Hypnosis and Depression:
In the short term, psychotherapies for depression may reduce depressive symptomatology. However, after about one year of follow-up, only 25% of treated individuals in large scale random controlled trials (RCTs) continue to be non-depressed (Roth & Fonagy, 2005). Hypnotherapy coupled with psychotherapy can improve short and long term results.
To investigate the effectiveness of cognitive hypnotherapy (CH), hypnosis combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), on depression, 84 depressives were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of treatment of either hypnosis combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) CH or CBT alone. At the end of treatment, patients from both groups significantly improved compared to baseline scores. However, the CH group produced significantly larger changes in Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Hopelessness Scale.The effect size was maintained at 6month and 12month followups. This study represents the first controlled comparison of hypnotherapy with a well-established psychotherapy for depression, meeting the APA criteria for a "probably efficacious" treatment for depression.
Aspects of hypnosis that are particularly useful are:
build positive expectancy regarding treatment
address numerous depressive symptoms (including insomina and rumination)
modify patterns of self organization (conitive, response, atentional, and perceptual style) that contribute to depressed thinking nd mood
the development of coping skills
augmenting interpersonal psychotherapy
enhancing cognitive behavior therapy
INT J CLIN EXP HYPN. 2007 APR;55(2):14766. COGNITIVE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR DEPRESSION: AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION. ALLADIN A , ALIBHAI A
MCCANN, B. AND LANDES, S. HYPNOSIS IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION: CONSIDERATIONS IN RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS. INT J CLIN EXP HYPN. 2010 APR; 58(2): 147–164.
ROTH A, FONAGY P. WHAT WORKS FOR WHOM? A CRITICAL REVIEW OF PSYCHOTHERAPY RESEARCH. NEW YORK: GUILFORD; 2005.
YAPKO MD. TREATING DEPRESSION WITH HYPNOSIS: INTEGRATING COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL AND STRATEGIC APPROACHES. NEW YORK: BRUNNER/ROUTLEDGE; 2001.
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