Something that often comes up in the context of therapy is a discussion regarding the advantages and disadvantages of EMDR vs Hypnosis. As a certified EMDR therapist who also believes in the powerful healing that is possible with clinical hypnotherapy, this topic is one I am happy to explain.
Most articles covering EMDR vs Hypnosis are written for mental health professionals and can be difficult for the average client to fully understand. This article will instead try to cover the basics of EMDR vs Hypnosis in easy-to-understand terms so that those considering either of these modalities can more effectively participate in their therapy.
Purpose of EMDR vs Hypnosis
EMDR therapy is used in PTSD treatment and trauma counseling to help people heal from traumatic experiences that are causing a negative impact in a person’s life. EMDR, which stands for eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing, is an alternative form of psychotherapy that uses alternating bilateral stimulation to process difficult memories and, ultimately, develops long-lasting behavioral changes.
Hypnosis, particularly clinical hypnotherapy, is the process of getting someone into a trance-like “hypnotic” state in order to be more open to positive suggestion. Once a hypnotherapist brings the client into this hypnotic state, he or she guides the individual towards a particular, predetermined goal in order to break a pattern or alleviate a problem that is being worked on.
Differences Between EMDR vs Hypnosis
The most notable difference between EMDR and hypnosis in therapy is that a person in an EMDR session does not ever go into the trance-like state state of consciousness. Though the way EMDR works is not fully understood, EMDR therapy is an evidence-based treatment that can work on just about anyone because it has biophysical components.
Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a process by which the specially-trained therapist helps the client into a more relaxed state of mind that allows the person go deeper and selectively move below the analytical mind making it easier to access unconscious memory and accept positive suggestions. For hypnotherapy to be successful, a trained hypnotherapist must guide a receptive individual towards a singular goal, allowing them to uncover the roots of symptoms or behaviors and more toward healing. Essentially, they are helping the client to access the inner healing that already exists but may be blocked by other parts of the mind.
This is a significant difference from EMDR, where a person is constantly asked to remain highly focused on specific things (like physical tapping or other forms of bilateral stimulation) and think in terms of reinforcing positive thoughts and re-framing negative thoughts. The EMDR therapist also helps the client remain focused and grounded during the session by having them describe their sensations and emotions through the session.
EMDR vs Hypnosis – Which Is Better?
The intent of both EMDR and hypnotherapy is to replace unwanted thoughts, feelings, or emotions with healthier ones to create lasting change. Simply put, neither one is better than the other as every individual is different and both have shown promising results in similar applications. My personal experience is that clients have responded well to one or both of these modalities and that both are powerful healing tools.
In fact, the integration of hypnotherapy and EMDR has become an increasingly popular option among many therapists that provide EMDR and hypnotherapy for PTSD treatment and trauma counseling. If you would like to make an appointment to speak with an experienced therapist in Boca Raton FL that can help answer those questions more fully, contact Morgan Center for Counseling & Wellbeing.