Research Supports Uses of Hypnosis for Sexual Concerns
The table below shows just a few general examples of how I use hypnosis in addition to sexuality counseling and “adult sex ed.” Many peer-reviewed studies demonstrate the efficacy of hypnosis as a complementary modality, used alone or in conjunction with therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or some medical therapies.
Since 2008 I have specialized in uses of hypnosis for sexual concerns. I even teach a professional, 150-hour course on this topic to other sexuality and psychology professionals.
Hypnosis Can Help With All Kinds of Sexual Problems
If you experience any of the following difficulties, you might find that even a few sessions of Sexological Hypnosis might make a difference for you:
- difficulties with erections;
- orgasm difficulties;
- painful penetrative sex;
- pelvic pain conditions such as vaginismus and vulvodynia;
- sexual guilt and shame;
- worries about “coming out,” or other sexual preference and gender concerns;
- sexual desire that is “too low” or “too high”;
- worries about body image and emotional turmoil associated with a variety of sexual problems;
- worry, body image issues, and procedures associated with pelvic organ prolapse;
- menopausal hot flashes;
- lack of dating and/or social-sexual confidence;
- and other medical conditions which affect sexual health and functioning.
Hypnosis can support surgical patients both pre- and post-operatively by delivering positive suggestions to diminish side-effects of anesthesia and other medication, decrease blood flow to incision sites, and promote rapid healing.
Hypnosis has benefited HIV AIDS patients by boosting immune systems and encouraging compliance with medical regimens. Hypnosis can help create a less painful or pain-free childbirth. There are so many ways in which hypnosis can assist! I have many studies and abstracts in my files that confirm solid positive results when hypnosis is used for a variety of problems.
Increase Sexual Pleasure and Variety
Hypnosis can also be used to create a more vibrant and pleasurable sex life, by exploring fantasies, increasing emotional and affectionate bonds, play with sensation, and more. I also teach people how to use simple hypnosis techniques with their intimate partners.
I use many kinds of relaxing inductions to help you into a light state of alpha wave trance (though you might go deeper). I also use many methods to help you toward the results you desire and to promote your resilience and self-agency: internally imagined “body scans,” future progression, regression (carefully), and more. I also help you learn self-hypnosis to boost self-esteem, access inner wisdom, and other psychologically positive states.
I also use Autogenic Training and Systematic Desensitization to complement hypnosis and counseling (described below).
One method I use for several different kinds of sexual concerns is a hypnotic version of Systematic Desensitization, developed by Joseph Wolpe, MD, in the 1950s. Systematic Desensitization has proven itself in many studies since then. It is well known in the field of psychology. And yes, it’s been used for sexual concerns too.
I help my clients determine what elements of a problem are most upsetting. Once we sort them on a scale of 1-10, we begin to increase your ability to relax when confronted with the imagined triggers, step by step. We begin with the easiest and work toward the hardest. Eventually you are able diminish and control your fears–they do not control you.
For example, if you are a person with non-medically caused erection or orgasm difficulties, think about how you will fill out such a worksheet.
As you can imagine, Systematic Desensitization sessions break down the problem into managable “bits.” This approach can help create confidence as the “easier” elements are solved first. This approach can eventually substantially diminish the fears and worries that might be preventing you from having your best sex life. When combined with sexuality counseling, this is a synergistic approach that works well for many.
According to Wolfgang Linden, an expert on Autogenic Training (AT), it is “one of the oldest biobehavioral techniques known and used” (p. 151, Principles and Practice of Stress Management, ed. by Lehrer, Woolfolk, & Sime, Guilford Press, 2007). According to Linden, AT is in wide use in Europe, Russia, and Japan–less so in North America. However there are numerous studies that attest to its efficacy for many conditions.
Autogenic means “self-generated” or “from within.” J.H. Schultz, a neurologist, developed AT as a form of self-hypnosis in the 1920s. Though often compared to progressive relaxation and self-hypnosis, it has unique features as an “autonomic self-regulation therapy” (Linden, p. 152). AT is a process that patients and clients do themselves, with daily practice, after instruction and some coaching from a therapist or other helping professional.
In addition to hypnosis and counseling, I now offer eight weeks of instruction in AT, as recommended by Wolfgang Linden. AT complements hypnosis and counseling by delivering an effective, research-based method of regulating the impacts of stress on the autonomic nervous system. Best of all, once you learn it, you can apply it to many situations without needing additional help.
Discounted Session Packages Deliver Comprehensive Programs
I create an individualized program for you, based on your needs and desires, by combining the above “tried and true” methods with a nonjudgmental, “sex and pleasure positive” approach to counseling and adult sex education. Plan on six to eight weeks to truly gain the skills and outlook you need to improve your sex life and/or general health.
Hypnosis does not take the place of medical or mental health care delivered by licensed professionals, but it can complement and assist many aspects of such care. It can also assist you in establishing and maintaining healthy habits.