Treating Addiction with Hypnotherapy

by Barry Wolfson

Hypnosis allows us to access the brain at the subconscious level, to get to the root of one’s thoughts and behaviors–whether good or bad, addictive habits. When people are in the “alpha” state of mind, they are more open to suggestion and changing the way they think.

Effective Techniques for Dealing with Addiction:

  • Basic relaxation techniques are always part of the program. A less-stressed person is more in control of his or her behaviors, and thus has the ability to make wise, healthy choices. Typically, people will enter into hypnotherapy with a stress level they rate as high or moderately high. After some treatment, their self-reported stress level drops considerably.
  • Affirmations are another aspect of the reinforcement needed to help overcome addictive tendencies. Giving people positive affirmations to work with throughout the day like, “My body is a temple,” or, “I treat my body with love and respect,” can help them start to treat themselves better.
  • The “Three-Breath Technique” is an effective way of responding to cravings when they arise. The instruction is for the person to react to the sensation of wanting to have the habituated thing by taking three long, deep, successive breaths. This calms the autonomic nervous system and allows the person to pause before behaving.

Treatment can be accessed in private sessions and/or in group class settings, depending on the person and the nature of their issues.

Hypnotherapy is particularly useful for people dealing with smoking addiction, because unlike drugs and alcohol, there aren’t as many support groups for it. For those who seek out hypnotherapy for drug and alcohol or other serious addictions, it is also recommended to seek additional support via Alcoholics Anonymous or other counseling.


Barry Wolfson is a hypnotist and director of the Hypnosis Counseling Center, in New Jersey, for over 26 years. He specializes in helping others overcome issues of stress, weight loss and to quit smoking. Connect with him at 908-996-3311 or HypnosisNJ.com. June 2015.


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