Alcohol is a big part of society – we drink to celebrate successes, to wish congratulations and even commiserations. While in moderation, drinking isn’t considered a serious issue, when it becomes excessive, concerns arise. If an individual is turning to drink as a coping mechanism – as a way to deal with life’s stressors – then it is considered a problem.
Alcohol dependency (also known as alcoholism or alcohol addiction) is the uncontrollable desire for alcohol. It can harm the mind, body and social life of the individual. It can affect the people around them too, as they watch their loved one fade away.
Problem drinking isn’t always so easy to identify. The individuals themselves may not know when alcohol went from being one part of their social life to controlling their whole life.
According to the NHS 2017 Statistics on Alcohol Report, 25.3 million (57%) UK adults reported drinking alcohol in the previous week in 2016. Of the estimated 1.1 million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2015/16, just under two-thirds were male.
Hypnotherapy for alcohol addiction
Hypnotherapy is an approach that many people find to be incredibly effective, especially when combined with other forms of treatment.
The thing with addiction is that, often, there are a number of underlying issues that have led to the problem. Whether it be a traumatic event, a past experience or a number of stressors, if you have turned to alcohol or another substance as a way of self-medicating, the issue hasn’t been dealt with. Somewhere deep down, the effects are still there, quietly fuelling your addiction.
Hypnotherapy looks to change the way you think and behave in certain situations. Hypnosis for drinking aims to access your unconscious (the part of your mind that runs without you knowing), and using suggestion techniques, help you change the negative thoughts and behaviours associated with the addiction.
How does hypnotherapy work?
The hypnotherapist will encourage you to enter a state of deep relaxation. It is in this trance-like state that it’s believed that your unconscious is more open to suggestion. Using suggestion techniques, the hypnotherapist will look to change the way you react to certain things. In hypnotherapy for alcohol addiction, for example, the suggestions would be tailored to your triggers, changing the way you react and help you not crave alcohol. Suggestions may include not needing to drink anymore, or associating alcohol with an unpleasant taste or smell.
Some hypnotherapists may also teach you self-hypnosis techniques, to help you continue your work and cope with any potential triggers, long after sessions are over.