Hypnosis has become recognized an effective treatment
for depression symptoms. Studies have shown
that it can be more
effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is the most common therapy approach.
Hypnosis can help address the underlying cause as well
as help people find much more effective coping behaviors. It can
help people achieve a happier mood and help dispel the pessimistic negative thoughts that accompany depression. Hypnotherapy
for this disorder will typically uses a combination of suggestion and imagery to bring about positive changes in the in the
depressed person. People who undergo hypnosis will often experience a new sense of freedom and a greater sense of control
over their thoughts, their mood, and their life in general.
Since anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression, hypnosis can
also be very beneficial because it helps
reduce anxious thoughts and feelings. Rather than remain stuck in the vicious cycle of painful thoughts and
feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness, hypnosis can help the person to develop a more positive
outlook by using positive suggestion. Difficult situations that would previously have felt overwhelming or
hopeless, the individual learns how to respond effectively through hypnosis.
The hypnotherapist may use creative visualization in a
session once the individual has reached a state
of deep relaxation. It is during this relaxed state that positive suggestions are very effective. For example,
positive and present tense statements such as “I feel happy and optimistic, and am in control of my life”, or
“I am a worthwhile person who has much to offer others.
While not all depression is triggered by a traumatic or painful
event, hypnosis can be a useful technique to
help the individual learn new responses to painful triggers if indicated. It can also help the individual
access distressful memories which were repressed yet contribute to the depressed mood. Hypnosis
can bring those into conscious awareness and help the individual let go of painful or sad emotions
associated with the event. Healthy and more positive associations which empower the individual can
be learned to replace those which may have kept the individual depressed. In the future the individual
will be less susceptible to similar events and will be able to
respond to them more positively.
While almost anyone can be put into a hypnotic trance, hypnosis will
generally be more effective
if the individual feels both at ease with and trusting of the hypnotherapist. Some people will
experience positive effects from hypnosis sooner than others. Many factors will determine how
quickly effects are experienced. It can vary greatly depending on the severity of the depression
their personality makeup, their motivation for change and their
openness to the hypnosis process among other things.