During hypnosis, some people may experience an abreaction. An abreaction is an emotional response during hypnosis or in every day life. The most common emotional response is crying; however, people can also experience laughter and anger. Sometimes, though rarely, therapists deliberately encourage their clients to abreact during a hypnotherapy session. This is rare because usually therapists do everything possible to support and care for their clients during hypnotherapy. Abreactions are normally spontaneous. During the hypnotic procedure, phenomena occasionally evoke memories from the past; and, if these memories are traumatic or painful, it can lead to the person become upset. The triggers for these repressed emotions can be visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile or olfactory, or a combination. It is important to note that, if the psychotherapist allows this process to happen in a safe and non-judgemental way, it can help the patient to release these repressed emotions and to come to terms with some of the material that has come to the fore in the hypnotherapy. Analysing and coming to terms with these abreactions can help the patient to achieve a greater understanding of his or her emotions.
David Kraft is an experienced psychotherapist in clinical practice. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of council for the Section of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine. He is also a member of the BSCAH council at national level. David has two clinics—one in Enfield and the other in Harley Street. He has published over thirty papers in the academic literature. He is also involved in teaching hypnosis and behaviour therapy to doctors, dentists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals.
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