Anyone used hypnotherapy?: OK quick history from me... - Headway


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Anyone used hypnotherapy?

saville75 profile image
24 Replies

OK quick history from me! Had TBI 13 years ago. Can't remember anything about it. I had front part of skull temporarily taken away for swelling, coma for 3 weeks, in hospital for 3 months, rehab still happening now. I feel like two people, me before and me after my injury. I've changed a lot in many ways.

I close friend of mine is a psychotherapist and does hypnotherapy with her clients. She talks of how the memories of what happened to me that night are in my mind and she is able to access them with me if I would like to. I actually *really* would like to. I feel as though there's a huge gap between before my injury and afterwards. I wonder whether learning what happened - I fell down some steps - would lessen the gap and make it easier to live with.

I spoke to my counsellor who specialises in brain injury. She is doubtful though. She says that in all her experience (many years) she has never heard of hypnotherapy being beneficial in someone who had a TBI "as severe as yours". She feels that the memories will no longer exist and that maybe if I *do* attempt to retrieve them then they will not necessarily be accurate.

So my question to you guys out there is - have any of you experienced hypnotherapy since your TBI and found any use in it? I'd love to know your experiences if you have X

24 Replies
AndrewT profile image

Dear saville75,

To answer your question, yes I have had Hypnotherapy, but BEFORE my Brain Injury. Can I perhaps sound a 'Word Of Warning' before BEFORE you do 'possible harm' to yourself?

I can, fully understand, your Desire to Get Back The 'Old' You- ALL of us want/ wish for that- but Remembering your accident, almost certainly, WON'T achieve this.... and could, in actual fact, be counterproductive, Your Bain has 'Forgotten', the accident, for a reason- that could be Truma related or, it could very well be, that the 'Information'- in other words the Memory- was simply Errased by the Accident. (Think of it like this- Jenny, and her friends, have Permanently Deleted YOUR Personal Computer File..... no matter What you 'try', it's just GONE.)

As hard as it may seem, and trust me it IS, you have to somehow 'Move On', my friend...ALL of us, on these 'pages' have HAD to do so. I used to be a Senior Quality Controller, for a Pet Care Company, Products needed My 'Approval' before they could even be Dispatched..... but this is NOT about me.

You don't 'say' the 'reason' for your Injury but, I suspect, a Trumatic one- that is a Physical Cause, maybe a Fall, Road Traffic Accident, an Assult or 'something else' of that Nature, rather than a Disease, or a Medical Error. No matter what the 'cause' the Injury HAS occured and there is Nothing you, or indeed any of us, can Do to change that. What you, are 'left' with is what you are NOW and, as hard as this will be, you need to FIND Your Life Now.

With luck, and God willing, your Family- and close friends (true friends)- Will come on this Journey, with you. WE are all here, for you to, saville and please DO ask us Anything you wish.... no guarantees, will Know The Answer but, that said, we have a Pretty Impressive 'Collective Knowledge/ Experience'.

As I said, right at the start, be careful with Hypnosis.... if you do 'do it' use a Fully Registerd Practictioner. However, my advice remains the same, Don't Do This.

Look up, either On Line, via Social Services or even at the Local Library, the Telephone number of Headway, the Brain Injury Charity. They are VERY Helpful indeed and run Outreach Groups, Day Centre Activities... even someone to 'Talk' to. I attend Headway Essex, twice a week, and would, quite frankly, be 'Lost' without them.

Anyway I think that I have 'Prattled On' quite enough now saville (You can say that again Andrew!) so I'll close now. Take care my friend


sca2013 profile image
sca2013 in reply to AndrewT

I agree 100% with AndrewT. I had two hypnotherapy sessions after my tbi. Weird things/sensations happened in my head that really concerned me. I was disoriented after both sessions and I was totally exhausted and quite concerned that something was going wrong. I talked to the hypnotherapist about it after the second session and she agreed that we should discontinue the therapy.

cat3 profile image

Hi Saville. I didn't have hypnotherapy after my Bi, but at my first review I talked with my surgeon about having no memory of events, from when I collapsed to several weeks later. He told me it spooks most people knowing they'd been the centre of such commotion and drama but with no recollection of any of it.

