Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is currently seen as more credible as an addiction treatment modality than in years past. Although limitations exist, some individuals may be prime candidates for this type of therapeutic intervention. Learn more about hypnotherapy and how to know whether this treatment approach is the right one.

Science Based Practice

The process of hypnosis accesses a deeper level of the subconscious which can prompt long-lasting change. The client is highly suggestible, relaxed and able to access deeper portions of the mind and imagination than is possible in a conscious state. Through the process, the client becomes a partner in the process. When addiction is let go, people experience transformation with positive support networks, self-compassion and better coping skills. Hypnotherapy can help re-write an individual’s life story and release trauma from the past. For some it may make a huge difference while for others it may be just one step in the healing journey of recovery.


Efficacy of Hypnotherapy

Sufficient evidence exists to demonstrate relaxation techniques and hypnosis can effectively reduce anxiety, support individuals with chronic pain issues, insomnia and panic disorders. Hypnotherapy for trauma, smoking, cancer, pain, vomiting and other problems have shown opportunities for healing when hypnosis is used in conjunction with other medical or psychological treatments as part of an overall plan.


Hypnotherapy Treatment

Hypnotherapy can be useful in an overall treatment plan rather than as a stand-alone piece of a person’s recovery. One approach is referred to as Urge Reduction by Growing Ego Strength (URGES) for Trauma/Addiction Treatment. URGES approach was created to treat addiction and trauma as one inseparable condition to reduce re-traumatization during trauma resolution treatment. The overall efficacy of this treatment demonstrated support for individuals with depressive symptoms. It is estimated more than half a million individuals in the United States used hypnosis in treatment of illness including addiction.


Risks of Hypnotherapy

There are a few negative side effects or risks associated with hypnotherapy. Hypnosis for healing is powerful when used correctly by licensed practitioners. The following risks may occur:

  • Tiredness
  • Crisis of identity
  • Personality changes
  • Problems resulting from unintended suggestions
  • Suicidal depression
  • Symptom substitution


Side effects and complications of hypnosis can be defined as unexpected feelings, thoughts or behavior during or after hypnotic treatment in conflict with intended goals of treatment. Any side effects are generally mild and transient. Some may react more strongly to hypnosis while others may not experience much change at all.

Hypnosis should be part of a well thought out individualized plan with many elements involved aside from hypnosis. It is a worthwhile tool that is accessible to individuals who are interested in trying something different in the quest for a more holistic recovery plan. Speak with a treating physician to find out what plan is best suited for an individual’s needs and goals for treatment.


If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, hypnosis is one of many therapeutic treatments available. Contact us to find out how we can support you in finding qualified practitioners to help you recover from addiction.