ICARUS Online in the News


At the beginning of the week I was interviewed by a journalist from my local paper the Press and Jornal and talked about the work that me and David Bellamy are doing to help bring change to the military charities sector and also to speed up access to treatment for veterans, uniformed services & their immediate families.

Have a read and please share.

Thanks

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeenshire/1438690/turriff-based-ex-marine-sets-up-new-helpline-for-former-military-personnel/

ICARUS: Please Help to Share Who We Are and What We Do


This is just a quick post to ask all of my wonderful 10,477 followers who will see this messsage to please click the link below and click Like on the new Facebook page for the not for profit organisation that I have set up with my friend and colleague David Bellamy.

It will make a massive difference for us to have every one of you liking and sharing our page as it will help us achieve our aim of helping as many people as possible in the UK’s uniformed services that are struggling with mental health concerns and don’t know where to turn, have been dropped by other providers or even turned away. Sadly yes this does happen.

So please help us by hitting over 10K likes and just imagine how many people we can reach if you all share the page too, mind blowing possibilities.

Thanks for reading and helping us make a huge difference for so many people that need what we do.

Click below and make a difference

Icarus Online Facebook Page

Simon

Hypnosis and Erectile Dysfunction


causes-and-symptoms-of-erectile-dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men. It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree.

Why does erectile dysfunction happen?
Erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological. Physical causes include: Continue reading Hypnosis and Erectile Dysfunction

Hypnosis and Agoraphobia


What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is a very complex phobia usually manifesting itself as a collection of inter-linked conditions.

For example many agoraphobics also fear being left alone (monophobia), dislike being in any situation where they feel trapped (exhibiting claustrophobia type tendencies) and fear travelling away from their ‘safe’ place, usually the home. Some agoraphobics find they can travel more easily if they have a trusted friend or family member accompanying them, however this can quickly lead to dependency on their carer.

The severity of agoraphobia varies enormously between sufferers from those who are housebound, even room-bound, to those who can travel specific distances within a defined boundary. It is not a fear of open spaces as many people think.

Agoraphobia image

See more at: AnxietyUK

As always I am very interested to hear other opinions and experiences around this subject.

Study 1: Case Study of Hypnotherapy for Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia: A case study in hypnotherapy
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207147108407147

Results: Based on the described case study, the author advocates a psychodynamically oriented rather than technique-centered approach to hypnotherapy to successfully treat agoraphobia.

Notes: A 58-year-old woman with a 43-year history of agoraphobia was treated with ego-supportive direct suggestion and hypnoanalytic techniques. Literature pertaining to etiological factors and treatment problems is cited. Pertinent details of the patient’s recent and past history are presented. The treatment plan, course of therapy, and outcome are discussed in the context of limited therapeutic goals and anticipated successful results.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 19, Issue 1, 1971
By: Doris Gruenewald, Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Institute for Research and Training Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago

Study 2: Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Induced Agoraphobia
Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome-Induced Agoraphobia
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140601177889?journalCode=nhyp20

Results: This research paper describes the etiology and treatment of irritable-bowel-syndrome (IBS)-induced agoraphobia. Cognitive, behavioral, and hypnotherapeutic techniques are integrated to provide an effective cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) treatment for IBS-induced agoraphobia. This CBH approach for treating IBS-induced agoraphobia is described and clinical data are reported.

Notes: There are a number of clinical reports and a body of research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Likewise, there exists research demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of IBS. However, until this research paper, little had been written about the integration of CBT and hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS, and there had been a lack of clinical information about IBS-induced agoraphobia.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 55, Issue 2, 2007
By: William L. Golden, Private Practice, New York, New York, USA

Study 3: Review of Research on Hypnosis for Agoraphobia and Social Phobia
The Place of Hypnosis in Psychiatry Part 4: Its Application to the Treatment of Agoraphobia and Social Phobia
http://www.londonhypnotherapyuk.com/agoraphobia-social-phobia.asp

