Hypnotherapy is a method of psychotherapy based on hypnosis. With permission, the therapist helps the client to go into a trance state so that they can make better contact with their subconscious mind. From this state, transformational benefits can take place through some or all following techniques:
- Age regression – Used to find and dissolve emotionally charged memories that still negatively affect the client’s present experiences. This is particularly beneficial if the client does not know where his symptoms come from as it can be used to discover hidden information that is directly connected to the issue or problem.
- Idiomotoric finger signals – Used to obtain direct and concrete answers from the subconscious. In this technique, the subconscious answers by way of an automatic muscle movement of certain fingers.
- Work with ressources – A way to integrate the emotional states of mind of past experiences (such as strength, optimism, etc.) into current problematic experiences. As a consequence, the client can re-experience the difficult current situation, but with a feeling of strength and power, therefore creating a completely new experience and reference in the mind that will change the mind’s future way of experiencing this situation.
- Work with parts of the personality – A technique in which the client imagines that he can see his symptoms in a certain shape and/or that he can talk to them. Consequently, they can get in touch with the symptoms and obtain important information about the symptom’s background, needs and origins.
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy is acknowledged for several fields of application by the “Wissenschaftlichen Beirat Psychotherapie” (Scientific Advisory Board for psychotherapy in Germany). Additionally, I’d like to cite Wikipedia:
“In 2003, a meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy was published by two researchers from the university of Konstanz in Germany, Flammer and Bongartz. The study examined data on the efficacy of hypnotherapy across the board, though studies included mainly related to psychosomatic illness, test anxiety, smoking cessation and pain control during orthodox medical treatment. Most of the better research studies used traditional-style hypnosis, only a minority (19%) employed Ericksonian hypnosis.
The authors considered a total of 444 studies on hypnotherapy published prior to 2002. By selecting the best quality and most suitable research designs for meta-analysis they narrowed their focus down to 57 controlled trials. These showed that on average hypnotherapy achieved at least 64% success compared to 37% improvement among untreated control groups. (Based on the figures produced by binomial effect size display or BESD.)
According to the authors this was an intentional underestimation. Their professed aim was to discover whether, even under the most skeptical weighing of the evidence, hypnotherapy was still proven effective. They showed conclusively that it was. In fact, their analysis of treatment designs concluded that expansion of the meta-analysis to include non-randomized trials for this data base would also produce reliable results. When all 133 studies deemed suitable in light of this consideration were re-analyzed, providing data for over 6,000 patients, the findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy. This is a high success rate given the fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions. The outcome rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy’s strongest application, were higher still (though a precise figure is not cited).(Flammer & Bongartz, “On the efficacy of hypnosis: a meta-analytic study”, Contemporary Hypnosis, 2003, pp179 – 197.)”