therapeutic techniques: Hypnotherapy
Now there are many therapeutic techniques used to help people overcome depression. However a less commonly used one is Hypnotherapy. If you don’t fully understand what hypnotherapy is, it is a healing method used to create subconscious change in a patients new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings. Hypnotherapy basically puts you into an altered state of consciousness, called hypnosis (very strange sensation.) This then means that you can be taken to a time in your life where you either feel as though you have unfinished business, or bad feelings. Hypnosis makes you re-live those feelings and accept them in order to move on in your life and replace your bad thoughts and feelings with good ones. Sounds simple right?
Did it work for me?
In short? No. The way Hypnosis for depression usually works is you go back to a traumatic time or distressing event in someone’s life to help them move forward, based on the fact that a specific experience is what triggered a persons depression. For me, however, there was no triggering event, my depression was something that was out of my control, and so going back to traumatic times in my childhood to try to identify the trigger only ended up contributing to my bad feelings.
Things to be aware of
The message of this post? Maybe to just be aware of what hypnosis is and if it would be suitable for you before you try it for yourself. It is highly recommended that if you have Psychosis or any form of personality disorder you do not try hypnotherapy incase it makes your condition worse. Also, this therapy technique was painfully expensive! like we are talking the kind of bill that makes your eyes water here.
And one last thing to be aware of is DO YOUR RESEARCH. Hypnotherapy can be practiced by Doctors, Dentists, Psychotherapists and councilors but also non-professionals with very little training, so make sure who you see is a qualified professional. Ask to see their certificates if you ever feel unsure.
Throughout the sessions I attended, they involved a lot of talking, but you expected that, and really analysing times in your past and talking them though with your hypnotherapist. You established a “safe place” which would be a place of your choice where you felt safe and calm. I went with a white sandy beach in the Maldives. I know, classy woman over here or what. And so, I would sit with my eyes closed and have this woman talk about the sand in-between my toes, what I can see, what I can smell, how I feel. The same descriptive methods would be used to re-live these traumatic times in your life. However you would rate how it made you feel, over and over again until it didn’t make you feel anything. You had let those bad feelings and memories go. Another method that was used was called a Hypnosis Eye Fixation induction, using a pen. She would move the pen from left to right and I would have to follow it with my eyes without moving my head. And I’m going to be totally honest with you here, and please feel free to do your own research, but I’m not sure what this was supposed to achieve but I ended up just feeling a little bit stupid.
Overall having had hypnotherapy and attending more sessions than my bank balance was happy about, I can see how it would work for things such as addictions or getting over something traumatic in your past. But for me, I needed something that helped me and my mood in the future and gave me coping methods for when I went down hill. Yes, acknowledging things that upset me in the past and coming to terms with them was useful in some respects, but it didn’t prevent me from my low mood and depression affecting me in the future. I still had to learn to do that without the help of Hypnotherapy.