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If you are in­ter­ested in hyp­no­ther­apy, you would like, of course, to in­form your­self in de­tail about this form of ther­apy. The best ad­dress to do this is the ther­ap­ist whom you would like to con­sult re­gard­ing hyp­no­ther­apy. But be­fore this step is taken - to enter a hyp­no­ther­apy - there still re­main some ques­tions be­fore­hand that we would like to deal with in the fol­low­ing.

What is hyp­nosis?

Often, an ex­pect­a­tion - or even the fear - ex­ists that hyp­nosis is a state of con­scious­ness totally dif­fer­ent from nor­mal con­scious­ness of every­day life. This is not the case. Pa­tients who are able to ex­per­i­ence hyp­nosis well de­scribe it as a state like the one being ex­per­i­enced shortly be­fore fall­ing asleep, when the en­vir­on­ment di­min­ishes, the body is calm­ing down and ra­tional think­ing gives way to spon­tan­eously arising im­ages. One could be dis­ap­poin­ted that the hyp­notic state is not unique, noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar. But even when the hyp­notic state only causes a well-­known change of con­scious­ness, it still is spec­tac­u­lar what can be achieved by the thera­peutic use of this state. Be­sides the psy­cho­thera­peutic pos­sib­il­it­ies and the di­verse bod­ily changes - from pro­cesses in the brain to changes in blood count - hyp­nosis fur­ther­more of­fers the pos­sib­il­ity to con­trol acute pain in a way that a sur­gical op­er­a­tions or ex­trac­tions of teeth is pos­sible without an­aes­thet­ic.

Stage hyp­nosis

Often it looks quite im­press­ive what a stage hyp­not­ist is per­form­ing with his “me­di­um” for the fas­cin­ated audi­ence. But like a ma­gi­cian the stage hyp­not­ist, too, in­tends to en­ter­tain his audi­ence be­cause he earns his money this way - and this often at the ex­pense of those who make them­selves avail­able and who are then laughed at by the audi­ence. Like the ma­gi­cian he wants to im­press his audi­ence, but while the ma­gi­cian openly ad­mits that no su­per­nat­ural abil­it­ies or spe­cial powers are be­hind his partly un­be­liev­able ef­fects, but only simple tricks, the stage hyp­not­ist lives from selling his tricks as ex­pres­sion of the power of hyp­nosis or rather his own hyp­notic power. And these tricks have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with the thera­peutic work using hyp­nosis.

If you would like to learn more of this sub­ject, please click on stage hyp­nosis.

Is hyp­nosis dan­ger­ous?

Fears to loose one´s own will under hyp­nosis, to tell things about one­self that can­not be re­membered after hav­ing waken up or to wake up from hyp­nosis only with great dif­fi­culty, do not hold true. The hyp­notic state as such is not dan­ger­ous. But the ques­tion if hyp­nosis really is be­ne­fi­cial for the pa­tient, can only be answered after a care­fully per­formed dia­gnos­is. There­fore it is ne­ces­sary that dia­gnosis and hyp­notic treat­ment is car­ried out only by ap­pro­pri­ate trained ther­ap­ists (like psy­cho­lo­gists or phys­i­cians).

Who can be hyp­not­ized?

A pa­tient con­sult­ing a hyp­no­ther­ap­ist will won­der whether he or she really is suited for hyp­no­ther­apy. Can every­body be hyp­not­ized? On which factors does the abil­ity to ex­per­i­ence hyp­nosis de­pend?

Only a few per­sons are not at all able to ex­per­i­ence hyp­nosis; like­wise only a few per­sons are able to ex­per­i­ence hyp­nosis to a es­pe­cially high de­gree. But most per­sons are able to ex­per­i­ence a me­dium depth of hyp­nosis, which is totally suf­fi­cient for ther­apy.

If you would like to learn more of this sub­ject, please click on sus­cept­ib­il­ity to hyp­nosis.

Where is hyp­nosis used?

