(This blog was originally posted on March 10, 2016)
Sometimes, anxiety about sexual intimacy can really break the romantic mood. While it can be frustrating and potentially embarrassing, however, one or two instances of impotence do not have to signal the end of the relationship. It is normal for men to experience impotence at some stage of their lives, particularly as they grow older. Hypnotherapy and guided imagery can be powerful tools to reduce anxiety and build and help the person sustain an aroused state. However, before employing these to treat impotence, the client must have a physical exam with his physician to confirm that there is not a physiological reason such as diabetes or prostate issues, etc., that are preventing him from achieving an erection. Once a physical cause is ruled out, the hypnotherapist can address the symptom from an emotional and behavioral standpoint.
John Kappas, Ph.D., recommended that the first question the consulting hypnotherapist should ask is whether the client has been able to function well sexually in the past. Has the individual ever been able to achieve a full erection before this current episode of impotence? It is also important to ascertain whether the individual has experienced an emotional trauma during his life; this can also affect sexual arousal and performance. If so, it may be necessary to guide the client through the different stages of trauma or grief before addressing his impotence, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder said.
Dr. Kappas recommended using the Law of Association to get the client past the first stage of arousal (partial erection) to the second stage (a full erection). While he is relaxed in hypnosis, the hypnotherapist should provide suggestions where the client alternately visualizes or imagines that he is healthy and able to function normally in a sexual relationship. Alternate the suggestions between images of the client having a full erection, then a partial erection and then a full one. Next, have him visualize or imaging that he is with his current sexual partner talking about sex and developing an erection. Once this is achieved, have the client visualize or imagine that he has gone through stages one and two of the arousal cycle and is getting ready for sex. “Each time you think, verbalize or get into a sexual behavior or penetration, you’ll get a very rigid erection and feel very confident,” the hypnotherapist advised.
It is also important to explain to the client how drinking alcohol, taking certain medications or smoking cigarettes can impede arousal. Such abstention is particularly important on a weekday, when the person is more likely to experience stress from work during the day, Dr. Kappas said. Finally, provide a hypnotic suggestion that the client will have an early-morning venting dream to release any suppressed thoughts that prevent his achieving a full erection and facilitate the arousal process.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.