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Hypnotherapy for Addictions

The use of hypnotherapy can be a very powerful tool in dealing with addictions, and research studies have proffered very favorable findings.  Unfortunately no; it’s not as easy as taking someone down into a deep state and saying, you’re no longer addicted to, meth, cocaine, alcohol, sex, or whatever the vice may be.  Sadly the Neural Pathways just don’t cooperate in that manner.  If that was your hope, please don’t be too discouraged though as there is a great deal that hypnosis does have to offer the recovering addict. 

With that said however, we want what is best for our clients, and while it’s an honor to offer support in our offices for an hour a week, or even an hour a day, if you’re serious about recovery, you deserve to have support around the clock, 7 days a week.  Therefore as a personal policy in this practice, with the exception of smoking cessation, addiction related sessions require that you be enrolled in a Twelve Step Program.  The combination of hypnotherapy when used to help you with the program is very powerful, and will also allow you access to that added support that is needed between sessions. 

Additionally please note that withdrawal periods should be supervised by a medical doctor.  Addictions are serious, and if you are as well, then you’ll appreciate the value of the team approach outlined above.

If you or someone you know is battling an addiction, and would like to discuss hypnotherapy as an adjunct to treatment, contact us online, or call the office at 469-225-9040.


If you would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy can help with addictions, the American Hypnosis Association suggests the following articles:

Study 1:  “The Use of Hypnosis in Cocaine Addiction”

In this case presentation hypnosis was used to successfully overcome a five gram per day cocaine addiction.  The subject who was a female in her twenties had previously found success with hypnosis for other issues and after approximately eight months of addiction, decided to employ a hypnosis tape daily in an attempt to overcome her cocaine addiction.  She continued the regimen for the next four months and at which point the authors state that her addiction was broken.  The article goes on to cite:

“At the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Her withdrawal and recovery were extraordinary because hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available” (Page & Handley, 1993).

Study 2:  “A Comparative Study of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Methadone Addicts”

Notes:  Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.   (Manganiello, 1984)

Study 3:  “Intensive Therapy:  Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders

The following is a direct quote from the published article:

Abstract:  “Hypnosis was once a viable treatment approach for addictions. Then, due to hypnosis being used for entertainment purposes many professionals lost confidence in it. However, it has now started to make a comeback in the treatment of substance abuse. The approach described here, using hypnosis for treatment, is borrowed from studies effectively treating alcoholism by using intensive daily sessions. Combining the more intense treatment of 20 daily sessions with hypnosis is a successful method to treat addictions. The treatment has been used with 18 clients over the last 7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up” (Potter, 2004).

Study 4:  “Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training With Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect and Relapse”

Notes: This study recruited 261 veterans who were admitted into a residential program for substance abuse. The aim was to find out if self-hypnosis could help chronic abusers of drugs and alcohol improve their sense of self-esteem, control their emotions and prevent relapses. Participants were broken into four groups and were assessed before and after they entered the program and then again 7 weeks later.

Results: While the rate of relapse for all four groups was roughly the same (13%), those who were taught self-hypnosis and who listened to self-hypnosis recordings at home 3 to 5 times a week were more serene, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had greater control over anger and impulsive behavior. (Pekala, et al., 2004)

Study 5:  “Refraining of an Addiction via Hypnotherapy: A Case Presentation”

Notes: “A chemically dependent man was treated using hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic techniques.  The majority of the sessions focused on age regressing the patient to events correlating to drug and alcohol abuse.  During these events I introduced myself via hypnosis as “the voice from the future” to redefine the events and extract the useful learnings.  With a new-found positive self-image, the patient was hypnotically age progressed to review future scenes.  In each scene he successfully abstained from drug and alcohol use.  The patient remained drug and alcohol free during treatment and the 6-month and one-year follow-ups.” (Orman, 1991)

Study 5:  “The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: brief clinical description of a single case”

Abstract:  “This paper describes the use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user. This client was finding it very difficult to keep to his methadone prescription and was frequently using heroin ‘on top’. He received three sessions of hypnosis in order to facilitate relaxation and visualization, and resolution of ambivalence concerning his drug use. The results suggest the client has responded well to treatment. Details both of the client and of the three hypnosis sessions are given and the outcome is discussed” (Drysdale, 1996).


Drysdale, B. (1996). The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: Brief clinical description of a single case. Contemporary Hypnosis, 13(3), 198-201.

Manganiello, A. J. (1984). A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 26(4), 273-279.

Orman, D. J. (1991). Refraining of an addiction via hypnotherapy: A case presentation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 33(4), 263-271.

Page, R. A., & Handley, G. W. (1993). The use of hypnosis in cocaine addiction. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 36(2), 120-123.

Pekala, R. J., Maurer, R., Kumar, V. K., Elliott, N. C., Masten, E., Moon, E., & Salinger, M. (2004). Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users: Effects on self-esteem, affect, and relapse. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 46(4), 281-297.

Potter, G. (2004). Intensive therapy: utilizing hypnosis in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47(1), 21-28.