Does Hypnotherapy Work?
We are often asked the question “Does Hypnotherapy Work” and although it seems like a rather simple question, as is often the case, the answer is not so simple!
In order to make what we mean a bit clearer, think about the following question:
“Do Anti-Depressants work?”
Yes? In other words, anybody who takes anti-depressants no longer suffers or feels depressed then?
According to a study reported in Scientific American:
Antidepressants Don’t Work
A 2008 study led by Dr. Irving Kirsch of Harvard Medical School started a big ruckus in the mental health world. He and his colleagues re-analyzed 35 different antidepressant drug trials submitted to the FDA for the licensing of Prozac, Effexor, Serzone, and Paxil. He used the Freedom of Information Act to get access not only to the studies that showed the drugs worked, but also to the studies that didn’t show an effect, which were, unfortunately, most of them.
For individuals with mild-to-moderate depression, they found that treatment with an antidepressant was almost no different from placebo.
So it would seem that for a certain percentage of people, anti-depressants are no more effective than “believing” that they have had a drug that will work.
What can we conclude from this; that modern medicine “does not work?”
Of course not!
The study goes on to suggest in fact, that people with SEVERE Depression DO get a benefit, whilst those with Mild to Moderate Depression get very little.
It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that some people do benefit and some people don’t – the main variable in these trials is the Person themselves not the drugs.
The same can be said when considering the question Does Hypnotherapy Work?
For many people Hypnotherapy provides a wide range of positive benefits whilst for others the process seems to be in-effective, but this does not, of course, mean that Hypnotherapy is not “real” in the same way that we could not conclude that anti-depressants are not “real” because less than 100% of people taking them get any benefit. As with the case above, the variable in the “equation” when it comes to the efficacy of Hypnotherapy is the person who undergoes the process NOT the process itself.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Hypnotherapy works by firstly helping a person achieve an altered state of awareness (in fact a “heightened state of awareness”) during which the client and the therapist are able to directly access the person’s “unconscious mind.”
The unconscious part of the mind is the part that manages all of the automatic behaviours and responses that do not require conscious control, for example, breathing, regulating body temperature, blinking as well as also handling those behaviours that have become unconscious over the years, such as phobic responses and reactions to situations perceived as “dangerous” to that particular person. In other words irrational fears that have become “embedded as “normal” behaviour such as a Fear of Flying and so on.
In doing this, carefully worded suggestions and phrases can help a person to effectively “re-wire” or “re-programme” these unwanted behaviours allowing people to behave and respond differently, or more “appropriately”, such as being able to take a plane journey in the full knowledge that it is the SAFEST form of transport!
So, Does Hypnotherapy Work or Not?
For some people YES and for others NO, there’s really no hard and fast rules as to who these people are, but its is estimated that 15% – 20% of people are “highly susceptible” to Hypnosis with about 60% being “moderately susceptible” and around 20% “minimally susceptible” (Research data taken from http://psychcentral.com/lib/all-about-hypnosis-and-hypnotherapy/), in other words, 80% of people can experience Hypnosis and therefore benefit from Hypnotherapy.
Does Hypnotherapy Work for YOU?
If you’d like to find out more about our Hypnotherapy treatments, or you have a specific problem you’d like to solve with Hypnotherapy, then please get in touch with us (below) to arrange a completely FREE Initial Consultation with Joan.