So what are contraindications ?
Essentially a contraindication is a reason NOT to do something. So in the medical world, which is where we get the term from, a good example would be:
- Drug X is for migraines, but also lowers blood pressure.
- The patient has migraines, but also has low blood pressure.
- because Drug X is likely to further lower the patients blood pressure and thus put them at risk it should not be prescribes. Drug X is contraindicated for patients with Low blood pressure.
What are contraindications for hypnotherapists?
Hypnotherapy is a relatively safe intervention. Many hypnotists will argue that hypnosis is an entirely normal process, no more dangerous than falling asleep. However, there is the issue of how hypnosis is induced and what is done once a client is in hypnosis.
What are the general contraindications for the use of hypnosis ?
Most hypnotherapists agree that it is unwise to work with people who are in states of psychosis. This means that they have a problem which causes them to be out of touch with reality. Psychosis may include hallucinations, grandiose beliefs, paranoia.
There is discussion around people with epilepsy which occurs when they fall asleep. The process of hypnosis may be related to the state change from being awake to asleep. As a rule with people with epilepsy which is triggered by falling asleep I recommend extreme caution, ask about their medication and how stable they are on their medication, inform them of the facts and when it doubt refer to your professional body .
What are the specific contraindications for the use of hypnotherapy ?
The most common contraindications which come up in therapy are for a particular type of client with a particular type of technique. For example;
- Eye tiring inductions should not be used with people with eye pain, strain or glaucoma.
- Arm based techniques (limb heaviness, arm levitation) should not be used with people arm pain, strain or joint problems.
- Body focused techniques ( muscle relaxation, body scan inductions) should be avoided with people who have conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and panic attacks where there is a tendency to monitor the body for symptoms.
These are but a few examples, and others will be flagged up in technique specific videos. The rule of thumb is think about what you are doing, use your common sense and when in doubt play it safe!