He explained how in a trauma situation the brain is normally too compromised to make memories whilst struggling to keep functioning.

It may be less mysterious for me as I collapsed with a brain haemorrhage after feeling odd and getting out of bed to call for help. So, with later knowledge of the cause, I knew the basic facts. But it still troubled me for a while that I'd been 'absent' at the most significant event of my life ! 🤔 x

cat3 profile image
cat3 in reply to cat3

PS ...meant to say I get how you might be haunted by the 'What if I'd dome something different at that moment ?' whereas for me it was just 'Why ?' Maybe get help with letting go of this m'love ? Take care.. x

Harrys profile image

Hi how about hypnotherapy to try and get rid of constant head pain that stops you living a life ? Has anyone tried it for this reason ? I want my son to try it , his now 2: and his TBI when he was 13 ( brain abscess)two craniotomys to drain and get rid of it . So now his alive but everyday is a struggle and it’s getting harder for him and me as I don’t know how to help him !! Any advice would be great . I haven’t wrote on here for quite a while . 😢

Harrys profile image
Harrys in reply to Harrys

Sorry it’s ment to say 23 years old now not 2 !! Should have put my glasses on

Painting-girl profile image
Painting-girl in reply to Harrys

Hi Harrys, can you go back to a neurologist for support for him for more referrals possibly? May be worth another chat with Headway too 0808 800 2244 in working hours - from experience, constant headache is very hard to manage. He shouldn't have to struggle on alone, though I appreciate many of us do - but at least he has you to advocate for him.

My tbi headaches are not 24/7 now - but they do come back 24/7 if I consistently 'live outside my fatigue envelope' - basically doing more than I can cope with for too many days in a row - they then take perhaps a week of crashing out to clear up.

Hope you can get some practical help for him - neuropsychologists can be very helpful with useful strategies to function with the fatigue and other brain injury effects too - don't be put off by the psychology bit of the name, they are wonderfully practical people to have onside.

Harrys profile image
Harrys in reply to Painting-girl

Hi harry did see the neuro psychologist a few weeks ago, all he recommended was a light melatonin tablets and antidepressants!!! He wasn’t much help at all !! 😢

Painting-girl profile image
Painting-girl in reply to Harrys

Oh no - that's a shame if that didn't help, but was he a neuro psychiatrist? They are medical doctors that specialise in the way drugs work on the brain. Antidepressants can help alongside other help, so don't dismiss them as an option. For instance my neurologist tried me on various drugs for the constant post traumatic migraine that didn't work and had unacceptable side effects, but my neuropsychiatrist prescribed Duloxetine which is an antidepressant with pain relieving effects used for people with fibromyalgia, and that (combined with coaching in managing fatigue and physio for oculonotor and vestibular problems) did resolve my constant headaches. I've been more prone to headaches since I eventually slowly discontinued Duloxetine last year, but can manage them by first managing my fatigue.

I don't think neuropsychologists can prescribe? ( Correct me if I'm wrong anyone) They are involved in brain injury rehabilitation and mine gave me practical strategies for handling fatigue. They can also explain why some activities are more exhausting than others based on the testing that they can carry out to see howv the brain injury affected you - because injuries are all different.

It's a minefield negotiating the different disciplines that can help - I hope the lovely people on the Headway helpline can help come up with something for you to talk to your GP about and get some more help.

Teazymaid profile image

I would love to remember my accident just to understand why I woke up in what I thought was somebody else’s body ….. this was massive to me 12 months ago when I was not like the normal me .. but I have tried very hard to get better and still am fighting … this still hasn’t stopped me wanting to remember what changed my life but the better I recover the less important knowing what happened matters to me me .. and I would definitely do anything that would retrieve the accident just to understand how I was I know it wouldn’t change anything on the injuries but would help the emotional side .

BikerChk profile image

Hi saville75.I'm sorry about your TBI but you have found a wonderful resource. I hope I can help you regarding the desire to recall what happened with the trauma. I had a wonderful psychotherapist who tried hypnotherapy prior to my TBI regarding other things and it seems it wouldn't work for me.

