Hypnosis for Alcoholism

Hypnotherapy has a long history of success in the treatment of addictions.

In a paper entitled, Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorder*, Greg Potter PhD records explains that hypnosis was widely used around the turn of the Twentieth Century. Howevr, by 1910, due to the  increasing appearance of hypnosis as entertainment, it became less commonly used by the medical profession  due to this association.

Potter goes on to say,  “According to Martensen (1997), in the nineteenth century hypnosis and alcoholism medically converged and the results were very good. There were as high as 80% success rates with samples of up to 700 patients reported. By 1910, because of its growing prevalence as entertainment, ethical professionals were using hypnosis less for treatment of any medical or psychological disorder. By 1920, hypnosis was rarely used in the treatment of alcoholism.

However, hypnosis has begun making a comeback as a viable treatment for alcoholism and other addictions. Wolberg (1948) treated alcoholism by using hypnosis to enhance dream imagery. Lemere (1959), using a conditioned reflex treatment, reported a 57% success rate on a one-year follow up. Success was based on abstinence from alcohol.

Feamster and Brown (1963) successfully used an aversive treatment through hypnosis to control excessive drinking.”

* Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorder*, Greg Potter PhD American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47:1, July 2004. Copyright 2004 by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

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