Academic journal article Child Study Journal

Treating Ad/hd with Hypnosis and Neurotherapy [1]

Academic journal article Child Study Journal

Treating Ad/hd with Hypnosis and Neurotherapy [1]

Article excerpt

Traditional diagnostic procedures for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) may lead to overdiagnosis and are fraught with complications because the target behavioral symptoms are found in a variety of other disorders. The many decades old traditional treatments consisting of powerful side effect laden psychostimulant drugs and/or complex costly behavioral modification programs are, at best, symptom focused and palliative in nature. Both diagnostic and treatment advances derived from the neurological basis of the disorder are needed as are habilitative treatment alternatives.

This article presents the details of our Instant Alert Hypnosis procedure also known as Instantaneous Neuronal Activation Procedure (INAP) as an adjunct to neurotherapy in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. AD/HD diagnostic issues, demographics, traditional treatments, neurological basis, EEG assessment and implications for the use of hypnosis are discussed. Recent research demonstrating the efficacy and promise of neurotherapy with and without Instant Alert Hypnosis is discussed.

Once most widely known as MBD (minimal brain dysfunction) or MCD (minimal cerebral dysfunction) the term attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been adopted for the condition which is characterized by the inability to self-regulate focused attention. It is a biologically based, developmentally disabling condition, which has a pervasive negative impact on adaptive functioning. It is one of the most frequently diagnosed disorders among school children.

For decades, treatment has been limited to management through the use of powerful stimulant drugs, such as Methylphenidate (Ritalin), and/or traditional behavioral modification. While natural concerns about trafficking and abuse of Methylphenidate have fostered the search for more suitable treatments, there are many other reasons to be concerned about the long term use of psychostimulant drugs and behavior modification programs which by their nature are, at best, palliative (Feussner, 1998; Gaddes & Edgell, 1994, p. 279). Cessation of either treatment results in the rapid return of pretreatment symptoms and dysfunction. Given that school aged boys in the United States consume nearly 9 tons of Ritalin a year (Feussner, 1998), it would seem obvious that treatments that go beyond symptom management are urgently needed. Neurotherapy (brainwave biofeedback) provides a habilitative alternative to traditional approaches, but typically takes 40 to 80 sessions or more to achieve lasting effects. However, Instant Aler t Hypnosis as an adjunct to neurotherapy may make it possible to reduce treatment time by half while potentiating the efficacy of behavioral neurotherapy.

Just a few years ago, we had the honor of introducing the use of Instant Alert Hypnosis as an adjunct to neurotherapy, for AD/HD in the lead article in the first issue of the Journal of Neurotherapy (Barabasz & Barabasz, 1995). The following year gave us the opportunity to elaborate further in a chapter for the Lynn, Kirsch and Rhue (1996) Casebook of Clinical Hypnosis and a special issue of the Child Study Journal on AD/HD. We attended to Erika Fromm's (1981) and our own (M. Barabasz, A. Barabasz & Blampied, 1996) guidelines for clinical studies. We intended to communicate to other clinicians our technique, observations, and findings. We assured AD/HD diagnostic criteria were met, reviewed parents' histories and prior treatments, obtained hypnotizability data, and provided details of the induction and suggestions used. The results were promising.

A more rapid response to neurotherapy was obtained when Instant Alert Hypnosis was added to therapy. About half of the usual number of sessions were needed to achieve apparently lasting improvements in behavior and learning, school grades, parent-teacher behavior rating scores and even IQ test performance. In every one of our cases, dependence on Ritalin (methylphenidate), the FDA and DEA schedule II narcotic drug, was eliminated. …

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