The Advantages of Using Hypnosis to Heal Depression
It is no secret that depression is a major issue in society.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 10 adults
report at least some symptoms of depression. If you are one of the 1 in 10, you may or may not have considered using hypnosis to help you beat it.
Here are some important reasons why hypnotherapy might be a viable treatment option for you.
Hypnosis gives you back your power
Hypnosis empowers depressed individuals to tap into the power of their subconscious mind to realize change and healing. With this active, self-directed form of therapy, patients are the initiators of change and work on their goals at their own pace. As patients regain control of their thought processes and behavior, they gain self-belief, develop self-efficacy and feel more positive about overall treatment.
Hypnosis treats both the physical and psycho-emotional symptoms of depression
Hypnotherapy addresses the psycho-emotional root of depression. It taps into patients’ subconscious minds to resolve the emotional roadblocks and mental conflicts that cause anxiety, apathy, feelings of worthlessness, and other mood symptoms in depressed individuals. Hypnotic suggestions are used to improve a patient’s outlook and build motivation.
Hypnosis also addresses the physical manifestations of depression since it has therapeutic effects on the body
Psychologists agree that the physical symptoms of depression are often the result of somatization, i.e., mental stress expressing itself as a physical complaint. There is an impressive body of research suggesting that hypnosis, by reducing somatization and psychological distress, can alleviate a vast number of physical complaints. Indeed, clinical studies show that hypnosis is effective in treating many of the somatization symptoms seen in depressed individuals, including insomnia, high blood pressure, bodily pains, fatigue, insomnia, and gastrointestinal problems. Indeed, hypnosis is a holistic therapy that improves the overall health and well-being of depressed people.
Hypnosis is all-natural
Hypnotherapy is a non-invasive treatment that supports the human body’s innate self-healing impulses
through the power of the mind-body connection. Because it is a non-toxic therapy, the risk of side-effects is greatly reduced compared to psychiatric drugs. In some depressed patients, a sustained course of hypnosis may eliminate or reduce the need for medication.
You can learn to treat yourself with hypnosis
The hypnotherapeutic approach involves teaching patients how to use hypnosis on their own (self-hypnosis) to maintain gains made during office visits. Depression is not something you can switch on and off and so the ability to use hypnosis autonomously, in any situation, is an invaluable form of self-care and a safeguard against relapse for depressed individuals. Depressed individuals can use self-hypnosis on their own to induce relaxation, to reduce stress, to counter negative thoughts, and to boost self-esteem.
Hypnosis has met the American Psychology Association’s standard for a “probably efficacious” treatment for depression. This is a high, scientific standard
and means that hypnosis has been shown to have positive effects in more than one clinical study. Research suggests that hypnosis may be just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression (Dobbin et. al., 2009). Moreover, a landmark study conducted in 2007 found that hypnosis was more effective than cognitive behavioral therapy for improving patients’ depression symptoms (Alladin & Alibhai, 2007).
Hypnosis is a less expensive alternative
Hypnotherapy is affordable, costing anywhere between $150 and $250 per session in the United States. Also, some insurance companies cover hypnotherapy--check to see if your insurance, HSA, or corporate Wellness Program will reimburse for these services.
There is growing scientific support for hypnosis as a worthwhile option for treating depression. Your doctor may recommend hypnotherapy as an additional, or adjunct, approach along with SSRIs or other approaches. We at ChangeWorks work consistently on a doctor's referral basis with many clients for depression and anxiety (which very often go together). If you're curious about what hypnosis can do for you, call our office at (952) 356-0010 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our highly trained, IACT/IMDHA certified hypnotherapists.
Read on for a comparison of hypnosis versus other methods for depression.
Alladin A. & Alibhai, A. (2007). Cognitive hypnotherapy for depression: An empirical investigation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 55 (2): 147-166.
Dobbin, A ., Maxwell, M., & Elton, R. (2009). A benchmarked feasibility study of a self-hypnosis treatment for depression in primary care. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 57 (3): 293-318.