Interesting Case Study Citing Hypnosis for ED.

How psychological problems play a role in ED.

I came across this study which is an example of how psychological problems effect ED (erectile dysfunction). The treatment was hypnosis and mental imagery with coloring techniques.  We have not used this protocol specifically but it is an example of how you can utilize one’s imagination to overcome a physical problem.  (organic causes were eliminated).

Results: In one case described in this paper, hypnosis is used to treat erectile dysfunction. The 29 year old subject became “numb” and his penis “dead” when he was alone with a woman – even though he was sexually attracted. His desire turned into arousal after less than 2 months in every other week sessions of hypnotherapy. Inductions aimed to reduce tension were used in the first place to allow the subject to reach an adequate level of relaxation. Imaginative and coloring techniques (techniques in which mental images are freely modified by subjects in a deep relaxation state) were then used. The involvement in mental images was obtained by asking the patient to imagine the women with whom he had had a relationship in the past.

Notes: In this study the efficacy in the treatment of sexual problems of the so-called “new hypnosis”, built on Milton Erickson’s intuitions, sets the patient at the center of hypnotic therapy and is more flexible and less bound to standardized phrases and inductions compared to traditional hypnosis. In this study, the author underlines that the therapies for sexual dysfunctions that are able to involve imaginative processes (the ability of the subject to build and get involved in mental images) have more consistent results compared to cognitive therapies. The authors of this paper describe erectile dysfunction issues as follows: the common problem is that the patient is interested in sex and wants to enjoy sexual pleasure but this physical reaction is slow or absent, even though there is no medical reason for this conflict between desire and response. Because frequently sexual arousal issues result from anxiety and tension, the authors note the value of hypnotic relaxation through breathing while focusing on a pleasant mental image, not necessarily sexual at first. This becomes the initial hypnotic work to help the patient obtain a clear experience of natural relaxation. Once clients are convinced of their ability to control their anxiety about sexual performance, fear of intimacy, anger, guilt, or other feelings that produce stress, they can move on to the other hypnotic techniques presented in this study.

Am. Jrnl of Clinical Hypnosis, April 2005 47:4
By: Daniel Araoz, Long Island University, Dept. of Counseling and Development

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