Addictions

Hypnotherapy for Gambling Addiction

With more and more people gambling and with online gambling outlets increasing, there are more reported cases of Gambling Addiction then ever before.

Gambling problems can manifest themselves in many different ways. Some problem gamblers will have all of the signs of their gambling problem and some others may only have one. Gambling addiction affects players of all different forms of gambling.

The most important thing to remember is just because their life is not horrible because of their gambling does not mean there is not a problem; many people can have serious gambling addictions and still hold down a job and other may think averything is fine.

Many addicts will stop socializing with anyone not into their addiction, so if suddenly someone you know cuts out all their friends from their life and starts to isolate themselves this can be a sign.

We now know that there are many contributing factors to gambling addiction. For example, the sensations experienced during a gambling episode may trigger the release of hormones into the brain that actually give a feeling of wellbeing – during that moment.

Past experiences that may have been long forgotten at the consious level are often a hidden driver leading towards excessive gambling behavior.

Because these experiences lie buried in the subconsious, no amount of talking can resolve the probelm.

However, because hypnosis works at the subconscious level,  it can be highly effective in resolving these long forgotten issues.

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist with nearly thirty years experience, I see many gambling addicts at my practice in Highgate Hill in Brisbane.

It does take effort, but if a gambler wants to control the addiction it can be done.

I have helped many gamblers retake control of their lives.

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Hypnosis and Gambling Addiction

With the risk of the federal government rescinding laws aimed at helping problem gamblers, the need for effective solutions to this problem has never been more urgent.

An article, entitled Problem Gambling: Treatment Strategies and Rationale For the Use of Hypnosis as a Treatment Adjunct, published several years ago in the Australian Journal of  Clinical and experimental Hypnosis* by Gre J Corman, Barry J. Evans and Graham D. Burrows AO, had this to say about the use of hypnosis in the treatment of Gambling Addiction:

“Hypnosis can be a valuable adjunct to treatment for problem gambling and can be introduced early in therapy. It is vital to assess contra-indications to the use of hypnosis, especially co-existent depression, personality disorder, or criminal intent or activity.

There is practically no reference in research or clinical literature to the use of hypnosis in the treatment of gambling problems. However, our belief that hypnosis should be considered as a part of therapy is based on its proven efficacy in the treatment of compulsive and habit disorders, anxiety disorders, and addictive disorders (Burrows & Dennerstein, 1988; Evans, 1995; Hammond, 1990). There are also many clinical and experimental reports of the use of hypnosis in heightening the efficacy of desensitisation, imagery, cognitive-behavioural, and cognitive therapies (Burrows & Stanley, 1995; Hammond, 1990). Hypnotherapeutic techniques are also useful for ego-strengthening and increasing self-esteem (Stanton, 1993).”

Hypnosis is an effective, side effect free way of treating all additions including Gambling Addiction.

Being located close to the CBD, (and Brisbane’s only Casino), I regularly see clients whose lives are being devastated by this terrible addiction. In most cases, the addiction is dealt with and the compulsive gambling stops permanently.

*Australian Journal of of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, November 1996, Volume 24 Number 2, Greg J. Coman Addiction Research Institute; Barry J. Evans Monash University; Graham D. Burrows AO Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne/Austin & repatriation Medical Cetre

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Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.

An approach described in a paper* published it the American journal of Clinical Hypnosis, describes the use of hypnosis for the treatment of substance abuse disorders, borrowing from studies effectively treating alcoholism by using intensive daily sessions. Combining the more intense treatment of 20 daily sessions with hypnosis is a successful method to treat addictions. The treatment has been used with 18 clients over the last 7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up.

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 hypnosis to control excessive drinking.

The study involved 18 participants (16 men and 2 women) were clients who voluntarily sought treatment at a private practice facility. The age range was 18 to 63 years, and the mean age was 37 years. There was one African American client, and the rest were Caucasian. Of the 18 clients, 15 were being seen for alcoholism or alcohol abuse, 2 clients were being seen for cocaine addiction, and 1 client had a marijuana addiction.

