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“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”-– Albert Einstein
Have you ever gotten “stuck” while in therapy? You know something isn’t right but can’t quite describe or connect to what is going on? Then a hypnotherapy session may be right for you.
Imagine that you finally took the step to reach out and begin going to therapy. You’ve been able to build a strong connection with your therapist and notice some major breakthroughs begin to happen in your life. Close relationships have improved, goals have been met, and you’ve regained a sense of confidence in your capacity to live life to the fullest.
Through your time in treatment, however, you begin to notice yourself falling into a plateau. Progress seems to halt. Sessions might seem to go around in circles, or the same theme seems to be coming up with no apparent movement.
Frustrated and uncertain, you notice yourself confronting some negative behavior patterns that you know you’d like to change but can’t quite seem to understand why you haven’t been able to create change.
Talking about it helps you see the pattern, but it doesn’t feel like it’s enough to really drop down into what’s at the core of the issue.
This scenario is fairly common in treatment. It’s similar to reaching a plateau at the gym, where you’ve been able to make some strides, but then begin to notice you’ve reached a point of stagnancy.
It’s easy to feel as though this is as “good as it’s going to get” or that some issues might just be too out of your conscious reach to heal from or too complex to fully realize. This is where hypnotherapy becomes an incredibly helpful intervention. Hypnotherapy assists you in overcoming these barriers.
Hypnotherapy has been around for some time but the majority of people don’t have a clear understanding of what it entails.
For most, it can bring many different ideas to minds usually based on pop-culture references.
Some people think of it as a “mind control” or a way to uncover repressed memories. Others think that hypnotherapy is “woo woo” magic. Most do not truly know what happens in hypnotherapy.
Although there a lot of misconceptions, hypnotherapy has been utilized more in conjunction with talk-therapy for many reasons. Partly because it can be a form of treatment on its own and it has the capacity to take process therapy to a higher level.
Is hypnotherapy right for you?
FACT: Clinicians choose hypnotherapy to address a wide range of circumstances; however, according to Yeates (2016), people choose to have hypnotherapy for many other reasons: (en.wikipedia.org)
The best way to know if hypnotherapy can help you is by checking in with yourself and your therapist as to how you’ve been progressing in treatment lately.
If you are getting “stuck” or experiencing any of the following signs, it could be helpful to incorporate hypnotherapy.
Signs that hypnotherapy could benefit you:
- Feeling as if you’re going round in circles and not getting anywhere in your treatment (reaching a plateau)
- Noticing that you have been having difficulty refraining from unhealthy behaviors although you might consciously be aware of the consequences of those behaviors
- Feeling yourself stressed or disconnected in session
- Not feeling able to relax into the mind-body connection
- Constantly feeling in a state of fight or flight which keeps you from being in the moment and fully being in touch with how you’re feeling in session and in life in general
Another reason adding hypnotherapy to your treatment can be helpful is it softens the defense mechanisms that keep us from reaching a deeper level of self-awareness.
Here are other benefits of hypnotherapy:
- Learn to relax in order to get the most out of your session
- Getting “unstuck” in therapy
- getting in touch with feelings that might be difficult to access through talk therapy
- recognizing when and why certain negative beliefs were made in your life and actively reprogram them in the subconscious mind.
- Being able to create a safe place with the subconscious mind in order to begin accessing uncomfortable feelings without becoming overwhelmed
- Learning how to regulate emotions and feeling more in control of your own feelings
- Ability to recognize subconscious barriers that might be out of conscious awareness/ difficult to access with the conscious mind
Usefulness of Hypnotherapy to Process Past Trauma, Memories, or Unresolved Issues:
Hypnotherapy works very similarly to mindfulness by intentionally focusing on the body and focusing on the emotions that are experienced when recalling specific memories.
Hypnotherapy utilizes the subconscious mind, which is accessed in theta brain wave state, the same brain wave as meditation.
This is the state in which we have greater access to our emotions without becoming overwhelmed by feelings attached. While in this state, you gain clarity as to what is informing your present-day behaviors.
Often times, I use hypnotic techniques that incorporate mindful breathing and meditation to allow you to connect the dots with memories from the past. We discover how these memories and feelings are informing your current behavior. It often leads to an “aha” moment.
I personally use these techniques periodically in session whenever I notice a client having a difficult time understanding themselves and their behavior. Often, the answers are not available to you in your conscious awakened state, which can leave you feeling frustrated as you attempt to “cognitively” figure out what is blocking your growth.
By closing your eyes, relaxing into the body, and deep breathing, you bypass the cognitive mind in order to access the core of the perceived problem.
Usefulness of Hypnotherapy in Regulating Emotion:
I’ve observed clients coming into the session with the whirlwind of the world still clinging to their minds. They arrive tense and tight, talking a million miles per minute, or numbed out and disconnected from themselves. They are basically in an active state of shock. This prolonged stress, or shock, in the body causes the mind to become “hijacked” by the nervous system.
When a client comes to the session hijacked by their nervous system, it can make it ten times harder to get any effective emotional work done. This is due to the fact that access to the prefrontal cortex (our area of processing and reasoning) becomes limited when by the shocked state.
By helping clients slow down, breathe, and use their subconscious minds to begin regulating their emotions, they regain the ability to move out of “shock” mode and are able to show up to the session completely present. In this state, they now can begin to do the deeper work that they came to therapy to address.
Hypnotherapy is an amazing tool that can be used for a variety of reasons. The main objective is getting the most out of your time in treatment.
Adding hypnotherapy to the therapeutic process allows you to learn how to manage your feelings, relax, and feel empowered to regulate your emotions It helps you get down to the core of any unresolved issues.
It acts as an aid to move past subconscious barriers that might be keeping you stuck not only in life but in the treatment process.
Samara Quintero, LMFT, CHT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified hypnotherapist, a tenant at The Psychology Group and owner of Conscious Transformations. She specializes in trauma, hypnotherapy, performance coaching, anxiety, and depression. Call (954) 488-2933 x7 or email today to discuss how her services can help you.