Is hypnotherapy ever a one-session "quick fix" for a problem? Surprisingly, yes, although not everyone is always this fortunate.
Having conducted thousands of hypnotherapy sessions now, I have to admit that watching rapid change occur for my clients never gets old. I’m often astounded at how fast people can change using hypnotherapy if they’re ready for change. I’m also amazed that some people can have their problem sorted out in a single session while others can take quite a few sessions. Some clients never achieve their goals.
The difference between a single session “quick fix” client and a client that requires many sessions is usually just a matter of their readiness for change. One of the harder (by harder I actually mean lengthier) things to help a client with is an addiction to alcohol. The reason for this is that the alcohol is usually used as a crutch to the client. Most people using alcohol as a crutch are reluctant to part with it. For this reason, the first part of the hypnotherapy is dedicated to helping the client get to the point where the crutch isn’t needed or wanted anymore. Once this is achieved the magic really starts. I have had a number of clients that reversed this trend.
I have treated a number of businessmen that considered themselves to be alcoholics and had a different attitude to most people needing the help. These men displayed a fierce determination to stop drinking. I have the members of this group will always say something along the lines of “I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care how many sessions it takes, but I’m telling you now that I’m going to stop drinking at any cost”. Well, this shows a readiness for change that can’t be faked and these people almost always stop drinking, permanently, within a session or two of hypnotherapy!
It’s the same with clients wanting to stop smoking. Those that can look at a cigarette and honestly say to the cigarette “I hate you and I want you out of my life” almost always stop smoking in a single session. They were ready for change and because they were ready for change, change came quickly! This rule of thumb can be applied to most conditions treated using hypnotherapy.
I've also come across a number of clients that want their whole lives fixed in a single session. I call these clients “chancers”. They put themselves under tremendous pressure to achieve everything in a single session. Some of them do this because they’re struggling with finances and some don’t believe they’re worth the investment. They’re taking a chance. Regardless of their situation, this attitude generally isn't helpful to the achievement of their goals. They often end up “trying” too hard and that unfortunately just doesn't work with hypnotherapy most of the time.
Some people are in two minds about change. Some people will want to have a lovely slim, trim, healthy body, but at the same time want to continue eating a dozen chocolate eclairs a day washed down with their favourite soft drink. Hypnotherapy is a truly wonderful and powerful change agent, but you can’t normally change the rules of the physical universe with it! It would take a few sessions more of hypnotherapy to get the client to the point that a slim body is a greater priority than wolfing down pastries! Once this is achieved I have found that work progresses swiftly. Of course, the opposite is also true. Those that are ready to lose the weight do so very quickly with hypnotherapy.
Some people just aren't ready for change and never will be. There is no helping them. We each really do have free will and there isn't enough hypnosis on this planet to change this. Clients sent by their spouse or parent often fall into this category if they don’t want the change for themselves.
In a nutshell, commitment to change and readiness for change seem to be the catalysts that drive rapid change. Having the attitude ends up saving my clients time and money. It can’t be faked. The subconscious mind knows. Some clients need the change that they’re not ready for. This takes more work.
The cure for Alcoholism? A French cardiologist by the name of Olivier Ameisen is claimed to have discovered the cure for alcoholism. While running his successful practice he was severely stricken by an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. He felt like imposter waiting to be unmasked and found relief in large quantities of whisky and gin.
Having spent years in clinics without success, he heard of an American man that used Baclofen for muscle spasms and found that it helped ease his addiction for cocaine. Baclofen is a powerful muscle relaxant. On further researching Baclofen, Dr Ameisen discovered this medicine had cut addiction to alcohol or cocaine in rats.
The curious Dr Ameisen began treating himself with daily doses of five milligrams of Baclofen and he found that "the first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep". Almost immediately he also detected a lessening in his desire for drink. He increased his daily dosage gradually to a maximum of 270mg of Baclofen, and found that he was "cured". He continued to take 30 to 50mg a day. Dr Ameisen died in 2013 aged sixty.
