Last week someone asked me if hypnotherapy was effective and whether or not it could be combined with other types of therapy.
It’s a good question. But I couldn’t answer it since I’ve never had a particular interest in hypnosis.
I guess it’s because I’ve always associated hypnosis with stage acts.
But man, was I wrong.
- In 1955 the British Medical Association issued a report stating that hypnosis was a valuable medical tool.
- In 1958 the American Medical Association recognized hypnosis as a viable scientific modality.
- In 1962 the American Psychiatric Association recognized that hypnosis was a viable modality to treat some psychological problems.
- The British Psychological Society wrote a report in 2001 called The Nature of Hypnosis declaring that it is a real thing – it has valid clinical, research, forensic investigation and training uses.
Here’s what else I learned:
Hypnotherapy is a legitimate form of therapy that is very effective when combined with other forms of therapy like CBT.
In fact, in 1995 a meta-analysis of 18 studies showed that when hypnotherapy was combined with CBT it improved outcomes by 70%.
It’s also not magical. Hypnosis is simply focused awareness coupled with guided visualization.
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing psychologist Randolph Shipon PhD, a New Jersey based hypnotherapist that was kind enough to educate me on the topic.
Dr. Shipon described hypnosis as a way of re-imagining the future.
It’s also practical. You can undergo hypnotherapy in as little as six sessions.
All that being said, I can see why the idea of being hypnotized might freak you out, so it may be comforting to know that hypnosis is nothing new.
One of the most surprising things I found is that its roots go far back into ancient times.
Hypnosis (a type of trance) was originally used as a means of communicating with the gods and healing.
Modern hypnosis can be traced back to German physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815).
He practiced something called mesmerism; the act of holding someones attention entirely.
People that undergo hypnosis are not slaves to suggestion though, they are actually hyper-aware.
I can see why this works actually. Anxiety has a nasty way of fixating the mind on the negative.
It robs you of the ability to imagine a future without fear.
As far as I can tell, hypnosis allows you to suspend the fear factor and shape a new way forward.
In this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I explore how hypnosis can lower anxiety. I hope you enjoy the podcast.
And don’t forget to share your brilliant comments below!