What are the benefits of Hypnoanalysis for anxiety? In this section I will explain a bit about the process of hypnoanalysis. I will base what I write here on the testimony of someone who has who undergone hypnoanalysis. In this particular case hypnoanalysis was sought in order to treat a fear of flying (aviophobia) and other travel and claustrophobia related issues. The exact nature of the problem is not however the point in hypnoanalysis; most practitioners believe that the subconscious will take you to the causal memories and events and see the day to day manifestations of anxiety or depress and panic as symptoms of this initial cause.
Important!!! After writing this post I also wrote this post asking whether hypnoanalysis is a scam. It makes shocking reading!
Free Initial Conversation
The free initial conversation consisted of a chat lasting about thirty minutes. The therapist explained that therapy would last at the most twelve sessions and rarely saw results in less than six. They also said that it might become apparent after a few sessions that hypnoanalysis would not likely be successful, in which case the therapist would recommend that therapy be terminated. It was explained that therapy took the form of “free association” in a light hypnotic trance state and that over the sessions the subconscious mind would create a trail of memories back to the memory that has caused negative emotions like anxiety, ibs, depression, panic and other symptoms. The session finished with questions and answers which reassured the client that their problems could be cured.
Session one was not in itself hypnoanalysis. Instead it was suggestion hypnosis in which the unconscious mind was programmed to start looking back to the past and ordering memories, creating the links that would be used later. A trance state was achieved by talking the client through a series of muscle relaxation exercises similar to progressive relaxation. The client reported feeling so relaxed they entered sleep state at some point. The therapist said that that didn’t matter at all, as the subconscious would still have been functioning. After the session the client reported feeling relaxed and calm, and more positive.
The next four sessions were largely the same. In these sessions the true process of hypnoanalysis started. The process of free association was explained thus: when prompted the client would recite memories of whatever came into their mind, they would describe only exactly what they saw and felt, not the background story. Their subconscious mind would then move them on to the next memory and the process would be repeated. The client was instructed just to allow the memories to come, reporting what they could see and feel but not judging them or ignoring any that they consciously thought were irrelevant or too embarrassing to think about.
Again the client was induced into a trance state by muscle relaxation, and a deepener was used. When the therapist felt that the client was in a light trance she instructed the client to allow the subconscious to recite a memory that from their youth that was connected in some way to feelings of guilt or shame. The process of free association continued for about forty minutes when the client was stopped and gently brought back to the present. As predicted by the therapist the client got no therapeutic benefit from the first five sessions.