A hypnotherapists Opinion
As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I haven’t studied medicine and I’m not giving any medical advice here. But I have made some observations as a hypnotherapist and here’s my opinion: Baclofen is not a cure for alcoholism, Dr Ameisen was not cured from alcoholism and it’s doubtful that any medicine can cure alcoholism. Let me explain:
Baclofen is not a cure for Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a form of self-medication. Alcoholics are just people that use alcohol to relax themselves. Swopping alcohol for Baclofen as such is not a cure; it’s just employing a different muscle relaxant. At best it’s a treatment for alcoholism and comes with side effects.
Dr Ameisen was not cured from Alcoholism
While I am pleased that Dr Ameisen found some relief from alcohol, he was still not free from it. Instead of being dependant on alcohol, Dr Ameisen became dependent on Baclofen as he continued to take 30 to 50mg a day. If he stopped taking Baclofen would he not still need alcohol? Would he have reverted back to alcohol or would he have found another substance in its place?
It’s doubtful that any medicine can cure Alcoholism
Dr Ameisen was treating the symptoms of alcoholism and not the cause of alcoholism. It’s clear that in his case at least that the cause was emotional and not physical. He felt inadequate. He felt like an imposter. These feelings caused him distress which in turn made him tense. He used alcohol or Baclofen to suppress the tension in his body. He merely suppressed the symptoms (effects) of the emotions and did not treat the emotional cause.
Dr Ameisen was a physician, and physicians are trained to treat the physical. I am sure that as long as he felt inadequate about himself he would need something to suppress the tension in his body. I don't know of any medicine that can deal with a person’s feelings of inadequacy.
Why is Analytical Hypnotherapy Different?
To outright cure alcoholism I propose two things need to be done. First, the cause of the alcoholism needs to be removed and second the habit of using alcohol has to be removed. Instead of treating the symptoms it would be far better to find the emotional cause and fix it. The emotional cause in this case was a feeling of inadequacy as described by Dr Ameisen himself. As Jung said “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Emotions are generated in the subconscious mind.
As a hypnotherapist I would have helped Dr Ameisen find the reason for this feeling. I would have helped him to become conscious of whatever made him feel inadequate at an unconscious level. I would then have helped this doctor to change this incorrect opinion of himself permanently. I would help him to feel worthy. This can only be done at a subconscious level and would lead to a more relaxed mind and body. He would have been more at peace with himself.
With his self-confidence restored I would then have spend several sessions with him helping him to remove the habit portion of drinking problem. Habits are subconscious too.
I think this method of treating alcoholism is a more permanent and satisfactory method than using medication.
Picture: James P Gray
I have blogged about this subject before. Patients that undergo bariatric weight loss surgery may be at increased risk for substance use (drug use, alcohol use and cigarette smoking) following surgery, particularly among patients who undergo laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery who appear to be at increased risk for alcohol use following surgery, according to a report published Online First byArchives of Surgery, a JAMA Network publication (read the article here).
Most people don't understand why this is the case, but all good "regress to cause" hypnotists/hypnotherapists do! Being overweight almost always has something to do with a subconscious need for protection, or a fear or insecurity of some kind. These people people find security in food as it reminds them of the security they felt while being fed as a baby and then growing up. Once surgery removes this crutch, the fear/insecurity remains and another crutch is sought and found in drug use, alcohol use and cigarette smoking.
Some hypnotherapists will offer a hypnotic gastric band which is even more effective than the actual surgery, but probably come with the same risk unless the underlying subconscious insecurity has been dealt with. Nothing deals with subconscious insecurities faster than "regress to cause" hypnosis and a competent hypnotherapist.
Really good video by Dr joe dispenza on making changes in your life.
Watch here: http://vimeo.com/11265563
New research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that shows evidence of a link between gastric bypass surgery and increased alcoholism sufferers.
Treating symptoms will only ever result in a shift to a new symptom. There is no effect without cause. Treating the true and real cause of a symptom is the true path to healing.
Generally people overeat for an unconscious reason. If you prevent people mechanically from eating you are only treating the symptom. The subconscious mind will just create a new symptom; in this case people just drink too much instead of eating too much.
Read article here: http://www.examiner.com/article/gastric-bypass-surgery-increases-risk-of-alcoholism-try-hypnosis-first
And here: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/weight-loss-surgery-increases-risk-alcohol-addiction/story?id=16582225
Troy Robins - Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Oxford & Witney, Oxfordshire in the UK.