Clinical Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Cognitive Behavior Therapy: An Updated Meta-Analysis

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2021 Apr-Jun;69(2):169-202. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2021.1877549. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


In 1995, Kirsch and colleagues published an influential meta-analysis (k = 20, N = 577) which found that CBT enhanced with hypnosis (CBTH) was superior to CBT alone by at least d = .53. However, a lack of full replication and the emergence of new empirical studies prompted this updated analysis. A total of 48 post- (N = 1,928) and 25 follow-up treatments (N = 1,165) were meta-analyzed. CBTH achieved small to medium but statistically significant advantages over CBT at posttreatment (dIGPP/d = .25 to .41), and specifically in the management of depressed mood and pain. At follow-up, there was a medium sized advantage for CBTH (dIGPP/d = .54 to .59), and specifically for the treatment of obesity. These results further support the adjunctive use of hypnosis as an enhancer of CBT's efficaciousness and endurance as a treatment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Obesity