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Addictions

Hypnotherapy has been shown to be very effective for all addictions, as the mechanisms of a repetitive addiction are fundamentally the same regardless of the substance or activity.

Smoking, Alcohol abuse, Drug use, Gambling and Food are the habits/addictions I most commonly see in clinic. Some addictions are easier to treat than others, some are more complex than others, but generally speaking, the treatment follows the same fundamentals. The key is, the patient needs to 'want' to change their situation, though for some they can't attain a clean enough state in which to participate in hypnotherapy, which needs a certain amount of clarity and cognitive ability. These patients would probably be better suited to conventional drug therapy. But for those who feel they can follow the path of natural development, hypnotherapy is fabulous... and a path where lives are absolutely turned around.

From the research below...

"The experimental group received hypnotherapy for 6 months in addition to the psychotherapy offered as standard clinic treatment. The control group received only psychotherapy. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater number of withdrawals. At six-month follow-up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved withdrawal remained narcotic-free". (Manganiello)

 

Tramontana, Joseph. (2009). Hypnotically Enhanced Treatment for 
Addictions: Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Gambling, Weight Control, 
and Smoking Cessation. Norwalk, CT: Crown House Publishing 
Limited. 

The purpose of this book is to offer new strategies, techniques, and scripts for use 
with problem drinkers, alcoholism, drug addiction, and gambling addiction in an 
outpatient population, as well as to review old and to present new techniques or 
combinations of techniques, strategies, and scripts for other addictions. The five 
addictions to be addressed are: alcohol abuse and dependency, drug 
abuse/addiction, gambling compulsions/obsessions and addictions, tobacco 
addiction (including cigars, pipes and chew), food addiction/compulsions. In the 
latter two, the “strategies and techniques” section will also address marketing 
and/or providing a package of sessions, with various pre-planned scripts used in each 
session. 
Jones, Patricia. (Spring 2006). Nicotine Addiction. Australian Journal 
of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis. Vol 27(2), 1-4. 

This article is taken from a presentation made to the Smoke Signals workshop run 
by the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists in February 2006. The 
purpose of the presentation was to open dialogue between hypnotherapists and 
‘evidence-based’ practitioners of smoking cessation. It describes nicotine addiction 
from an evidence-based perspective so people from ‘both sides’ can talk to each 
other and mean the same things. Many hypnotherapists who talk about helping 
people overcome the ‘habit’ of smoking are not aware that they have broken the 
chemical addiction. 
Jayasinghe, H. B. (2005). Hypnosis in the Management of Alcohol 
Dependence. European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. Vol 6(3), 12-16. 
 
Alcohol dependence can be broadly divided into physiological dependence and 
psychological dependence. The physiological dependence can be successfully 
controlled with appropriate medical management. Today with the introduction of 
some of the effective hypnotherapeutic techniques such as guided imagery, 
visualization techniques, dream induction, rational emotive behaviour therapy and 
aversion therapy, psychological dependence can be successfully managed. When 
dealing with alcohol dependents, it is an essential prerequisite to determine whether 
the patient is sincerely motivated to abstain totally from all forms of liquor for the 
rest of his life. If not, he has to be properly motivated by employing Hypno-Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). Hypnotically induced dreams too 
can enhance the patient’s potential to utilize his internal resources to motivate 
positively. 
Millet, Edward. (2005). The Benefit of Group Hypnotherapy in the 
Treatment of Sex Addictions. Journal of Heart-Centred Therapies, 
Vol. 8(1), 95-103. 

The purpose of this paper is to define addictions, describe the differences in the 
levels of sex addiction and then discuss the impact addiction has on relationships, 
society, spirituality, intimacy, and self-esteem of the addict. The next part of the 
paper will outline an eight to twelve week therapeutic group treatment utilizing 
different aspects of conventional talk therapy (person-centred and cognitive) and 
Heart-Centred Hypnotherapy.
Potter, Greg. (Jul 2004). Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in 
the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. American Journal of 
Clinical Hypnosis. Vol 47(1), 21-28. 

Hypnosis was once a viable treatment approach for addictions. Then, due to 
hypnosis being used for entertainment purposes many professionals lost confidence 
in it. However, it has now started to make a comeback in the treatment of substance 
abuse. The approach described here, using hypnosis for treatment, is borrowed from 
studies effectively treating alcoholism by using intensive daily sessions. Combining 
the more intense treatment of 20 daily sessions with hypnosis is a successful 
method to treat addictions. The treatment has been used with 18 clients over the last 
7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up. 
Kirsch, I.; Capafons, A.; Cardeqa, E.; Amigs, S. (1999). Clinical 
Hypnosis and Self-Regulation: Cognitive-Behavioural Perspectives. 
Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 
Page, Roger A.; Handley, George W. (1993). The Use of Hypnosis in 
Cocaine Addiction. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 36, 120-
123. 

