However, sometimes beliefs become deeply engrained through past experiences of adversity, trauma, or by the critical voices of significant others in our lives. For example, numerous instances of failure can lead to the automatic habit of thinking that one is a failure. One might not even realize that he or she holds such negative beliefs about themselves. Long held, automatic beliefs can become like a mental program, repeatedly nagging you with internal voices that say things like “I can’t handle this” “I won’t be successful” “I don’t deserve that” “I’m not good enough for that” “This is going to turn out horrible” or “What is wrong with me?” These doubts and self-limiting beliefs affect our daily lives, yet they often operate automatically, outside of awareness, and that’s what can make them so difficult to change.
Fortunately, these deeply engrained beliefs and fears can be addressed by adding clinical hypnosis to cognitive therapy. Research has shown that adding hypnosis to cognitive therapy produces superior outcomes to cognitive therapy alone. Why? Hypnosis can help you to focus your mind in a way so that you can overcome self-imposed restrictions. Hypnosis is a process by which a therapist can help you to concentrate your mind and apply your mental energies to resolving whatever problem or issue you wish to resolve. Hypnosis involves the induction of a state of mind that is focused and absorbed, but at the same time relaxed and open. While you are in this focused yet open state of mind, the therapist presents a number of therapeutic suggestions for changing or resolving your issues. Hypnosis bypasses limiting beliefs and helps you to reprogram negative thought patterns. Hypnosis helps you to become open to new possibilities for healing, changing, and achieving your goals.
Hypnosis can also be used for mind-body communication and healing. Hypnosis can influence the body through the autonomic nervous system, a network of nerves connecting the brain to the organs of the body that controls the stress reaction and relaxation response. Brain imaging studies have shown that hypnosis also influences the thalamus, a brain structure that gates pain signals from the body to the parts of the brain that regulate thought and emotion. Through hypnosis one can influence brain structures that regulate beliefs, feelings, and the functions of the body, making it an ideal way to transform the mental, emotional, and physical symptoms of stress- and pain-related conditions.
Lastly, mindfulness training involves learning to focus one’s mind on the present moment in an open, accepting, nonjudgmental, and nonreactive manner. Research indicates that by training yourself to pay kind attention to your breathing and body sensations, you can learn to “step back” from negative thoughts and feelings, reducing stress and managing emotional and physical pain. In so doing, you can learn to “get out of your head” so that you can savor the moment and enjoy your life more fully in the present.
As a new provider at IHC, I treat a wide array of conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction, and trauma with a strategic integration of cognitive-behavior therapy, clinical hypnosis, and mindfulness training. In five to ten sessions, I will teach you practical strategies and techniques that you can use to help yourself feel better and progress towards your goals. With my integrative approach, I am confident that I can help you to create the solutions you are looking for.
Contact Dr. Garland at Integrative Health Care or by email at email@example.com