For many years, the therapy field was dominated by a focus on the past. In this context, many clinicians were trained to use hypnosis as a tool to explore the past, and there is a rich literature documenting the use of hypnosis as a tool to induce age regression and the uncovering of traumatic memories. This article presents a therapeutic paradigm that focuses on the future. Hypnosis is used to induce creativity, flexibility, and openness to the future. In the context of health care, hypnosis is used to explore the best possible treatment outcome, which may be pharmacological, surgical, or a combination of both as well as other nonsurgical interventions. This article elaborates on the effective use of a therapeutic hypnosis strategy and technique focused on the future.
The development of new psychotherapies such as EMDR has led to numerous fresh approaches to both the treatment of trauma and to the understanding of underlying psychopathology. A unified view appears to be slowly emerging in an attempt to corroborate clinical practice with neurobiological data. This article attempts to demonstrate links between alternate psychotherapies by highlighting what appears to be an invariant among these approaches, namely “letting go.” This concept refers to a psycho-physical dynamic that combines psychological dissociation and re-association, as well as the body’s vagotonic mechanisms. Following an explanation of this process, it is demonstrated how letting go can manifest itself physiologically and why this may be significant in the study of trauma.
The relational and psychological functions of attunement, representation, and mentalization are essential components of a secure attachment experience. Psychotherapeutic approaches informed by attachment theory have gained significant empirical and clinical support, particularly in the area of complex trauma. Despite these advances, attachment-informed trauma treatment could benefit greatly from the experiential wealth that clinical hypnosis has to offer. In its utilization of shared attention, tone of voice, pacing, representational imagery, and hypnotic language, clinical hypnosis as a state, relationship, and technique offers psychotherapists a way of introducing a healthy attachment experience and renewing appropriate developmental functioning in patients who are survivors of complex trauma. In this article, attunement, representation, and mentalization are reviewed from a hypnotherapeutic perspective.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the treatment of PTSD used literature searches to obtain 47 articles. However, only 6 were experiments testing the efficacy of hypnosis-based treatments. A fixed-effects meta-analysis was applied to postintervention assessment results and 4-week follow-ups. A large effect in favor of hypnosis-based (especially manualized abreactive hypnosis) treatment was found for the studies that reported the posttest results (d = 1.17). The temporal stability of the effect remains strong, as reflected by the 4-week follow-up assessments (d = 1.58) and also by long-term evaluations (e.g., 12 months). Hypnosis appears to be effective in alleviating PTSD symptoms.