An unusual case is presented in which hypnosis was successfully used to 
overcome a five grams per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her 
twenties. Six months into her addiction, she acquired a commercial weight-control 
tape that she used successfully to stop smoking cigarettes (mentally substituting 
the word “smoking”), as well as to bring her down from her cocaine high and 
allow her to fall asleep. At the end of one year, her addiction was broken, and she 
has been drug free for the past 9 years. Her withdrawal and recovery were 
extraordinary because hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network 
of any kind was available. 
Geuna, S. (1992). Altered States of Consciousness Therapy. A 
Missing Component in Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Treatment
[letter; comment]. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Vol. 9. 
Miller, W. A., Jr. (1991). The Recovering Addicted Patient and the 
Use of Hypnosis. Hypnos, 18(3), 133-147. 

Doorn, Jeffrey M. (1990). An Application of Hypnotic 
Communication to the Treatment of Addictions. In Sterman, Chelly 
M. (Ed), Neuro-linguistic Programming in Alcoholism Treatment. 
Haworth Series in Addictions Treatment, Vol. 3. (pp. 79-89). 
Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press. 

[suggests that] the application of hypnotic communication to the treatment of 
[alcohol] addiction can allow for a successful integration of the “resistant” client 
into the treatment experience / serving the self in some capacity, the addiction, is 
viewed as a resource to the client / this perspective gives rise to a treatment 
approach that emphasizes the development of a cooperative relationship with the 
client, to create a context within which change can occur / clinical examples are 
provided to highlight the application of hypnotic principles and techniques eliciting 
cooperation / utilizing resistance / building choice / viewing addiction as a resource 
/ assigning tasks / creating illusions of choice 
Janas, Chester. (Mar 1987). Seeking Magical Solutions, Exploring 
Addictions. Medical Hypnoanalysis Journal, Vol 2(1), 15-28. 

Presents a survey of leading problems—low self-esteem, guilt, unconscious 
negative self-verbalizations—related to addictions (e.g., cigarette smoking, 
alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, “workaholism”). Learning theory, classical 
conditioning, and hypnoanalytical principles are considered. A rationale for the use 
of hypnoanalysis in the treatment of addictions and some suggestions for 
therapeutic interventions are offered. 
Schoen, M. (1985). A conceptual Framework and Treatment 
Strategy for the Alcoholic Urge to Drink Utilizing Hypnosis. 
International Journal of Addiction, Vol. 20, 403-15. 

The present paper proposes a theoretical framework and a treatment strategy for 
dealing with the urges to drink that alcoholics experience during recovery. Two 
models are proposed: the Defence Model and the Conditioning Model. Each model 
covers a specific period of time during recovery in which the urges to drink occur. 
The Defence Model describes the urges that result in the initial recovery period, 
while the Conditioning Model is invoked to explain urges that materialize in the 
later phases of recovery. Next, a treatment strategy is delineated that incorporates 
these models and employs the use of hypnosis. The treatment strategy is divided 
into three phases, with the first and second phases dealing with the alcoholic’s 
unconscious and the third phase being directed at the alcoholic’s conscious.  
Manganiello, Aaron J. (1984). A comparative Study of 
Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Methadone 
Addicts. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 26, 273-279. 

This study sought to examine the effects of hypnotherapy on the ability of 
methadone-maintained patients to reduce and/or eliminate their drug-taking 
behaviour. Seventy adult volunteers at a methadone maintenance program were 
randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group 
received hypnotherapy for 6 months in addition to the psychotherapy offered as 
standard clinic treatment. The control group received only psychotherapy. The 
experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a 
significantly greater number of withdrawals. At six-month follow-up, 94% of the subjects
in the experimental group who had achieved withdrawal remained narcotic-free. 
Cancellario, M. (1983). [Triennial Experience in Group Hypnosis 
Therapy and the Teaching of Medical Self-Hypnosis]. Minerva 
Medica, Vol. 74, 2985-94. 

Abstract: A three year experiment with group hypnosis therapy for the teaching of 
medical self-hypnosis is reported. The teaching was divided into 7 courses followed 
by a total of 142 pupil-patients. The self-hypnotic techniques employed maximised 
motivational and gratification factors. A special type of deep-breathing is also 
described. This at least partially solves the problem of inducing a sufficiently deep 
trance for the achievement of appreciable results. Its efficacy was confirmed in 
almost all the patients despite the number and diversity of their problems and varied 
motivation.

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