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Hypnotherapy as a treatment option in the ‘new normal’

Last year, the American Psychological Association endorsed hypnotherapy as a treatment option for pain, anxiety and mood disorders – conditions that need to be addressed as the world recovers from the emotional impact of the pandemic.

Hypnotherapy is not mind control. Studies of the brain under hypnosis show that it enhances executive function, providing clients with a greater sense of control over their emotional and psychological responses, which helps them review previous behaviours or break unwanted habits more effectively.

Sessions usually start with induced relaxation to allow patients to become more open to information and reflect on new options.

Mentally rehearsing or role-playing experiences is a common technique, as the brain processes these images as if they were real. Positive suggestions have greater impact and effectiveness during the session, creating neural pathways that reinforce future behaviour.

Cost-effective and practical

Hypnotherapy is considered palatable and easy to use by clients, while the inclusion of self-hypnosis reduces costs and involves the patient as an active party in the outcome.

This form of therapy is often combined with others, such as mindfulness and cognitive behaviour therapy, leading to effective and speedy results.

Clinical hypnosis can reduce depressive symptoms and provide coping skills and emotional resources that help in difficult situations. Clients can shift their focus from feelings to thoughts, and then reframe challenges to make them manageable.

Sleep problems were common among adults long before the pandemic, resulting in low mood, poor concentration, and reduced ability to cope with new situations. Hypnotherapy can address the underlying or unconscious fears that often keep people awake.

Studies show that 80% of people can learn to have deep sleep using hypnotherapy. Self-hypnosis and audio recordings provide support at home, while reducing dependency on sleep medication.

Life in the ‘new normal’

Stress, worry and panic attacks are likely to increase in the so-called new normal, compounded by emerging conditions such as reopening anxiety and coronasomnia.

Phobias may begin to emerge such as a fear of flying, a fear of crowded spaces, germaphobia, and even fears of intimacy and anxiety over sexual performance.

Clinical hypnotherapy offers proven treatment for many of these conditions. Therapists can help you deal with worries such as going for job interviews, returning to school or college, having to take delayed exams, public speaking, and coping with social situations.

In short, the pandemic has led to more awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing, and highlights the need for cost-effective, practical solutions with a strong self-care component.

To that end, clinical hypnotherapy is emerging as a viable therapeutic option that is beneficial within clinical settings and in the home.

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