Clinical Hypnosis is one of various mental health treatment options available to clients/consumers/patients seeking help. Not all clinical hypnosis methods are the same, however. As a treatment method, hypnosis can be effective with addictions, compulsions, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, smoking cessation, depression, grief, childhood trauma, and it can be helpful in the treatment of sexual disorders and eating disorders.
Not all mental health professionals are trained in hypnosis; mental health consumers seeking clinical hypnotherapy, should ask their provider if the option is available, what the costs are, and what outcomes can be expected. There are common myths associated with “clinical hypnosis” and myths influence perceptions of the approach; the biggest and most common question is whether or not it really, or always works.
Effectiveness of hypnotherapy is linked to the skill of the professional, and the interest and desire of the client who elects to participate. Credible articles can be found covering the topic (for example the professionals at WebMD discuss hypnosis in a way that is easy to digest).
People who disagree with the hypnotherapy method (and any other kinds of talk therapy methods for that matter), whether it is hypnosis or behavioral, cognitive, emotive, expressive, solutions based, experiential, etc. etc. will generally not benefit as well compared to those who agree with the method.
A key ingredient to effective hypnosis is agreement. Agreement here, means that both the provider and the client initially see what is being resolved exactly the same. From this perspective the CHT professional alters the view of the problem into an experiential solution (at multiple levels of consciousness). Where there is conflict, these are cleared up during the session. Concerns, objections and internal/external conflicts can actually enhance the hypnotherapy session; CHT professionals check for conflict in order to improve outcomes. Clients usually experience benefits immediately, which can be quite powerful, and can have a life changing impact.
Knowing what kind of hypnotherapy is used, increases you comfort in deciding what will help. It’s okay to discuss and choose different treatment options. Some professionals offer consults; usually a free consult occurs when the clinician is generally comfortable in discussing multiple treatment options. Clients then can worry less about similarity bias and focus more on getting the results they seek (by what fits them). Hypnotherapy is likely the least intrusive of all talk therapy approaches—but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Hypnotherapy addresses human behavior and dysfunction at two levels; it focusses on both the conscious thoughts and cognitions (what is in the awareness of the mind) and the unconscious underlying processes of thought (the automatic functions of the mind and how information is coded and sorted—seemingly outside of awareness). For clinical hypnosis to work the key is verbal communication, mutual understanding, a heightened awareness of intention, and agreement in each and every step. Asking the therapist about the steps and how the session will proceed, is a great way to begin in making an informed decision.
Hypnosis can sound pretty “heavy” (or “cool” depending on your view); actually it’s really more about how to connect with and talk with all of a persons mental language (aware and unaware) while engaging various communication processes. Communication, almost like iconography, includes a logical/intellectual process, and an automatic mental/biological process; what is spoken, what is meant, what is known, what is perceived as real/unreal, what the literal words mean/say, what those meanings can cause or effect, and by what is experienced—are all aspects to certain types of clinical hypnosis methods.
What can be intentionally highlighted is brought “to the table” by the client, in a session where the therapist simultaneously works in an out loud and in a silent (yet strategic) format. As the therapist works with clients who seek/request clinical hypnosis, the therapist will regularly ask how things are going (looking for what is helpful and for what is not helpful). The traditional “trance” may or may not be recommended however, with certain disorders or concerns, the trance will be highly recommended. Some professionals will allow you to record the session, to be viewed later (and to be kept in the clinical file for confidentiality reasons).
Some people believe that hypnosis is dangerous, or that it is something to consider with great caution. Knowing what you’re getting into isn’t necessarily about caution; it is likely that you want to be informed. If the professional you’re working with seems credible in their overall practice (as a whole)—then the issue of hypnosis is not in question—it’s just another option. Outside of time and cost, the method used by this practice does not harm you; this is especially true when the therapist uses a standard protocol to treat and when the provider listens to and works toward the patient goal. Rumors and doubts about clinical hypnosis are most appropriately addressed with a licensed professional who offers the intervention, who explains it to you, who is trained and licensed to offer the intervention—and who is open in talking with you about other options that you may be considering.
Certain states regulate the practice of hypnosis so that consumers can have a degree of confidence in the minimum standards of care with a particular technique. Florida regulates clinical hypnosis, requiring providers to obtain specialized training before engaging in the practice; meeting state requirements is not an endorsement. Mental health providers who offer clinical hypnosis must meet standards by the state licensing. LaRose is credentialed in clinical hypnosis meeting state licensing requirements to practice in the regulated specialty in Florida. The hypnosis option is also available to Washington DC clients!
LaRose is an eclectic practitioner, meaning hypnosis is not the only area offered by the practice in the treatment various disorders. Traditional counseling methods (assessment, diagnosis, treatment) are available as well. Not everyone, seeking professional and credentialed support necessarily has to be identified in the healthcare system as having an illness; traditional counseling (that which is usually covered by insurance) requires a mental illness diagnosis—where hypnosis and life coaching do not. Life coaching can, like hypnosis, also be another non-traditional alternative. What if nothing is wrong?
Not all hypnotic methods are the same. Some clinical hypnosis methods can appear odd or strange (try looking the term up in your web browser, for example, and you’ll see some interesting approaches). LaRose offers the hypnotherapy method based upon the Rapid Trauma Resolution® approach (as trademarked by the Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence and as founded by Jon Connelly, PhD). This particular model of clinical hypnosis is geared toward the clearing of PTSD symptoms, mental anguish in other kinds of violence, war, and abuse, AND it is structured to be effective in nearly every other area of mental health treatment (or as the case may be, any other problem to be cleared up).