Results: This review of world-wide research and literature concludes that hypnosis is a powerful adjunct to therapy for agoraphobia and social phobia. The case studies presented here demonstrate that hypnosis has been highly effective in helping patients (1) to explore feared situations in a safe environment; (2) to reduce anxiety using desensitization; (3) to gain more control using anchoring, fantasy techniques and autogenic training; (4) to enhance coping strategies using ego strengthening and breathing techniques; and (5) to reduce affect using television screen imagery. Age regression (6) was also employed effectively to help a patient to address, and come to terms with, inner conflicts and traumatic events in early childhood. Finally, carefully-designed audio tapes were employed to encourage two patients to practice self hypnosis at home, and this had the effect of enhancing treatment outcome.

Notes: This paper is based on a world-wide search of the literature, and focuses on the use of hypnosis in the treatment of social phobia and agoraphobia. Hypnosis is employed as an adjunct to therapy: it is used to help patients to reduce cognitive and physical symptoms of anxiety, and provides them with more control in every day situations. The author reviews a range of treatment procedures that have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of both social phobia and agoraphobia. An extensive search of the literature has uncovered seven studies which have used hypnosis in the treatment of agoraphobia: the first two studies (Gruenewald, 1971; Jackson & Elton, 1985) use a hypnoanalytic approach with age regression, the third and fourth studies (Schmidt, 1985; Hobbs, 1982) both use audio tapes, the fifth study (Mellinger, 1992) employs a hypnotically-augmented multidimensional approach, while the sixth study (Roddick, 1992) uses a fantasy technique to encourage cognitive re-structuring. Finally, the seventh paper (Milne, 1988), is useful in that the therapist employs a number of approaches in treatment including group therapy, ego strengthening and the gradual introduction of hypnosis from a process similar to meditation.

The text cited here is a pre-publication version of a paper published in the Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis.
By: David Kraft, Harley Street, London, UK (PhD) (trained in psychotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, diploma in clinical psychology (Dip.Cl.Psy). In addition, he trained at the BST Foundation in London where he gained both the diploma in Clinical Hypnosis (DCHyp) and the Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Strategic Hypnosis (A.Cert.CSHyp). David is a member of the Hypnosis & Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine; he is also a member of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH))

Study 4: Use of Hypnosis to Counteract Resistance by a Client with Agoraphobia
Counteracting Resistance In Agoraphobia Using Hypnosis
http://www.londonhypnotherapyuk.com/agoraphobia-using-hypnosis.asp

Results: This research paper focuses on the treatment of agoraphobia and, specifically, on how hypnosis is employed in order to counteract resistance, thus reducing negative transference and providing the patient with the coping skills to become independent in the outside world. The author describes one case study in 1992 in which hypnotherapy was gradually introduced and used in stages; after 8 sessions, the client was able to drive herself to sessions and continued to make further progress.

Notes: The author describes how clients are often resistant to treatment for agoraphobia. Resistance takes on many forms. One case study is discussed in detail in which successful treatment consisted of the stages as shown below (Roddick, 1992). Note that the client in this case study had a particular aversion to being driven in a car and that these principles can be adapted to suit the needs of the patient. Stages: 1. Relaxing in the presence of the therapist; case history (approx. 4 sessions); 2. (a) Hypnosis is introduced using progressive muscle relaxation induction; (b) Experiencing special place imagery like a desert island beach; (c) Addressing the unconscious mind focusing on (i) the importance of practicing relaxation, (ii) being able to travel in a car, (iii) being able to eat and drink ‘as well as ever’; 3. (a) Direct suggestions of bringing the three parts together; (b) Ideomotor signalling used to ascertain whether the strategy has worked and was acceptable; (c) Re-integration of unconscious mind and conscious mind on the desert island beach; 4 (a) ‘Throwing out’ of negative thoughts; (b) Direct suggestions that the skills that the patient has learned in the special place can be utilized at any time. After 8 sessions of using this technique, the patient was able to drive herself to sessions and continued to make further progress thereafter.
This is a pre-publication version of the original research paper.
By: David Kraft, Harley Street, London, UK (PhD) (trained in psychotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, diploma in clinical psychology (Dip.Cl.Psy). In addition, trained at the BST Foundation in London where he gained both the diploma in Clinical Hypnosis (DCHyp) and the Advanced Certificate in Clinical and Strategic Hypnosis (A.Cert.CSHyp). Also a member of the Hypnosis & Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine; he is also a member of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH))