This is what I learned about a recovered memory for me. I was hit on my beloved motorcycle and I'm quite a good rider. The doctors explained I got to the hospital not breathing with a heart rate of 8 beats a minute. There were 4 conditions that could have easily have killed me but I somehow survived and went home where I live alone 15 days later. This was the 2nd time I have been hit, the first I was conscious the whole time despite a shattered tibia just above my ankle.

Roughly a week after I got home, I woke with the memory of being hit. I suspect this was spawned by having my wrecked bike brought to my garage. Anyway, I can see the truck coming at me, turning my bike in a futile effort to evade her and flying over her hood. Later the memory of having my ring finger and pinky catch on the antenna of the truck, spin me around as L landed on my left leg, fracturing my femur. I don't exactly have a memory of crushing my sternum or breaking several ribs as well as rupturing my spleen, but I did hit the windshield of my bike and the hood of the truck hard. The TBI occured from the lack of blood and oxygen so that is not going to be a memory.

I go through all this detail because I'm not sure you want this kind of memory or can even have such details. I have been through several things in my life that have lead to cPTSD. Including several times of near death. So such details don't bother me at all. Plus, they just appeared. If you really NEED to know each and every detail. Say, you fell down steps. We can all say how we missed step going down (or up) steps. In you case it ended up with a more drastic missed step. A fall down the steps doesn't create a lot of details like a vehicular collision. So it does kind of depend on the cause of your TBI.

Regarding pain associated with the TBI. I get even worse migraines now, after my TBI than I ever had before. I would consider doing any and everything. I take several medications and injections to prevent them and do a few things when they occur (biofeedback and acupuncture are things to look into). My neurologist has been the biggest help with these headaches. The biggest problem I have right now is not being able to read. I can't remember what I read a few paragraphs above where I am now. My collision was 5/15/17. I hope I keep getting better, especially where the reading come in.

Good luck and if you have any questions, ask away, the people here are amazing!!


Personally, I wouldn't do it - the hypnotherapy. I think the trauma of the event is blocked out because it is too traumatic and meddling could cause more harm than good. I may be wrong of course but remember a psychotherapist telling me to that if a patient doesn't want to talk about what is troubling them, it can cause more harm than good to try to get them to open up.

Leaf100 profile image

Hi SavilleI tried hynotherapy before bing injyred and I also would only recommend it to people who want to stop smoking, for example - that is, some sort of behaviour modification with a person without a brain injury. And, especially I would not do it with a friend. It changes the relationship. And, most professional associations don't allow friends as clients in a medical context.

I remember the accident I was in but have gaps in memory. (I even totally forgot an ex husband and an entire marriage - nice gift, actually!) Over time some things have come back on their own and some have not and might not.

I have also tried paddle based EMDR and found that helpful. I did it with a brain inury literate psychologist re the accident, due to nightmares, and I feel strongly if you are going to go diving in you have an arms length professional who is brain injury literate and able to deal with any upset or symptoms that may come up and see you safely through.

The thing that appeals to me about the EMDR is that it is not really talk therapy based, you pick an image or a feeling you find reoccurs and you do not need to know or remember the source. In fact the dr I saw told me specifically not to pick the thing that upset me most - for example I was having nightmares with certain visuals in them she told me not to pick - she said pick somethimg related that reoccurs that was less charged, which is what I did. In my case an image on the timeline leading up to. It still works.

Likely I will do more EMDr later on the PTSD I have from dealing with the system after the fact. Yes, that is a thing and I do have it. (BTW you can do emdr on any odd recurring image or thought you have - the recurrence means something is stuck and unprocessed; sometimes can help when you have a block over doing aomething - example my brain just gors on strike in certain circumstances and it may be bi stuff or ptsd stuff, so at some point I will try. I am somewhere over 10 years past so even though healing is still hapoening slowly I am past the early years where healing is still happening fast, so my focus and ioptiona for change may be different than for someone still fresh.

Also a couple of docs have told me talking about what happened actually redamages you, as parts of your brain do not distinguiah between living the event and imagining reliving the eveht, which is what happens when we talk about something.