Rapid Resolution® emphasizes the power of the English language where words themselves strategically help or harm success (depending almost entirely on the clinician). What makes the rapid resolution method attractive to consider, is that this form of clinical hypnosis may (or may not) include what is traditionally thought of as “the trance” aspect (determined in a case by case scenario). It is very uncommon, if not almost unheard of, for “hypnotherapy” to offer or include “trance” as optional. Connelly’s approach is effective with or without trance—which is an impressive component unique to his RRT (or RTR) method. What is rapid resolution?
Rapid Resolution uses social technology that is structured and specific. This kind of hypnotherapy t is designed to assist people, in a way that is unique to a certain form or a certain kind of hypnosis (a method that may be similar in some ways to all hypnosis, yet quite unique in other ways). There are specific steps to follow, an order to the intervention, and alterations that are applied consistent with various disorders. The trance aspect is standardized (and while it may be recommended, it is optional).
RRT, as it is called, is effective in trauma, and the variations of RRT is also useful in several other mental health disorders / treatments. The method can be used with both adults and children. RRT is varied and structured differently according to different areas of concern or problems (that is to say, ONE hypnosis method is NOT offered to treat ALL problems). People are unique, and RRT as a hypnosis approach, is unique in that it uses different hypnosis interventions, specific to various presentations:
1) Emotional Intensity / Sadness / Anger / Fear
2) Guilt / Shame / Regret
3) Anxiousness / Worry
4) Over Eating, Smoking, Compulsions & Addictive Patterns
5) Grief / Loss / Death / Dying
6) Traumatic Events
Rapid resolution does not focus primarily on what is commonly known as the “trancing” aspect to clinical hypnosis. The “trance” is and can be one component of the method, depending on what is helpful to achieve the desired result. Probably what is most unique about the rapid resolution approach (as a hypnotic method and at least according to LaRose) is its emphasis on communication, language, terminology, credibility, the science of the brain, and the overall applicability to what a client asks to be resolved).
Hypnotherapy has been around for years with ever evolving research dating to the 1940’s (see more on Clark Hull, 1940, for starters). As the social technology develops over time, it generally improves; research looks at the changes and it either supports or refutes what is/was known. Some clinical methods work better than others (and LaRose argues that any method as specific as the rapid resolution method, with step by step “tools” designed for duplication and replication, is at least as credible as many other mental health techniques, if not more). The rapid resolution approach to clinical hypnosis has been around since the early 1990’s, and while the literature still claims that the approach is experimental—a 20 year protocol would suggest otherwise (not to mention the number of states and national associations who have approved the clinical hypnosis seminars for the rapid trauma resolution method).
If you elect to use hypnosis while working with the practice being highlighted at TalkifUwant, your experience will be facilitated in such away that rapid change becomes possible at a most cognitive and aware level (incorporating all of the skills, knowledge, experiences, and abilities already known from your life experience) and your treatment experience will be facilitated in such away that your awareness can effect altered thoughts, feelings and actions, just in the way your mind codes and processes information (or data). What is already helpful in your life will remain fully intact (and it can even become more in your awareness) while you will likely see that what is not helpful can be adjusted via a hypnosis process that is both “dynamic,” yet specific, structured and targeted. You cannot be made to do anything that you do not want to do—which is one of them most common myths involving clinical hypnosis.
Does therapy have to be so intense? Not at all—and that’s why the rapid resolution method can work well for people who elect to use it.
“What if I’m scared of the idea or think that it’s risky?” That’s simple—don’t do it—and pick another option (LaRose is eclectic in his treatment approach, thus one alternative is not the only option you’ll have). If you’re electing to work with LaRose, you’ll be delighted to know that he’ll offer multiple treatment options, including hypnosis, as it may (or may not be) applicable to your particular situation. Naturally, if you’re thinking about hypnosis it will help if you’ll inform LaRose during the initial consultation.
When any treatment option is recommended and then included in the treatment process or when options are discussed in your initial consultation, you will be able to consider all of what you think can work best. If something is recommended (hypnosis is not the only option that will be recommended by LaRose) know that you can ask questions about how the options work, what they cost, and when the treatment can be started. Either way, clinical hypnosis (particularly the rapid resolution approach) is something that may be worth investigating. Hypnosis sessions are generally NOT covered by insurance (see more here for how hypnosis fees are structured).
Are there any other creative ways to treat people seeking mental health services? Sure. Music, Art, and Play can be very effective tools, for both adults and children. Sand, Blocks, Paper, and Balloons can be effective tools as well. Other instruments can be useful too; behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, emotive techniques, narrative approaches, role plays, and general psycho-education all can be effective. Online video/chat/telemental health and client portal options may work too!
Choosing the right professional, understanding some of the complexities in counseling, knowing if you’re therapist is really any good, seeing if a free consultation is available to talk about and learn more about your particular situation, verifying insurance coverage, knowing how long treatment services will last, understanding the assessment and treatment process, and knowing more about what other mental health professionals offer—can make the road to wellness a whole lot more clear (and a whole lot less stressful).
You can schedule your consult 24 hours a day, to get more information about Hypnotherapy, and to ask questions about your options schedule now.