Thursday, 1 May 2014

Can Hypnosis be used for Depression?

Depression is a complex term that can mean many different things to different people.  Of course, we have the clinical definition of depression, however to another person, being depressed may mean something more general, such as “feeling blue” or feeling down for a short period.
Most people who consider themselves depressed will find themselves quite often just “feeling off,” “feeling not quite right,” lacking energy or not enjoying activities that they once loved.  Regardless of the definition, the impact of depression on the person’s quality of life is evident and profound, sometimes to the point of being debilitating.

Hypnosis has been clinically proven to help clients experiencing depression, in fact, there have been several books written on the subject (one of the most prolific authors/researchers on this topic is Micheal D. Yapko). 

Depression may be connected to a traumatic event, drugs or alcohol use, relationship problems, weight issues, self-esteem issues, anxiety, poor coping skills and so on. The role of the hypnotherapist is to look at the person in the larger context of what else is happening for them.  By looking at the “complete picture” of a person and their symptoms, the hypnotherapist can help design a plan to address the issues, sometimes one-by-one, sometimes addressing them all at once.  Through hypnosis, the person accesses the creative part of their mind to find solutions that work for them, they can also access positive feelings and memories that can help change their perceptions of the world around them. Our perceptions, of course, impact our feelings, and when we change our perceptions, we change how we feel.  Hypnosis can teach many other skills such as how to focus thoughts, relax, how to imagine various potential outcomes, access internal resources to cope with or to overcome anxiety or stress.  While many depressed clients feel that they do not have the resources to face their depression, through the use of hypnosis, they manage to show amazing amounts of resilience and ability to take advantage of the process to improve their lives.

Hypnosis can be used in conjunction with other therapies and approaches.  For example, the hypnotherapist can work with doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists to deal with specific issues (such as anxiety).  Naturally, a referral is required to ensure that all the practitioners are working together to offer a coordinated service to the client.

Clients who believe that they are clinically depressed should see a medical professional, as there could be physical causes of depression.   Depending on the client’s unique circumstances, the hypnotherapist may also refer you to another professional to ensure that hypnosis is an appropriate intervention. 

In summary, by offering a holistic view of the client’s situation, hypnotherapy has been clinically proven, to offer improvement in the person’s functioning and quality of life. It is an approach that focuses on empowering the person and teaching new skills to help them face life’s challenges head-on.

About the author

Derrick Barnes, RSW Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, uses the latest techniques and evidence-based research to help you focus on reaching your goals. His approach combines coaching techniques, solution-focused brief hypnotherapy, and mindfulness. Even though Derrick focuses on future successes and not past challenges, he will, upon request, offer various other services such as past life regression or energy work.

For further reading:

By Yapko, Michael D. – “Hypnosis & Depression
Hypnosis in Treating Symptoms and Risk Factors of Major Depression

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