I get asked a great deal about the kinds of studies and research that are useful to explore or quote when hypnotherapy is discussed. I often refer to a handout that I was given by Donald Robertson a number of years ago.

It contained a number of studies used to assess whether hypnosis can be considered specific, effective or possible as an empirically-supported treatment and although there are numerous other studies, these were the ones highlighted and included in “What we can do with hypnosis: a brief note” by David Wark in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis back in 2008. I thought you might quite like to see it and hopefully benefit from it as much as I have done throughout the years:

Hypnotherapy as Empirically-Supported Treatment (EST)
Ratings using Chambless & Hollon (1998) criteria reviewed by David M. Wark (2008)

Ratings derived from the review published by Wark (2008), in which the references and criteria are given in full.: Wark, David M. “What we can do with hypnosis: a brief note”, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, July 2008.

“Specific” empirically supported treatments
Anxiety about asthma attack Brown, 2007
Headaches and migraine                     Relaxation + image modification > wait list control
“Effective” empirically-supported treatments
Cancer pain Syrjala et al., 1992
Distress during surgery Hypnosis reduces distress & pain > controls Lang et al., 2006
Surgery pain (adult) Self-hypnosis reduces drug use > attention control Lang et al., 1996
Surgery pain (child) Hypnosis reduces pain + hospital time > control Lambert, 1996
Weight reduction Hypnosis + CBT > CBT, differences increase over time Kirsch, 1996
“Possible” empirically-supported treatments
Acute pain (adult) Patterson & Jensen 2003
Acute pain (children) Hypnosis > distraction for bone aspiration Zelter & LaBaron, 1982
Anorexia Staged treatment with hypnosis > same without hyp Baker & Nash, 1987
Anxiety about public speaking Hypnosis > CBT Schoenberger et al, 1997
Anxiety about taking a test Self-hypnosis > discussion control Stanton, 1994
Asthma Hypnosis > attention control Ewer & Stewart, 1986
Bed wetting Suggestion with/without hypno > wait list control Edwards & Spuy 1986
Bulimia Hypnosis = CBT > wait list Griffiths et al, 1996
Chemotherapy distress Hypnosis > conversation + antiemetic medication Jacknow et al, 1994
Cystic fibrosis Self-hypnosis > wait list control Belsky & Khanna, 1994
Depression Hypnosis enhances CNT Alladin & Alibhai, 2007
Duodenal ulcer relapse Hypnosis + medication > medication only Colgan et al, 1988
Fibromyalgia Hypnosis > physical therapy, subjective symptoms Haanen et al, 1991
Haemorrhage Preoperative suggestion reduces blood flow Enqvist et al., 1995
High blood-pressure Hypnosis > wait list in reducing BP long term Gay, 2007
Hip & knee osteoarthritis pain Hypnosis = relaxation > wait list control Gay et al, 2002
Insomnia (primary) Hypnosis + CBT > medication long-term Graci & Hardie, 2007
Irritable bowel syndrome Hypnosis > psychotherapy Whorwell et al, 1984
Nausea & hyperemesis Hypnotic-like relaxation > control Lyles et al, 1982
Obstetrics Apgar score Hypnosis associated with higher Apgar score Harmon et al, 1990
Obstetrics pain Hypnosis shortens labour & reduces analgesic use Jenkins & Pritchard, 1983
Smoking cessation Hypnosis or relaxation > wait list controls Schubert, 1983
Trauma recovery Desensitisation = hypnosis = psychodynamic > control Brom et al, 1989
Wart removal Suggestion with/without hyp > control or medication Spanos et al, 1990


































Plenty to geek out about there, eh?


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1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
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