Sadly, violence and the resulting traumatic experiences are a disturbingly common in Africa. We can blame the legacy of colonialism, while others might point fingers straight at us. But blame does not help the victims, only treatment does. This inaugural blog post aims to speak about a serious issue that still afflicts our region, and provide insight into one unconventional yet effective therapy method.
What is PTSD?
Also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is a condition that can occur as a result of witnessing life threating events such as terrorist incidences, natural disasters, serious accidents, sexual assault among others. While most survivors may return to normal after some time, others will experience stress reactions that will not disappear on their own. These people may develop PTSD and experience flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulty in sleeping.
Occurring among all age groups, PTSD is a much more common condition than the previous research suggested. According to studies, at some point, about 7.8% of the US population will experience PTSD with women being more likely to develop the condition. Studies have also shown that the traumatic events mostly associated with are combat pressure, rape, childhood physical abuse, and childhood neglect. On the other hand, women are most likely to be affected by sexual molestation, being threatened with a weapon, rape, and childhood physical abuse.
An estimated 30% of men and women who have been in the war zones are likely to experience PTSD. In addition, more than half of all men and women war veterans have experienced serious stress reaction symptoms. Basically, the highest rate of this condition occurs among the military veterans, sexual assault survivors, and genocide survivors.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Recurrent bad dreams and nightmares
- Intrusive flashbacks
- Anxiety disorders resulting from body pains, physical pain, and teeth grinding
- Persistent stress
- Inability to relax the mind and the body
- Sleep disorders
- Unexplained fears and other phobias
How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Heal From Trauma
I first heard about hypnotherapy while living in the United Kingdom and studying law at the University of Reading. There, desperate to quit my smoking habit, I sought out the best hypnotherapy services Reading had to offer. And it worked! But hypnotherapy has so much more to offer than just helping you kick bad habits. Here are a few ways that this form of therapy can help trauma survivors heal.
It can help address the effects of traumatic events
While hypnotherapy cannot erase the events it can be used to address the effects and the events. It can be used to allow the client to access the data stored in the subconscious minds, physical bodies, and their energetic fields. Once the actual traumatic event has been carefully examined, it can be expressed, processed, and claimed.
It can help the clients to reclaim themselves
During the session, the client may also be given multiple resources, tools, and opportunities that they can use to take back control. By using a method known as ego strengthening, they can employ a variety of techniques to assist the clients to have contact with parts of themselves that are wise, strong, and brave. By providing them with a physical anchor, clients can slowly reclaim their own self. They are usually reminded of their own virtues and strengths which contributes a lot to healing. More so, they are taught how they can start their own physical activities.
It can help client overcome avoidance
While a victim of trauma will usually try to distance himself from the trauma and avoid a recurrence of the feeling, hypnotherapy can greatly assist. One of the main goals of hypnotherapy is to make sure that the client returns back to his original self by restoring his emotional physical, mental, and spiritual parts. Hypnotherapy will, therefore, provide a voice to the lost parts that were shrouded in negativity. A hypnotherapist will use imagination and creativity to help the client overcome the past events by using the resources that they did not have before. When this is done well, it will change how the memory is stored and the way it works in the mind and the body.
It can help cure personality alterations
Trauma can change your mood, personality cognitive function, motivation, and memory. Hypnotherapy will, therefore, open up the subconscious. With a trained hypnotherapist, clients can easily overcome their trauma, begin to alter their distorted beliefs and reclaim their original self. For instance, any negative thoughts can be replaced by the positive. Another vital component of treatment is soul retrieval.
It can help treat arousal
Lastly, when trauma goes untreated, it can result in functional and behavioral changes. A major component of treating trauma is, therefore, to finish any action that they were unable to do before. It’s, therefore, very important look at some of the symptoms as methods in which the body is trying to heal arousal symptoms. Remember, healing cannot be competed without enabling the body to move.
As one of the most powerful treatments for PTSD, hypnotherapy can be used to heal both the person and the triggers. As a method of treating and accessing the subconscious, it’s the perfect treatment for PTSD and several other issues that usually originate in some locked away memory or trigger. The aim of the hypnotherapist is to access the subconscious mind and change any negative thoughts that might be holding the client back.
It is WAANSA’s wish that hypnotherapy services will become more commonplace in Africa. And if you are an African hypnotherapist plying your services abroad, we urge you to come back to Africa and help our people heal.