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.
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.
Here is a brief review of some of the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis for weight-loss & weight management:
Effectiveness of Hypnosis for Weight-Loss & Weight Management [Scientific Research]
A survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following:
Hypnosis for Weight-Loss (Weight-Management)
Hypnosis Over 30 Times as Effective for Weight Loss
Investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% overweight. Treatment included group hypnosis with metaphors for ego-strengthening, decision making and motivation, ideomotor exploration in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. Hypnosis was more effective than a control group: an average of 17 lbs lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs lost by the control group, on follow-up.
Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.
Two Years Later: Hypnosis Subjects Continued To Lose Significant Weight
109 people completed a behavioural treatment for weight management either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. At 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis subjects were found to have continued to lose significant weight, while those in the behavioural-treatment-only group showed little further change.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1985)
Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight than 90% of Others and Kept it Off
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioural therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.
Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.
University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.
Hypnosis More Than Doubled Average Weight Loss
Study of the effect of adding hypnosis to cognitive-behavioural treatments for weight reduction, additional data were obtained from authors of two studies. Analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.
Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioural weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.
Hypnosis Showed Significantly Lower Post-Treatment Weights
Two studies compared overweight smoking and non-smoking adult women in a hypnosis-based, weight-loss program. Both achieved significant weight losses and decreases in Body Mass Index. Follow-up study replicated significant weight losses and declines in Body Mass Index. The overt aversion and hypnosis program yielded significantly lower post-treatment weights and a greater average number of pounds lost.
Weight loss for women: studies of smokers and non-smokers using hypnosis and multi-component treatments with and without overt aversion. Johnson DL, Psychology Reprints. 1997 Jun;80(3 Pt 1):931-3.
Hypnotherapy group with stress reduction achieved significantly more weight loss than the other two treatments.
Randomised, controlled, parallel study of two forms of hypnotherapy (directed at stress reduction or energy intake reduction), vs dietary advice alone in 60 obese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea on nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment.
J Stradling, D Roberts, A Wilson and F Lovelock, Chest Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK
Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches
An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.
University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).
Weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilizedResearch into cognitive-behavioural weight loss treatments established that weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized. It was also established that the benefits of hypnosis increase over time.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1996)
Showed Hypnosis As “An Effective Way To Lose Weight”A study of 60 females who were at least 20% overweight and not involved in other treatment showed hypnosis is an effective way to lose weight.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1986)
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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
'Population fatness is a major threat': Overweight and obese threaten world food security, study warns.
The overweight population is a 'major threat' to food security, scientists have warned.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2160934/Overweight-obese-threaten-world-food-security-study-warns.html#ixzz1y93LuXE9
MILWAUKEE- There's an obesity epidemic in America, and obesity surgery is now the solution for many people. But what if you could just trick your mind into thinking you had the operation?
Click here to read article.
Last month, Michelle Obama made a special guest appearance on the long-running hit TV show, The Biggest Loser. I’d heard about the show’s premise: contestants who struggle with obesity and often face serious health risks relocate to a fitness ranch, where together they learn about nutrition, diet, and exercise, while competing to lose weight. But I had never watched it until I saw the episode featuring the First Lady. The contestants were invited to the White House where Mrs. Obama, in her typically down-to-earth and enthusiastic manner, joined in on the show’s intense workout in an effort to spotlight the importance of diet and exercise. While the issue of obesity and poor nutrition are of tremendous significance, as our country struggles to get fit, we should also be shedding light on the emotional side of eating.
Read the rest of the article over here.
Troy Robins - Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Oxford & Witney, Oxfordshire in the UK.