Daydreaming. It seems innocent enough. Who among us has never taken a break from the here and now to indulge in a fantasy scenario or pleasant reverie? Occasional daydreaming is harmless enough, but there are times when it goes way too far, and begins to interfere with a balanced, happy life. 
The author of this article from Psyche details her struggle with what has been identified as “Maladaptive Daydreaming” by clinical psychologist Eli Somer. Similar to (and perhaps even some form of) dissociation, maladaptive daydreaming leaves sufferers with a feeling of helplessness over their own thoughts, and is often a way for a person to cope with severe trauma. The disorder is not listed in DSM-V, but that doesn’t mean patients presenting with symptoms are unlikely to appear. Some of its symptoms sound like those of ADHD and PTSD. 
Especially in a time of uncertainty such as the one we live in, a person’s desire to escape reality can, understandably, become more intense. That could be why maladaptive daydreaming, which is characterized by extensive daydreaming that replaces “real-life” human interaction, has become increasingly common. Social media, gaming, streaming, and other “virtual” activities are likely to have exacerbated this situation. Furthermore, the client is further frustrated when the experience of missing out on real life creates more emotional stress. 
Sufferers experience symptoms such as feeling out of control of their thoughts, procrastination, difficulty establishing intimate relationships, and more. Much of the time, as we said before, the behavior of maladaptive daydreaming is the result of earlier trauma. When a person feels that it is impossible to cope with a dangerous or painful situation, one very natural way of responding is to “check out.” When this becomes a habit, patterns such as those noted in maladaptive daydreaming can develop. 

What can mental health practitioners do to help those whose lives are disrupted by maladaptive daydreaming? There are certain methods sufferers can use to regain some modicum of regulation over their thoughts. They include mindfulness, physical activity, setting time boundaries, and self-compassion. 
These practices could indeed assist the person suffering from maladaptive daydreaming on one level, but there is another, more complete, way to alleviate the symptoms. The most effective way to help a person gain control of the amount of time they spend daydreaming is by identifying and working with the cause of the desire to escape reality. There is a solution. 

Retrain the brain with hypnotherapy 

Hypnotherapy, particularly Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy® as it is taught at The Wellness Institute, is an evidence-based method of healing the sorts of trauma that can lead to conditions such as maladaptive daydreaming, dissociation, ADHD, and PTSD. Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy® uses age regression to assist in the client’s healing. This enables the client to trace their current compulsive behaviors back in time, to the source experiences that led them to develop coping mechanisms such as this. 
Once the client retrieves the subconscious memories that created this need to escape, the therapist encourages expression of the emotions associated with the original incident(s). The client has the corrective experience of speaking back to those or that which has caused harm, in a safe and nonthreatening way, releasing the overcharged emotions. This also allows the traumatic memory to be processed and “time-stamped,” so it can be placed in its proper time, in the past.  
Then, the client remembers what beliefs the experience(s) created, and how these have affected their behavior. Later, after the client is given the chance to address the needs of this younger version of him- or herself, through the process of inner child healing, the conclusions can be changed. Positive affirmations for future behavior are also formulated, giving the client control over the choice to remain in the present moment. 
This powerful, transformative technique is a tool that provides therapists and other mental health professionals with the ability to accelerate the process of a client’s treatment and allow clients to function more fully in their lives. What’s more, you can learn hypnotherapy in less than a week, and become certified in a short time. 
Learn hypnotherapy online with live teachers and interactions with your peer group. Participate in practice sessions that allow you to experience being a therapist, observer, and client. See live and recorded demonstrations that illustrate how the techniques are used to treat trauma and other issues, including: 

  • codependency 
  • addiction 
  • sexual abuse 
  • mind-body maladies 
  • eating disorders 
  • childhood behavioral patterns 
  • relationship addiction 
  • dissociation 

and more. 

Experience Transformative Training at The Wellness Institute 

The Six Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program is just one way The Wellness Institute serves the vast community of transformative healers. Upon completion and certification of the program, you are eligible for Advanced Training that sharpens your skills, deepens your healing, and opens you to a whole new way of helping others. 
If you’re not quite sure you’re ready for age regression, The 2-day Introduction to Hypnosis course will teach you how to bring clients into a relaxed state so they can benefit from suggestions that help them change their behavior. You will learn how to help clients change habits, manage physical discomfort, and follow up on the goals they set. 
Later, after completing the hypnosis course, you may choose to take the Six-Day Program and receive a discount on the full price.  
In addition to hypnosis and hypnotherapy, The Wellness Institute offers Basic Training in EMDR live and online, as well as an asynchronous course in Transactional Analysis. The mission of The Wellness Institute, as developed by founders Diane Zimberoff and David Hartman is “Heal the Healers.” Get the training that will enable you to heal yourself, so that you can fully help your clients and make them happy to be living in the real world. 
Are you ready to take positive steps in a new and more positive direction? Classes for 2024 are enrolling now for