Understandably quite a number of people wish to know whether there are contraindications for hypnotherapy – and if so, what are they. The straight answer is Yes and below is outlined conditions where this applies.
But, as with so much in life, the full answer is rather more complicated than just a simple Yes or No. So this page will also try to explain in a little more detail.
It may be helpful to start by considering a condition which may not appear to be a contraindication. The client’s own attitude to the therapy.
Some people are extremely nervous, even scared of the idea of experiencing hypnotherapy. They may fear losing control, or revealing innermost secrets, or drifting into some esoteric world.
Such fears are unnecessary because for most people hypnotherapy is a pleasant, gentle, and extremely safe experience.
However for those for whom hypnosis arouses strong, persistent feelings of anxiety – even after meeting and talking over these concerns with a therapist – it would probably be best to seek some other form of therapy.
Then there is a range of ailments where hypnotherapy is appropriate, and often highly effective, but where it should only be provided if the condition has been diagnosed and confirmed by the client’s own doctor. These include asthma and irritable bowel syndrome.
Moving up the scale we come to the area where hypnotherapy is contraindicated. These include:
Alcohol or drug psychosis
Epilepsy and narcolepsy are conditions usually regarded as contraindicated. On rare occasions the Therapy Partnership has helped patients with epilepsy but only after consultation with their GP and the doctor's approval
Bi-polar conditions and clinical depressive illnesses or those exhibiting suicidal tendencies.
Serious heart conditions may also be contraindicated.
Hypnotherapy is successfully used as a relaxation technique during pregnancy and can provides an effective method of pain control. However there remains some controversy over whether it should be provided during the first semester.
Women smokers often wish to stop during pregnancy for the benefit of their unborn child, which is very sensible. There is a strong argument that hypnotherapy is more appropriate than nicotine replacement for pregnant women.
However while the Therapy Partnership believes hypnotherapy is safe for women at any stage of pregnancy it suggests those seeking hypnotherapy during the first trimester – the first 12 weeks of pregnancy – should first consult their GP or obstetrician then proceed on that advice.
Ensuring correct diagnosis with some conditions
As mention earlier, hypnotherapy can be extremely effective with IBS and bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching). The Therapy Partnership has long-term experience of helping clients with both these conditions.
However prior to hypnotherapy it is essential that these condition have been diagnosed and confirmed by the client's GP, consultant or, in cases of bruxism, dentist.
Not least because the symptoms for IBS can be similar to completely different but potentially more serious ailments.
The Therapy Partnership has specialised in helping people control their asthma but again a requirement of therapy is that the patient's doctor or asthma clinic is informed of progress.
Similar considerations apply to hypnosis to help cope with physical pain such as migraine. We experience pain for a reason and so it is essential that a doctor has first investigated the cause.