Chronic daily headache: helping adolescents help themselves with self-hypnosis

Am J Clin Hypn. 2011 Jul;54(1):32-46. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2011.566767.


Although the evidence is clear that hypnosis has been an effective treatment for recurrent headaches in children, review of the literature revealed no previous reports of hypnosis for youth with the condition of chronic daily headache. Two adolescents with continuing chronic daily headaches were taught self-hypnosis through careful attention to individual strengths and finding the hypnotic elements within the clinical encounters. Self-reports of intensity, frequency, and duration of headaches described substantial benefit from learning and practicing self-hypnosis after little to no benefit from pharmacologic and other nonpharmacologic therapies. These results and analogous success with several other adolescents with chronic daily headache support the further use of self-hypnosis training for this condition. As a self-regulation technique that is quickly and easily learned by most young people, self-hypnosis training holds considerable promise for effectively treating and perhaps preventing chronic daily headaches in children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Autogenic Training / methods*
  • Headache Disorders / psychology
  • Headache Disorders / therapy*
  • Helplessness, Learned
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Male
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Suggestion