(NaturalNews) Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious disorder than can have a negative impact on a person's quality of life. Alternative therapies are available to treat post traumatic stress disorder. Research in hypnotherapy is proving that it can help people who experience PTSD and other anxiety disorders. Treating PTSD is important to help people lead productive lives unaffected by previous stressful events.
Post traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after someone has experienced a traumatizing event. Symptoms of the disorder greatly reduce quality of life. Re-experiencing symptoms include flashbacks, scary thoughts, and bad dreams. Avoidance symptoms include losing interest in everyday activities, feeling depressed, and avoiding places or things that bring back the painful experience. Many people also report feeling guilty, difficulty sleeping, anger, and trouble concentrating (National Institute of Mental Health).
Hypnosis is found to be beneficial in treating PTSD for two reasons. One, the symptoms of PTSD are similar to the phenomena experienced under hypnosis. And two, hypnosis has been shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD. Studies have shown that people who have PTSD are highly hypnotizable. Hypnosis allows people to access memories of the event under controlled circumstances. Then, these memories can be restructured so as to prevent future symptoms of PTSD. People with PTSD can be taught to use self-hypnosis so if a re-experiencing of symptoms occur, they can reduce the effects (Spiegel & Cardena, 1990).
A 2005 study tested the effect of hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy on participants with post traumatic stress disorder. Sixty-seven people with PTSD completed the study. Participants were divided into 3 groups. They received 6 sessions of CBT with hypnosis, CBT only, or supportive counseling. The CBT with hypnosis group used exposure, cognitive restructuring, and anxiety management in relation to the traumatic event. The hypnosis session included a hypnotic induction and suggestions to help the participant fully engage in the exposure of the event. The CBT group worked on exposure, cognitive restructuring, and anxiety management during their sessions.
Results of the study showed that people in the CBT with hypnosis and CBT-only groups showed less symptoms of PTSD immediately following treatment and at the 6-month follow-up compared to the group that received supportive counseling only. In addition, the group that received hypnosis reported fewer re-experiencing episodes than the CBT-only group. This study shows that hypnosis has a profound effect on people suffering from PTSD (Bryant, Moulds, Guthrie, & Nixon, 2005).
Relieving PTSD symptoms using hypnosis can greatly improve a person's well-being. Hypnotherapy allows the sufferer to be in control of symptoms and helps minimize reoccurring negative thoughts associated with the traumatic event.
Bryant, R.A., Moulds, M.L., Guthrie, R.M., & Nixon, R.D.V. (2005). The additive benefit of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating acute stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(2), 334-340.
Spiegel, D. & Cardena, E. (1990). New uses of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 51, 39-43.
About the author
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy. Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at: http://www.betterlivingwithhypnosis.com/