You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options
1-800-259-1361

Hypnosis for Addictions

 

Like many people, my first impressions of hypnosis were on TV, on stage, and in the movies, where it was used almost exclusively for entertainment. It wasn’t until I studied therapeutic hypnosis in graduate school that I saw how truly ubiquitous hypnosis is; much of it is negative.

Hypnosis operates on the power of suggestion. In one sense, everything is a suggestion: you wear matching clothes, you shower regularly, you respect laws and boundaries, etc. These are all suggestions, and most of these are positive and prosocial. However, negative suggestions are just as pervasive. Addicts get negative messages reinforced not only by others, but by their own negative self-talk, which is the ultimate hypnotic voice. My work comes in to attune that negative inner voice to a positive, encouraging, life-affirming one. Imagine being able to let go the programming of: “You are a hopeless drug addict” and listen to your own truth of, “I have everything I need to remain in recovery.”

You could say that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, because one will never take a suggestion that he or she does not really want to take. In other words, no hypnotist can control a client; a hypnotherapist facilitates the process, yet the client’s own mind is allowing the positive change. Much like a teacher: the students really do all the work. Or not. It is always one’s choice.

The beauty of hypnosis is that it is a briefer therapy than many other modalities, and empowers the client. In the initial session, I fully explain how the mind works and how hypnosis works scientifically to affect positive change. This allays any lingering fears, dispels any myths about the dangers of hypnosis, and allows the client to know that they are “in charge.” Understanding that all behavior comes from the subconscious, which is fully 88%-90% of our mental capacity, allows clients to grasp the fact that beliefs can override genetics. Indeed, DNA can be re-coded by “unplugging” from negative beliefs and plugging into more positive ones. Obviously, these must be realistic beliefs. Yet, beliefs are not scientific facts. For example, one certainly may be biologically predisposed to be an alcoholic, yet shifting beliefs from “I can’t help it. I’m Irish … we are all alcoholic. If I see alcohol, I have to drink it,” and then to “I’m choosing to override my genetic coding and resist alcohol.” Of course, this is easier said than done, yet with time and reinforcement, recovery is possible.

In the clinic, I train clients how to be their own self-hypnotist to continue their success. They are able to begin to shift their self-talk, which is how we create and hold beliefs that drive behavior to supportive and healthy messages. Every client is unique, but many times I move the client through a mental body scan to apologize to the organs that have suffered, recommit to allowing them to heal, and express gratitude for the chance to recover. Further sessions afford the opportunity to integrate the Higher Self, the Inner Child, and repair trauma(s) that drove the addict’s need to escape. Understanding the “why” behind the using allows the “how” to be self-evident.


dr-nancy-irwin-hypnotherapistDr. Nancy Irwin is a primary therapist and hypnotist at Seasons Malibu, a luxury rehab center in Malibu, California. She runs a private practice in Los Angeles and is a bestselling author of You-Turn: Changing Direction in Midlife. Dr. Irwin has appeared on numerous national TV programs, including Anderson Cooper, The Doctors, CNN, CNBC, MSN, Bravo. Visit her website at www.drnancyirwin.com.

Related Articles

10 Things to Expect in Early Sobriety While your recovery is yours to design, it’s important to first recognize some universals that exist on the road to success. My personal and professional experiences with addiction have afforded me wi...
Effects of Drugs on the Human Brain The effects of various drugs on the human brain are both physiological and psychological. Those with substance abuse problems often prize their drug of choice for the euphoric feelings with which it i...
Non-Addictive Painkillers on the Horizon For many years, opioid analgesics have been considered the gold standard as treatment for chronic or severe pain. Unfortunately, their use often comes at a terrible price. This is because they are the...
Self-Care in Recovery "There are so many things we have no control over. Practice releasing people, situations, and things by repeating, 'That's not in my job description!' You will gain freedom and some time for yourself ...
Addiction Treatment Centers: What to Look For If you are suffering from an addiction, seeking treatment from an accredited and licensed treatment center can help you on your road to recovery. There are plenty of options available depending on the...
How to Involve Family in Your Addiction Recovery There is an art to hiding addiction. I liken it to a snapshot that is continually being Photoshopped. The original image is marked with scars, bruises, cuts, and dark undereye circles. As the addictio...
The Insidious Nature of Enabling When seeking intervention services for loved ones, family and friends are often surprised to find their own behavior questioned. Any experienced clinician will be looking for how those closest to an a...
Jack Black Recalls Cocaine Addiction, Finds Recovery Though Acting Jack Black, while promoting his new Goosebumps movie role as an author that wrestles with his demons, recalled his own dark past with cocaine addiction. The actor and comedian revealed to Parade ma...
The Link Between Addiction Treatment, Religion, and Spirituality Addiction takes over your body, mind, and spirit. It leads to confusion and commonly results in repeated cycles of disappointment and hardship. The solution to breaking this pattern most often require...
Nonaddictive painkiller, is it real? Coping with pain of any type can be difficult. Whether it’s pain from cancer treatments, chronic pain, or pain from a surgery, it can disrupt a person’s life by making it difficult to sleep. It can ev...
Navigating a Loved One’s Addiction Relapse You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of y...
Prescription Opioid Abuse Legislation, CARA, Gaining Ground Prescription Drug Abuse Is a Growing Problem Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused class of drugs in the United States. Although most people only take prescription drugs that are pres...