When you think of hypnosis, what comes to mind? Most of us probably think of a stage performance. An unsuspecting person in a deep trance does something embarrassing for the audience. Fortunately, clinical hypnosis is entirely different! If anxiety tends to get the best of you, clinical hypnosis could help to lessen the physical responses to your anxiety (shortness of breath, increased heart rate, etc.). You might also learn to experience more ease in the situations that normally bring on those responses. In our hypnotherapy practice in Chicago and Evanston, we help our clients with anxiety to train their brains to experience more peace in nerve wracking situations. It might be beneficial for you, too.
What is clinical hypnotherapy/hypnosis?
Despite the images of hypnosis and hypnotherapy we see in the media, clinical hypnotherapy is a highly-regarded, well-researched, and valid way to improve mental wellness. You might think of hypnosis as the tool which allows the therapist to perform the hypnotherapy.
This web.md.com article describes hypnotherapy like this:
It uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus their attention — with the help of a trained therapist — on specific thoughts or tasks.
In this intensely relaxed state, you can bring anxiety-provoking thoughts or tasks into your awareness without the usual physical and emotional responses to that situation. As a result, you are more open to viewing the behaviors from a different angle, working through them, and making positive changes.
Is clinical hypnotherapy safe for anxiety and who does it benefit?
Yes, this form of treatment is safe and brings about desired results for lowering your anxiety, especially when paired with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. (See our blog post on CBT to learn more.)
Any form of adverse reaction to clinical hypnosis is rare.
Clinical hypnotherapy has been shown to successfully treat:
Post-surgical wound healing
Grief and loss
This therapy is quite effective in these situations. However, in our hypnotherapy practice in Chicago, we do not recommend it if you are experiencing major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. If you have psychiatric symptoms like hallucinations or delusions, we recommend a different form of therapy.
What will clinical hypnotherapy for anxiety look like?
The first time we meet, we will discuss what is troubling you. You can tell us the goals you have for our therapy time. We will explain the process to you and make sure we both think hypnotherapy will be a good fit to lessen your anxiety.
During subsequent sessions, you will begin hypnotherapy by closing your eyes. We will talk in a gentle manner, and describe situations or settings that will help to put you into a relaxed state. We want you to feel safe and secure. We will guide you through some breathing and relaxation exercises so that your muscles will become completely relaxed. You will be fully aware of what is happening in the room and will be able to respond to us. There is no need to worry, you will always maintain consciousness.
The Heart of the Hypnotherapy, Dealing with the Anxiety
We will use suggestions to get you to create imagery in your mind. We might ask you to see yourself walking on a nature trail on a beautiful sunny day. You will go there with all of your senses: hearing the birds chirping, smelling the earth, seeing the rays of sunlight through the trees, feeling the crunch of leaves under your feet. The suggestion, imagery, and relaxation will lead you into a positive physical and mental state.
We will ask you to begin to pay as much attention to your anxiety as you do to the crunching of the leaves underfoot. You notice them, you know they are there, but that is all. There isn’t any discomfort. Lastly, you will bring yourself out of this relaxed state. We will lead you out if you would like..
What is happening internally during hypnotherapy to help your anxiety?
Together, we are training your brain to ease its response to any intense emotions associated with your anxiety. We will help you see that you are strong and calm, just like you felt when on the walk.
Hypnotherapy works on your central nervous system to lower the sensitivity of the nerves to your anxiety triggers. We will tailor your sessions to you and what you need to feel better. We will look at your greatest triggers and deal directly with them.
You might want to think of the process as described in this article:
Hypnotherapy may place the seeds of different thoughts in your mind during the trance-like state, and soon, those changes take root and prosper.
Hypnotherapy may also clear the way for deeper processing and acceptance. In your regular mental state, if it’s “cluttered,” your mind may be unable to absorb suggestions and guidance,
Would you like to have more power over your anxiety and learn how to manage it? It doesn’t have to negatively impact your thoughts and your life.
Click the button below and set up a time to chat with us to see how the hypnotherapists in our Chicago and Evanston offices use hypnosis to help you learn to manage your anxiety. We look forward to talking with you about easing your anxiety.