Aversion Therapy and Hypnosis
I have been contemplating the notion of using aversion therapy of late. I was reading an article where a self professed expert on hypnosis says that he equates unhealthy food with poison and toxicity. Well that all sounds very well and good, make what a person desires undesirable by scaring people into stopping it. Well, research shows that this simply does not work for the long term. People eventually learn to talk themselves out of the negative suggestions and return to their unhealthy behaviours.
Aversion therapy is something that has its roots in hypnotherapy and behavioural therapy from way back. This was something that was practised when people were far less informed about their own health as well as the products which they consumed. However, we live in a world where people are far more intelligent about these things. This intelligence works agains the very premise that you can scare people into changing behaviour. Indeed, long term behavioural change comes through a consensus that the new behaviour is in the person’s best interests rather than their old behaviour leading to wreck and ruin.
Talking about food being poison is great for headlines, but it does not hold up to real scrutiny and in the long run it does not lead to permanent change. Rather it leads to people feeling that they failed yet again to change their lives for the better.