Do you drink in excess, smoke cigarettes, take drugs, rely on sleeping pills, or have other substance abuse issues? Hypnotherapy involves a process of exploration around how you approach substance abuse; as well as re-contextualising your association with substances so that you no longer rely on them.

A recent client, Joel, came to see me with sleeping pill addiction. He was fearful of ever running out of pills and he often took too many, just to make sure he would get enough sleep. This made his groggy the next day and prevented him from moving forwards with his life because he was constantly in a haze – either sleeping or numbing himself to get through the day, until the next dose. Joel had a drug dependency and it was robbing him of his life.

He also smoked cigarettes and drank excessive amounts of alcohol. All of these devices led to the same outcome where he was not mentally or emotionally present, not in control and not really living. His senses were hammered and his identity had faded away.

When we began to explore this pattern, we found its roots in Joel’s childhood. No he wasn’t doing substance abuse as a boy, but he first experienced these same feelings around fear of coping, from back then. Joel also had a father who had problems with coping and who experienced deep episodes of depression. So, little Joel learnt how to fear the possibility that he could not cope, by watching his dad, and by suffering in the desperate climate of his home environment. By the time a crisis occurred at home, several years later when his father committed suicide, Joel was already familiar with that feeling of loss of control. At this stage, he learnt how to do substance abuse with alcohol.

How hypnotherapy helped with Joel’s substance abuse

  • The first step in this case was to sort out the way Joel experienced time, by organising his timeline, so that the past stayed in the past on an emotional level, and did’t creep forward to confuse him. This allowed Joel to focus on the present and the future.
  • Next we identified that feeling of fear of not coping. It is one thing to feel the feeling and another to analyse it. As Joel is a clever man, used to analysing everything, it was imperative to allow his feelings to ‘speak up’, rather than his analytical mind. So we located the fear and I guided him to transforming it into a kind of certainty about being valuable and being in control. I worked with many different techniques to help Joel to transform this feeling.
  • We also explored the idea of self sabotage, and it became clear to Joel what was going on. In fact there was no side of Joel trying to limit him or create harm. Quite the opposite, as is usually the case. That side which appears to be dark and mischievous with its substance abuse is simply Joel’s unconscious mind, acting in an unconscious way. It’s aim is to bring Joel the peace that he needs. It just doesn’t understand that the way it had been going about things was not helping Joel. Once we could integrate these two ‘sides’ of Joel’s mind, he was free to make more congruent decisions, without the confusion.
  • We also regressed Joel back to the time that the fear of loss of control had started, and we healed that period in his life.
  • On top of this we did hypnosis, containing very clear suggestions as to more beneficial ways for Joel to behave, instead of doing the substance abuse.

This is just a snapshot. Joel did find his identity, he did lose his fears of not coping and he did stop his substance abuse. The layers underneath healing a condition such as substance abuse are deep. Hypnosis scripting is just one of the techniques involved in hypnotherapy. Essentially, hypnotherapy is like a mediation between your conscious and unconscious minds, all with the aim of creating a congruent person and a congruent life.