The study results were, “Of the 18 clients who started the 20-session program, and most attending aftercare sessions, 12 remained drug- free. Two clients returned to moderate drinking, and appear to be doing well. Two clients relapsed to abusive drinking, and one of those clients was charged with a third driving-under-the-influence citation.”

You can read the entire study here.

* Intensive Therapy – Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders, Greg Potter American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47:1, July 2004

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Hypnosis for Gambling

Opportunities to gamble have increased significantly over the past decade. Along with the rapid expansion of legalized gambling has come an increase in the number of gambling problems. For most people, gambling is a social or recreational activity, something that is fun and entertaining. But for others, gambling causes problems and, for some, it becomes uncontrollable and is no longer a choice.

gambling1Compulsive gambling is not a bad habit but rather a life-threatening disorder. Compulsive gambling is destructive to families, friendships and careers. Bills go unpaid. Basic needs like money for food and rent are neglected. Some gamblers become suicidal. Most will need help to change their gambling behavior.

The thrill of gambling, just like any other habit, creates a natural high that can become addictive. It can take us away from the realities of life and shift our focus away from what needs to be done on a day to day basis, so real life starts to pass us by while the mayhem of gambling takes over.

But fortunately, life does not have to be this way, you can move forward from gambling addiction, through Gambling Addiction Hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy uses trance or the ‘hypnotic state’ to help bring about change in a client. One of the physical effects of trance include the lowering of blood pressure which produces a sense of calm, vital to help overcome a gambling addiction.  Also, studies of brain imaging during this trance state, show physical changes to areas involving memory, thoughts and emotions.  It is thoughts and emotions that lead to the behaviour of gambling which, need to be changed. Through Gambling Addiction Hypnotherapy you can find different strategies for dealing with these thoughts and emotions, which previously acted as triggers for gambling.

 

 

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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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Hypnosis and Pornography Addiction

No one is born with an addiction to sex or pornography. We have to learn it.

What starts as an infrequent and seemingly harmless erotic adventure—a fling here, a click there—can so easily run away with us. Then, all too soon, we can find ourselves practically compelled to chase that encounter, access those sites, enter those chat rooms.

With repetition, the overwhelming and often all-consuming desire becomes an almost automatic behaviour. And, before we know it, we have become addicts.

With the expansion of the Internet and its easy accessibility, more and more people are having their lives wrecked by this insidious and powerful addiction. The vast majority of pornography addicts are men, though women too can also experience this particular addiction.

Internet pornography addiction is a form of sex addiction.

The consequences of pornography addiction, like those of sex addiction, can be considerable. Relationships can be ruined, reputations sullied. Many are so compelled to view Internet porn that they do so at the most inappropriate times and places, sometimes even putting their jobs and livelihoods at risk.

Many people find themselves running up massive credit card bills as they chase after sexual experiences; paying for access to one Internet pornography site after another, as their addiction spirals out of control.

The stress and anxiety that all of this causes, together with the loss of self-esteem, is simply part of the price paid by the sex and Internet pornography addict.

Subterfuge and secrecy so very often force the individual to lead a bizarre form of double life. It is a life most often filled with anxiety and guilt, shame and remorse.

Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind, helping the individual to neutralize these powerful drivers and replace them with a more harmonious way of functioning.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing the destructive and potentially devastating effects of sex addiction or Internet pornography addiction, do not despair, help is available.

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Hypnotherapy and Quitting Smoking

The 1988 report of the US Surgeon General identified cigarette smoking as nicotine addiction.

·  The UK Royal College of Physicians also concluded that “nicotine is an addictive drug on par with heroin and cocaine, and that the primary purpose of smoking tobacco is to deliver a dose of nicotine rapidly to the brain.”

smoking* The American Heart Organization states that nicotine is “an addictive drug, which causes changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more.  In addition, as an  addictive drug it causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present — and the bad feelings when it’s absent — make breaking any addiction very difficult. Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.”

