Hypnosis for Alcoholism Treatment: Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis has existed since ancient times. And also in many countries. They included Sumeria, Persia, China, and India. Also Egypt, Greece, and the Roman empire. The Egyptians and Greeks also used it for therapy. But there is no evidence that they used hypnosis for alcoholism.

          Overview

I.   Hypnosis for Alcoholism

II.  Myths about Hypnosis

III. Effectiveness of Hypnosis

IV.  Resources

I. Hypnosis for Alcoholism

In using hypnosis for the treatment of alcoholism, the hypnotist leads the client into a trance-like state. The alcoholic “can become more imaginative and better at problem solving. In short, they’re in prime position to sort out strategies for conquering their own addictive behaviors.”1 The person must also want to stop drinking and must be sober at the time of hypnosis. That’s because clear thinking is essential.

II. Myths about Hypnosis

Some myths about hypnosis might make a person hesitant to try hypnosis in treating the condition. But the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis reports that a person who is hypnotized is the following.

    • Totally conscious.hypnosis for alcoholism
    • Not asleep.
    • Very relaxed.
    • Not weakened.
    • Won’t do anything against their will.
    • Won’t reveal any secrets.
    • Is in control of their behavior.2

The effectiveness of hypnosis for alcoholism treatment might depend on a number of things.

    • How long the patient has abused alcohol.
    • The degree of alcoholism.
    • The effectiveness of any prior hypnosis.
    • How suggestible the client is.
    • The quantity of alcohol consumed.
    • Whether drinking is alone or with others.
    • How committed the client is to abstinence.

The therapists sometimes teach their clients how to hypnotize themselves. They believe that self-hypnosis for alcoholism can be helpful in overcoming urges to drink. This should help in reducing relapses.

III. Effectiveness of Hypnosis

Hypnosis has shown its ability to greatly influence a person’s perceptions and behaviors. It is sometimes used to treat pain, anxiety and phobias. Also to reduce irritable bowel syndrome. Evidence is encouraging for its possible value in treating anxiety, stress, hypertension, and insomnia.

Hypnosis is widely used in treating nicotine addiction. The goal is smoking cessation. The evidence is clear. It’s completely ineffective. In fact, it’s no more effective than no treatment.

So we know that hypnosis fails to help people quit smoking. It’s no surprise that hypnosis treatment for alcoholism doesn’t work. There is no scientific evidence that hypnosis for alcoholics helps them either..

IV. Resources

Websites

Inter Soc for Hyp.
Brit Soc of Clin and Acad Hyp.
Am Soc of Clin Hyp.
Australian Soc of Hyp.
Am Board of Psych Hyp
Euro Soc of Hypnotists.
Soc for Clin & Exper Hyp

Readings

Floyd, A., et al. Alcoholism treatment outcome studies. Addict Behav, 21(4), 413-428.

Stoil, M. Evaluation of hyp in the treatment of alcoholism. J Sub Abuse Treat, 6(1), 31-35.

Wadden, T. and Penrod, J. Hyp in the treatment of alcohol problems. A Review. Am J Clin Hypnos, 24(1), 41-47.

Footnotes

1. Hyp as an Addiction Treatment.

2.  Myths about Hyp.