Potential of Hypnosis for Rehabilitation

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Hypnosis holds exciting promise as an intervention to improve cognitive functioning and counteract acquired disabilities after brain injury. Hypnosis works on the mental parts of people and often causes more problems than neurological ones. It uses imagery, metaphor, suggestion, and age regression, among other techniques.


Firstly, hypnosis can reshape negative self-expectancies into self-fulfilling prophecies. When patients internalise the identity of someone with defective memory, attention, and mental stamina, this belief itself propagates cognitive dysfunction. Hypnosis facilitates envisioning more empowering self-concepts as capable learners and thinkers.


Secondly, hypnotic metaphors can reframe cognition as an automatic process that does not require exhaustive mental effort. Imagine the “unconscious” mind quickly taking over previously draining tasks. This stops the mind from trying to monitor and control in unhealthy ways, which hurts function. 


Thirdly, suggestions can encourage productive risk-taking against fears of failure and fatigue. Countering cogniphobia and resignation to dysfunction helps reverse learned non-use of retained abilities. Motivation improves as patients re-engage in life roles.


Lastly, hypnotic age regression lets you access brain networks that were more active before you got sick or hurt. Re-embodying past states of cognitive proficiency provides templates for guiding the brain back towards higher functioning. 


Emerging studies targeting post-stroke attention and memory deficits demonstrate medium to large effect sizes. After 3–4 sessions, significant improvements were seen in demanding working memory and processing speed tests. Mental energy increased, easing engagement in cognitively challenging real-world activities.


Though more extensive randomised controlled trials are still needed, they comport with leading theories of sustaining psychological factors in neurological disabilities. Addressing learned non-use, negative expectations, unhelpful self-monitoring, and dysfunctional self-concepts through hypnosis may unlock untapped potential.


The field is open to innovating hypnotic protocols and metaphors tailored to common cognitive impairments. For example, an executive dysfunction hypnotic session might involve suggestions to:


  • Imagine the mind automatically prioritising and organising tasks
  • Invoke a wise advisor archetype skilled at planning and decision-making
  • Regress to a time of excellent executive functioning
  • Frame optimisations and multitasking challenges as games to pique interest 


Continued optimisations could target attention deficits, memory problems, information processing issues, and mental fatigue. 



Dr. Terry McIvor is the founder of the International  Guild of Hypnotherapy, NLP and 3 Principles Practitioners and Trainers. (IGH3P)

IGH3P  is a professional development body which develops the skills of coaches, Hypnotherapist and NLPers.

He is an educationalist of over 20 years experience and has been accredited as a STEM and Science expert at level 6 and 7 by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) in the U.K.

Dr. Terry is also an NLP trainer, Master Hypnotist, a qualified Hypnotherapist  and 3 Principles Coach.

He is trainer for most of the leading hypnosis professional bodies in the U.S including IACT, ICBCH,IMDHA, and the Elman Institute,

Dr. Terry has set up his own accredited STEM school in the U.K. called AISR, it is through his academy he conducts his teaching and research.


Learn more at www.IGH3P.com. You can email him at registrar@igh3p.com

Connect with him through the social media:

Twitter/X – @IGH3P_

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TikTok – https://www.tiktok.com/@igh3p?_t=8hRaTlXPM4f&_r=1https://www.tiktok.com/@synaptictrainer?_t=8hRaaPYBY81&_r=1



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