By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Abstract: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a surprisingly pervasive disorder suffered by hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone. Formerly referred to as shell shock in WWI and WWII soldiers and later named Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Vietnam veterans coming home from the war, it is now recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a legitimate psychological disorder, affecting many people, military and otherwise. The causes of PTSD vary, but the common factor is usually a traumatizing event. Any long or short-term event, such as an accident or physical abuse, can permanently affect a person and cause PTSD.
Modern psychology has been helpful in describing and categorizing the ways in which PTSD presents itself in the form of panic, dissociation, hallucinations and other phenomena. However, the attempts of the APA and others to understand the disorder have yet to provide any substantial long-term alleviation of it. In most cases, medications are prescribed to address the symptoms of panic and lack of sleep, but they do not offer definitive ways of resolving the underlying causes.
Depth Hypnosis is a therapeutic model that does offer an effective method for working with PTSD type symptoms. The alleviation of these symptoms depends upon identifying the traumatizing event and then integrating the emotions that were not processed at the time of the event. Depth Hypnosis provides the practitioner with techniques for identifying these symptoms related to PTSD, and for integrating the event and its severe effects within the client’s psyche. In order for this to happen, the practitioner must create a safe space that enables the client to enter the time and place where the trauma occurred, allow abreaction to the extent that the client feels safe to do so, help the client transform their relationship to the trauma, and integrate the experience into the client’s being.