I remember being in grad school and my Abnormal Psychology professor sharing that per the Diathesis Stress model, we all have a propensity towards the vulnerabilities and stresses of daily living. His lecture that day has been with me ever since. In a sense, we have certain inclinations to experience bouts of sadness, anxiousness, and fearful thinking. When we begin living from these spaces we can begin to feel the quality of our lives waning. The energy and enthusiasm we once had for living might be discharged towards our preoccupation with the future, or anxieties about the present. Our mind informs us that perhaps something is about to happen and we won’t be ready for it. From a more expansive perspective, anxiety is a green light for engaging in personal work.
Wellness Institute Blog
One of the top questions we’re asked at The Wellness Institute is, “Does hypnotherapy work?” With more than 30 years’ educational experience offering hypnotherapy training to masters- and PhD-level students, we know it does.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Many world-renowned medical and psychological organizations have endorsed hypnotherapy again and again as a credible, effective treatment. Beginning in the late 19th century and continuing through today, the chorus of supporters for this heart-centered therapy continues to grow.
Here’s what some of those associations are saying.
British Medical Association
The British Medical Association was among the first professional organizations to investigate hypnotherapy as a potential treatment. In 1892 (you heard that right...1892!), the association released the findings of a committee of nine doctors who had performed experiments involving hypnosis. That committee found that hypnotism “is frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating many functional ailments.”
But despite their endorsement, medical professionals continued to dismiss hypnosis until the mid-20th century. Despite the use of hypnosis in comedy stage shows, clinical hypnosis was quietly becoming more and more commonly used behind closed doors by medical and psychological professionals.
In 1955, the BMA’s Psychological Medicine Group convened to ask itself the same question: “Does hypnotherapy work?” And once again, the 1892 committee findings were confirmed.
Two years later, their final paper was published in the British Medical Journal, one of the United Kingdom’s most established publications for the medical field. They published a paper titled “The Medical Use of Hypnotism” in June 1957, whose introduction read as follows:
If there is a future for an objectively oriented training in psychotherapy, hypnosis might well play a useful though by no means exclusive part. … It is on the whole a method which leaves few scars and makes no fundamental change in the personality that would not have occurred in the course of individual development. In responsible hands it is a safe method of treatment which can be combined with others and seems rarely to prejudice their use later in other hands.
As a professional therapist, you’ve likely encountered misconceptions about even the most traditional of your therapeutic methods. You have probably also received objections from prospective patients as to whether therapy is a legitimate treatment for what ails them.
Many therapists we speak to are skeptical about the merits of hypnotherapy — after all, it’s easy to form misconceptions about a practice most closely associated with the subject quacking like a duck upon the hypnotist snapping his fingers.
Here, we tackle six common myths and misconceptions about hypnotherapy and work to debunk them based on our experience, research, and our development of our Heart-Centered Therapy curriculum.
For those of us that have benefitted from Heart-centered Hypnotherapy and other Heart-centered Therapies (HCT), we have done and continue to do deep, inner work that allows us to heal.
Within the hypnotic trance work of Heart-centered Therapies, we access the inner knowing of our unconscious that guides us to the lighthouse of our being where we can see far and wide. And within this knowing, the comfort and safety that we have discovered becomes symbolically represented. The symbol might come to us as a particular image or color. It might be a powerful word or phrase.
Not only does it appear in our minds eye, but it kinesthetically lives in the body. This process is one in which we are able to provide ourselves with an avenue for returning to the state of well-being whenever we want or need that. It is a resource state and the “anchor” created through symbolic representation grounds and centers us. It is deepened through the hypnotic trance process and it reconnects us to that wise inner-knowing.
Through the difficult work of healing wounds, traumas, and pain, we are gifted with a resource state in which we establish an anchor, our privately owned place to return to in order to relocate the self. Anchors have the capacity to pluck us out of our distress and drop us back into ourselves.
Ultimately, at an unconscious level, we are tethered to the anchor emotionally, psychically, and kinesthetically. All we need to do is return to it when we most want it. This is the solution to finding the self when we feel weak, scared, and disconnected.
