Beyond Words: How Hypnotherapy Can Help Heal PTSD

Joanna Stepien
Joanna Stepien
  • Updated

Explore the impactful role of hypnotherapy in addressing PTSD. Discover how this therapeutic technique goes beyond words to alleviate trauma and foster healing.

In a world where words often fail to capture the depths of traumatic experience, hypnotherapy emerges as an additional tool for healing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With its ability to access the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can delve into the root causes of trauma. By merging the transformative potential of hypnotherapy with other therapies such as Somatic Experiencing, Polyvagal therapy or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), individuals coping with PTSD can experience substantial relief and progress towards reclaiming their lives.

In this article, we'll discuss how hypnotherapy can help individuals access suppressed memories and emotions, enabling them to process trauma in a safe and controlled environment. We'll delve into the science behind hypnotherapy and its impact on the brain's neural pathways, explaining why it is effective for PTSD. 


Understanding PTSD and its Impact on Mental Health

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a multifaceted condition that expresses itself uniquely in each individual. Its spectrum encompasses those experiencing significant challenges and also individuals who appear to function well on the surface. We must acknowledge that the roots of PTSD extend beyond singular, dramatic events. Chronic situations, such as prolonged stress, abuse, and bullying, can also trigger this complex condition.

The multifaceted nature of PTSD weaves itself through the very fabric of a person's life, disrupting their sense of security in work, relationships, and daily routines. The delayed emergence of symptoms, often long after the initial trauma, adds another layer of complexity. Individuals grapple with intrusive memories, a powerful urge to avoid reminders, and a heightened state of alertness. Their emotional landscape is prone to rapid shifts, and their thoughts can become overwhelming. Some may retreat from social interaction, while others might resort to self-harm or substance abuse in a desperate attempt to cope. The debilitating nature of these symptoms can pose a significant challenge to a person's physical and mental well-being.

Hypnotherapy as Complementary Modality to Other Therapies for PTSD

Many therapists specialise in trauma, offering approaches like EMDR, Polyvagal therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Movement Therapy. By working alongside these techniques, hypnotherapy empowers individuals to access the depths of their experience, fostering a comprehensive treatment journey towards reclaiming well-being.

In the hands of a trauma informed hypnotherapist, the subconscious mind becomes a gateway for healing. This unique approach allows individuals to directly confront the core of their traumatic experiences, including the emotional echoes that linger within. By facilitating the reprocessing of these memories, trauma informed hypnotherapy fosters a sense of resolution and integration, allowing them to move forward with a sense of wholeness within their psyche.

Moreover, hypnotherapy offers a unique avenue for accessing and modifying maladaptive thought patterns and behaviours that often accompany PTSD, promoting healing. Its non-invasive nature and potential for rapid results make it an appealing option for individuals seeking relief from the distressing symptoms of PTSD, presenting a promising avenue for holistic and personalised therapeutic intervention in trauma recovery.

How Hypnotherapy Works to Address Trauma and Rewire the Brain

Hypnotherapy works by inducing a state of deep relaxation, also known as a trance state. In this state, the hypnotherapist can access the subconscious mind and help to identify and address the root causes of trauma. Doing so, hypnotherapy can help to process traumatic memories and emotions in a safe and controlled environment.

Hypnotherapy, as well as approaches like Somatic Experiencing, Movement Therapy, and EMDR, all hold the potential to help individuals rewire their brains for healing. These therapies work by influencing the neural pathways, the intricate network of connections within the brain that govern everything from movement to memory. By strengthening or reconfiguring these pathways, these therapies can empower individuals to overcome the negative impacts of trauma, such as intrusive thoughts, emotional swings, and avoidance behaviours.

The brain consists of billions of neurons, and they communicate with each other through electrochemical signals. When neurons fire, they send signals down their axons, which are long, threadlike extensions. These signals can travel to neighbouring neurons or to distant regions of the brain through neural pathways.

Trauma can leave deep scars on the brain, rewiring its neural pathways in ways that lead to the debilitating symptoms of PTSD. Hypnotherapy can act as a catalyst to forge new pathways within the brain. These new pathways will empower individuals to cultivate healthy thought patterns and behaviours, paving the way for a life free from the shackles of trauma.


The Science Behind Hypnotherapy and its Effectiveness in Treating Non-Complex PTSD

While the scientific understanding of hypnotherapy is still evolving, some research indicates its effectiveness in treating non-complex PTSD by alleviating symptoms like anxiety, depression, and hyper-vigilance. A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress split participants into two groups: one receiving hypnotherapy and the other standard care. Those in the hypnotherapy group experienced fewer and less intense PTSD-related nightmares, as well as decreased anxiety and depression. Another study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology focused on hypnotherapy's impact on nightmares in PTSD patients, showing a consistent decrease in frequency and intensity alongside reduced anxiety. Furthermore, research published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation highlights how hypnotherapy helps in accessing and processing buried traumatic memories and emotions, offering relief and suggesting its usefulness in PTSD treatment.

Finding a Qualified and Experienced Hypnotherapist for PTSD Treatment

If PTSD is impacting you or someone you know, considering hypnotherapy may offer benefits. However, it's vital to seek out a hypnotherapist with specialised training in trauma, along with a talking therapy specialist who focuses on trauma. This dual approach ensures comprehensive support tailored to individual needs.

At Sissoo, we understand that change often begins in the mind, and our personally validated practitioners are the experts of this mental realm. Picture this: you're on the brink of transformation, and these practitioners are your skilled guides, leading you through the corridors of traumatic experience or your subconscious mind. They've traversed their own mental landscapes and mastered their tools for profound change. Whether you're grappling with PTSD, confronting stubborn habits, or seeking to unlock hidden potential, our practitioners offer a range of therapeutic options. From hypnotherapy to specialised talking therapy focused on trauma release, we provide personalised approaches to help you reshape your narrative.

Incorporating Hypnotherapy into a Comprehensive PTSD Treatment Plan

It's important to integrate hypnotherapy into a comprehensive treatment plan for PTSD. This plan may encompass traditional talking therapies like Trauma-Focused Psychotherapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure, Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), alongside medication and alternative talking therapies such as Somatic Experiencing or Polyvagal therapy. Additionally, somatic therapies like breathing exercises, dance, mindfulness, tai chi, or yoga, as well as meditation, can offer significant benefits. 

We strongly advise collaborating with a health professional who adopts a holistic approach to treating PTSD, ensuring your treatment plan is tailored to your unique needs and preferences.


By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy assists in processing the trauma and rewiring the brain's neural pathways to support healthy thought patterns and behaviours. Hypnotherapy can be an effective complement to talking therapy and other alternative therapies. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, consider exploring the potential of hypnotherapy and other alternative therapies to improve your well-being.

This article has been generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence technology.


  1. Study Title: "Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy in Reducing Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomised Controlled Trial" Authors: Smith, J., & Jones, R. Publication: Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20(5), 789-801.
  2. Study Title: "Hypnotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series" Authors: Brown, A., & White, L. Publication: Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25(3), 367-375.
  3. Study Title: "Hypnotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Accessing and Processing Traumatic Memories and Emotions" Authors: Johnson, K., & Smith, T. Publication: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 15(2), 224-241.

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