Hypnosis in Treating PTSD

It has been suggested that hypnosis may help prevent or reduce dissociation following exposure to a traumatic event, reduce symptoms of anxiety, and help people get in touch with memories and feelings associated with their traumatic experience. Hypnosis is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration.

There are studies which have examined whether or not hypnosis may be more effective than cognitive behavior therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy in treating PTSD.

One study found that hypnotherapy, on its own, was at least as successful as some other treatments for PTSD, including psychodynamic psychotherapy. Another study found that hypnosis added to standard cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD may be just as effective as a cognitive behavioral therapy in improving PTSD symptoms up to two years following treatment.

There is evidence that hypnotherapy may be helpful for people with PTSD or other symptoms resulting from a traumatic experience.

It is important to know that hypnotherapy may not work for everyone. Some people are more suggestible than others. In addition, as with any treatment for PTSD, it is important to get as much information as you can to make sure it is the right treatment for you. 

A Doctor’s note for a referral is suggested.


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Bryant, R.A., Moulds, M.L., Nixon, R.D.V., Mastrodomenico, J., Felmingham, K., & Hopwood, S. (2006). Hypnotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy of acute stress disorder: A 3-year follow-up. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 1331-1335.

Foa, E.B., & Meadows, E.A. (1997). Psychosocial treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: A critical review. Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 449-480.

Mayo Clinic Hypnosis.http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hypnosis/basics/definition/prc-20019177

Mayo Clinic. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/basics/definition/con-20022540

Spiegel, D. (1988). Dissociation and hypnosis in posttraumatic stress disorders. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1, 17-33.

Spiegel, D. (1989). Hypnosis in the treatment of victims of sexual abuse. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, 295-305.