How can Alert Hypnosis Support Recovery of Stress Disorders

October 18, 2021 Kelli Hughart

Complex stress disorders like posttraumatic stress syndrome (C-PTSD) is a complex psychological disorder that develops from repeated trauma like intimate partner violence (Walker, 2013). Because the body is under constant stress, with little to no breaks, the body develops shortcuts to deal with the disorder (Critten & Heller, 2017).

This long-term stress affects every part of the body system and can lead to chronic health conditions like emotional, physical, and psychological issues (Walker, 2013; Critten & Heller, 2017). What is perceived as normal events to some can be perceived as triggers to those with C-PTSD. The body attempts to deal with these traumatic events over time with shortcuts (van der Kolk, 2014). These shortcuts present as multiple symptoms and can eventually lead to chronic health conditions (Mock & Arai, 2011).

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder can present with a multitude of symptoms (Walker, 2013; Critten & Heller, 2017). Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Focus Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Neurological Illnesses
  • Guilt or Shame
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Autoimmune Illnesses
  • Self-harm/Suicide Ideation (please seek immediate help)
  • Chronic Pain Syndromes
  • Trauma Bonding
  • Memory Loss

Hypnosis

Conventional medicine uses talk therapy and medications for symptoms of C-PTSD. However, not all patients find symptom relief with these treatments. Thus, clients may seek complementary or integrative therapies (Niles et al., 2016). In addition, over 30% of individuals diagnosed with complex traumas are looking for alternatives to support recovery (Niles et al., 2016).

Hypnosis, an integral part of integrative medicine, supports cognitive flexibility and neuroplasticity, which can rewire the brain to benefit mood disorders like C-PTSD (Elkins, 2017; Niles et al., 2016). Additionally, hypnosis helps people tap into their innate abilities, empower themselves, and helps them meet goals and gain forward motion (Yapko, 2019).

Alert Hypnosis

Alert hypnosis, eyes-open in a physically engaged hypnotic state, can improve phycological well-being (Eads & Wark, 2015; Wark & Reid, 2018). It can be used in sports to enhance performance in academia and can be supportive of those with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (Eads & Wark, 2015). Alert hypnosis is similar to traditional hypnosis in that it can produce a relaxed state yet can still provide increased awareness and focus.

Alert hypnosis can be used with conversational induction and can provide positive emotional outcomes to those with mood-related issues (Wark & Reid, 2018). Because the client is alert and eyes open, it can be beneficial to help the client feel like they are in more control (Wark & Reid, 2018). This may support the feeling of safety and stabilization and lead to positive automatic thoughts.

Conclusions

Alert hypnosis may help those with C-PTSD feel safer during sessions and more in control in everyday situations (Eads & Wark, 2015). Additionally, over time, alert hypnosis can lead to post traumatic growth, reduction of systems and positive automatic thoughts (Eads & Wark, 2015; Elkins 2017).

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