If you’re interested in hypnotherapy or are looking to see a clinical therapist, you may have heard of such occurrences as “abreactions” now these are perfectly normal and can be experienced spontaneously or can be induced by a clinical therapist although the latter is not generally recommended in practice.

Abreactions whether induced or spontaneous is a process of releasing any repressed emotions by the client ‘reliving’ in their imagination, a previous negative experience. These can be expressed in different ways from crying, shouting, hysteric laughter, anger or panic all of which are completely normal experiences.

It was Sigmund Freud in his earlier work who argued that the roots of hysterical symptoms lay in a client’s earlier experiences of psychological trauma. There are numerous therapeutic techniques in which therapists can attempt to restore mental health by having patients relive the actual traumatic experience in the imagination.

An induced abreaction is when with consent from the client they will be encouraged through the process of hypnosis to remember their traumatic experience to help re-programme that memory it could be by using a technique that is known as reframing, fast phobia cure or swish pattern etc. These kinds of induced abreactions are generally used for extreme cases such as soldiers of war and so on.

A spontaneous abreaction is an abreaction that could be triggered once we go trance state and may even be an abreaction for something completely different to why they are there to see their therapist, this could be brought on by an anchor (specific word/phrase) which is linked to a specific memory or trauma. In this case, the therapist would calmly confirm that the client is safe and quickly help them to get into a comfortable place in which you feel happy to continue. if this were to happen during sessions the therapists would look to treat underlying issues before treating the initial case the client presented with.

In both situations the therapist will ensure that before the end of the session the client is completely disengaged from the experience before leaving the therapists room, ensuring you are not leaving the room with negative thoughts regarding your session and what was discussed. We are after all about producing positive results for each and every one of the clients we treat.

A spontaneous abreaction is very likely to happen day-to-day, it can happen in everyday life. When we hear a bit of music that reminds us of something or a smell that takes us back to a specific time in our lives and causes us to remember a specific moment.

Whether you experience spontaneous or induced abreactions you should always remember that in the presence of your therapist you are completely safe and your therapist is there to guide you along the way to success.