I feel your friend means well, and bless them for wanting and being willing to help. But really no, not a good idea.

Also, remembering the how is not going to change your awareness of you before and you after. I so understand having memory loss can be very disconcerting. I chose to see it as liberating - less baggage in the noodle.

Maybe gettimg a referal to a neuro pysch would be more helpful? They could help you explore your goal professionally. (Psych being psychologist or psychiatrist - a neuro psych understands the brain and psychology so it doesn't mean I am saying I think you have mental health issues, it means they are trained to understand the human conditikn and how bi relates to it.)

As you can see, like AndrewT I also prattle on.

Take care.


Painting-girl profile image

Hi L, I'm not sure about it. I know that where people have PTSD that one new option being researched is to prescribe, I think it is propranolol, and to discuss the traumatic incident, and then the memory is sort of re-saved as being less traumatic because of the effect of the drug on memory. Which is a great advance, but that would be under carefully controlled conditions, which I don't think you would have in a hypnotherapy situation - and I guess there's a possibility of re-storing false memories also? I can see why you might want to try - so sorry for being a wet blanket J x

spideyman profile image

To be honest it’s a load of rubbish. It costs lots of money and nothing happens but they get round this by telling you that you don’t realise it’s working and you need to empty your mind.

I know myself I’m amazing

ScubaD profile image
ScubaD in reply to spideyman

I think you are being unfair to hypnotherapists! Not only is it very expensive but the training involves being hypnotised which I have been and it was not a load of rubbish as you call it. Many people who have suffered have been helped with hypnotherapy and continue to be helped including trauma of varying degrees.Please don't throw mud, it can stick!!

spideyman profile image
spideyman in reply to ScubaD

Am I not allowed an opinion?

I suppose I am if you agree to it

ScubaD profile image
ScubaD in reply to spideyman

You are absolutely allowed an opinion, I am just answering yours with mine. I have expeience worth expressing, which is why I answered your comment.Best wishes...

ScubaD profile image

Hi saville75,

I am sorry to hear about your struggle, believe me when I say I struggled and still do with this dilemma. I did not know I had experienced two severe tbis , one which a family nember told me in 2017, soon after I went into shock for about 4 days. The other through bits of nightmares since a young child but didn't realise what they were connected to, also flashbacks near stairs and doors. I realised they were real when someone asked me about my scars on my face I answered "what scars"!

To answer your question, I had some hypnotherapy for something else but memories of head injuries never surfaced. Some of it was very difficult, some not especially for relaxation.Your body will remember and can come back via senses such as sight, sound, taste, smell, touch as flashbacks but may not be recognised. Our brain protects us from remembering during injuries when it is too traumatic, i really believe yours is protecting you too. We have to learn to live with loss, grieve and accept who we are now. We can live as best we can for us, others will have to accept us for who we are, I am still funny, kind and help others. Please remember or notice your redeeming personality because there will be one somewhere within you!

Best wishes,


coatpin profile image

I have experienced hypnotherapy, its fine, if it helps you,,, and you try it, and you trust, the person, going to try it on you, then try it. They you can feel that you tried it. Many people say things and put their own feelings of anxiety about it, or they feel this. It matters what you want, if you try it and it doesn't do anything for you, fine you at least tried. I think its very healthy of you , to want too at least try something new.

When I had a Feeling, I knew what was wrong with me, thank god I went with what my common sense told me, otherwise I would not have what I have now, my life back. Do what you feel is right for you! its your life.

saville75 profile image

Thanks to everyone for their input here, I really appreciate it. You've come at it from all angles so it's brilliant to hear all of your opinions. I'm off away for Easter and going to have a good think about what you've all said. Thank you all so much and Happy Easter to you too! X

Painting-girl profile image

Happy Easter - have a lovely time x

saville75 profile image
saville75 in reply to Painting-girl

You too! We're all off to my parents for Easter, which is in the middle of nowhere. My boy loves it as he can run around crazy. Plus he can say hello to the cows too, ha! X

Painting-girl profile image
Painting-girl in reply to saville75

Oh lovely!! 😊

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