A Whangarei hypnotherapist wants to see more clients using hypnotherapy to beat drug addiction.
Arpi Procter, a registered social worker who was for eight years an alcohol and drug counsellor with Northland District Health Board, regularly treats people with addictions and says she would like to see more people utilising hypnotherapy as an organic, safe and holistic way to address addiction – especially considering other treatment options can require medication, inpatient admission to a detox unit, and time away from work.
Arpi has been inundated with clients seeking to quit smoking following the January 1 rise in tobacco tax, but would like to see more people breaking addiction to other drugs via hypnotherapy.
“If people come to me, they don’t have to worry about going away to rehab,” Arpi says. “Women don’t have to worry about losing custody of their kids. A person’s work is not impacted. They keep their lives while they are in hypnotherapy treatment rather than going away and being put in a system.”
“Hypnotherapy enables you to remain at home, living your everyday life while you make changes.”
Beating Addiction Without Drugs or Detox
Under Te Ara Oranga, Northland DHB refers most clients experiencing drug addiction to non-residential treatment programmes delivered by providers such as Salvation Army, Rubicon, Odyssey House and iwi health providers. Hypnotherapy is an ideal option for mostly well-functioning people whose problematic behaviour is due more to addiction than to mental unwellness. Medical journals including The Lancet have published studies linking hypnotherapy with success around methadone withdrawal, irritable bowel syndrome treatment and ulceration treatment.
Hypnosis is a blend of physical relaxation and extreme mental alertness. When a person undergoes therapeutic dialogue during hypnotic trance, the therapist is able to address problematic behaviour by talking to a person’s subconscious rather than conscious mind. Arpi likens the subconscious to the ‘base of the iceberg’ rather than the tip and estimates 96 percent of clients she sees do not relapse into addiction after a recommended 4-5 sessions across five weeks.
Arpi said her approach is focused more on where the client wants to take his or her life in the future than on regression. “I get a person to reflect on where they’re going; I eliminate cravings. That’s the big part of it – if you don’t eliminate cravings, people are going to be back into using.”
While methamphetamine is the most difficult drug to break addiction to, Arpi says she has seen many patients in Kawakawa and Kaikohe respond well to hypnotherapy for alcohol and cannabis cessation. “While social work is about social change, hypnotherapy is about individual change.”
“One successful patient I’ve worked with was a 40 year old male out of jail and rehab who was sent to me by probation services. He was difficult to do an assessment with. He demanded to know what I could do with him that no one else had done. I suggested hypnotherapy and he just went for it. Not only did the addiction change but the anger and hostility disappeared.”
“I remember another young man who was in the probation system with addictions to cannabis and alcohol. After hypnotherapy he was very excited about going out to find a job. For the first time, he was motivated about the future.”
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I was at a meeting recently when a gentleman spoke about a petition he was promoting calling on our local bodies to hold a referendum before instigating the inclusion of Maori representation on our local council. I believe this petition is racism in its worst form, playing on peoples’ fears, despite the man’s assurance that he “...has Maori friends”. The hidden message is of course: ‘there are more of us than them, so of course the vote will go against it, but it will seem to be more than democratic in the process.’
There are some who will be unsure, fearing the promotion of a separatist movement/governance for Maori but that could not be further from the truth. Our whole system has not honoured the Treaty sufficiently and the inclusion of Maori voice/s on the Council is a wonderful way to really ‘hear’ from tangata whenua as partners with a ‘real’ voice - not an advisory committee - but actually being heard and having their vote counted.
There are others who will just be fearful of some perceived threat from Maori as taking over, but this too is a fallacy – the Maori representatives will be only a portion of the votes cast on any given subject – the important thing is that all matters discussed will have their input.
While I am the first to criticize our Council if I believe they have erred, I am now applauding them for this long overdue step towards inclusiveness and true adherence to their Treaty obligations.
Comment your own tongue twisters below!