Dissociative protections and anesthetics for trauma hypnotherapy are techniques used to help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to reprocess their traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment. Dissociative protections are considered as a defense mechanism that the mind uses to protect itself from overwhelming emotions and memories associated with traumatic events. Hypnotherapy can be used to resolve dissociation and help patients desensitize their traumatic memories while reassociating them with their autobiographical memory. The treatment of symptoms by hypnosis will consist of using dissociative protections put in place during the traumatic events, which will give control to the patient while he has suffered them until then and will paradoxically make them disappear.
Hypnotic techniques have been used for the psychological treatment of shell shock, battle fatigue, traumatic neuroses, PTSD, and dissociative disorders. The use of dissociative protections in trauma therapy can help heal PTSD and suppress the symptoms of psychological trauma such as numbness, hypervigilance, anxiety, fear, and pain.
In summary, dissociative protections and anesthetics for trauma hypnotherapy are techniques used to help people with PTSD to reprocess their traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment. These techniques can help patients desensitize their traumatic memories while reassociating them with their autobiographical memory and suppress the symptoms of psychological trauma.
Publication from Gérald Brassine
A good understanding of hypnosis is central to grasping the hypnotic mechanisms that are at work in creating the painful states of Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD).
If the need for recourse to a modified state of consciousness (or hypnosis) is on the way to being recognized as indispensable for the work in trauma therapy, a giant step remains to be taken for many therapists who do not yet know how to reuse the protective properties of the hypnotic reactions at work at the time of a trauma.
For that, you have to dare to appropriate a paradoxical conception: to use what has become a symptom, to increase it… to better get rid of it!
Reassociative Trauma Psychotherapy (PTR) offers.
The beneficial use of dissociative phenomena is carried out within the framework of a Strategic Conversational Hypnosis, gentle, respectful and protective for the patient. A panoply of inventive, and even often funny, therapeutic tools for the rapid resolution of Post Traumatic Stress States, even the most serious ones, is offered to victims who, well informed, use them with the accuracy that their subconscious demands.
Achieve the inscription of the trauma on our "sensitive plates", thanks to hypnosis
During an emotional shock, or intense physical pain, we are violently and immediately plunged into a state of trance or hypnosis: the emotions overwhelm us or disappear, all our perceptions are in a state of alert or blocked, our state of consciousness is changed.
At this precise moment, the trauma is inscribed in us, “on our sensitive plates” and will reverberate throughout our lives.
To repair the damage done in the interiority of our personality, it will be necessary to re-access “our sensitive plates”. The best way will be to reuse hypnosis… This misnamed, overused, too often misunderstood…
If the entry into a state of hypnosis can be done during a painful experience, it can also be done gently. She is familiar to all of us. It is this state of amplified inner consciousness, reached very simply when we use our memory, our imagination or when we are in positive emotions: in love, creative, sporty… we all, and often, present the characteristics of the state of hypnosis!
In reality, the mechanisms present at the time of a trauma are easy to understand. More or less, we have all experienced them, whether in a situation of great stress, a serious threat to our life or that of a loved one, when bad news is announced, etc
During an intense emotional shock, when we are immersed in fear, our brain, magnificently equipped, immediately protects us by means of powerful hypnotic phenomena:
Essay on a non-exhaustive list of protective hypnotic phenomena during trauma and its aftermath
” Physical anesthesia” allows not to feel the blows, to get out of the damaged car despite the injuries, protects on the battlefield, etc.
“ Dissociation ” (feeling like being outside your body ): allows you to mentally extract yourself from a situation from which you cannot escape (in the event of domestic or other violence). One can have the impression of being next to oneself, of being glued to the ceiling (during a rape for example), of being elsewhere , etc.
” Depersonalization” gives the feeling that the events are experienced by someone else, “it’s someone else who plays in this film “…
“ Emotional anaesthesia” and many other forms of emotional distortion , allow emotions to no longer be felt or to be “off”. They provoke incongruous bursts of laughter in a dramatic situation or, just as curiously, make them fall madly in love with an attacker, during a kidnapping, a robbery (Stockholm Syndrome), etc.
Variants may appear in this procession of hypnotic phenomena:
“The feeling of disappearing” , “of being as if dead”
“To be totally focused on a point” , “I was this point” in the wallpaper, I was in this crack in the wall…
To be, like “ paused, in a color” , in a total perceptual stop : “everything” has become white, or blue, etc.
” Catalepsy*” , allows you to stop moving, to repress any cry and not to be noticed by an attacker, to let a danger pass…
On the other hand , this paralysis, the impossibility of calling for help, of struggling, (etc.) are often the basis of the feelings of guilt and shame created by the very concrete reality of having done nothing, to have remained without trying anything.
*Also called petrification or astonishment
” Time distortions ” allow us to perceive an event as having lasted a flash of time or to take advantage of the elasticity of time and the perceptual distortions that result from it: “everything slowed down, I saw the blow coming and I was able to react like never before! “ time stood still and I saw everything down to the smallest detail”.
“ Daze ” allows, by “being stupid”, not to understand and not to have to integrate a reality or an unacceptable event.
The fact of “not being able to think at all” is one of the variants of the cognitive distortion of daze.
The feeling of unreality “it’s not real” also makes it possible not to integrate the facts into one’s way of understanding the world.
“ The sensation of inventing ” what one lives (or has lived), another variation of daze, halfway to the phenomenon of amnesia.
“Amnesia ” : we cannot forget it in this list! It protects against the unacceptable.
Note that these last two phenomena set in immediately or some time after the traumatic incident.
These phenomena emerge as protective mechanisms in response to trauma.
And “last but not least ”:
“ Psychosomatics” , a hypnotic phenomenon transforming unbearable emotional suffering into more acceptable physical pain.
This particular phenomenon deserves to be recognized and especially used in therapy as a hypnotic phenomenon in its own right.
For fifteen years, this acceptance, specific to the IMHEB, of psychosomatics as a protective hypnotic phenomenon, has enabled therapists to be highly effective in the treatment of a number of diseases (ulcers, open cardia, hiatal hernias, colons irritable, several polyarthritis, certain dermatological diseases, fibromyalgia, pudendalgia , etc.) when they are of psychosomatic or emotional origins.
All the hypnotic phenomena listed above are so many (passive) protections which, in the event of a traumatic accident, combine in different ways specific to each of the seven billion individuals on this planet.
Undesirable and symptomatic incrustation of hypnotic phenomena
Driving a car becomes impossible for the survivor of a serious accident, because of the anxiety or terror created by these phenomena, whether or not associated with physical manifestations, vomiting, for example.
It’s up to the therapist to flush them out
To those who know how to see them, hypnotic phenomena always appear when simply taking information in therapy. Unfortunately they too often go unnoticed…or on the contrary frighten, because they are not recognized for what they are, that is to say protections…or else their instructions for use are simply not known. by therapists inexperienced in their delicate and yet life-saving use.
Talking about the trauma is not enough, it is even harmful
Daring to use hypnotic phenomena, even and above all, when they have become symptoms
Using dissociative hypnotic phenomena that have become symptoms is not straightforward.
Their appearance is confusing and even frightening.
However, for a therapist accustomed to the paradoxical concepts of the Palo Alto school, the interest of increasing these hypnotic phenomena and using their protective dissociative properties , to treat the trauma, quickly proves to be obvious.
A patient who learns, with his therapist, to master and increase dissociation during the practice of hypnosis is a protected patient!
Therapists, if they want to be quickly effective, must be able to go beyond their first impression: this is how they will be gentle and respectful of the patient’s need for protection… at all times!
Dissociative hypnotic phenomena that specifically come to our aid at the time of trauma are mobilizable and reusable as powerful protections in therapy.
To keep this in mind, we have chosen to call them:
Dissociative Protections are anesthetics
In order for the patient to suffer as little as possible, the transformations of traumatic memories and their bodily (psychosomatic) effects always take place, according to the IMHEB model, by means of DISSOCIATIVE PROTECTIONS.
Just as the surgeon needs the anesthetics to work, the PTR therapist needs them to help the patient work in the trauma.
The patient understands surprisingly quickly and immediately verifies the usefulness of the particular training in Dissociative Protections which is done in PTR. He gets amused quickly.
It is thanks to them that the changes are rapid because, precisely, they are carried out by controlling the pain and by mastering now the hypnotic phenomena undergone until then .
It is also thanks to the Dissociative Protections that the desensitization of the trauma is very often done in laughter.
An active conversational hypnosis with an empowered patient collaborating in a “tailor-made therapy”
The patient is permanently in a modified state of consciousness in which he speaks, refuses or accepts the proposals made to him by the therapist who, for his part, takes into account the patient’s remarks and refusals and adapts to them at all times. instant.
The active and responsible participation of the patient in the creation of his state of hypnosis, the transformation of his memories and bodily sensations means that, during this joint work where everyone has his part to provide, the patient happily regains control over him . even , on his emotions and sensations.
Whether following a single trauma, or in the typical case of the woman mistreated by a narcissistic pervert, or in that of the child who has lived for years in an atmosphere of conflict and marital or family violence, patient and therapist together awaken the patient’s own skills and resources that had been obliterated, forgotten, since the assault or assaults endured, and this, sometimes repeatedly for years …
Understanding the role of hypnotic reactions at work at the time of a trauma makes it possible to reveal and highlight the absolute necessity of reusing their protective properties in therapy.
