These are the DSM-V categories that describe the many symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress disorder. They include Avoidance, Exposition, Avoidance Alteration, etc. Because it addresses the root cause of PTSD symptoms, hypnotherapy for trauma can be very effective in treating the condition.
Here’s a brief overview of each one and how hypnotherapy can help.
A client experiences a traumatic event, such as an accident, assault, disaster, or act of terror, or a long series of trauma events (such as ongoing psychological, sexual, and/or physical abuse as a child, or adult), which alters their perception of the world.
The limbic system can respond to threats or attacks in the following ways: fight or flight, freeze, or flight. Trauma leaves a permanent mark on the brain and body so clients can continue to live in the moment.
Although it cannot remove trauma, hypnotherapy can address the cause and its effects. Hypnotherapy gives clients access to information and ‘data” stored in their bodies, subconscious minds, and energetic fields. It is possible to examine the actual trauma and process all emotions. Any negative beliefs or conclusions (which often have directly contributed to long-lasting behavioral patterns) can then be released and transformed.
Trauma can have a wide range of effects on the brain and body, as we’ve already mentioned. Trauma can disrupt daily life in many ways, including flashbacks, nightmares, distressing memories, and reactivity towards cues or reminders. Most clients who experience intrusive symptoms feel like they have lost control of their bodies and minds.
The client receives multiple tools, resources, and opportunities to regain control during a session of hypnotherapy. Ego strengthening is a method that helps clients connect to their inner strength, wisdom, and courage. Clients gradually learn to trust their agency and can do this by providing a physical anchor via the mind-body connection. It is very healing for clients to be reminded of their strengths and virtues.
Hypnotherapy also teaches clients how to control their physiological reactions. Although this is usually done in a trance state, a hypnotherapist may also be able to teach clients how to adjust their shock symptoms during a regular session.
A victim of trauma will, as is normal, do whatever it takes to prevent a recurrence or reoccurrence of the trauma-related feelings. Avoidance symptoms may be triggered by conscious decisions (avoiding certain people and places), but clients can also avoid substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. These are less conscious but still have a purpose. Avoidance is an attempt to avoid trauma. But when trauma is deeply embedded in the brain and body, it can lead to a fractured sense of one’s self. Avoidance prevents one from connecting. Clients come to us feeling disconnected, numb, and/or stuck, no matter how long it takes.
Hypnotherapy’s primary goal is to restore the self. This means that the client’s physical, mental, and spiritual aspects will be united, balanced, and whole. A healthy connection can be made from this place. Hypnotherapy allows you to speak to the inner parts of yourself that have been hidden or covered in negativity to help you survive.
Many types of regression can be used to help clients process traumatic memories. The hypnotherapist can use imagination and creativity to help clients work through past events, but this time with resources that they didn’t have at the time. This work can be done in trance to change the way memory is stored and how it functions in the mind and body. The past is no longer a prisoner for clients.