A randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of clinical hypnosis versus cognitive behavioral (CB) coping skills training in alleviating the pain and distress of 30 pediatric cancer patients (age 5 to 15 years) undergoing bone marrow aspirations. Patients were randomized to one of three groups: hypnosis, a package of CB coping skills, and no intervention. Patients who received either hypnosis or CB reported less pain and pain-related anxiety than did control patients and less pain and anxiety than at their own baseline. Hypnosis and CB were similarly effective in the relief of pain. Results also indicated that children reported more anxiety and exhibited more behavioral distress in the CB group than in the hypnosis group. It is concluded that hypnosis and CB coping skills are effective in preparing pediatric oncology patients for bone marrow aspiration.