Study 5: Hypnotherapy for Panic Attacks
Rational self-directed hypnotherapy: a treatment for panic attacks
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2296917

Results: Results showed an increased sense of control, improved self-concept, elimination of pathological symptoms, and cessation of panic attacks.

Notes: A single-subject research design was employed to assess the efficacy of rational self-directed hypnotherapy in the treatment of panic attacks. Presenting symptoms were acute fear, dizziness, constricted throat, upset stomach, loss of appetite, loss of weight, insomnia, fear of doctors, and fear of returning to work. Treatment lasted 13 weeks plus a 2-week baseline and posttherapy period and a 6-month follow-up. Objective measurements (MMPI, TSCS, POMS) and self-report assessments (physiological symptoms and a subjective stress inventory) were implemented. Using hypnosis and guided imagery, the subject reviewed critical incidents identifying self-defeating components within a cognitive paradigm, revising and rehearsing these incidents.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1990 Jan;32(3):160-7
By: Der DF, Lewington P, Dept. of Counseling Psychology, University of British Columbia, USA

Study 6: Direct and Awake-Alert Hypnosis for Panic Disorders
Awake-Alert Hypnosis in the Treatment of Panic Disorder: A Case Study
http://www.asch.net/portals/0/journallibrary/articles/ajch-47/iglesias2.pdf

Results: A case study about an individual with a lifestyle-limiting panic disorder is discussed. At the start of therapy, the client was having panic attacks about three times a week – especially during outings for lunch engagements and dinner parties. Direct suggestions as well as a variant of awake-alert hypnosis were used. (Presumably, awake-alert hypnosis was encouraged to make it easier for the client to self-hypnotize with eyes open in the event she felt a panic attack starting.) After four weeks of three-times-a-week hypnosis, the intensity level of the panic attacks markedly decreased. Then, the client became able to thwart the development of episodes by applying the hypnotic procedure in the early phases of the panic process.

Notes: An eye-fixation induction was used and direct suggestions under hypnosis were first provided that the client would become immediately cognizant of any panic episodes at the earliest onset; it was emphasized in hypnosis that to the degree that she employed hypnosis at the earliest level of a panic episode, she would be successful in aborting the episode. After inducing hypnosis and eye-closure, the client was gradually conditioned to open her eyes while remaining in the hypnotic state. The client was conditioned to engender a disconnected and “woodsy” feeling all over her body. Suggestions were given that the client would feel as if an anesthetic agent had been injected yet it could be active and move about as necessary. The client was instructed that she would be able to induce awake-alert hypnosis over her entire body. The client was asked to imagine she was staring at fine glassware – and that at the slightest hint of discomfort she would immerse herself in the splendor of the glassware; the richness of the glass would offer the perfect sanctuary to feel protected—like an impenetrable fortress. The greater the discomfort, the deeper within the glass the client was told she would retreat. As a result, suggestions were given that her respirations would slow down, her stomach would unwind, etc. until she felt it was acceptable to disengage from the glass.

Am. Jrnl of Clinical Hypnosis, April 2005
By: Alex Iglesias (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) and Adam Iglesias (Florida Atlantic University)

Addictions and Hypnosis


Addiction-300x232

This is a subject that is highly relevant to my work at the moment as I am involved in a pilot project in Aberdeenshire working with drug and alcohol addiction, so I have been re-reading these research papers again myself. There are many levels to addiction and also influence from and transference from other presenting issues in an addicts lifestyle that can complicate the recovery process.

So What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?

Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

Medical News Today wrote a great article about addiction.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.

