Is hypnotherapy dangerous for people with trauma is a great question and one I was asked in my Facebook group. I tried to answer it with a live video but had technical issues so I will address the question in this post instead. The answer is, hypnotherapy is safe for everyone and in my experience hypnotherapy is the best way to help PTSD and CPTSD sufferers but not all hypnotherapists are capable of helping people with trauma, if you go to the wrong one you may not get the results you are looking for it may even make the trauma worse.
Hypnosis Is A Safe & Natural State That We All Experience Several Times A Day
If you have attended one of my workshops or watched the playbacks on YouTube, you will have heard me say, hypnosis is a perfectly safe and natural state that we all experience several times during the course of a day. Hypnosis is not something that is done to you it is something that’s done with your cooperation, hypnosis itself is unavoidable and some people believe we are always in a trance. We just move from one trance to another. If you’re suffering from flashbacks you will be experiencing a spontaneous regression to the trauma and may find this video on my Youtube channel useful.
Not All Therapists Know How To Help People With Trauma
There is a time when hypnotherapy may not be beneficial for people with trauma and that’s if you visit a therapist who doesn’t know how to treat it but this could be said for any kind of therapy modality, if you called a car mechanic to fix your boiler or asked a plumber to fix the brakes on your car that probably wouldn’t be safe. Which is why it’s important to see a therapist who is experienced in helping people overcome trauma. I have extensive experience of helping people overcome trauma, feedback from one client who suffered with PTSD can be found in this post.
There are many different hypnotherapy techniques that can be used to help people overcome trauma, some may cause the client to relive the trauma or even to relive traumatic memories they didn’t know they had but I don’t use them. Many people find such techniques cause them distress and in some cases may even cause false memories.
Why Hypnotherapy Is More Effective Than Talk Therapies
Many studies have shown that hypnotherapy can provide much quicker results for clients than standard talking therapy can. Many people find hypnotherapy more beneficial than counselling to treat trauma because talking about traumatic memories keeps them alive and may actually increase the intensity of them.
How I Help People With Trauma
How I help people with trauma depends on the client, the type of trauma they have experienced, whether they are experiencing flashbacks. I have a range of experience helping people overcome trauma and I know not everyone can be helped the same way.
Hypnosis For PTSD
When we experience traumatic events we need to remember them so we can avoid those situations in the future and this means that traumatic memories carry more emotional charge than standard memories, the amygdala handles emotions. All sensory inputs travel through the amygdala before they can be processed before the thinking part of the brain and this means people with trauma can often be triggered and move into a flashback before they become conscious of their actions.
I use hypnosis to remove the negative emotion from traumatic memories so they can be processed by the thinking part of the brain and stored as normal memories. Some people ask if bad memories can be erased with hypnosis and I would say no, in many cases we actually need these memories to help keep us safe in the future and many would say it’s not ethical to actually remove people’s memories. What we can do is remove the emotional charge so they stop troubling the client.
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Hypnosis For CPTSD
CPTSD is caused by repeated and ongoing trauma from which there is no escape, if we grow up with dysfunction and that’s most people we will likely develop CPTSD symptoms such as; anxiety, fear of abandonment, trust issues, emotional eating, addictions, rage and anger issues. I have helped many clients to heal their inner child through one to one therapy sessions and my group inner child program.
Many people avoid inner child work as they believe it’s about blaming their parents or remembering painful memories. The inner child work I do with clients is not about going over painful memories or recovering repressed ones, it’s about connecting with the inner child, releasing toxic shame, reconnecting with emotions, giving the inner child unconditional love and acceptance.
Another myth about hypnosis is you have to close your eyes, whilst I give suggestions. I often do this kind of hypnosis as many clients expect it but that is not always the case, some clients don’t feel comfortable with their eyes closed, sometimes they just want to talk. If this is the case I use conversational hypnosis techniques and you will leave thinking we just had a nice chat until positive changes start occuring in your life.
My sessions always take a positive focus, to my knowledge no one has ever left a session with me feeling worse than they did before it started and I use many techniques including hypnosis to help clients see themselves making improvements in their lives.
One of the benefits of eyes closed hypnosis is that it improves our ability to visualise ourselves the way they want to be, as I say in my workshops the mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event. Research has shown that when we visualise ourselves the way we want to be we actually create new neural pathways in the brain and we can actually start to become that person.