DCA: what has changed between DSM IV and 5?

The cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy  (Cognitive Behavioral Hypnotherapy) can be considered one of the main models of psychotherapy based on hypnosis ( “Hypno-psychotherapy”). It consists in the integration of hypnosis with the principles and techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (TCC) . Evidence research provides evidence to support cognitive and behavioral therapies and hypnotic therapy, rather than other forms of psychotherapy. Despite this, there are still many prejudices about hypnosis. Let’s try to debunk them.
Could it be some kind of magic, fluid, power used by someone to control, manipulate and subjugate someone else?

Hypnosis has always existed; human beings have always had the ability to focus their attention and concentrate, to use their cognitive abilities to guide behaviors and emotions.

Hypnosis appears in the most ancient writings of the Greeks and Egyptians, for decades it has been very well known and studied, supported by experimental evidence, although some aspects still escape scientific explanations. Yet even today, after almost two millennia, this technique is the subject of myths and prejudices often due to the improper use that is made of it.

Let’s try to debunk the most common:

  1. Hypnosis is like sleep: The term hypnosis  derives from the Greek Upνos, Hypnos which means sleep, yet it has nothing to do with this physical and psychic state. At some point in history, some scholars even proposed to change the name to avoid this misunderstanding!
    The person in hypnosis may have their eyes closed, but their condition and their brain waves (alpha waves, produced only in the waking state) are the exact opposite of what happens during sleep. From a physiological point of view there are indeed analogies to specific phases of sleep, such as the slowing of breathing and heart rhythm, but during hypnosis you do not sleep, rather you are deeply focused on something.
  2. Not everyone can be hypnotized: This is true and false… .. Suggestibility varies from person to person. Only those who want it can be hypnotized, those who “allow” it and sometimes even those who want to find it difficult to reach that concentration which is essential for hypnosis. Anyone who wishes can be hypnotized and can of course learn to practice self hypnosis. It goes without saying then, that if a person does not want to, opposes the process, he cannot be hypnotized. In reality there are no subjective conditions that limit this practice, except for impediments of the will or the ability to concentrate (brain damage, etc.). If we also think about it, everyone has happened to be in a state of hypnosis without knowing it: it happened when in the car we didn’t notice how we got home so we were “concentrated”,
  3. Only the foolish or the simple can be hypnotized On the contrary, scientific research has now shown that the more intelligent, curious, ready to experiment, to get involved and rich in imaginative skills people are, the easier they are to learn and master this technique.
  4. In hypnosis they will make me say or do things I don’t want. I will be at the mercy of the hypnotist As already anticipated, in reality the control of the technique is always in the hands of those who practice it, that is, the person who decides to be hypnotized. It is not possible to force someone to act against their will or against their values ​​and principles. If it were that simple to “take hold” of someone’s mind we would have solved many problems! Think how easy it would be to “reprogram” criminals, change unwanted behaviors (substance abuse, etc.) or make those who are lying tell the truth…. Nobody will break your unspeakable secrets or sneak into your mind. It is true instead of hypnosisit can be a valid help for those who want to change some aspect of themselves, to increase motivation and to see more clearly our goals and the means to achieve them. Certainly the state of well-being and relaxation makes people more receptive to messages, but only to shared ones. Let’s not forget, hypnosis is not unconscious sleep, but concentration at maximum power.
  5. If I am hypnotized I may never wake up again, I may be ‘stuck’ forever Other absolutely impossible possibility! Hypnosis is not a place or an uncontrolled state to get stuck in . At the most you can relax so much that you fall asleep and then you will wake up after a few minutes or after a few hours depending on how much you like and sleep: noises or uncomfortable positions can wake you up in a short time, like when you fall asleep “hypnotized” by the television .
  6. In hypnosis we remember the events of the past Unfortunately or fortunately this is not the case. Cinema and literature have drawn heavily on this myth. Depending on how our memories have been stored and how “emotionally” charged they have been, hypnosis – relaxed concentration on moments from the past – can help to remember. Details may come back to mind that in a cold mind, in everyday life are covered by routine, but they will not be different things from what was subjectively experienced. Instead, it is necessary to be very careful not to induce false memories in the person in hypnosis.
  7. Hypnosis is used to cure various types of disorders Hypnosis  is a valid technique to be used in the context of psychological therapies and must be used for therapeutic purposes only by persons officially authorized as doctors and psychologists enrolled in professional registers and who respond to their operated by scientific commissions. Change is a challenging and often long process, any serious practitioner will tell you that it takes knowledge and practice for the hypnotic technique to take effect. Whoever tells you they are healed of anything in one hypnosis session is either the most extraordinarily motivated and determined person on earth, or they are simply lying!
  8. Afterwards nothing is remembered of what happened in hypnosis Once again it must be remembered that the person in hypnosis is always aware of what is happening, indeed extremely alert and aware precisely because this technique implies great ability to concentrate. The idea that we will only remember what happened before and after the session, but there will be total darkness during the session, is another misconception. This prejudice furthermore feeds the idea that, thanks to our subsequent amnesia, the hypnotist will be able to do with us what he wants. Sometimes it may be agreed that it is not necessary to remember every detail of the hypnotic suggestion and therefore precise instructions will be given on what to store in memory and what not.
  9. Hypnosis is dangerous Hypnosisit is not dangerous, as already said several times, in a hypnosis session nobody can do anything about it without our permission. However, it is always better to ascertain the experience and professional qualification of the hypnotist. Ethics and deontology impose certain rules on how to conduct a hypnosis session. For example, precisely because the person in hypnosis is very relaxed and focused on their imagination, we want to avoid a fantasy being mistaken for a possible memory (induction of false memories) with the consequent idea of ​​convincing ourselves that that thing really happened in our There is no scientific evidence that hypnosis has psychological or physical contraindications. Anyone diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia, post traumatic disorder, or panic attacks should consider using this technique.
  10. I could become addicted to the hypnotist One more time we have to repeat ourselves. The goal of the technique is not to possess the person or subjugate him; hypnosis aims to enhance the person’s abilities, helps him to acquire skills that he can then exploit in full freedom and autonomy. No dependence, no external master of our mind; only relaxation, well-being and self-realization. We will finally be the masters of our mind!

 

by Abdullah Sam
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