Hypnosis is proving to be an incredible resource in our lives. While its benefits have been known for years to overcome phobias, quit smoking and for weight loss, the research and work done in recent decades have brought hypnosis into new prominence.
Today growing numbers of clinical and medical facilities incorporate the skills of a hypnotherapist into their practice. Hypnosis is being used to enhance sports performance and to allow for painless experiences without the use of drugs for dental work as well as childbirth.
Additionally there are now numerous programs from coast to coast using hypnosis to conquer addictions such as Drugs, Alcohol, Food, Gambling and Sexual behavior.
Recently I watched a PBS special called "The Brain Fitness Program", about the discoveries being made in the field of neuro-science that demonstrate that the brain is capable of learning new ways of thinking as well as experiencing the world throughout our lifetimes. This is precisely why hypnosis is an excellent way to deal with addictions.
To find out more I interviewed Valerie Banarie, RN, CHt, a prominent Certified Hypnotherapist in Orange County, California. Her Program is called "Triumph Over Addiction". She has offices in Newport Beach and Laguna Niguel. In addition to her practice, Valerie has just created a free online information and discussion group for anyone seeking information. (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/TriumphOverAddiction)
Q ; Does the "Triumph Over Addiction" Program differ from traditional 12-step programs, and if so, how?
A : "Triumph Over Addiction" is nothing like 12-step programs because it is based upon a completely different paradigm. Where the 12-step programs come from the belief that someone with an addiction is destined to be an addict for the rest of their lives, my program looks to the current research in neuro-science which shows that people continue to change the way they think, and therefore behave throughout their lives.
In addition, using hypnosis allows for the resolution of the issues that caused the addictive behavior in the first place. Rather than teaching that an addict is helpless against their addiction and must attend meetings for the rest of their lives, "Triumph Over Addiction" participants do not define themselves by their addiction. Instead they are led through a process that allows them to create a life they love, free from addiction.
Rather than attending meetings, (the program can be used in conjunction with 12-step or other recovery methods) they complete 12 hypnosis sessions over the course of a month. In between sessions, they listen to hypnotic reinforcement CDs at home and complete homework assignments as well as writing a daily journal. Each session builds upon those that came before, so that by the end of the month, people engaged in the program have learned how to deal with self-sabotage and have vastly improved their self-esteem. They have also developed the beliefs, values, boundaries and internal identity of someone who has no need for the substances or behaviors they used to depend upon.
Q ; Is there any support offered once the sessions are completed?
A ; At the end of the 12 sessions we evaluate where the client is, and what they perceive their need for on-going support to be. Because the nature of the program is empowerment, the idea of an ongoing support group needs to be looked at differently. Reinforcement is available in the form of additional occasional sessions and by an email list of participants that have completed the program. Of course, there are the CDs that were used during the program as well.
Q ; What is the success rate when using hypnosis for recovery?
A ; A review of the literature (Potter, G., Jul 2004, American Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy) cites success rates up to 77 % for at least a 1 year follow-up.
Compare this with the statistics offered by Alcoholics Anonymous which shows that 26% of their participants are sober less than one year. (http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/en_pdfs/p-48_04survey.pdf AA 2004 Membership Survey)
Q ; What is hypnosis?
A ; Hypnosis is actually a naturally occurring state that everyone experiences several times a day. Basically it is a state of intense focus that allows the hypnotherapist to bypass the conscious mind with its rationales and excuses and establish selective thinking. What this means is that the hypnotherapist can address suggestions to the subconscious mind, which accepts them uncritically and as truth, allowing the hypnotherapist to guide the client to change their perceptions, and increase their motivation. In addition, because the subconscious mind does not distinguish between what is real and that what is imagined, hypnosis is an excellent method for helping a person to integrate new patterns of behavior.
Q ; What are your background and credentials?
A ; I am a Registered Nurse and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist in private practice.
My certifications and additional hypnosis training include:
Hypnosis for addictions
Medical and Dental Hypnosis
Hypnosis for Pain Control
Hypnosis for Childbirth
Additionally I am in the process of co-writing a book about hypnosis and pain control for professional hypnotherapists.
Valerie Banarie RN, CHt can be reached at (949) 690-7244 or you can go to her website ; http://www.Hypno411.com