So why don’t we? With such an amazing tool, how is it that we forget to use them, unable to recall that we've discovered an internal, fundamental support? We so easily forget the experience of the healing and the gift.
In the classic fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel”, Hansel and Gretel were taken to the woods to die. Having been aware of this plan in advance, Hansel gathered small white pebbles prior to their departure, placing them on the path from his home to the woods, marking a path that would allow him to return “home”.
And it worked. However...
This article is just a friendly heads up that we just released a brand new guide about six of the most common hypnotherapy myths, which we've debunked. Here are a couple of passages from the guide:
As a professional therapist, you’re probably familiar with the concept of hypnotherapy. You are aware that it is a widespread practice that claims to provide many benefits. And you’re probably hesitant to incorporate this into your clinical tool box.
That’s because most people—therapists, as well as their clients—do not really understand hypnotherapy. They don’t know what’s involved with the therapy or the training.
Many people associate hypnotherapy with limited applications, such as weight loss or smoking cessation. While it’s true that hypnotherapy has a strong track record in these areas, there are many other issues and ailments that have been remedied with this type of treatment. Hypnotherapy has a documented and clinically-proven record of success.
Studies have revealed that the subconscious represents 90 percent of the brain’s non-reflexive functioning. Thus traditional therapy, merely talking to the client, uses only 10 percent of the therapist’s tools. Why not use everything at your disposal?
Hypnotherapy has been favorably reviewed in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Many of the major founders of modern psychotherapy, including Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, used hypnosis in their research It has been supported by the British Medical Association, American Medical Association, and the British Psychological Society.
It’s a legitimate treatment option. Hypnotherapy is a means to expand your healing powers and quickly address client issues that might otherwise take years.
It can also be an opportunity to transition into a more rewarding and lucrative career, to establish your own private practice, or offer specialized treatment. If you still have reservations about hypnotherapy training, read on. We’ll examine six of the most common misconceptions about this type of treatment.
Want to read more? Click on the banner below to download the full guide.
If only I had a dollar for every time someone joked about me making them cluck like a chicken. When you tell people you’re a hypnotherapist, it’s common to hear uninformed comments like these. People fear hypnotherapy will make them lose control.
The truth is, hypnosis does not override free will. In a hypnotherapy session, clients are conscious; they are awake, participating, and remembering.
Most counselors and therapists undergo professional training to become more effective working with clients, add new modalities and techniques to their toolboxes, accrue clock hours/CEUs, and comply with ethical codes and licensure requirements. But those who train at The Wellness Institute get an additional benefit. Not only do they gain a valuable and life-changing technique to use with their clients, but they get the chance to be the client.
Learning Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is a hands-on process. Doing your own personal healing work is part of the training.
The world is catching on to how effective hypnotherapy can be for treating an astounding range of medical and mental health conditions.
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are now recognized as valuable tools in the medical field, expanding previous ideas about whole-patient care. Hypnotherapy is being used to help the patient orient toward healing, and create a positive outlook and intention. Hospitals and medical centers all over the country now have integrative medicine clinics, such as Stanford Health Care in California, Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, and Mercy Hospitals in Missouri. Many include hypnosis in their comprehensive programs for pain management (like Swedish Medical Center), surgical care, and cancer treatment. Additionally, many medical schools now include courses on medical hypnosis.
Have you been wondering how to become a hypnotherapist, but not sure if it's worth your precious time? If you’re like me, you’re a therapist who is always looking for ways to increase your effectiveness with clients. But how do you know what is truly effective? And more importantly, how do you decide what training to invest in?
Are you among the many therapists who just expect your practice to decline over the holidays? Many therapists naturally expect cancellations during certain times of the year (Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, Summer, etc.) and now just begin to plan for that! They try to normalize this with trite phrases such as, “Oh this is just what happens at this time of the year” or “Many other therapists find their practices slowing down during this time of the year.” That does not have to be the case. In fact we may be contributing to this by expecting it and not offering something different.
Are you aware that over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, stress, domestic violence, and depression increase? So logically, as therapists we should know that these are the most important times to be available for our clients. Instead of just expecting and planning for cancellations, let’s look at ways to turn this around in these critical times.
This is especially true when the client is facing issues that might originate with family dynamics or family members.