Hypnosis is used successfully with many types of addictive behaviors including smoking and drug use. To start with a good hypnosis therapy requires several or more sessions to be successful. A good hypnotist will start with a complete and thorough history before beginning the treatments.
This personal history helps the hypnotist to better understand the person and their thoughts and motives. When applied properly, hypnosis can be very successful.
The hypnosis sessions themselves usually last anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes each, and unlike popular belief a person who is hypnotized cannot do whatever they are told. In fact, they are not totally “under” but instead are in a completely relaxed and open state of mind. The mind is then open to suggestions. The hypnotist uses several relaxation methods to bring the person to this receptive state.
Relaxation techniques include breathing exercises that help the person become calm and relaxed. Soft music may be playing during the session. The hypnotist then talks to the person. Often they use a script that is designed specifically for use with their problem – in this case alcohol dependency.
A person must be receptive to the hypnosis treatment in order for it to work. Good hypnosis treatment may take several treatments to see results. Hypnosis often uses everyday things to help the person overcome their problem. For example, the hypnotist may use the suggestion of a red car. Every time you see a red car you repeat to yourself that you will not drink. This reinforcement helps to keep the therapy going between sessions.
Hypnosis works by changing the way a person thinks. Instead of instantly thinking that a drink will help calm them down they will learn to replace this with other more productive thoughts. Eventually the old thought patterns are abandoned and new patterns are put in their place.
Results of hypnosis treatments vary greatly. The results are often dependant on the severity of the alcohol problem, the length of time the person has had the dependency and the willingness of the person to want to change.