Veterans and Hypnotherapy: a road to recovery for those who have given so much
Very few people who go into the armed services come out the same person they were before they signed up. Many attain new levels of maturity, grow wiser, and display great strength of character. Others develop similar traits, but they also bring something back that makes it impossible for them to return home and lead normal lives: severe trauma and its effects.
The Veterans Administration (VA) struggles to treat traumatized veterans. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is pervasive, and those who suffer from it need help if they ever hope to return to a normal life in the civilian world. Those of us who practice Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy realize what an effective tool hypnosis is in the treatment of PTSD.
As it turns out, the Veterans Administration agrees. The VA recently has expanded its treatment program for Veterans to include hypnosis and other holistic measures such as acupuncture, tai chi and yoga. You can read more about this program, which is called “Whole Health,” here. The VA recognizes the value of treating people while they are in a trance state, but for the most part it appears they are still using hypnosis only.
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy practitioners acknowledge the power of hypnosis, but also realize that there is much more that can be done to help a person overcome trauma. By going to the source of the trauma, rather than merely trying to make them behave in a different manner, a traumatized individual can truly begin the process of healing. You can read more about how Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy works for clients affected by trauma here.
While it is encouraging, it’s not really surprising to hear that the VA has discovered how powerful hypnosis can be in the treatment of veterans. In 2008, Jeffrey Scott Yarvis, Ph.D., LCSW, BCD conducted a research study centered on the treatment of PTSD in Veterans with Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. His study compared it with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and critical incident stress debriefings. The study showed that of the three, Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy was the most effective treatment (Yarvis, pp.15-16).
By allowing the client to be regressed back to the trauma to reframe terrifying situations and place a timestamp on them, Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy offers freedom from the sensation that the stressor can still haunt the client in the present moment, and continue to provoke stressful reactions. So many emotions come up in a situation as terrifying as combat, or as pressure-filled as serving in the military. Yet, the service member is rarely free to express these feelings in the moment, as they arise.
Heart-Centered hypnotherapy helps veterans to heal by providing a safe place for them to get back to the source of their anxiety, and process the emotions that cause them to feel unsafe. The powerful and noble people who serve in the military deserve to receive the kinds of services the VA is now offering. Hypnotherapy, as well as the other modalities mentioned, treat the whole person, and go way further than merely reducing symptoms, the way that medication alone might do.
A significant philosophical parallel between the VA’s Whole Health program and Heart-Centered Therapies is the focus on empowering clients to take charge of their own healing. When a client does Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy work, the therapist acts as a guide through the process. With titration, the client learns how to moderate emotions with their own thoughts. With emotional release, the client learns to “own” emotions, and express them in a safe place, to truly understand the source of the feelings and conditions that trouble them in the present.
Therapists are empowered by Heart-Centered therapies because they can offer their clients the choice to be fully healed largely by their own efforts. Therapists can also get the results they wish for their clients much more quickly than possible with talk therapy alone. Therapists get much satisfaction when clients are successful, and when clients experience healing, word gets around. Many of our graduates tell us how they’ve expanded their practices by using Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy with their clients.
The addition of Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy to your own therapeutic toolbox will make a huge difference in your practice, and in your and your clients’ lives. If you treat veterans, you can imagine how this powerful healing modality can improve their lives. Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy helps others who are affected by traumatic events and experiences, as well.
What’s more, learning Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, and deepening the skills you might already have with advanced training, is easy!
If you think learning hypnotherapy might be tedious, inconvenient, and expensive, you’ve got it all wrong. You can learn how to do Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy in less than a week with The Wellness Institute’s Six-Day Training and Certification Program. In this course, you’ll learn all about hypnosis, in addition to how to use hypnotherapy to help heal common client issues. You’ll actually experience the roles of therapist, client and observer two times during the six days. Our graduates describe this training as “Life-changing,” and we suspect you’ll agree! Taking the training may qualify you to accrue CEUs, as well.
After the Six-Day, you can explore further training with our advanced programs, including:
Yarvis, J.S. (2008). Hypnotherapy under fire: efficacy of Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy in the treatment of Iraq war veterans with posttraumatic stress, Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies, Vol 11, No. 1, pp. 3-18.