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Is it Really a Valid Form of Treatment?
Hypnotherapy can be somewhat controversial, as it is psychotherapy, which is undertaken while the patient is under hypnosis. Most of the controversy comes from a misunderstanding of the purpose and techniques used in hypnotherapy; people assume hypnotherapy to use suggestion and pseudoscience as a means of treating serious issues. Hypnotherapy is an established form of therapy that simply uses the unique qualities of hypnosis to better treat patients with a wide range of emotional and psychological issues.
Hypnotherapy may be useful in a number of situations including:
- The treatment of social disorders
- Anxiety treatment
- Developmental psychotherapy
- Treating pain or teaching a patient to manage pain from a physical condition or disability
You might be considering hypnotherapy for a number of other reasons. It can be a worthwhile form of therapy, but it’s important to fully understand how hypnotherapy works and what to look for in a therapist before paying for treatment.
Why Some Patients Choose Hypnotic Psychotherapy
Many people wonder what the advantages of hypnotic psychotherapy are as compared to more traditional forms of psychotherapy. This can be difficult to explain, as hypnotherapy is chosen by patients and doctors for various reasons.
Hypnosis causes the brain to work differently, and can make the patient open to suggestion. However, the patient can never be forced to do anything that he or she wouldn’t normally do, nor would the therapist intend to suggest anything specific to the patient. Instead, the hypnotherapist would use the patient’s state of hypnosis as a starting point for more traditional therapeutic and psychotherapeutic techniques that might fail under more traditional circumstances.
Hypnoses also foster a feeling of relaxation that can be beneficial in pain management or in anxiety & social disorder treatment. The muscles in the body may relax during and after a hypnotherapy session. Many therapists feel that hypnotherapy is a safer and faster alternative to pain relief medications that may be used to treat muscular conditions, and hypnosis may be an alternative to anti-anxiety medications that can be habit forming.
There may be other benefits to choosing a hypnotherapist, but treatment should be discussed with a licensed professional if you’re trying to determine whether you’d benefit from standard psychotherapy or psychotherapy that uses hypnosis as a part of your treatment.
Finding a Real Hypnotherapist
There are a number of self-proclaimed “doctors” and therapists who claim to offer hypnotherapy, but finding a real professional can be difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. Hypnotherapists should be able to present their patients with a certification from a widely recognized organization such as the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists or the International Hypnosis Federation. There are a number of boards that offer information about hypnotherapy and specific therapists who provide such services. If you are interested in hypnotherapy, it’s a good idea to start researching the field through these organizations.
You should also check the credentials of the hypnotherapist and look for a professional who has a background in the field and an education in either psychology, sociology, or both. Most registered hypnotherapists will have a graduate degree in one of these fields.
If you have not been diagnosed with a specific condition, you may also benefit from discussing your symptoms with a licensed hypnotherapist. Feel free to ask a hypnotherapist questions about his or her standard treatments and which types of psychological and physical conditions have been treated by these techniques in the past. Hypnotherapy can be a very helpful way to deal with various issues.