Does hypnotherapy work? Science says “YES!”

by Paul Mountjoy
Washington Times
April 28, 2013-

“Hypnosis seems helpful in treating addictions and the depression and anxiety associated with them”- Psychology Today

HypnotherapyHypnosis and hypnotherapy has been rooted in science with evidence based results reported for many years. Although the American Medical Association (AMA) currently has no clear position on the effectiveness of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, in 1958, the AMA reported hypnotherapy has a recognized place in the medical armamentarium and is a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses.

Hypnotherapy is considered an effective adjunct in psychotherapy for many issues, and more are being studied. On its own, hypnotherapy is reported to be beneficial: In 2001, the British Psychological Society commissioned a group of expert psychologists and published a report that declared hypnosis a proven therapeutic medium and valid for study.

The report went on to say hypnotherapy is beneficial for a wide range of issues encountered in medicine, psychology and psychiatry with regard to stress, anxiety, pain, and psychosomatic illnesses. Some illnesses described are insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and migraines, asthma and a variety of skin maladies. Weight reduction was also cited as benefiting from hypnotherapy.

A comparison study reported in 2007 by American Health Magazine indicates some psychological issues benefit more from hypnotherapy than psychoanalysis and behavior therapy.  A German university meta-analysis of 444 studies supported this claim, concluding a 64 percent success rate with hypnotherapy for stress, anxiety and chronic pain.

According to Sanjay Paul, A psychology instructor at several universities, hypnosis is a heightened sense of suggestibility for accessing the subconscious mind which is responsible for up to 90 to 95 percent of our thoughts and actions. No one can be made to do anything they do not wish to under hypnosis. That old, inaccurate reputation stems from night club acts.

Paul goes on to say hypnosis can provide lasting change by “cleaning the bottom of the mental fish tank” and it is the sub-conscious that helps to maintain ones self-image and record all memory via sensor input as a 24 hour mental tape recorder.

Ohio based certified hypnotherapist Janet Berg describes hypnosis as the state one must achieve in order to be receptive to hypnotherapy. She describes hypnosis as a state where the sub-conscious can readily accept and act on new information and suggestions for healing, change, growth and attainment of individual goals.

The experience, according to Paul, is the phase one enters directly before falling asleep or upon awakening and Berg claims those under hypnosis can leave this state voluntarily at any time and those who receive hypnotherapy describe the experience as relaxing and refreshing. More information can be obtained through her website where she identifies a host  of issues she can help with.

The American Psychology Association (APA) website has declared most clinicians now agree hypnotherapy can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide variety of conditions.

Apparently, hypnotherapy is gaining ground fast as a respected form of therapy within the corridors of the scientific community.

Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

This entry was posted in American Health Magazine, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, British Psychological Society, hypnosis, hypnosis research, Hypnotherapy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Does hypnotherapy work? Science says “YES!”

  1. averderame says:

    Hello Dr. Wiedenhaefer!
    The bottom line is that hypnosis as defined is a constant consent state. So, it’s what the person wants. The problem is not “hypnosis” but rather, often religions and cults will often break down a person’s resistance & weaken their will. Hypnosis is merely a word that describes the process of our minds. It is neither good nor evil! Hypnosis is how our MINDS function. The key for a person is trust of the individual you are speaking/working with. I can say more, but I will leave it at that.

  2. Dr. Robert Wiedenhaefer says:

    A college student that I know took a course in college on “World Religions.” His mother was amused that repreentatives af numerous religious denominations came to the house to speak to him (Mormons, Jehoveh’s Witnesses, etc., etc.) All of this was , perhaps, amusing until he met some Moslem guys. They convinced him that Islam is a “religion of Peace” and the study of Islam will “strengthen” his Christianity since “Jesus was a prophet.” QUESTION: Can hypnosis help convert someone to a new religion?

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