Hyp­nosis is an ef­fect­ive form of ther­apy in the treat­ment of vari­ous dis­orders, a fact that has been con­firmed by nu­mer­ous sci­entific stud­ies (meta-ana­lys­is). An im­port­ant field of ap­plic­a­tion of clin­ical hyp­nosis are the so-c­alled psycho­so­matic dis­orders, i.e. bod­ily dis­eases, that res­ult from emo­tional stress and con­flicts - mostly in con­nec­tion with per­man­ent prob­lems at work or in private life. These in­clude, apart from chronic pains, car­di­ovas­cu­lar or gastrointest­inal dis­eases (e.g. Crohn´s dis­ease) also skin dis­eases (e.g. neurodermatit­is), as well as res­pir­at­ory dis­eases (bron­chial asth­ma) and dis­eases of the nervous sys­tem (e.g. pol­yarth­rit­is). Over and above that, hyp­nosis is used as well for the treat­ment of anxi­ety dis­orders (e.g. so­cial anxi­ety, fear of height­s), de­pres­sion, ob­sess­ive-­com­puls­ive dis­orders and eat­ing dis­orders (e.g. bulimia nervosa). Hyp­nosis also finds ap­plic­a­tion in the treat­ment of ad­dic­tions (e.g. smoking). Fur­ther­more, sleep dis­turb­ances and sexual dis­orders can be treated by hyp­nosis. Hyp­nosis is not ap­pro­pri­ate how­ever for the treat­ment of psychotic dis­orders, like schizo­phreni­a.

Hyp­nosis is suc­cess­fully ap­plied as well within the con­text of so­matic medi­cine, as for ex­ample in the treat­ment of can­cer, i.e. to con­trol fears and pains or to re­duce side-ef­fects of chemo­ther­apy. Acute pains, like child­birth or in dentistry up to sur­gical op­er­a­tion, can also be easier tol­er­ated with the help of hyp­nosis.

Hyp­no­thera­peutic pro­ced­ure

When think­ing of hyp­nosis one per­haps first thinks of sug­gest­ive sen­tences that some­body re­ceives as pa­tient dur­ing a hyp­notic state in order to free him­self or her­self of prob­lems in this way or rather to get ac­cess to the ex­per­i­ence of safety and con­fid­ence, pain­less­ness, op­tim­ism, re­lease from ad­dic­tions etc.. This clas­sical pro­ced­ure, nowadays, is com­pleted or rather re­placed with the re­source-ori­ented work with hyp­nosis. While doing this, the avail­able reser­voir of pos­it­ive ex­per­i­ences and own strengths of the pa­tient is being awakened using hyp­notic tech­niques and is used for cop­ing with phys­ic­al/­psy­cho­lo­gical prob­lems. Clin­ical stud­ies exist for both ways of pro­ceed­ing that verify the ef­fect­ive­ness of this pro­ced­ure. If you wish fur­ther in­form­a­tion on this sub­ject, please click on “hyp­no­thera­peutic pro­ced­urey”.

­Dur­a­tion and costs of hyp­no­ther­apy

The en­counter with stage hyp­nosis with its ap­par­ent rapid ef­fects often res­ults in the audi­ence´s ex­pect­a­tion that a re­moval of phys­ical or psy­cho­lo­gical prob­lems is eas­ily and rap­idly achieved by hyp­nosis. And in­deed, it hap­pens that some­times only a few vis­its are suf­fi­cient for feel­ing a clear suc­cess. But as a rule the dur­a­tion is longer. Even if hyp­no­ther­apy is re­garded as short-­time meth­od, the dur­a­tion is still to be es­tim­ated at - like with be­ha­vi­oral ther­apy - ac­cord­ing to the prob­lem - between 20 and 50 vis­its. And with dif­fi­cult prob­lems it can take very long. The costs amount to between 60 and 120 Euro per hour of ther­apy. Health in­sur­ance com­pan­ies pos­sibly agree to pay the costs but it would be best, of course, to first in­form your­self about the fee of the ther­ap­ist and about the re­im­burse­ment policy of the in­sur­ance.

How do I find a ser­i­ous hyp­no­ther­ap­ist?

You will find ser­i­ous hyp­no­ther­ap­ists here on this web­site under “l­ist of ther­ap­ist­s”. These psy­cho­lo­gical and med­ical col­leagues are thor­oughly trained in the use of hyp­nosis and have apart from their stud­ies of psy­cho­logy or medi­cine mostly fur­ther psy­cho­thera­peutic or med­ical pro­fes­sional qual­i­fic­a­tions. If you want to find ther­ap­ists out­side of Ger­many, please, go to the link list where you will find the homepages of in­ter­na­tional hyp­nosis so­ci­et­ies.

Ad­di­tion­ally, here are two im­port­ant hints for the se­lec­tion of your ther­ap­ist:

  1. Only un­trust­worthy ther­ap­ists de­mand a cer­tain sum of money from pa­tients pre­ced­ing treat­ment. You would bet­ter look for someone else, if you should meet such a per­son.
  2. For thera­peutic suc­cess, it is im­port­ant, that you have con­fid­ence in the ther­ap­ist. If this still is not the case after some vis­its, you bet­ter should look for someone else.

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