The power of suggestion has long been used to influence people’s choices. Advertising is a multibillion-dollar industry that thrives on finding new and more powerful ways to influence us through suggestions. The reason the industry is thriving is because the power of suggestion actually does have a big impact on our choices and actions.
How much more power, then, is available through hypnosis? When the power of suggestion is used in a relaxed or subconscious state, we can more powerfully influence thoughts and behaviors. When used by trained professionals in conjunction with our initial treatment for substance use, hypnosis can become an important tool to help us change our habits and thinking around substances.
Taking Hypnosis Seriously
We may have seen people who use hypnosis like a circus act, putting someone in front of an audience and making them believe they are a chicken or something. While the concept of using the power of suggestion to transform someone’s behavior is the basic idea behind hypnosis, the motives and credibility of those using it for performance or profit sheds doubt on the clinical practice of hypnotherapy.
Using hypnosis within psychotherapy couldn’t be farther from the circus concept. No one is going to try to exploit us. Hypnosis is done in a trusting, safe environment with someone who is trained to help us achieve our goals in treatment. In fact, some techniques are used without even entering a fully subconscious hypnotic state, but rather a simply relaxed state. Hypnosis has been used for years to successfully help people stop smoking, or lose weight. Now, there is increasing scientific evidence of the efficacy of hypnosis to help reduce our behaviors and cravings when used in the initial treatment of substance use. Which means it is time to take hypnosis seriously.
How Hypnosis Works
Actual hypnosis involves the therapist verbally or otherwise guiding us to a subconscious state of mind. This only works if we are aware and willing to be hypnotized. Developing a relationship of trust with our therapist is essential for the hypnotherapy to be effective.
While we are in a subconscious state, our therapist can offer suggestions to help decrease the thoughts, cravings, and actions related to substance use. There is also the opportunity for hypnotherapy to help us change our subconscious thoughts about substances or even the reasons we began to use substances. These are the same ideas and concepts being used in the rest of our treatment on a conscious level.
When we are guided back to a conscious state, we may not have memories of the thoughts and suggestions given to us while in a subconscious state. However, by harnessing the power of the subconscious mind, those suggestions can have a direct influence on our conscious actions and behaviors going forward. The goal in treatment, obviously, is to support the abstinence of substance use and to encourage different thoughts surrounding our prior reasons for substance use.
Hypnosis is typically used in the initial stages of treatment, and for as long as deemed necessary to help curb thoughts and actions surrounding substance use. It is not used as a long-term form of therapy, because it should work by changing our subconscious thoughts right away. It is not necessary to keep trying to change our thoughts. Rather, we should benefit immediately from the power of suggestion in regard to our substance use.
Why Hypnosis Works
Just as advertising and marketing can send both conscious and more subtle messages that influence us, hypnosis uses the subconscious mind to send messages that will impact our conscious choices and actions both now and long term. In the case of substance use, we may feel like our cravings and desires to use substances is not within our conscious control. When we use hypnosis as a part of our initial treatment, the suggestions given to us while in a subconscious state can be powerful tools to help us feel more in control of our choices and actions while conscious.
The suggestions given to us while hypnotized can override negative thoughts and patterns of thinking that have contributed to our substance abuse. Replacing old thought patterns with new, healthy thoughts and ideas about ourselves is like a do-over for our minds, giving us more control over our thoughts and actions surrounding substance use. This is why hypnosis can be such a powerful tool in treatment.
Contributing to Success in Recovery
Particularly when combined with other therapies and treatment practices, hypnosis can be very valuable in recovery. Much like choosing a healthy diet from a variety of food groups for a balanced and nutritious meal, our treatment allows us to choose a variety of tools and practices that can work together to help us heal. Using hypnosis as part of our treatment can contribute to our overall success.
Perhaps we have been skeptical of hypnosis, or never really thought to use it ourselves. However, the power of suggestion on a subconscious level can be a gamechanger in our treatment. As we are truly wanting to change our lives and rid ourselves of substance use, we can be open to all types of treatment to ensure our success. Now that we have experienced the power of suggestion on a conscious level, it’s time to heal ourselves with hypnosis on a subconscious level.
Find out if hypnosis can help you. Call AToN Center at (888) 535-1516. Harness the power of suggestion to help your healing.