Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects around 10% of the population and can strike anyone after a traumatic event. A traumatic event is defined differently for everyone. For one person a traumatic event could be getting a divorce while for someone else it may be fighting in a war. The perception of the event from the viewpoint of the person with PTSD is what determines the severity of the symptoms and duration of the disorder.
Treatment can include medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and/or Hypnosis. A multimodal approach has been found to be most effective in the treatment of PTSD.
The uses for hypnosis are plentiful and diverse. It has been used to cure ailments, addictions, pain, mental health, and a host of other concerns. Recently, hypnosis has been studied scientifically to show that it is effective in helping patients deal with all the symptoms involved in PTSD including dissociations, flashbacks, and hypervigilant fear responses.
Hypnosis is in essence an intensely focused state in which the mind ignores outside stimuli and the person becomes tuned in and in control of their thoughts. During this time, the counsellor is able to help the patient traverse his thoughts and fears in a safe environment, allowing him to become aware of his dysfunctional behaviours and reactions. Hypnosis allows the patient to minimize the effect of the traumatic event on their daily life and to learn how to relax when the fear reaction is triggered. The most important factors in the use of hypnotism in therapy are the patient’s ability and willingness to be hypnotized and the therapist’s training and expertise in the use of this technique. Going into a hypnotic state makes the patient extremely vulnerable because he is disconnected from his environment and highly suggestible.