This is a fascinating topic that I hope you will again find interesting reading in terms of the application of and the success in the use of hypnosis. 

Study 1: Hypnosis and Cocaine
Hypnosis For Cocaine Addiction Documented Case Study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259763

Notes: Hypnosis was successfully used to overcome a $500 (five grams) per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her twenties. After approximately 8 months of addiction, she decided to use hypnosis in an attempt to overcome the addiction itself. Over the next 4 months, she used hypnosis three times a day and at the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1993 Oct;36(2):120-3
By: G. W. Handley, Ohio State University, Lima, OH USA 45804

Study 2: Hypnosis and Methadone
A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts.
http://www.hypnosis-review-quarterly.com/drug-addiction-hypnosis-studies.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6486078

Notes: Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9
By: A. J. Manganiello

Study 3: Hypnosis and Marijuana, Cocaine and Alcohol
Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4584094/Potter-Intensive_therapy_Utilizing_hypnosis_substance_abuse_disorders.pdf

Results: All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.

Notes: This paper reports on 18 cases over a 7-year period where hypnosis was used to treat a variety of addictions. Fifteen cases involved alcohol, two involved cocaine and one involved marijuana. All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.
Tools: The following tools and suggestions are given for use in hypnosis;

(A) Direct Suggestion. Direct suggestion can be used for creating a positive expectancy. The therapist can also use direct suggestion to inspire confidence, commitment, motivation, and perseverance in the client to achieve the stated goals, as well as encourage the proper behavioral changes.

(B) Anchors. In hypnosis, anchoring happens when a posthypnotic suggestion is paired to a feeling state. Therefore, when an individual has a craving for the drug, the posthypnotic suggestion is used to bring about the anchored feelings

(C) Metaphors A metaphor used in therapy usually consists of a story that has a short metaphor embedded within. The whole story is not metaphoric, but captures the client’s attention so the metaphoric message can be subconsciously embedded. For example, Wallas’s (1985) “The Boy Who Lost His Way.” All metaphors are altered, paraphrased and structured to fit the individual’s situation in order to make a therapeutic impact. For example, for female clients “the boy” in the metaphor becomes a girl.

(D) Reframes. There may be many issues that arise while working with addictions that can be reframed. For example, the way a person views New Year’s Eve; or what it means to go fishing or boating. Any situation in which the client has consumed alcohol or used their drug of choice can be reframed to exclude the substance.

(E) Affect Bridge. The affect bridge (Watkins, 1971) is used with clients who have particular emotions associated with the use of drugs. By following the emotion through the affect bridge to the first time the client felt that particular emotion before using the drug, the client can become more aware of and break the connection with that emotion and the drug.

(F) Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis is routinely taught to all clients. It is left up to the clients as to how they use it.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004 vol.47(1) :21-28
By: G. Potter

Study 4: Self-Hypnosis for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training With Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect. and Relapse.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190730

Results: While the rate of relapse for all four groups was roughly the same (13%), those who were taught self-hypnosis and who listened to self-hypnosis recordings at home 3 to 5 times a week were more serene, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had greater control over anger and impulsive behavior.

Notes: This study recruited 261 veterans who were admitted into a residential program for substance abuse. The aim was to find out if self-hypnosis could help chronic abusers of drugs and alcohol improve their sense of self-esteem, control their emotions and prevent relapses. Participants were broken into four groups and were assessed before and after they entered the program and then again 7 weeks later.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97
By: R. J. Pekala, R. Maurer, V. K. Kumar, N. C. Elliott, E. Masten, E. Moon, M. Salinger, Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA

Study 5: Case Study – Hypnosis for Chemical Dependency (and future related Imagery)
Refraining of an Addiction via Hypnotherapy: A Case Presentation
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402944#preview

Notes: “A chemically dependent man was treated using hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic techniques The majority of the sessions focused on age regressing the patient to events correlating to drug and alcohol abuse. During these events I introduced myself via hypnosis as “the voice from the future” to redefine the events and extract the useful learnings. With a new-found positive self-image, the patient was hypnotically age progressed to review future scenes. In each scene he successfully abstained from drug and alcohol use. The patient remained drug and alcohol free during treatment and the 6-month and one-year follow-ups.”