What is the impact on the body?

  • Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood from the heart and leads to the arteries to narrow and harden.
  • The obvious potential impact on health – cancer, heart attacks, strokes etc.

With all of these risks; shortened life span, reduced quality of life, why is it then that so many smokers are unable to quit?

The above quotes give us the answer. Nicotine is an addictive drug. Quitting smoking means having to deal with both psychological addiction and the physical withdrawal symptoms; which include:

  • irritability
  • impatience
  • hostility
  • anxiety
  • depressed mood
  • difficulty concentrating
  • restlessness
  • decreased heart rate
  • increased appetite or weight gain

Hypnosis provides major support in both areas.

Using hypnotherapy a skilled therapist can work at the subconscious level to address the psychological reasons why a person smokes.

Meanwhile, hypnosis helps to reduce, and often eliminate the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Quitting smoking is not an easy challenge, especially for a person who has smoked for many years.

But hypnotherapy can make that challenge far easier to overcome than it would otherwise be.

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Hypnotherapy and Addiction

Hypnotherapy is becoming more commonly used as a treatment option for people trying to break a substance abuse cycle of dependence, especially in follow-up care to help prevent relapse.

Like drug therapy that is used to treat cravings and modify behaviors, hypnotherapy should be administered qualified therapists. It is considered a piece of a comprehensive treatment program, and is gaining more recognition nationwide as a viable option for addiction therapy.

In some cases, hypnosis is linked to a reduction in harmful behaviors. It can also be used to give patients a greater feeling of control over their own recovery.

Hypnosis may reduce desires for addictive behaviors because it aids in relaxation. In a relaxed state of awareness, a patient may become more open and accepting of recovering from their addiction. While some hypnotists may be able to move into recovering deep personal issues with the patient, this type of approach may be better left with professional addiction counselors.

In addition, hypnosis is side effect free, and can be a valuable tool is discovering and dealing with the root causes of the addictive behavior, thus reducing the likelihood of a later relapse.

However, as a tool for calming the mind and revealing new perspectives for people suffering from addiction, hypnotherapy is receiving increased attention as experts look to refine treatment options for a growing number of compulsions and addictions.

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Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking

It is important to understand that the nicotine addiction is not the main problem in stopping smoking. Nicotine can be out of your system in as little as three to four days.

With this in mind, one might ask why it is that people can give up smoking for one, two or maybe three months and then drift back to cigarettes.

The reason is simply that they have never overcome the psychological habit of being a smoker. The habit is lodged in the subconscious mind and there it remains even though the conscious mind may not be aware of its presence, although it may show up as increased levels of anger or an increased desire for food.

This is why hypnosis is such a powerful tool in any quit smoking plan. Using hypnosis, I can work with the subconscious to discover the underlying reasons why the subconscious believes you need to smoke. I can then work with the subconscious to help it find more effective and non-destructive strategies to meet that need.

Also, using a combination of hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) I dramatically reduce the discomfort of withdrawal, often eliminating them completely.

There is also a strong possibility that the nagging desire that this habit creates may gradually wear the ex-smoker down, until, in a moment of stress or weakness they give in and light that first cigarette.

Hypnotherapy is designed to overcome the psychological addiction. Hypnosis allows the habit of being a smoker to be replaced with the habit of being a non-smoker. Hypnosis will strengthen the desire and motivation of the person to stop smoking in exactly the same way that Hypnosis is used by sports people to increase their motivation and performance.

It doesn’t matter:

  • How heavily you smoke:
  • How long you have smoked;
  • How often you have unsuccessfully tried to stop.

It does matter

  • That you have a strong desire to break the habit;
  • That it must be your own decision to stop smoking.

Click here to contact me either by email of phone. I am happy to confidentially answer any questions you may have about hypnotherapy and quitting smoking.

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