Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
There have been a number of studies investigating the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD). To date the evidence is fairly mixed. Single-case studies which have integrated hypnosis have indicated promising effects, but larger studies have not shown the same level of support.
Current evidence-based therapies for PTSD include trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Interestingly, some of the techniques commonly used as part of a CBT treatment for PTSD (e.g. revisiting trauma memories, having an 'adult self' comfort a 'child self') have origins in hypnotic techniques. The benefit that CBT brings to these techniques is a conceptual framework to understand the traumatised individual.The benefits that hypnosis might bring to the treatment of PTSD include a focus on feelings of safety / emotional regulation, and a framework & techniques for revisiting memories.
Hypnosis and PTSD references
- Abramowitz, E. G., Barak, Y., Ben-Avi, I., Knobler, H. Y. (2008). Hypnotherapy in the treatment of chronic combat-related PTSD patients suffering from insomnia: a randomized zolpiderm-controlled clinical trial. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 56(3), 270-280.
- Bryant, R. A., Moulds, M. L., Guthrie, R. M., Nixon, R. D. V. (2005). The additive benefit of hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy in treating acute stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(2), 334-340.
- Bryant, R. A., Moulds, M. L., Nixon, R. D. V., Mastrodomenico, J., Felmingham, K., Hopwood, S. (2006). Hypnotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy of acute stress disorder: a 3 year follow-up. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(9), 1331-1335.
- Cardena, E. (2000). Hypnosis in the treatment of trauma: a promising, but not fully supported, efficacious intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 48(2), 225-238.
- Spiegel, D. (1989). Hypnosis in the treatment of victims of sexual abuse. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(2), 295-305.
- Spiegel, D. (1992). The use of hypnosis in the treatment of PTSD. Psychiatric Medicine, 10(4), 21-30.
- Spiegel, D., Cardena, E. (1990). New uses of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 51, 39-43.
What is hypnosis?
Definitions of hypnosis
Types of suggestion
Scientific theories of hypnosis
History of hypnosis
Key people in hypnosis
States of consciousness
Modification of suggestibility
Attention and hypnosis
Hypnosis as a research tool
Genes and hypnotizability
What is hypnotherapy?
Is it effective?
Finding a therapist
Irritable bowel syndrome
Hypnosis research papers
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