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 33, Issue 4, 1991, pages 263-271
By: David J. Orman

Study 6: Hypnosis and Heroin
The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: brief clinical description of a single case
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.69/abstract

Notes: This paper describes the use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user. This client was finding it very difficult to keep to his methadone prescription and was frequently using heroin ‘on top’. He received three sessions of hypnosis in order to facilitate relaxation and visualization, and resolution of ambivalence concerning his drug use. The results suggest the client has responded well to treatment. Details both of the client and of the three hypnosis sessions are given and the outcome is discussed.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 198-201, October 1996
By: Bill Drysdale, Clinical Psychologist, Barnet Drug and Alcohol Service, Woodlands, Colindale Hospital, Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 SHG

Addiction-CyclesAdditional References:

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/addiction

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/home.aspx

http://www.bps.org.uk/search/apachesolr_search/Addiction

A Look At the Link Between PTSD and Substance Abuse


Post Traumatic Stress is an extremely emotionally debilitating state resulting in intense anxiety, intrusive memories and vivid flashbacks that interfere with daily life.

Often individuals with Post Traumatic Stress turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a way to numb their emotional and psychological pain or to gain some measure of control in their lives. Unfortunately, chronic substance abuse creates a complicated Dual Diagnosis through the co-existence of a serious psychiatric disorder and an addictive disorder. Recovering from this Dual Diagnosis requires a careful exploration of the causes of Post Traumatic Stress, combined with treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a condition in which an individual experiences extremely high levels of stress and/or anxiety after witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event in which physical or psychological trauma that leaves the individual feeling powerless and out of control can lead to PTSD. The most common causes of the condition include:
• Military combat
• Violent assault
• Natural disasters
• Sexual assault
• Childhood abuse

The nightmares and flashbacks experienced with PTSD tend to be based around incidents that have never been fully resolved in the individual’s psyche. For example, a soldier who survived an ambush and his friends and colleagues died may well have flashbacks related to that incident as a way to work through unresolved guilt, anger and fear. A child who felt powerless while being sexually abused by an older relative might develop and grow up living with constant intrusive feelings of helplessness, guilt and revenge.
In women, sexual abuse is one of the most common causes of PTSD and addiction. Combat is another common reason for PTSD, especially in men and this will only continue to increase as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Vietnam veterans seeking treatment for PTSD, between 60 and 80 percent also require treatment for substance abuse and in the UK veterans of the Falklands and Northern Ireland are now displaying signs and symptoms of PTSD, with a growing number living homeless and committing suicide. Many are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions that complicate their situation further. Veterans of WWII never received any form of treatment and still suffer 70 years on.

Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of situations, thoughts and anything related to the event, severe anxiety, sleeplessness, aggressive behaviour and often severe and aggressive mood swings. These symptoms can strike the individual at any time, mainly when that person is reminded of the events in question and this doesn’t have to be consciously reminded.

People who meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD and substance abuse often experience other serious disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic illness such as diabetes, liver disease or high blood pressure

The symptoms of PTSD can be divided into three main categories:

  • re-experiencing the traumatic incident
  • avoiding experiences that evoke memories of the incident
  • symptoms of hyper-arousal, such as irritability, anger or extreme anxiety. People who experience these symptoms for at least one month can potentially be diagnosed with PTSD. Alcoholism and drug abuse fall into the category of avoidance symptoms, as the person may use these substances to avoid intrusive/traumatic memories or to numb fear.

When alcohol or drugs are used to cope with PTSD symptoms, the symptoms become more severe. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol worsens depression and anxiety and disrupts normal sleep patterns. Under the influence of alcohol, someone with PTSD is more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour, such as driving under the influence, or to become aggressive and/or violent towards other people.

