Hypnotherapy as Exposure or Desensitization Therapy

Many people scoff or laugh when I tell them I’m a hypnotherapist. I have my theories about why this is, but that’s not the point of this blog. Rather, I’m going to explain one very simple place that hypnosis is an awesome therapeutic strategy in a way that very clearly cannot be touched by other therapy methodologies–in fact, if taken on would make those therapies faster, more effective, and more powerful experiences for the client. Thus, saving clients time and money (not to mention insurance companies!).

What is this simple place? Exposure and desensitization therapy.

Why is hypnosis better at this type of therapy? Well, because as neuroscience has shown us enough to be trite information at this point, the brain and mind cannot tell the difference between real phenomena and things that are vividly imagined. Hypnosis is a focused state of attention on things that are imagined by the client. Therefore, hypnotic phenomena are real to the client.

In any type of desensitization therapy, the point is to help the client to amass the strength to deal with the problematic item by imagining or actually dealing with the item in the office or in the world. Hypnosis allows clients to zip through the imagining portions and to speed up the time spent in real life exposure therapy. But it offers an even more: an opportunity to engage and understand somatic experiences in the office (rather than a client having to remember somatics, they can feel them in the office as they vividly imagine). This facilitates teaching clients calming behaviors like deep breathing by helping them to realize the onset of issues like anxiety early enough to curb them easily.

Next, like many therapies, hypnotherapy can work backward to deal with the emotionality of the original event (if such a thing exists); however, adding hypnosis facilitates a modality that allows you to more easily alter how you feel about those experiences by altering the structural frameworks that create them, your beliefs about the experience, or helping you through forgiveness with the other(s) in a deeper way than offered in any conscious level therapies. This means that clients can make major leaps and bounds in past issues that are related to current issues rapidly and deeply.

Finally, hypnosis offers a therapist a powerful way to help to install beliefs and behaviors into clients. Obviously, this isn’t a perfect system as people are complex and often need reinforcement; however, with hypnosis it’s much easier to introduce new beliefs and behaviors or rework old behavioral patterns to “take on new jobs” or bend old beliefs to work with the client’s new goals. This means that rather than spending a lot of time programming new behaviors or beliefs in via willpower, a hypnotherapist can help a client to facilitate the growth of a new beliefs or behaviors quickly and powerfully.

These three elements give clients a massive jumpstart with taking on the lives they truly want easily and quickly. And as far as I can tell, that’s why clients pay therapists…