I use hypnosis in treatment when the client agrees it will be helpful. It is part of the sessions, not the entire content. In order to learn hypnosis, I trained specifically with different instructors who teach different methods. In this way I developed my own style. And I don’t care what you call hypnosis: mediation, guided imagery, or hocus-pocus, it works. When you focus with hypnosis, you are quieting and stilling the mind with a gentleness that allows the solutions already within you to surface.
I get a lot of requests for hypnosis, so today I want to share my personal philosophy about its therapeutic use. Generally, it is best used for an activity or thought you have no conscious control over. In other words, it just happens. Examples include cravings, insomnia, migraines, and panic. It has been used successfully in treating IBS, pain control, and boosting the immune system during chemotherapy. I consider it to be one type of intervention best used in conjunction with an understanding of other emotional and behavioral issues you might be experiencing. Here is a picture of what it is not: a magic wand.
Why hypnosis works is all about the mystery that surrounds it. And I happen to think the “mystery” is a good thing. Here’s why. Everyone has a belief system, without fail. And everyone learns. And we all learn a little differently–except for one thing. And that one thing is essential for optimal learning. In order to explain this, I will need to tell you a story. It is The Tale of Two Teachers, by yours truly.
The good thing about labels is they help us identify what is being discussed. The bad thing about labels is they immediately (read that as stigmatize) identify what is being discussed. Hypnosis carries baggage as a label. Labels, as most would agree, can stigmatize an individual faster than than the letter “A” did to Hester Prynne in The Scarlett Letter. Hypnosis is a label that carries baggage, which is why I spend time educating people about it.
My clients, my friends and my family are so fascinated by hypnosis, yet it is such a loaded word!
It carries a lot of unwarranted baggage.
PAGE RUTLEDGE, LCSW, CHt | Couples Counseling
5006 Randall Parkway (close to UNCW)
Wilmington, NC 28403
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