Trauma or PTSD can be effectively treated by a combination of NLP and Hypnotherapy. This form of treatment is not new, if fact it is well documented. Several studies have been conducted into the use of hypnosis when treating trauma victims with impressive results, is some studies there has been reports of over 97% success rates. But why is it so effective?
While in a hypnotic state the therapist utilises NLP techniques to attempt to alter the brains perception of the event. In effect helping the brain understand that the event has been concluded
What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to give it the full title is not easy to understand. Most of us at some point in our lives will experience some form of trauma, whether directly or witnessed, but for some the event doesn’t finish there. The event can be relived over and over for years to come and can be triggered by many different things.
Some people have came to associate PTSD with only military personnel, but anyone can suffer from PTSD, any event a person finds traumatic to them can result in traumatic stress. For some people suffering from nosebleeds can be traumatic, for others phobias can develop as the result of a traumatic incident.
As a child my brother in law was inadvertently exposed to the Alfred Hitchcock classic ‘The Birds”, when his siblings taped over his Thomas the Tank Engine video. The result? A fear of all birds which has lasted 40 years!
No one knows precisely why some people experience these events in this way and yet others don’t, at best guess its the way in which the brain processes information, given that the average person has 50,000 plus thoughts per day to process its easy to see why we don’t all process events in the same way.
NLP – A Treatment for PTSD
Neuro-linguistic programming is well known for a few key techniques – Building Confidence, The Voice on the Shoulder, the fast phobia technique. This last technique is the basis of treating PTSD, using this technique the way the event is relived is changed, to be precise the pattern is changed. Variations of this technique have been successfully used to treat victims of long term child abuse as well as single events such as car accidents.
It is rare that a clinician would be able to help a person overcome years of trauma using one technique in a single session. More likely a variety of techniques would be used over 3-4 sessions as both clinician and client work towards changing beliefs, emotions and behaviours.
Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning. – Viktor Frankl
Research in Hypnotherapy-Therapy for PTSD
Hypnosis for childhood abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence indicates a significant reduction in trauma symptoms after treatment. The hypnotic treatment involved three steps: “stabilization, trauma processing, and integration.” Hypnosis was first used to help stabilize the victims. Then age regression techniques were used to help them to remember the traumatic events that led to their condition (and to begin to distance themselves from these memories). Finally, hypnosis was used to help them integrate and consolidate the gains they had made.
Those in the study given hypnotherapy had improvement in the quality of sleep, total sleep time, number of awakenings during the night, ability to concentrate upon awakening and morning sleepiness. The hypnotherapy group had a better quality of sleep, better concentration, and lower sleepiness than the group that received a prescription insomnia medication. The hypnotherapy group was treated by symptom-oriented hypnotherapy, twice-a-week 1.5-hour sessions for two weeks.
The combination of the two modalities, NLP, and hypnotherapy, can be an effective alternative therapy for PTSD and trauma addressing all aspects of the event(s) experienced.