This is a significant reason why PTSD and substance abuse often lead to legal problems, incarceration, poverty, broken homes and chronic unemployment. Getting the right treatment for this Dual Diagnosis early on can make the difference between an individual leading a satisfying, healthy life, or, losing their relationship, their job, home etc.

PTSD and Addiction
Symptoms or PTSD can be extremely real, vivid and distressing and because they place such a huge amount of stress on the person, many people with PTSD feel unable to cope and turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of escaping a distressing, altered reality. Self-medication has led to very high percentages of PTSD suffers with alcohol dependence (over 50 percent) and drug dependence (over 30 percent).

A large part of the cycle is the endorphin withdrawal process, which plays a large part in the use of alcohol or drugs to control the symptoms of PTSD. When a person experiences a traumatic event, their brain produces endorphins — neurotransmitters that reduce pain and create a sense of well-being — as a way of coping with the stress of the experience. When that experience is over, their body experiences an endorphin withdrawal, which is very similar and has the same symptoms as the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Emotional distress
• Physical pain
• Increased cravings for alcohol or drugs

According to Alcohol Research & Health, many with PTSD will turn to alcohol as a means of replacing the feelings brought on by the brain’s naturally produced endorphins. However, the positive effects of alcohol are only temporary.

With an increased use of alcohol, the person can become chemically dependent on the drug and as such will need more alcohol or drugs to continue to produce those numbing effects that temporarily relieve their symptoms. Eventually, dependence can turn into addiction, which is characterised by compulsive use of the substance, tolerance to the drug and an insistence on abusing the drug in spite of its devastating effects. The use of alcohol to numb PTSD symptoms leads to a vicious cycle. Drinking alcohol worsens the fear and anxiety of PTSD, which leads to the release of endorphins. As the effects of the endorphins subside, the individual needs more alcohol to escape the nightmares and flashbacks of PTSD. Anti-addiction medications like naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, can block the positive effects of alcohol, breaking this destructive cycle. Naltrexone, buprenorphine, acamprosate and other anti-addiction drugs can be used in the treatment of PTSD and substance abuse to reduce the overwhelming cravings that lead to relapse.
Hypnosis has also proven highly effective in the treatment of PTSD in enabling a person to relax, calm their body and mind, remove cravings, strengthen ego and build confidence, as well as deal with traumatic memories.

Finding Specialised Treatment

Recovering from a Dual Diagnosis of PTSD and an addictive disorder demands intensive support from psychiatric and/or psychological professionals, family members and peers. People who are struggling with PTSD and a substance use disorder can be reluctant to seek treatment or even admit that they need it in the first instance. Many who experience PTSD live with intense guilt and shame caused as a result of the traumatic event and their addictive behaviour may be adding to their guilt, making it even harder to reach out and ask for help.

Once they enter a treatment programme, they may have trouble finding the motivation to use their recovery resources at their disposal unless they have support and encouragement from an integrated treatment team.

Those with a Dual Diagnosis such as PTSD and drug addiction need to work with mental health professionals and addiction experts who understand their special needs. Conventional rehab facilities are likely to be ill equipped to deal with the intense psychological problems brought on by PTSD and equally, a psychiatric facility may not have the counselling and detox programmes available that the individual needs in order to successfully overcome the addiction. What the Dual Diagnosis patient needs is integrated care, where recovery resources are centralised in a single facility, and all the professionals on the treatment team have dealt extensively with Dual Diagnoses in the past.

An integrated treatment plan for PTSD and substance abuse needs to include:

  • Individual psychotherapy/hypnotherapy to teach the client how to recognise and deal with their triggers that lead them towards substance abuse
  • Counselling sessions with other clients struggling with PTSD and substance abuse/addictive disorder
  • Couples/Family therapy and counselling to help strengthen and rebuild relationships and educate family members about the condition and how they can help
  • Help clients build their own support network outside of therapy
  • Discuss medication options as a last resort to get them through the initial early stages if their condition and symptoms are severe

Sources:

