If you are struggling with anxiety, you may have heard of hypnotherapy as a potential treatment option. However, you may also be sceptical about whether it can really work. After all, hypnosis is a controversial topic, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.
I have been using hypnotherapy to help people with anxiety for some years now, but I still meet plenty of people who are sceptical. In this blog post, I will discuss the evidence for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for anxiety, and I will address some of the common concerns that people have about it.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses hypnosis to help people make changes in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and relaxation in which people are more open to suggestion.
When in a hypnotic trance, the brain has a chance to sort out many of the past stresses that have given rise to anxiety without the client being aware that it is doing so. It is not surprising that many people feel sceptical, when they are unaware that changes are taking place.
During hypnotherapy, the therapist will use a variety of techniques to help the client relax and enter a state of hypnosis. These techniques may include guided imagery, relaxation exercises, and positive suggestions.
What is the evidence?
There is a small amount of experimental evidence to suggest that hypnotherapy can be effective for anxiety. A 2019 meta-analysis of 18 studies found “the average participant treated with hypnosis improved more than about 84% of control participants.”
Most of the published research into hypnotherapy and anxiety focuses on case studies, rather than controlled experiments, so it it not surprising that hypnotherapy is not more widely recognised as a treatment for anxiety.
My own personal experience reflects that of the meta-analysis cited above – the majority of people I see in my clinic reduce or eliminate their anxiety within a few weeks, but there is a very small percentage that I have been unable to help.
Concerns about hypnotherapy
Some common concerns about hypnotherapy are:
- Loss of control. Some people are concerned that they will lose control of themselves during hypnosis. Wrong! In hypnosis, the client is still in control of their thoughts and actions.
- Being forced to do things against your will. Another common concern is that the client will be forced to do things against their will during hypnosis. Sorry to burst your illusions, but this too is wrong. The hypnotherapist can suggest things – but the client is in control of what they do all the time.
- Recalling past trauma. Some people are concerned that they will be forced to recall past traumas during hypnosis. I never ask people to recall past traumas. I am concerned with getting my clients into a good state than digging up the past.
Are you still sceptical about hypnotherapy?
If you are still sceptical about whether hypnotherapy can help your anxiety, I encourage you to do some more research. The evidence to suggest that hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety is growing, albeit slowly.
You might look at some of the independent reviews of my own treatment to see client’s views on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy on anxiety. (Search for “Google My Business Tim Maude Hypnotherapy” and follow the link to Reviews)
In the end, the only way you can tell how well hypnotherapy works to remove anxiety is to try it for yourself.
The efficacy of hypnosis as a treatment for anxiety
Tim Maude Hypnotherapy Reviews
Photo by MoniQue Rangell-Onwuegbuzia on Unsplash