Does Hypnosis for Drug Addiction Really Work?

Does Hypnosis for Drug Addiction Really Work?

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Hypnosis for drug addiction is quickly becoming a new technique used by hypnotherapists and psychologists to help patients recover from addictive behaviors and improve their lives.

Traditional “talk therapy” used by psychiatrists and psychologists has been practiced for years. This type of therapy, called psychoanalysis, occurs when the individual is in a “conscious” or “active” mental state. We are in a “conscious” mental state most of the day, but naturally drift from one level to another throughout our waking day while our minds and bodies interact with our environment. Our conscious state of mind is considered to be the repository for our thoughts. This is the mental state where our brain does most of our thinking.

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Most traditional forms of “talk therapy” consist of verbal dialogues between the doctor and patient as a counseling method to help the individual analyze their negative behaviors while seeking positive ways to improve it. The doctor and the patient typically discuss attitudes and behavioral patterns by talking about the emotional and physical aspects of the drug addiction. The intent is to discuss the negative behaviors and the underlying motives by working with the “conscious” mind state. Hypnosis has proven effective when other traditional forms of therapy have become stagnant or ineffective.

Hypnosis is becoming more popular as a therapeutic method by helping patients with drug addictions because it focuses on the individual’s “subconscious” mental state versus the more logical “conscious” level we are more accustom to. The therapist is able to work with individuals while they are in a “hypnotic” frame of mind and, therefore, more relaxed and receptive to new ideas or suggestions. When we are relaxed, we are better able to focus on a specific topic without interruption by external stimuli. Our “subconscious” mental state is more receptive to new thoughts as compared to our “conscious” level which tends to be more analytical than intuitive. A “hypnotic” mental state is a mental state similar to daydreaming. This dream-like state allows the therapist and the individual to concentrate on the underlying emotions that motivate addictive behaviors. The objective is to encourage better behavior through positive thinking.

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Hypnotherapy, which is therapy combined with the aid of hypnosis, is different from other more traditional forms of therapy because the counseling sessions focus on the person’s “subconscious” mental state. During hypnosis, the therapist and the individual concentrate on the “subconscious” level which is more easily influenced by our memories and emotions which many believe are the underlying factors that greatly influence our behaviors. By altering the way we think, we increase the chances of changing the way we behave. Our minds control our bodies, more than our bodies control our minds. This therapeutic approach to modifying our fundamental beliefs or thought patterns and, ultimately our behaviors, through hypnosis has become more popular with practice.

Hypnosis has proven to be most successful when used in combination with other therapeutic techniques. Therapists from various schools of psychological study have found hypnosis to be particularly successful with people who are active and willing participants. Individuals who are highly motivated to change their behaviors achieve greater success with the aid of hypnosis. Hypnosis further enables us to “communicate” with our subconscious mind because it induces a relaxed and peaceful mental state which is beneficial to self-improvement. Similar to traditional psychotherapy, we must understand ourselves before we can determine what we like or dislike about our personalities or our behaviors. Through better understanding, we can make better decisions about how we choose to live our lives. Self-determination combined with self-control is still the best prescription to improving one’s overall mental health.

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