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Trauma and Hypnotherapy

“Hypnotic techniques for the treatment of posttraumatic conditions were often used by the clinical pioneers of the end of the 19th century and by military therapists treating soldiers during the 20th century’s conflagrations. More recently, hypnosis has also been used with survivors of sexual assault, accidents, and other traumas, and with various groups, including children and ethnic minorities. Nonetheless, there have been almost no systematic studies on the efficacy of hypnosis for posttraumatic disorders.

This state of affairs is especially disappointing considering that: hypnosis can be easily integrated into therapies that are commonly used with traumatized clients; a number of PTSD individuals have shown high hypnotizability in various studies; hypnosis can be used for symptoms associated with PTSD; and hypnosis may help modulate and integrate memories of trauma. Hypnotic techniques may indeed be efficacious for posttraumatic conditions, but systematic group or single-case studies need to be conducted before reaching that conclusion.” This is from an abstract of a medical study done by Cardeña E. of the Department of Psychiatry, USUHS, Bethesda and published online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10769985.

As a hypnotherapist for several years, these are my thoughts on this matter:

a. I fully agree that healing of past trauma can be accomplished through hypnosis. There is something that hypnosis provides that other treatments cannot: a direct access into the memory that causes the trauma.

b. In a hypnotic trance, I guide my clients to revisit the memory in a safe and non-threatening manner.

c. WE do not just revisit traumatic events, but we view it with a different perspective, and armed with a better resolve.

“If done correctly, after a hypnotic review of a past traumatic event, you will still recall the event, it just won’t seem as emotionally charged to you.”