• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Did I Suggest Something Good? Hypnosis for Nightmares

Not open for further replies.


My boyfriend has PTSD and has been in therapy and on medication for the past 3 years. He has made great improvements and is feeling better about himself !

However, as in many cases of PTSD he has bad days ! And at those times feels very down and depressed ! I am there for him for the duration, I love him very much and will do anything in my power to help him get better ! I tell him "one day at the time and we will conquer this"

In my quest to help him I don't know if I am doing something right, I don't know if I am pushing ! Let me explain...He has 2 reacurring nightmares...He used to have them quite frequently, now less and less..but they are still there ! His psychiatrist is trying to get to the bottom of his nightmares...cause they really affect him when it happens.

My suggestion to him was "why don't you get hypnotized ?" my reasoning being, once you get to the bottom of what the nightmares truly mean, you can face those demons and move on from what is causing them ! He says he doesn't want to be hypnotized and I don't push him ! but am I being wrong in giving him that option ?
Frankie, I do hope it is all right that I moved your thread into Chat PTSD. I thought perhaps the sufferers themselves would be better at answering this question. Regarding hypnosis, it is somewhat controversial, I would venture to say helpful for some, however unhelpful or possibly even damaging to others. Not unlike EMDR in that sense. It is a highly individual matter in my opinion, and one should tread cautiously.
Thanks Kathy, I wasn't sure where to post this question ! It does make more sense to post it where it is now. I thank-you for your comment !

I think my bf is being cautious when it comes to hypnosis. I would assume that whatever he would find under hypnosis would be too devastating and damaging for him and he would be back to square one. And I think he also thinks the same way.

In the 1 year I know him, I have asked him twice, and both times he said he wouldn't. I won't ask anymore, it is really up to him. He is really doing good right now and I would be afraid that would be a setback for him !

What is EMDR....I have so much to learn :)
Hello Frankie, I've tried hypnosis for sleep. It didn't work very well. As I understand it for hypnosis to work you need to really, totally relax and as a PTSD makes me hypervigilant its pretty hard to relax and let someone else take control of my head. I didn't get any bad results it just didn't work like I hoped, it might work for some but not me. The trauma is the real reason for the nightmares. and there's no quick fix I'm afraid. You aren't wrong to suggest it though. Its often helpful for me to hear lots of different ways of working out a solution to a problem. PTSD sufferers can be very black and white in their way of thinking so it is helpful for that to be diluted.

The other thing that helps me after a nightmare is to write it down. i have a system where I write it out and email it to my therapist. The act of writing it often makes sense of it and takes the horror and power of the nightmare away a bit.
I used to have recurring nightmares, so I started doing dream work. At first I had other people interpret my dreams and this helped stop several recurring dreams. Then I figured out how to interpert the meaning of my own dreams, and started helping other people with their dreams too.

I have found this to be "What saved my life" I was numb and on the verge of suicide everyday. Now that the nightmares have calmed, and the recurring dreams have stopped I am more confident about myself.

However, reading my dreams and psychoanalyzing them caused me to open the door to big ugly things I had locked away. This was overwhelming at times and still can be. But it gets worse before it gets better when you relive traumatic situations. What ever a person doesn't want to deal with in waking life they will repress it into their subconscious mind, and then it will find a way out through our dreams.

I have read dreams for 3 years and have done extensive research in this area. If you need help with a dream just let me know. You can PM the dream to me and I can give you insight. Once a recurring dream is figured out, it will stop (or it did for me and about 30 other people I have helped)

Hi Tammy,

This is exactly why I think he doesn't want to be hypnotized, I think whatever he will discover is way too painful for him ! I truly believe that he wants to discover in his own time, a bit at the time. This is why I don't push him !

Thank-you for your suggestion, I will keep it in mind, and maybe ask him if I can talk about his nightmares with you !

Seeking_Nirvana said:
However, reading my dreams and psychoanalyzing them caused me to open the door to big ugly things I had locked away. This was overwhelming at times and still can be. But it gets worse before it gets better when you relive traumatic situations. What ever a person doesn't want to deal with in waking life they will repress it into their subconscious mind, and then it will find a way out through our dreams.
If you want nightmares to stop and ease up that are from trauma you have to heal the trauma. You can analyze until you are blue in the face, but that won't heal the trauma. You have to get to the emotions and learn to process them. Much of our trauma did not "process" right, goal is to reprocess it which in many ways involves reliving it mentally and emotionally.

Hypnotherapy can bite you on the ass as things that are suppressed do slowly come back out in trauma therapy. They do not flood you. You get flooded you can expect to get screwed. There is a reason things get hidden away in our brains. It is too much to handle all at once. Was then and can be if you try to force it open.

Plus you have to have so much trust for the person doing this and I don't trust anyone mucking with my head.

There is no quick fix. Ever. You have to heal the trauma first and you will see symptoms ease across the board. This can take years. I think he should let his doctor who he has worked with continue to work with him on his traumas as he may not have been able to let some points out yet.

Also, with PTSD once you have tackled your trauma(s) you have to also cover issues that are troublesome from your past too. It is like you have to go through and cover every crappy moment in your life even though those are not traumas (like was he picked on as a kid type of thing) as those can leave residual helpless feelings and add to nightmares, for example.

You can't just fix one symptom of PTSD. It does not work like that. And symptoms of PTSD never go away. You learn to manage. He may just be feeling so much better that he has taken on too much and it is causing this to flare up. It is all a very slow delicate process.
Thank-you so much veiled...I understand so much better now. I think my bf feels it would be too much to handle and is taking it a bit at the time. He does trust his doctor very much and he is doing so much better since he has started with his psychiatrist.

It's just that sometimes it gets him so frustrated and he feels that the healing process is taking him so long. It is often "two steps forward one step backwards. That is why I had suggested hypnotis..but reading what you said, I agree that it wouldn't be in his best interest.

Deep down he knows it too ! I continue to tell him "you are getting there, one day at the time" "it will take the time it takes" and of course "don't give up, we are in this together" I really do hope that these words register and give him the support he needs to continue :)

He kept things suppressed since 1994 (Rwanda genocide) so yes, bringing them all back is very very hard for him. Slowly, he has faced some of his traumas...but so many more are still hidden inside.

The only thing I can describe it as is "peeling an onion" one layer at the time, and sometimes it gets so painful that you have to stop and take time to get back to the peeling" Well, I am not a scholar nor a phsychiatrist, I am just describing it as I see it......but peeling an onion is painful :)
Not open for further replies.