Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hypnosis for Weight Loss and Emotional Eating

There are many factors influencing our behavior. What we observed and did as a child, experiences we had and beliefs we formed from those experiences influence us now. Either we become aware of them and have the power to address them or we continue to have them affect us without our knowledge.

Some people identify themselves as emotional eaters. When angry, bored, hurt, anxious or another uncomfortable feeling arises they find themselves eating, self-medicating. It is important to know that this is a choice, a choice that includes sometimes (or frequently) anger at oneself, depression or other feelings relating to the eating that add to the original feeling that the medicating was to address.

The first step to changing this behavior is awareness and accepting responsibility. The second is providing time to give yourself to not respond by eating, but instead to use new tools. To do so you may need to eliminate "binge foods" from your environment; ones with easy access that you may have repeatedly used to self-medicate. The tools of talking to a therapist or using hypnosis are effective tools can be used.

Not every person is a good person to talk to when we are trying to change. A person that, with or without intent, sabotages us is a person that may need to be limited or avoided initially. A therapist may be very helpful. Therapists can help clarifying issues and providing insight into what we have gone through and are feeling now. They then can help resolve those issues and uncomfortable feelings.

We can form beliefs out of our experiences. A person who has gone through trauma, such as sexual abuse, may feel and believe that people are unsafe at a subconscious level. They may overeat and become heavy, partly to keep people away and insulate themselves from pain. Therapists, who specialize in trauma, can help work through and feel better. We can set limits, evaluate and choose only people who have demonstrated themselves safe to trust and protect ourselves in ways that are healthy, safe and don't make us feel bad. We can change our belief to one that reflects we are okay and that some people can be trusted. Hypnosis, done by a knowledgable professional, can be highly effective. It helps to work through the feelings and become aware of and rewrite subconscious programming.

Hypnotists and hypnotherapists are not licensed but are certified in New York. They don't necessarily have an advanced degree (Master's or Doctorate) in Psychology or Clinical Social Work. They may have come from other fields that have no relation to mental health. This, for me as a clinician and therapist, is scary. For some applications of hypnosis that may be okay, but with issues of trauma or other mental health concerns I strongly encourage an advanced degree in mental health and asking the clinician about there experience.

Please feel free to comment

1 comment:

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