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/The%20Role%20of%20Uncontrollable%20Trauma%20in%20the%20Development%20of%20PTSD%20and%20Alcohol%20Addiction.pdf

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-and-addiction/

http://www.bhevolution.org/public/perspectices_201203.page

http://www.bellwood.ca/programs/post-traumatic-stress/

http://www.recoveryconnection.org/addiction-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-treatment/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/15/how-ptsd-and-addiction-can-be-safely-treated-together/

http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/ptsd-substance-abuse/

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/problems/ptsd_substance_abuse_veterans.asp

http://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/addiction-research/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-addiction-ptsd/

http://gsappweb.rutgers.edu/cstudents/readings/Summer/Heffernan_WorkingTrauma/brown_substance.pdf

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/medical-professionals/academic-publications/journal-publications/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4124907/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.htm

http://search.proquest.com/openview/ebb0d5f3fc85e2e1fbff439384205a5d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.153.3.369?journalCode=ajp

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1521-0391.1997.tb00408.x/abstract

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027273589290125R

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.8.1184

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jts.2490060409/abstract

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198712243172604

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.149.5.664

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X03001779

http://psycnet.apa.org/books/10460/

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=207281

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http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=495250

What’s the Deal With Hypnotherapy?


Lets face it, none of us are perfect and being brutally honest, no one is. Just like me, I am sure that there are things you know you could change, small tweaks that might make your life more satisfying, more rewarding and fulfilling.

Perhaps changing a bad habit for a useful new one, overcoming a long-standing phobia, or maybe finding the right motivators to change what you eat so that you can lose that excess fat and keep it off.

We all have something we’d like to change or improve, but how do you do it? How can you break what might be the habit of a lifetime, or find the strength to resist temptation?
And even more importantly, how do you make sure your new habit/behaviour sticks?

If you’ve ever tried to do it on your own, you’ll know it’s no easy feat and as difficult as it seems, it’s not impossible, especially when you get the right kind of help.

What Is Hypnotherapy?
Look at the word “hypnotherapy” and you’ll see it’s actually a combination of two words.
Hypnosis – and therapy.In a nutshell it’s a complementary therapy that utilities the power of hypnosis by instilling positive suggestions into your unconscious mind.

With the right suggestions, it’s possible to alter:
The way you think
The way you feel
The way you behave

And this is why hypnotherapy is such a potent tool for change, because when you can change your thoughts, your feelings, and your behaviours – you can move mountains, you can overcome any obstacle that blocks your way, because it enables you to tackle things that you once thought impossible. Plus, when used by a well trained, certified professional, hypnotherapy can help with every one of the following:
Addictions
Childbirth
Obsessions
Compulsions
Anger management
Depression
Eating disorders
Confidence building
Self-esteem boosting
Anxiety relief
Exam nerves
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Fears and phobias
Pain management
Sexual issues
Relaxation
Stuttering
Tinnitus
Sleep disorders
Stress reduction
Weight loss

Now that’s quite a list, so the next question is, how can it be so effective? How can it deal with ALL of those things? The answer is simple.

Hypnotherapy gets to the bottom of whatever the issue is. It bypasses your critical conscious mind and connects you with your unconscious. It changes your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours from the inside out. This means it tackles the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms, and deals with it. And to top it off, it often does that better than almost any other form of therapy.

Hypnotherapy Comes Out On Top

Dr. Alfred A. Barrios conducted a survey of psychotherapy literature. He discovered that:
93% of clients recover after 6 sessions of hypnotherapy
72% of clients recover after 22 sessions of behavioural therapy
38% of clients recover after 600 sessions of psychoanalysis

That blew my mind when I first read that, it’s quite amazing. Not only does hypnotherapy work faster – 6 sessions compared to 22 or more – but it works for a larger percentage of people.

It’s four times faster than behavioural therapy and a massive 100 times faster than psychoanalysis.

