In America, it’s estimated that 1 in 8 people is a diagnosed alcoholic. That’s almost 13% of the country’s population. Alcoholism is so prevalent, in fact, that it is the cause of roughly 88,000 deaths every year in the United States alone.
Many people are able to have a social drink or two without letting it have a detrimental impact on their lives. For others, however, alcohol dependency turns into an ugly, damaging addiction.
Luckily, there are many resources in America to help alcoholics recover from addiction. Among the many available treatments is hypnosis for alcoholism.
This type of treatment has been linked to helping people overcome a variety of issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also linked to helping people overcome bad habits like tobacco and alcohol dependancy.
Keep reading to find out the ways hypnotherapy can help you or your loved one overcome an addiction to alcohol.
What Is Hypnotherapy?
First things first, let’s discuss what hypnotherapy actually is. When most people think about hypnosis, they imagine a wacky personality on a stage calling up audience members and “putting them to sleep”.
This is known as stage hypnosis. Though it is a type of hypnotherapy, it’s usually used for entertainment purposes instead of as a recovery tool.
Private hypnosis for health and wellness purposes is different. It uses the power of positive suggestion to relax the mind. It then replaces negative feelings about oneself or their surroundings with positive ones.
How Does It Work?
Like many matters of the brain, the official research is a bit fuzzy surrounding what actually happens to the brain when a person is in a state of hypnosis.
Most researchers agree that private hypnotherapy is similar in many ways to meditation. When under hypnosis, the brain’s activity-driven brainwaves decrease while the relaxation-driven waves increase.
Once a person is led into relaxation using hypnosis, they are essentially put into a trance-like state. This is when the mind is at its most relaxed and most open to suggestion.
In a trance, the patient will be able to see things clearer and determine the many positive associations with becoming sober. The trance state makes it easier for the patient to suss out realistic, achievable strategies to combat their addiction.
Have we piqued your interest? Here are 4 ways hypnosis can help alcoholics recover from their addiction.
1. Evoking Positivity
The main goal of hypnosis for alcoholism is to evoke positivity around sobriety. Many hypnotherapy experts will use the technique of association to make this work.
One strategy is to use the power of suggestion using reverse psychology to bring negative associations to drinking, and positive associations to being sober.
Successful hypnosis will establish associations that arise whenever the connection is made in the patient’s daily life, long after the hypnotherapy session is complete.
For example, say the therapist shows the patient photographs of alcohol, or people drinking alcohol. They then suggest that drinking alcohol will cause a headache.
If hypnosis is successful, the patient will experience a headache every time they drink alcohol in the future, which will ultimately make them want to stop altogether.
2. Opening the Mind
While alcohol addiction is certainly considered a physical addiction, and physical withdrawals are a real thing, addiction begins in the mind.
Hypnosis has the power to open the patient’s mind up to alternative possibilities and makes them see clearly how their life could look if they stop drinking.
Once the patient is put into the trance-like state, they are much more clear-headed and open to suggestions than they would be if they were in their regular state of mind.
This suggestibility opens the door for the patient to clearly visualize the many reasons to stop drinking, whether it’s financial freedom, improved relationships, or attaining career goals.
3. Understanding the Addiction
Once an addict recognizes their addiction and decides they want to recover, the next step is to fully understand the addiction and its impact.
Since the nature of hypnosis is relaxation and clear-mindedness, an addict in a hypnotized state can see their addiction for what it is: a sickness.
The therapist will explain using clear and concise language how the addiction is manifesting in the patient’s life. This sense of clear understanding is what many addicts are lacking when they try to combat the problem on their own.
4. Replacing Bad Habits With Good Ones
Successful hypnosis will enable the patient to understand their addiction, open their mind to alternatives, and clearly see how good their life could be without alcohol.
Once these three things are accomplished, the therapist will use techniques to show the patient exactly how to replace bad habits with good ones, going forward.
The point of hypnosis for alcoholism is for the patient to leave the trance-like state with a renewed understanding of their addiction and a motivation to recover.
A good example of replacing bad habits with good ones is exercise. Using this technique, the therapist will suggest to the patient that every time they crave a drink, to get up and exercise.
Because of the endorphins induced by exercise, the patient will feel good and productive, thus continuing the positive cycle.
Hypnotherapy is not a magical solution. Like any other form of rehabilitation, the addict must want to quit. Just like taking a person kicking and screaming to rehab won’t work, hypnotherapy won’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
Plus, not everyone is susceptible to hypnotherapy. The patient must first of all be open to the power of suggestion and be what hypnosis experts refer to as “suggestable.”
Hypnosis for Alcoholism Helps Those Who Want Help
The bottom line is that hypnosis for alcoholism, when used in tandem with other methods of treatment, can help alcoholics recover from their addiction. If they want to recover.
The person must go into it with an open mind and a sober head. If it sounds like something you want to try, please reach out to me to book a session.