While Teen Hypnotherapy might, at first, sound like a far-out practice either leftover from the 60s or freshly coined with New Age radicals, the therapeutic treatment actually came about in the 70s and is somewhat simplistic in nature. Just as most treatment techniques seek to help teenagers tap into both their conscious and unconscious thoughts, Teen Hypnotherapy is basically a concentrated effort on addressing the unconscious mind. The belief in the importance of the connection between unconscious thoughts and outward behaviors and feelings is one supported by a great number of approaches and research, including Freud’s psychoanalysis. The basic belief is that we all have hidden/unconscious beliefs and feelings that affect the way we behave, even if we might not be actively engaging those thoughts. Therefore, if the unconscious thoughts are causing certain feelings and behaviors, we must try to address those thoughts, in order to support the teens to successfully recover. However, the difficulties of helping teens to access this unconscious space are many, and sometimes, especially in cases of past trauma, teens might be defensive about exploring that space, even if unknowingly. Therefore, in Teen Hypnotherapy, teens are brought into a state of hypnosis, in order to access the unconscious mind, thereby providing the opportunity to create unconscious change. Similar to being in a dream-like state, one of the most notable distinctions that therapists have observed with people in hypnosis is simply that they’re more responsive and more open to suggestion.
Once the teens are in the hypnotic state, the therapy session may look quite similar to a talk-therapy or Cognitive Behavioral therapy session, wherein the therapist and teen have a conversation surrounding the teen’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and challenges. The therapist asks questions and observes answers for recurring patterns that may reveal particular unconscious struggles the teens have. Specifically in Cognitive/Behavioral Hypnotherapy, the therapy session is conducted just the same as it would normally go, with the addition of the teen being in a hypnotic state.
The benefits of implementing Teen Hypnotherapy as part of teens’ overall treatment plans are predominantly related to the degree to which teens are open, susceptible, and responsive to treatment. Especially at Paradigm, where treatment plans are designed to be short and intensive, implementing therapeutic tools such as hypnosis, which can help some teens to progress more quickly in certain areas of treatment, can be a very helpful and powerful resource. Research has shown that for some people, the use of Hypnosis Therapy alongside more traditional forms of therapy, especially CBT, result in greater treatment effectiveness than the traditional therapies, used alone.
It’s important to note that at Paradigm, we are constantly striving to evolve our own treatment standards, options, and resources to keep up with the incredible growth and progress being made in the Mental Health field as a whole. Our approach toward designing Teen Treatment plans is to draw upon the greatest number of therapeutic tools and approaches possible, in creating each treatment plan, carefully tailored toward each teen’s individual needs. Teen Hypnosis Therapy is one treatment option we offer for certain individuals for whom we feel it would be useful and would contribute towards ensuring and expediting the teen’s overall success in recovery.