In this podcast, I give an overview of Hypnotherapy and we discuss 5 ways hypnotherapy can help free you from addiction.
More specifically, I talk about how hypnotherapy is used to heal the suffering of addiction. I’ve been using Hypnotherapy in my practice since 2019 and my client’s love it. One of the best features about using hypnotherapy to free oneself from addiction is, you become a storyteller of your present and future. As a result, you will meet or visualize your future self.
You’ll feel what it’s like to be free from addiction.
Your subconscious mind will incorporate new beliefs, new self compassion, self worth and purpose.
Duane is a 40 something male who tried to stop smoking at least 20 times. He describes smoking as a comfort, a constant companion, and a way to “take the edge off.” For him, smoking was a fundamental aspect of his identity. He was a smoker. Everyone around him knew that but he desperately wanted to quit. He was moving to a new town and was starting a new job. On his first day at this new job, he walked up to a bunch of his new co-workers who were standing in front of a smoking lounge and one of his co-workers pulled out a cigarette and offered him one. Duane immediately said, “No, no, no, thank you. I don’t smoke.” And there began his new identity. He changed the narrative. He changed the past that allowed him to have a new identity in that environment.
Shame is one of the biggest barriers to achieving long lasting recovery. It’s something I study in my private practice. Left unresolved, shame can lead to a multitude of mental health problems, including addiction. Hypnotherapy for addiction helps to address shame by learning what shame is doing for you. At one point in your life, it was a protective factor. And when we go into some of your earliest memories, your relationship to shame will start to identify itself. It’s then that we can identify shame’s “map” and begin to resolve it. Once you receive the hypnotherapy script and begin listening to it outside of the office, that’s when the behavioral changes begin!
Hi, I’m Dr. Adina Silvestri, the founder at Life Cycles Counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Certified Brainspotter in Richmond, Virginia.
As a therapist, I specialize in treating women with substance abuse and eating disorders and men with depression. I like to refer to myself as equal parts Shame Fighter and Hope Merchant!
(Disclaimer: This transcript is using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri,
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Hola guys and welcome to Episode 62 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today is another solo episode. And it's something I've never talked about before in the podcast, and the podcast is little over a year old and a listener wrote in and said, I heard you on another podcast. We were talking about hypnotherapy, but you never talked about it in your own show. And I thought, that is a clever observation. So today we're talking about hypnotherapy. Specifically, how hypnotherapy how I use it in therapy to work with addiction to help people heal from addiction. And so I want to just outline five ways that best therapy can help you with addiction. Alright, let's talk a little bit more about this hypnotherapists have been helping clients to stop smoking, drinking using drugs and find the root cause of their suffering for years, this is not new, subconscious mind is so fascinating and that we alone have the solutions to our problems and can stop the addictive urges. So for the many individuals I see And again, these everything that I'm talking about today is is based on my own experience with hypnotherapy. And so the individuals that I see do not subscribe to the 12 step model for a variety of reasons. Maybe they tried it before it just didn't work for them. They self identify as an Atheist or Agnostic and, and they just they just don't want to go that route. And so this is the point where clients come to find me The hoops run out and they just need some relief. So let's dive in to the five ways going to therapy can help you with diction. And at the end. I'll talk about a way that you can work with me, just to see if hypnotherapy is something that might help you. Okay, number one, say hello to your future self. This is what hypnotherapy is all about. It's about you being the storyteller of your present and of your future. And so we have to get at the core issues when the goal is to experience a life free of drinking of drug use of disordered eating or smoking. You're gonna go on a journey to meet your future self. And we do this by having you get relaxed. So there's a guided relaxation script that I use, and we achieve then with the script a heightened state of awareness. And then we use the power of suggestion or analysis to help you tap into that subconscious mind. And so there you will meet or visualize your future self. You'll feel what it's like to be free from addiction. Your subconscious mind will incorporate new beliefs, new self compassion, self worth and purpose. Sounds pretty good, right? Okay, number two, when you fire it, you wire it. And so this point is, is bringing us back to psychology 101 the days where we learned this important lesson on neuroplasticity. If you fire it, you wire it was a common theme in all of my classes. And so the neuroplasticity of the brain will allow the therapy to form new neural connections. Why is this important in the past situational triggers like passing one's favorite watering hole or being around for friends that you normally would drink with or smoke with just environmental triggers the lead to cravings and it makes it very hard not to engage in some drug. With hypnotherapy, we actually rewire the response that the brain has to the sight, the smell the thought about alcohol, or any other drug, forcing the mind to create a new trigger feeling to that stimulus. So the thing that would cause triggers and relapse now is reinforcing the commitment to not drink. Pretty cool. Three, the language you use matters and so this is similar to point number one. So in certain circles, your tool that you should label yourself as someone struggling with addiction, I'm an addict. I'm an alcoholic. I'm a sex addict. I'm a gambler. And when you do that,
