Hypnotherapy or hypnosis may or may not be an effective treatment for people with drug or alcohol problems. The main success factors are one, the extent to which the patient is receivable for hypnosis and two, to what degree the patient is willing to do what it takes to quit alcohol. So, it is impossible to generalize an issue like this. The success of hypnosis, without doubt varies from person to person.
Can Hypnosis Treat Alcoholism Successfully?
To be honest, there hasn't been published very much research or study reports about this kind of alcoholism treatment. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, from July 2004 refers to a study where 18 clients were followed over the last 7 years. It showed a success rate of 77 percent. They define success as living without drugs or alcohol for at least 1-year. 15 of those clients were classified as alcohol addicts or alcohol abusers, while the rest of them were addictive to other drugs.
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy depends on several factors, such as
- how long time the patient has abused alcohol
- the seriousness of the alcoholism
- whether the patient have been hypnotized before and the effectiveness of this treatment
- whether the patient is suggestible or tend to be resistant and hard to cooperate with
- the amount of alcohol consumed
- whether the alcohol is consumed alone or in a social setting
- which specific beverage consumed (liquor, wine or beer) in relation to the amount
- last, but not least: how committed the patient is to stop drinking
If a person really wants to quit drinking alcohol, he or she has to find out
- why they drink or to put it another way; which positive functions does the drinking have for their everyday life, and
- how can they find other and more healthy ways to deal with these functions or cope with their problems.
Drinking alcohol could very well be seen as a way to cope with your life and the emotional problems you face in your everyday life. You can not just get rid of this without substituting it with something else. If you undergo a hypnosis without finding alternatives to substitute your previous unhealthy behavior, you will not gain anything but an empty hole in your life. The absence of alcohol must be replaced with the presence of new skills to handle the situations in your life that you previously handled by drinking.
The most important question is, how big of an effort are you willing to give to get rid of your alcohol problems? Don't be tempted to think that hypnosis is an passive and painless shortcut to get rid of your problem. Some people think they can just lay down on a sofa a few times and passively get hypnotized and the cravings for alcohol will disappear. In addition, you need to develop some new ways of thinking.
For people who are receivable to hypnotherapy and are willing to change their way of thinking and solve their everyday problems, this kind of treatment can be very effective. Some patients have reported a substantial relief after a few sessions. Normally you can expect that the treatment will take between two to four weeks.