Therapeutic hypnosis

Hypnosis means both an altered state of consciousness and a process of induction of this state with or without a therapeutic goal. This change of consciousness is manifested by lowering the threshold of conscious control, going around of logic, of critical faculties and negative self-suggestions of the subject and by its dissociation from the surrounding reality, which allows access to the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is used here not in Freudian terms, but more than a source of human resources. Thus hypnosis provides rapid and lasting results.

During a hypnosis session the hypnotherapist will find the resources of the subject instead of imposing on him something general that is supposed to be suitable for everyone, but is not. The goal of a therapeutic hypnotist is to find these resources, to make them emerge out of recesses of a patient's subconscious mind and to help him take full possession of them in specific situations. We all have the resources more or less conscious and more or less hidden that we, nevertheless, have once used in life in one situation or another, we can bring them back through hypnosis and apply to other situations where they are the most needed.

Impact of education, culture, social norms, habitual thought patterns, professional requirements sometimes make a person go in circles dwelling on his or her problems without finding a solution. A professional therapeutic intervention is needed to help him or her get out of it. Psychotherapy is often useful, but long. Psychoanalysis is even longer and sometimes painful. Hypnosis is a very brief and refined therapy, done to get better faster and to solve concrete problems if performed by a real specialist. Without limiting itself only to the treatment of symptoms, Integrative® Hypnosis takes into consideration and treats the emotional state of a patient, which prevents the return of symptoms. Hypnosis is compatible with psychotherapy or psychoanalysis.

Hypnosis is a therapy which, because of its essence, acts differently on a human brain and activates brain's areas that are generally less used in our Western civilization (see “Brain functioning under Hypnosis”), which partly explains the result of hypnotherapy.

The fields of hypnosis application are quite wide and range from the cessation of tobacco addiction, depression , self-esteem , sexual therapy , pain, psychosomatic disorders in childhood (see "Indications and Contraindications of Hypnosis").

The consultation takes place in two stages: the anamnesis (the consultation itself) and the hypnosis session. It begins with a patient's story and questions which will help to build and to customize the hypnosis session afterwards. The hypnosis session begins either with a permissive or directive, or flash induction, which is followed by suggestions and other hypnotic tools, their choice will be determined by a patient's problem and goal. During the hypnosis session the hypnotized person is not asleep (in a sense of a night sleep), and his condition varies from a light trance to a deep trance. For more information, look  "Misconceptions about Hypnosis".

Some thoughts about the evolution of hypnosis

Hypnosis spectacularly busted onto the French and European socio-medical scene in the second half of the eighteenth century with the mesmeric practice and for a long time was a part of the magnetism. The psychological component of this therapy that produced miracles on one side and aroused rejection and questions on the other side, remained unknown for a time to patients, as well as hypnotists themselves. The hypotheses on the nature of the therapeutic phenomenon that cures patients from many different diseases appeared. Some saw the power of a magnetic fluid coming from the universe, some -that of suggestions and ideas on the body, some- that of a number of coded physical techniques, some- a natural phenomenon artificially induced ... Finally, the term ' "Hypnosis" emerged, but this state was still confused with sleep and psychic method of hypnosis was often accompanied by physical techniques of the magnetism. Hypnosis took time to exist on its own, and especially be recognized by the scientific community. Finally, this community was conquered, and hypnosis entered into hospitals. The history of hypnosis in Europe fluctuated and went through phases of recognition and success followed by phases of dissidence and misfortune.

It is interesting to note that this is essentially a dimension of body therapy that was exploited by hypnosis in its first stage of expansion. Its application to therapy of the "soul" or its psychotherapeutic dimension only came later. Here also it went through various phases. Thus, at the time of Charcot, hypnosis was used for many hysterical patients. On the other hand, the hypnotic anesthesia was practically abandoned with the appearance of anesthetics. Milton Erickson, graduated as a medical psychiatrist, developed a psychotherapeutic hypnosis, however, by omitting the possibilities of self-healing of the body in his practice with patients (excluding his own self-healing). Today, both psychotherapeutic and psychosomatic aspects of the application of hypnosis are used.

Contemporary hypnotic techniques have been greatly developed, renewed, enriched especially with the appearance of Ericksonian Hypnosis and of Integrative® Hypnosis* (see "Ericksonian Hypnosis and Integrative® Hypnosis" ). Integrative® Hypnosis in particular is a powerful therapeutic tool that focuses on enabling the restructuring and optimization of a person's own resources. Even still Deleuze, a magnetizer and a hypnotist, who practiced in the early nineteenth century, found that subjects in a somnambulistic state had all the information about their diseases, the necessary treatment and even showed a gift of clairvoyance. Today, the hypnotherapist works with the unconscious mind of a person who is supposed to have all the necessary resources for the solution of his or her problems. A patient cleverly guided by the hypnotherapist becomes his own therapist.

Anna Iourenkova

*The Integrative® Hypnosis mentioned here and in all other articles is the one created by Gérôme Ettzevoglov, the founder of the European Institute of Integrative Hypnosis (IEHI), in France, and should Not be confused with its homonym practiced in the United States

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