How Can Hypnotherapy Help with Depression?

by Adina Silvestri, EdD LPC

Adina Sylvestri

Depression, as you know is a serious mental illness. According to the  National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) depression affects 17.3 million people.

Now you may be wondering, what does hypnotherapy have to do with depression? And can something as simple as hypnotherapy really offer relief for depression? To answer these questions, let’s dive a little deeper into the subconscious mind.

Depression & The Subconscious: Mind The Simplified Version

Many of our beliefs, emotions, and memories are held in the subconscious mind. And everything we experience gets filtered through this repository of information.

Most of the time this is helpful. We see a cat and we are able to identify it instantly.

But the subconscious can hold a lot of unhelpful information. Negative filters can become deeply embedded. These filters can affect our moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings and ultimately our decisions.

How we respond to stress, for example, is stored in our subconscious. We subconsciously determine an event is stressful and our breathing starts to increase, our shoulders may tense up, we become hot or even sweaty. Our body is readying itself for an attack. Once we take a deep breath, our shoulders go down and everything goes back to homeostasis (mostly).

The good news is we can reprogram the subconscious to react and release many of the underlying causes such as depression, worry, negative self-talk, and addiction.

At the very least, hypnotherapy for depression helps us identify and release the negative self-talk, bad habits, and suppressed memories that negatively limit the mind. At best, hypnotherapy can identify the source of your depression and essentially wipe it away. Hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet but it can improve your coping skills, help you get in touch with past negative memories, and reconsolidate the memories into more useful, helpful memories.

Treating the Root Cause

A number of external and internal factors can increase your risk of depression. For example, drug use affects and has a strong link to depression.

Stressful life events can also cause depression-think divorce or death of a loved one.

Kate: A Case Study

Other than identifying the root cause and subsequent new learning, Hypnotherapy can help you to remember the past positively. Let’s look at a fictional client, Kate. Kate was overweight but could not understand how she got here. Yes, she knew the dieting and subsequent binging was not helping but why was she relying on food to soothe her moods?

She had a great job, a loving partner and family and yet, she lived with this terrible secret and subsequent shame.  When under hypnosis, Kate was able to go back into her childhood and look for patterns. One prominent pattern was being told by family that she was  “not enough.”

Nine-year-old kate would then use food as comfort early on and those behaviors lasted decades until she was ready to face them in Hypnotherapy. The new learning that came out of the hypnotherapy sessions was, “I am enough.” And, “I don’t have to be perfect to be loved by others.” After six sessions, Kate thanked me and said she now knew what path she was going to take in life. She was thrilled at what the future held for her-a happier life and one she knew she deserved.

Wrap Up

Anyone can practice hypnotherapy. It is one of the things I really love about this tool. You can practice self-hypnotherapy in your home, office, or where ever you may be. I would recommend that you start with a Clinical Hypnotherapist-an individual who is trained in Hypnotherapy-who will customize the script according to your triggers and experiences.

Then that person can give you a recording to listen to at your convenience. Practice listening to the script and watch the transformations occur.

To learn more about Adina, see her website, Life Cycles Counseling.

More about Hypnotherapy and how it works for smoking, drinking, love, weight loss, and depression.

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2 thoughts on “How Can Hypnotherapy Help with Depression?”

  1. HI Gray! Hypnotherapy (Hypno) helps with a variety of mental illnesses including clinical depression. Like any intervention, the amount of help depends on a variety of variables (e.g. how much you trust the practitioner, how often you listen to the scripts etc…) And Hypno can be an adjunct to other therapies. For instance, many individuals will be referred to a Hypnotherapist when they are feeling “stuck” with their current therapy/treatment. They will have a few Hypno sessions and then some will return to their current therapist or some will decide the issue has resolved itself and there is no need to return for therapy. I am using broad examples but hopefully this helps.

  2. Would this work for someone who is clinically depressed and not situationally? ie – brain chemistry vs events/situations?

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