Of the vast repertoire of therapeutic techniques and resources available to psychology, clinical hypnosis is one of the most striking. This is partly due to the myths that circulate about this practice, and partly also to the sensationalistic use of hypnosis in television programs and other content in the audiovisual world.
However, beyond any mysticism, hypnotherapy is a very useful tool for treating certain disorders through scientifically validated procedures. In this article we will talk about the potential of clinical hypnosis.
What is clinical hypnosis?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is clinical hypnosis? It is the use of hypnosis suitable for use as a therapy tool for physical and psychological disorders, And which are based on the modulation of the state of consciousness and the management of attentional focus.
In this context, hypnosis is used by a suitably qualified healthcare professional, and aims to relieve symptoms associated with physical and / or psychological discomfort. On the other hand, hypnosis does not make patients lose control of their actions, nor does it plunge them into a permanently altered psychological state.
Benefits of clinical hypnosis
Let’s see what are the main benefits of clinical hypnosis, which can be classified into two main blocks: the treatment of anxiety and pain.
Phobias, generalized anxiety, panic disorder … Anxiety problems are among the most common psychological problems, and clinical hypnosis has been shown to be an effective resource for treating them (although in practice it is used in combination with other procedures).
The state of consciousness that patients are induced by hypnotherapy helps them to free themselves from intrusive thoughts that lead to psychological rumination and anxiety, and also facilitates a “reset” of the mind, so that the person be able to face what worries him and approach it in a more constructive way, without succumbing to paralysis due to anxiety.
Thus, clinical hypnosis allows people to get used to what would normally lead to a state of high anxiety, seeing him for what he really is and without fueling that fear by getting lost in catastrophic assumptions and predictions.
Moreover, since excessive anxiety and stress are present in many psychological disorders, this type of intervention can also be used in cases of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, drug addiction, etc.
Another of the most important benefits of clinical hypnosis has to do with its ability to provide the patient with greater tolerance to pain, which causes the patient to produce much less discomfort.
It is important that in these cases The effect of hypnosis is not the total elimination of pain, but the fact of experiencing it in a much less intense way., Due to an adaptation of the way we use attention.
Therefore, hypnotherapy can be used for chronic pain, postoperative, for diseases that cause inflammation, etc.
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- Braid, J. (2008). The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid, the Father of Hypnotherapy. London: National Hypnotherapy Council.
- Jensen, M. and Patterson, DR (2006). Hypnotic treatment of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29: pages 95-124.
- Mauer, MH; Burnett KF; Ouellette, EA; Ironson, GH; Dandes, HM (1999). Medical hypnosis and orthopedic hand surgery: pain perception, postoperative recovery and therapeutic comfort. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 47 (2): pages 144-161.
- Moix, J. and Casado, MI (2011). Psychological therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. Official College of Psychologists of Madrid: Clinic and Health, 22 (1): p. 41 – 50.
- Robertson, D (2012). The practice of cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy: a manual for evidence-based clinical hypnosis. London: Karnac.