especially in the beginning Have your recovery, you're conjuring up all those feelings associated with that fear that self loathing that worthlessness and on and on. So instead of seeing yourself as an addict for life, hypnotherapy will focus on the opposite of that. It will help your behaviors and eventually your personality will change. hypnotherapy will implant an identity of who you are and who you want to be. And I'm going to give you an example of this. So let's talk about Dwayne Dwayne was a smoker. He was always a smoker. In fact, he started smoking to cover up the marijuana that he was using in high school. And parents were not thrilled about the marijuana but for whatever reason, they didn't care about the smoking and so Dwayne continued to smoke to the point where he was Smoking probably a pack a day. And he said that he tried quitting about at least 20 times. So smoking was a fundamental aspect of his identity. He was a smoker. everyone around him knew that. But he really wanted to quit. I mean, really, he knew it was bad for him. But he was addicted to the nicotine. And so at one point, he was in transition. He was moving to a new town, he had gotten a new job. And he walked up to a bunch of his new co workers. there's a there's a lounge, a smoking lounge, where all the employees hung out and he walked up there and his first day, and some of his co workers pulled out a cigarette offered him one and he said, No, no, no, thank you. I don't smoke and there began his new identity. He changed the narrative he changed the past that allowed him to have a new identity in that environment. And it probably took Dwayne a week to get over the nicotine cravings. But because he spent most of his time at work, he really assumed that new identity of nonsmoker and after that initial week, he never really thought about smoking again. And so that's what I mean by the language that you use matters. And we haven't really talked about scripts. scripts are a little bit difficult to talk about without actually demonstrating one for you. But think of when you listen to a mindfulness meditation, it's it's kind of the same thing only when you're with a hypnotherapist. The script is tailored to you and your needs and your beliefs and your future self. And so his script was tailored towards him. And his future self of being a nonsmoker. He changed his identity. Number four, some amazing things happen. hypnotherapist will work on a client's core issues such as memories or beliefs that make the person fearful or shamed. Now, I know a little bit about shame since I study it in my private practice. And I know that it's one of the biggest barriers to a sustained recovery. And that's where we talk about john. So I started using hypnotherapy because I needed something powerful. I needed something that was quick that I could get the people, the people to buy in individuals to buy in, and they'd see really, really rapid results. And so, hypnotherapy helps a lot with the shame and helps to eliminate Let's talk about john for a minute. john was interested in hypnotherapy. He needed something more for his addiction recovery toolkit. She didn't really subscribe to the stuff work. And to be honest, if he had a choice between me and flying to Costa Rica, for some psychedelics, I'm pretty sure he would choose Costa Rica, but I was the next best thing. And so he came to work with me with a chronic substance abuse issue and a memory bank full of failures and fears and hopelessness. So we worked on a script that specifically addressed shame.
And we started to slowly change the brain that reacts these memories, the memories that were the root cause of feeling shameful in the first place. And so when you go into these memories, you start to change them and you change them with a positive view, you have to do the work, however, and a lot of the work happens outside of the office, listen to these scripts, visualizing what your life will look like, sober. That's all incredibly important. And that's where the real work begins. The posthypnotic suggestions start to take place outside of the office. And those are the amazing things. And so once you can go into these memories, change them for the better, have it have a totally positive or just a very neutral response to some of these memories that haunted you. Well, then your behaviors start to change, and then your personality follows. And the last point is rapid relief. I think what I learned so far about hypnotherapy. And I use it almost every day, my practice is that it can be summed up in two words, rapid relief. What follows is this freedom from thinking you're never going to quit this habit. Think about that. I'm always going to be an addict. I'm never going to be anything else. How much freedom is there and believing that you and you alone can change the outcome of your life. Get creative, it's your story. Somebody therapy is a positive experience that changes everything you think you know about addiction, and really has you focus on your future self. You definitely find hope in recovery. And it's as simple as taking a walk in the landscape of your mind. It sounds woowoo but it works, guys. And so I wanted to sort of wrap up here. There's a lot I could say about hypnotherapy, but I thought this would be sort of a introduction to how it helps, you know, just sort of just a very sort of laying the groundwork on what therapy is. And if you like this episode, let me know. And I'll do more nuanced episodes about hypnotherapy. And if you think you know enough, or you want to jump on the phone call on a phone call with me, I'm gonna leave a link at the bottom of the show notes. And I'm happy to talk with anybody about hypnotherapy. You could sign up for a 15 minute slot and I mean, I provide it to therapy to people in my office in Virginia, but I also provide it to people all around the world through zoom. And so if you want to learn more, definitely schedule a time with me and we can chat about it. Okay, guys, I have some really cool shows coming up for you, and the next month or so and so definitely, if you haven't subscribed already to the podcast? Go ahead and do that so you don't miss an episode. And I will see you soon. Thanks, guys. Bye.
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