Many health professionals in complementary and alternative medicine suggest that hypnotherapy may be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic stress happens after a person is subjected to a traumatic event such as a near-death experience, an actual death, a serious injury, or sexual violence. Many military personnel who have seen action return from duty with PTSD.
The key to treating PTSD is to find an approach which helps to moderate the symptoms, which may include flashbacks and distressing memories, lack of sleep and distressing dreams, and social issues that arise from these various symptoms. Depression and insomnia may also be a struggle.
Hypnotherapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for anxiety, as well as for depression and insomnia. So if you suffer from PTSD, hypnotherapy may be an effective treatment option to help you.
Hypnosis and PTSD
Although there are many case studies to suggest its effectiveness, few clinical studies have been done to demonstrate the success rate of hypnosis as a treatment option for PTSD. However, a meta-analysis of these studies has concluded that "hypnosis appears to be effective in alleviating PTSD symptoms".
Other studies, like the one done by Steven Jay Lynn, confirm that "hypnosis can be a useful adjunct to evidence-based cognitive-behavioral approaches...for treating PTSD". This means that hypnotherapy should be considered to be used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Overcoming PTSD isn't easy. But there are lots of people that want to help and many therapies which may be right for you. Acupuncture is another treatment option that may help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) may also be a treatment to consider.
Medicare Part B will cover individual and group therapy sessions. The key here is to find a Medicare approved provider who has training and experience in hypnotherapy in order to get your hypnosis sessions covered. You may also consider finding a provider with training in CBT and EMDR, as these too are highly effective in treating the symptoms of PTSD.
Rotaru, T., & Rusu, A. (2015). A Meta-Analysis for the Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in Alleviating PTSD Symptoms. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis,64(1), 116-136. doi:10.1080/00207144.2015.1099406.
Steven Jay Lynn, Anne Malakataris, Liam Condon, Reed Maxwell & Colleen Cleere(2012) Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and Acceptance-Based Treatment Approaches, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis,54:4, 311-330, DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2011.645913.