Hypnosis in the Treatment of Anxiety- And Stress-Related Disorders

Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 Feb;10(2):263-73. doi: 10.1586/ern.09.140.

Abstract

Self-hypnosis training represents a rapid, cost-effective, nonaddictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions. Here we provide a review of the experimental literature on the use of self-hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders, including anxiety associated with cancer, surgery, burns and medical/dental procedures. An overview of research is also provided with regard to self-hypnotic treatment of anxiety-related disorders, such as tension headaches, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome. The tremendous volume of research provides compelling evidence that hypnosis is an efficacious treatment for state anxiety (e.g., prior to tests, surgery and medical procedures) and anxiety-related disorders, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. Although six studies demonstrate changes in trait anxiety, this review recommends that further randomized controlled outcome studies are needed on the hypnotic treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and in documenting changes in trait anxiety. Recommendations are made for selecting clinical referral sources.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*