The area of addiction is complex and varied. While most people will readily think of hypnosis to quit smoking, hypnotherapy is a very successful intervention for a much broader spectrum than just cigarettes. Food, alcohol, caffeine, prescription drugs, recreational drugs and even behaviour can all take over a person’s life.

It is very important to stress that in some cases hypnotherapy alone is not enough to deal with the addiction. Managing the withdrawal from some medication or recreational drugs also requires medical intervention as the body forms physical addiction in some cases.

What appears to be healthy activity can also form addictions; many people have become addicted to adrenaline and find compulsive need to exercise to stimulate the “rush” that makes them feel good. It is no coincidence that we have all learned “you’ll feel better after a bit of exercise”. As with everything though, balance is crucial.

The human mind and body is an amazing piece of engineering. The same rush of adrenaline is experienced during times of stress, anxiety, fear, arousal etc. Knowing this can go a long way to explaining why some people seem to seek out reasons to be stressed or anxious. Some are actually addicted to it. I have addressed in another section how long term exposure to this heightened state has a detrimental impact on the mind and body.

Possible reasons for addiction

Experience has shown me that an addiction is frequently linked to an emotional or psychological issue. Very often the person can be unaware of the connection but what started out as a subconscious way of avoiding, escaping or ignoring a problem can eventually become an addiction.

Over time the emotional issue can fade into the background and become irrelevant as the addiction takes over and brings its own negative impact into a person’s life and very often to family, friends and work.

How hypnosis can help

I employ hypnotherapy for addiction to tackle the problem on two fronts. Firstly the addiction itself must be dealt with and break the habit, whether this be substance abuse or behaviour.

A person must be empowered with the belief they can live a normal life without the addiction. Very many addicts are locked in the belief “I can’t stop”. Once this is broken and replaced with a different belief therapy is usually successful.

Then I give a person the motivation and belief that not only can they live without the addiction but also replace any negative behaviour with something positive, healthy and more rewarding; in short, a reason to change.

It is then important to understand any underlying emotional cause that is at the root of the addiction. However old the emotional trigger may be, it is important to resolve any potential issue and ensure it is not going to cause any future problems.

Without completely clearing any negative beliefs, emotional issues or negative attitudes it is possible that another means of escape may be sought and over time a different addiction take hold.