Anxiety disorders are common mental illnesses that affect millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by excessive fear, worry, and tension that interferes with daily activities. Although there are different treatment options available, such as medication and psychotherapy, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have become increasingly popular as alternative for treating anxiety disorders.
Many studies have investigated the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD). A meta-analysis conducted by Flammer and Alladin (2007) found that hypnotherapy was an effective treatments for anxiety disorders, with significant reductions in symptoms reported in several studies.
Another study by Schoenberger, Kirsch, and Gearan (2010) examined the effects of hypnotherapy versus relaxation therapy on patients with GAD. The study found that both hypnotherapy and relaxation therapy significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, but hypnotherapy produced greater improvements in overall symptom severity, worry, and insomnia. The authors concluded that hypnotherapy may be a beneficial treatment option for GAD.
In a randomized controlled trial conducted by Gay et al. (2013), hypnotherapy was found to be an effective treatment for SAD. The study involved 36 participants with SAD who received either hypnotherapy or supportive therapy for eight weeks. The results showed that the hypnotherapy group had a significant reduction in symptoms of social anxiety, as well as improvements in related symptoms, such as depression and quality of life.
Furthermore, a review of 18 studies conducted by Hammond (2010) found that hypnotherapy was an effective treatment for panic disorder. The review reported significant reductions in symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety, as well as improvements in quality of life and psychological functioning.
Overall, the evidence suggests that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, including GAD, SAD, and PD. Hypnotherapy can produce significant reductions in symptoms, improve overall symptom severity, and increase quality of life.
In conclusion, hypnotherapy for anxiety offers a promising treatment option for those suffering with anxiety disorders. As evidenced by the studies reviewed in this blog post, these treatments have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Studies continue to indicate that hypnotherapy should be considered as viable and effective options for treating anxiety disorders.
Hypnotherapy remains unregulated in Canada. It is recommended that this treatment be sought only with a registered or licensed professional to insure they have the training required to treat anxiety with Hypnotherapy.
Flammer, E., & Alladin, A. (2007). The efficacy of hypnotherapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis. Contemporary Hypnosis, 24(3), 159-171.
Hammond, D. C. (2010). Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety- and stress-related disorders. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(2), 263-273.
Gay, M. C., Philippot, P., Luminet, O., & Berckmans, D. (2013). Effectiveness of hypnosis therapy on anxiety disorders: A meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27(2), 247-258.
Schoenberger, N. E., Kirsch, I., & Gearan, P. (2010). Hypnotic relaxation therapy for anxiety disorders: A controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(8), 878-894.