Hypnosis and Sexual Problems. Even well trained sex therapists find the successful treatment of sexual disorders extremely challenging. Traditional approaches are, in many cases, unsuccessful or only partially successful. Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of sexual problems for a long time. Almost 50 years ago, Erickson and Kubie (1941) provided us with the earliest known case of the successful treatment of Inhibited Sexual Desire with hypnosis. Hypnosis holds considerable promise in sex therapy, yet only 7% of sex therapists use hypnosis in their clinical work. Good sex is an erotic trance. Effective hypnosis requires high focus and concentration so does effective sex.
Hypnosis vs Traditional Sex TherapyIn traditional sex therapy co-operative partners must both be involved. Hypnosis may be used in treatment of the individual client without the partner’s involvement. Hypnosis offers techniques that allow rapid identification of underlying conflicts, unresolved feelings about past events and factors beyond conscious awareness. In traditional therapy a client may think they have never been molested only to discover through hypnosis that they had in fact suffered these experiences. Note: Prior to commencing hypnotherapy physical causes of any dysfunction must always be ruled out.
What Causes Sexual Problems?A person can have dysfunctions to protect themselves against a fear – infidelity, punishing themselves for past misbehaviour or expressing anger toward a partner. A negative body image – penis size, women who think their vaginas are ugly or different – causes shame and embarrassment and can lead to inhibitions to sexual desire. Guilt about excessive masturbation as a child and teenager can cause a person to believe that they have damaged or deformed their genitalia in some way not realizing that everyone is a different shape and size. Intimacy and passion are what most people crave, yet there are many people who are afraid of intimacy. They do not allow themselves to experience it. They feel they do not deserve it. Physical and mental tension and fatigue often inhibit sexual interest and cause performance capacities. Many people feel they are beyond help, which this puts severe strain and pressure on a relationship. When people worry they lose confidence and clam up. Anxiety breeds more anxiety which makes things worse. The person then expects it to happen which causes a conditioning effect. Then even thinking about it can cause anxiety which inhibits natural sexual response or desire. This builds up fear and an expectation of failure.
Hypnosis And Sexual ProblemsHypnosis is used to uncover the cause behind your sexual problem, so that it can be understood and acted upon. To eradicate the conditioning effect, hypnosis is used to re-educate the mind so that you can once again associate sex with the appropriate physical and emotional feelings and state of mind.
- Hypnoanalysis can be used to release trauma of past events and thoughts and feelings about sex. In the treatment of inhibited sexual desire or erectile dysfunction hypnotic age regression may revivify memories that help rekindle and recapture positive sexual and affectionate feelings.
- Direct Suggestions are positive suggestions which can alter a person’s thoughts and feelings and the subconscious mind accepts this as reality.
- Visual Imagery teaches a person to visualize a specific goal so that it seems so real it becomes imprinted in the brain. When he is in this relaxed state the mind is more easily able to adapt to the imagery and accepts the suggested vision as being real.
- PH Suggestion anchors a suggestion in the subconscious mind and is linked to a physical stimulus. For example; the hypnotherapist might say to the client whilst in hypnosis – “Every time you initiate intimacy with your partner you will feel confident, relaxed and calm”. This is a tool that can be utilized in a person’s waking life.
- Symbolic Imagery Techniques allow clients to release pent-up feelings like anger and resentment without harming the relationship with the partner. Clients can experience themselves smashing a huge boulder in the mountains while simultaneously venting his angry feelings. They can imagine breaking through a barrier, discarding old parental messages that evoke negative emotions, or placing feelings of guilt in the gondola of a hot air balloon and watching it float away. Chronically fatigued clients may imagine an energy transfusion or withdraw to a serene place in self-hypnosis.
- Self-Hypnosis provides clients with a sense of self-control and a technique for stress management. Some clients need a method of mentally “changing gears” and making a transition from a hectic day to being able to focus on sexual involvement. Hypnosis provides them with such a skill for anxiety reduction and decompression, as well as for the arousal of sexual passion through sexual imagery and fantasy prior to sexual involvement.
Types of Sexual Dysfunctions alleviated with Hypnosis
- Inhibited sexual desire – this relates to problems with communication, intimacy, traumatic sexual experiences, negative parental models, inhibitions, shame and poor body image. Hypnoanalysis is used to uncover and resolve past experiences in addition to visualization and suggestion therapy.
- Anorgasmia – refers to women who have never had an orgasm or have weak or non-existent orgasms, without a presenting medical reason. The cause and the answers are within their mind. There is resistance in the subconscious that a woman could be unaware of. This needs to be unlocked, let go and fully released by using hypnosis. Visualization will distract the client from performance concerns.
- Female Sexual Arousal Disorder – refers to a lack of lubrication and swelling of external genitalia which can cause pain with intercourse. Guilt, hostility and anxiety are often psychological explanations of this disorder. Relaxation techniques, visualizations and positive suggestions can be given focusing on pleasurable thoughts and feelings about sex.
- Vaginismus – is an involuntary reflex action where the muscles of the pelvic floor go into spasm and nothing can penetrate the vagina. The cause is complex – both mental and physical:
- Stories that sex is painful the first time can cause deep fear in women.
- Some women have enjoyed sex previously but due to illness – operations or infections – they are afraid that sex will be painful.
- Parents taught them that sex was dirty and they feel shame; they cannot relax because they feel they are doing wrong.
- Abuse and rape victims can develop fear of penetration – it could be memories of pain, loss of control and vulnerability.
- Sexual Aversion – refers to a fear or phobia about sex. Hypnoanalysis would be the first approach to uncover the underlying cause which would then be followed by suggestion therapy.
- Erectile Dysfunction (or impotence) – the inability of a man to achieve an erection during sexual stimulation. Erectile Dysfunction presents as a lack of blood flow to the portion of the penis that causes an erection. It can be caused by cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, diabetes and anti-depressant drugs. Erectile dysfunction causes extreme anxiety. When a person is anxious it causes a constriction of the penile arteries forcing blood out of the penis which suppresses erection.
- Traditionally drugs are prescribed to increase blood flow to the penis – they are costly and there are side effects. Hypnosis will help with this type of problem – suggestions can be given to enhance blood flow to the penis and to reduce anxiety.
- Premature Ejaculation – the inability for a man to control when he ejaculates. Anxiety is the biggest cause and in 98% of cases the cause is not medical. Every time a man fails to control ejaculation the problem gets worse and he is conditioning himself to fail.
- Traditional methods of treating this problem include penis rings which keeps blood in the penis after orgasm therefore he is still erect and able to satisfy his partner. De-sensitizing creams/sprays and lotions removes or reduces sensations and feelings from intercourse. Both of these methods are unsatisfying to the client because he is not exerting control. Hypnotic suggestion and visualization can help a man gain control.
- Addiction to Sex and Masturbation – an increased sexual desire or lust which is causing distress in a person’s life. The cause of such an addiction is often abuse in a person’s childhood years. Hypnotherapy is useful to people with this addiction as the person can be regressed to the old pain or trauma. Healing is facilitated as the person is able to release pent up emotions which he or she was suppressing by using sex as a substitute.