Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not something that is wrong with a person. It is not effectively a ‘disorder’ at all, even though it has been labelled as such by the medical community. It is a reaction to something, or a number of things, that have happened to a person. Basically, physical reactions to a particular stressor or stressors are being psychologically-triggered, potentially by something the person does not even remember clearly, if at all. The subconscious mind is very effective at repressing memories, to protect us from hurt or upset. But when it does, it fails to turn off the physical reaction to the stressor. So sufferers can experience acute reactions, with no context by which to understand them.
Clinical hypnotherapy is effective in combatting PTSD symptoms on many fronts. It can reduce or eliminate the pain from headaches and migraines, and diminish their frequency. It can end insomnia, to enable a sufferer to get restorative rest. It can diminish or eliminate spontaneous flashbacks and panic attacks. It can teach a sufferer distraction tools to avert a flashback when they feel it is about to happen, and clinical hypnotherapy can also be used to find out the root cause, or causes, of any physical reaction, by using ‘hypnoanalysis‘.
During WW2 US military psychiatrists and psychologists had great success with clinical hypnotherapy, helping returning service personnel eliminate even the most acute physical conditions as a result of their wartime experiences, such as hysterical paralysis or blindness, or sudden deafness or muteness, as well as depression and anxiety.
The hypnotherapy and hypnoanalysis techniques, which these medical personnel created, founded much of modern-day clinical hypnotherapy, and went on to help veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
But PTSD is not only a condition which afflicts service personnel. First responders are also extremely susceptible to developing PTSD, as are journalists, and all victims of violent crimes, as well as people who have been abused, placed under extreme stress or physically or mentally intimidated.
Clinical hypnotherapy can be a huge support for someone who is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- repeated upsetting memories and nightmares
- feeling detached; emotionally numb; feeling like you do not care about anything
- feeling irritable; nervous; unsafe or easily startled
- experiencing guilt, including survivor guilt; not being able to recall important parts of an event; loss of interest in activities or other people
Additional possible symptoms of PTSD include: agitation, excitability, dizziness, fainting, racing heart and headaches.
Clinical hypnotherapy tackles PTSD on a subconscious level. Hypnosis reframes memories to more positive recollections, by taking the sufferer back the incident and repeatedly replaying it, in a controlled environment, with the person given techniques to mentally distance themselves from what happened. This method, known as ‘revivification’, allows the sufferer to experience safe, peaceful, calming emotions once more.
Clinical hypnotherapy can get a sufferer back to where they were before the disturbing event happened, without the use of addictive medications, and much faster than many ‘talk therapies’. Sufferers often see an improvement in their symptoms from the very first clinical hypnotherapy session.
For more information on PTSD and clinical hypnotherapy please contact me.
I myself spent a total of two years in combat situations in Afghanistan. I understand more than most the scourges of PTSD, and how it develops and manifests in the body.
You can also read PTSD and Hypnosis: A Bulletproof Vest For The Mind by Pierre Benoit, with contributions from myself, which lists the various clinical hypnotherapy techniques for PTSD in more detail, or read more at www.ptsdhypnosis.com.