That might explain why the practice has been certified worldwide as an alternative way to manage so many conditions:
In 1996, the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association introduced a peer-group accreditation system for professional Australian hypnotherapists.
In the UK, the Department for Education and Skills developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy in 2002.
In the USA, hypnotherapy regulation and certification is carried out by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (A.C.H.E.). The first state-licensed hypnotherapy center was the Hypnotism Training Institute of Los Angeles, licensed way back in 1976.

So hypnotherapy is not just useful. It’s recognised worldwide as a bona fide treatment method for tackling issues in many areas of your life, including:

Mental and emotional health
Physical well-being
Spiritual development
Creativity
Motivation
Business concerns
Goal achievement
And lots more besides.

Now I’m pretty sure you’re wondering, “wait a minute, there other ways to deal with this stuff aren’t there? What about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, psychoanalysis & NLP?
the people who provide these services need to be qualified and certified too don’t they?
So how come they aren’t as effective as hypnotherapy?

To answer this question, you need to look at how the other three work.

Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychoanalysis & NLP
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT) is used to change the way you think and behave, it helps you deal with your problems in a more positive light. It’s commonly used to treat anxiety and depression by giving you practical ways to deal with life on a daily basis. The idea is to break down larger issues into smaller parts so they’re easier to cope with.
This enables you to manage them one at a time and gradually improve the way you feel.
It doesn’t remove the problems, but it gives you valid coping mechanisms so you can learn to manage them more easily.

Psychoanalysis is also widely used to treat anxiety and depression, but with a different approach.
Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud and the principle behind psychoanalysis is uncovering repressed emotions and experiences. So while CBT deals with problems in the present, the here and now, psychoanalysis delves into your past and in many cases, your childhood. It attempts to try to find the reasons why you feel anxious or depressed and by letting those repressed emotions come to the surface you can confront them and finally put them to rest.

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Neuro refers to your nervous system, the link between your brain and body.
Linguistic refers to the language you use.
Programming refers to learned behaviours and the way you respond to stimuli.
So NLP aims to change your behaviour (your programming) by altering the way your brain responds to what’s going on around you. It uses techniques like anchors and disassociation to achieve this. NLP is particularly useful for breaking habits and overcoming fears, which is great. What’s interesting though, is this, NLP often combines its techniques with hypnosis and self-hypnosis.

CBT has been proven more effective when used in conjunction with hypnotherapy. Even psychoanalysis works better when you’re under hypnosis, because you’re more in touch with your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is where all those memories and conflicts are stored and it seems that no matter which therapy is employed, the end result is the same. When you add a bit of hypnotherapy, you hugely increase your chances of success.

So Why Choose Hypnotherapy?
Let’s be honest here, when it comes to therapy, there are so many choices available today and Hypnotherapy is just one of the options. So why should you choose Hypnotherapy above any other treatment form?

There are at least three very good reasons:
It’s faster than other forms of therapy
It addresses more issues than other forms of therapy
It gets right to the heart of the problem and deals with it directly

During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist starts by talking to you and asking you questions in order to find out what the problem is. This allows them to learn about you and your life and this helps them decide the best way to help you overcome whatever issue you’re having. Once they know that, they’ll move on to hypnosis where they will lead you into a mild trance where your critical conscious mind can just switch off. This is basically a state of heightened awareness where you can access your unconscious and make deep-seated and lasting changes.

When you can do that, the possibilities are endless.
You can:
Find solutions to long-standing problems
Wipe away old limiting beliefs
Turn negative thoughts into positive ones
Develop new and healthier habits
Set realistic and achievable goals
Take active control of your health, your career, your relationships, and your life in general

And like the other therapies mentioned above, it works for anxiety and depression too. In fact, if you can think of a problem or an issue, hypnotherapy can probably help.
It can help you make better decisions
Get increased concentration
Unleash your imagination
Feel more relaxed, and more at peace with yourself
Wipe away stress
Feel healthier in mind and body
Boost your self-belief
Sleep better and function at your peak more often
Find the stability that will allow you to truly live your life, rather than just going through the motions

Because even though nobody’s perfect, there’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence by making one small change at a time through the power of hypnosis.