reactions.
You may not be able to erase the memories, but you can change specific thoughts, emotions, and behavioural associations connected to the memory with the help of hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy changes how you remember rather than the raw memory itself, by releasing the emotional response to the memory you release the symptom.
As mentioned earlier, messing with the mind can be thought of as unethical. So how is it that using hypnotherapy to change something in your memories is not?
Here are some things to consider: