Can Hypnosis Help with Porn Addiction?

Sandra Richardson

Sep 02, 2021

 

Porn addiction is a serious problem for many people, and it’s normal to explore all avenues of treatment, especially if past attempts to quit watching haven’t worked. One treatment option you might consider trying is hypnosis. Although it might sound a little out there, sessions with a hypnotist might supplement the Stop Together program and help you stop watching pornography once and for all.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness known as a trance state. It’s deliberately induced by a hypnotist or hypnotherapist, or you might actually be able to hypnotize yourself using videos or audio hypnosis sessions!

You’ll feel different while you’re under hypnosis. It’s not just a feeling or illusion; it can actually be observed on EEG readings of the brains of hypnotic subjects. When you’re hypnotized, you’re more open to suggestion. This means that a hypnotist or hypnotherapist can help you eliminate harmful behaviors and thought patterns simply by suggesting you do it while you’re in an altered state.

There’s actually a lot of evidence that hypnosis can help people who struggle with addiction. In a 2003 German study, scientists found that hypnotism was almost twice as effective than therapy alone in helping with nicotine addiction. The success rate went up to 37-64% in patients who underwent hypnotherapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s also been found that hypnosis is particularly helpful with smoking cessation.

Unfortunately, there haven’t been many (or possibly any) studies about whether hypnosis helps with porn addiction. However, if it works for other addictions, it makes sense that it would help porn addicts as well.

Types of hypnotherapy

There are two main ways that hypnosis can help people with porn addictions. When we talk about hypnosis as a clinical treatment done by a licensed professional, it’s called hypnotherapy.

Suggestion therapy

As we said before, hypnosis makes you more responsive to suggestion. This is the use of imagination to manipulate subjective phenomena. If a hypnotherapist suggests that you quit using porn while you’re under hypnosis, it might seem easier and more achievable to you while you’re in a suggestive state. This can enhance your willpower and lead to positive changes.

In-depth analysis

Some people might not understand why they’re addicted to pornography. They might have traumatic experiences in the past that they’ve forgotten or chosen to ignore, or they might have feelings in the present that they can’t identify.

A hypnotherapist can talk with you while you’re under hypnosis to get more information about where your porn addiction is coming from. You’re more likely to answer their questions honestly and fully while you’re in a suggestive state, which can lead to answers you never anticipated.

Both of these forms of hypnosis can be helpful depending on your needs. A hypnotherapist will be able to figure out the best treatment plan for you during your sessions.

What major issues can hypnosis address?

 

Therapeutic hypnosis focuses on treating five main issues surrounding porn addiction. Consider whether you need help in these areas to help you figure out if hypnosis is right for you.

Shame and humiliation

It’s normal to feel shame and humiliation about your porn addiction, especially if someone discovers you using it unexpectedly. This impacts women especially, since society doesn’t let women express their sexuality as freely. While all addiction is stigmatizing, many people don’t even believe in porn addiction, making it especially difficult to come to terms with your disorder.

Some sessions with a hypnotherapist can help you come to peace with these negative emotions. You can let go of the shame and understand that porn addiction isn’t your fault. It will be easier to break free from your addiction if you don’t have so many negative emotions associated with it.

Loss of intimacy

People who struggle with porn addiction may notice that their intimacy with their partner is decreasing. When you’re looking for more and more extreme content, sex with your significant other might seem less interesting.

While you’re under suggestion, a hypnotherapist can help you figure out how you feel about your partner. They can help you get back to the place you used to be with them before you started becoming addicted to porn, or start a new road now that you’re getting clean. You might notice that you feel more passionately about your partner once you’ve completed this hypnosis therapy.

The sexualization of objects

Addiction to porn can cause people to associate computers, TVs, DVD players, and other pieces of technology with sex, since they’re used to look at pictures and play videos. A hypnotist can use the power of suggestion to help modify your behavior and see these items as normal parts of your life. If your hypnotherapy is successful, you’ll be able to use your computer or cell phone for regular purposes without feeling the need to watch porn.

Overcome unrealistic expectations about sex

Porn addicts are exposed to “perfect” bodies for hours every day. This can warp your perception of potential partners’ bodies because you feel like they don’t hold up to your standards. It can also change how you feel about your own body, possibly even causing body dysmorphia or eating disorders.

A hypnotherapist can work with you to help you understand that all bodies are beautiful. They can expose you to more positive portrayals of both men and women and get you back on track for a loving, meaningful relationship.

Porn addiction may have also changed the way you picture sex. If you watch extreme pornography, you may need to figure out how to enjoy more normative sex again. Hypnosis can help with this.

Restoring balance and productivity

It’s normal for porn addicts to spend lots of time watching videos or looking at magazines. Once you’re on the journey to breaking your addiction, you might find that it’s hard to be productive and fill this extra time.

You can work with a hypnotherapist to instill good habits in you while you’re under suggestion, such as doing housework, completing homework, or exercising. After a few sessions, you might find that it’s easier to get your life back.

What does hypnosis feel like?

Everyone experiences hypnosis differently, but there are some common feelings that you might get from the practice.

Relaxation

You might feel both mentally and physically relaxed during your hypnotherapy session. Often, your hypnotist will ask you to relax, which will help you get into that state. For example, they might suggest that you feel heavy in one part of your body, which will cause you to feel comforted and relaxed.

A therapist won’t force you to relax. However, being in a suggestive state makes it much easier to chill out and enjoy the session.

Intense focus

Since your body will likely be relaxed, you will have more capacity to focus your mind. When you’re in a suggestive state, you can focus intently on what your hypnotherapist is telling you. This makes for more productive sessions, since your therapist has your complete attention.

Open-mindedness

When you’re talking with a traditional therapist about your addiction, you might find yourself making excuses for your behavior. You’ll probably make less progress this way.

When you’re hypnotized, you’re put into a heightened state of suggestibility. You’re more open to considering new possibilities than you would be in a normal, wide-awake state. This open-mindedness can lead to an increased sense of personal power in which you realize you are capable of much more than you previously thought possible.

When you come out of your hypnotic state, it might seem easier to quit porn cold turkey or cut down on your viewing of such materials. You may also feel more productive and able to keep up new routines during your life after your addiction.

You shouldn’t confuse this open-mindedness as a lack of control. You might consider things that you wouldn’t normally, but you won’t do something that violates your belief or value systems. Instead, you’ll realize possibilities that weren’t there before, in addition to ways of seeing things differently.

Sensory changes

You may notice that your senses feel different while you’re under the influence of hypnosis. Pain feels different to many people while in this state, so much so that they can experience a lot of it but feel fine.

Hypnosis can also change your visual and auditory sensations, especially if the hypnotist suggests it. This is just kind of one of the weird things about hypnosis, but your therapist won’t cause pain or do anything to make you feel bad. You can also always reject a suggestion under hypnosis.

Detachment

While you’re under hypnosis, you might experience a sense of detachment or dissociation, making you feel like you’re slightly removed from what you’re experiencing.

In some cases, this can make you feel like you’re observing yourself from the outside. You may even feel like you’re a character on TV. However, you will still be aware of where they are and what they’re doing.

The sense of detachment can help you see situations more objectively, without being caught up in their usual emotions. It can make it more likely that hypnotherapy can work for you, although it can be a little disorienting at first.

What to expect during your first hypnotherapy session

It’s normal to be nervous during your first session of hypnotherapy. When you arrive, you’ll talk to your hypnotherapist about why you’ve scheduled a session. You might feel embarrassed to talk about your porn addiction, but the therapist needs to know what they’re treating before they start the session. Be as open and honest as possible.

Next is the induction, the process that puts you into the state of hypnosis. How a hypnotherapist gets you into this state depends on how they practice and why you’re seeking treatment from them. It may involve an instrument or just their voice. Induction can happen almost immediately, or it may take up to 20 minutes.

Once you’re in a hypnotic state, the session can begin. They’ll begin helping you make the changes you described earlier. They’ll guide you through the process in your subconscious mind and possibly ask you to respond to them.

Some hypnotherapists will give you post-hypnotic suggestions, which will trigger actions after you leave. This can benefit you between sessions and make it easier to break your porn addiction.

When your therapist feels like you’ve completed your change work, they will start to bring you out of your trance. This process will be gentle and slow; you won’t snap awake like people do in movies.

Your hypnotherapist will watch you closely to make sure that you don’t have any issues coming out of the trance. Some patients will be so relaxed during the session that they won’t want to come back, so they’ll coax you back to reality.

Before you leave, they will assess your mood and ask you some questions about your experience. You’ll feel relaxed, and hopefully empowered to manifest the changes your hypnotherapist talked about.

Your therapist may suggest you schedule another session if there’s more work to be done. It’s normal for these changes to need a few sessions to really take. They may also give you techniques to do at home, including audio sessions and breathing.

Hypnotherapy is one of the most exciting and newest treatments for addiction. You can use it in conjunction with one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy, self-help books, 12 step programs, and online courses. If you think it might benefit you, consider finding a hypnotherapist in your area or online to begin the process.

If you’re looking for a great program to supplement your hypnotherapy treatments or other steps you’re taking to get your porn addiction under control, check out Stop Together. This course offers over 200 therapy sessions to help people of all genders stop using porn and live happier lives. Stop Together can help you get your life back, improve your relationships, regain sexual confidence, come out of isolation, clear your mind, and stop spending money on porn. When you buy the Stop Together course, you get lifetime access, so you can complete all of these steps on your own time, and refer back to them if things get hard again. Check them out today!