As part of an active conversational hypnosis, they allow you to work comfortably at the heart and in the heart of the trauma, to desensitize it with all the comfort possible and to quickly come out of the tragic effects of PTSD.
” Blue “
A young woman, thirty years old, victim of a particularly villainous rape (are some less so than others, for that matter?), comes to the consultation, completely broken.
She remembers and speaks little of the attack which took place four years earlier, when she was returning from a joyous and drunken evening. Pushed into the entrance hall of the youth hostel, where she was about to enter, she was severely beaten. As she tries to defend herself, her attacker repeatedly bangs her head against a stair step, then strangles her until she falls unconscious. She will only realize that she has been raped when she regains consciousness. Significant internal injuries will require multiple surgeries.
She describes years of therapeutic wanderings, phobias, night terrors, loss of self-esteem (she was so strong until then ), memory pains…
The work begins quickly with a practical induction where she finds herself in a large cozy bed , comfortably curled up in the arms of her lover.
From this pleasant place and moment that she appropriates, the therapist trains her in some of the most commonly developed and useful hypnotic phenomena to revisit, transform and desensitize traumatic memories : dissociation, depersonalization, physical and emotional anesthesia…
Guided by the therapist, this young woman is immediately at ease with conversational hypnosis.
On the other hand , as soon as one begins to evoke or approach the memory, one’s own Dissociative Protections, the very ones that were put in place during the attack, imperatively and logically resurface. The patient informs that she often has “like a white or blue light which arrives and invades her head”. This has happened to her since the rape, untimely and frightens her because she has the impression of not being in control of things and does not understand what is happening to her at such times.
The therapist explains to her that it is an assembly of several hypnotic protections by which she no longer smells, feels, understands or perceives anything. In a didactic way, he makes her experience the control she can have over them by making them vary, increase, intensify…
The therapy continues by going back and forth alternating between the Bed , the transformations of the traumatic incident and “the White” or “the Blue”.
“Yes, everything turns white, or sometimes blue…and there is nothing else that exists. It’s neutral, it’s on Off, but in fact… it’s pleasant »
The therapist invites him to really feel the white light, to intensify it.
With a smile she says:
“Wow, that’s even better than the Bed !” It’s like 100,000 tons of endomorphins: I’m pleasantly drugged, it’s like being in a huge fluffy cloud! »
Whenever the exploration of the memory turns out to be a little too abrupt or long, the patient spontaneously uses her personal protection: she becomes autonomous and uses the “Blue” herself. She interrupts the hypnotic conversation and imposes a visibly comforting tailor-made stop.
Obviously, she is happy to finally use a phenomenon that she suffered with incomprehension and fear until then . She says:
“It’s crazy, when I think how many therapists made me realize that there would be nothing possible to do with me because I was ‘resistant ‘, resistant to their treatments, resistant to their science… »
Years that I spent, going from shrink to shrink, to hear myself say that I was blocking any possibility of therapy by withdrawing into “the Blue “! They told me that I had to overcome that!
They made me understand that I was useless… When in fact I just didn’t understand what was going on and that all I wanted was to be able to get better.
It’s crazy: when I had developed a super skill, they accused me of their incompetence! I finally understand that my brain was just protecting me perfectly, simply and completely. I was good…and they made me think I was incompetent!
They didn’t recognize the beauty of the protection system I was offering myself!
With you I discover it, recognize it and use it again and again…to free myself!
This young woman had very simply and naturally developed a protection system : each time an event reminded her directly or indirectly of the traumatic rape scene with the risk of reliving, everything stuck in her, took her out of time and space, in “the Blue”… which put an end to a number of therapeutic attempts, because of resistance … With the PTR, she learned,not only to control, but to increase “this Blue”. She learned to put on hyper blue protection to go and change “on the sensitive plates of her memory”, in complete safety , the traumatic inscriptions of her rape.
What appeared to be “resistance” was only so until we had the good idea to use it !
All this hypnotic work, combined with the use of contraction of time, allowed a beautiful lifting of amnesia on the unfolding of the facts of the night of the aggression and a reappropriation of her story by the patient.
The therapeutic coherence that underlies the use of the Dissociative Protections allowed her – without any panic, with happiness and even with a certain joy – to finally go “hypnotically settle accounts” with her attacker.
With the perspective and security offered by the Dissociative Protections, she was also able to take care, with love, of the young woman abused and in complete disarray during this event that she can now, if necessary, look in the face, without suffering!