How Effective is Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Depression?

Depression is a serious mental disorder affecting millions of individuals worldwide. It is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, feeling hopeless or helpless, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Depression can lead to severe health complications and may even lead to death. Therefore, it is essential to combat depression using effective treatment options. One such option is hypnotherapy.

Many research findings demonstrate that hypnotherapy is a useful treatment for depression. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis found that hypnotherapy had a significant improvement in symptoms of depression compared to a control group receiving only standard care (Miller et al., 2017).

Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis reported that hypnotherapy helped reduce depressive symptoms in individuals with mild to moderate depression (Alladin et al., 2016). In this study, the researchers used cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy independently or in combination. The study found that the group receiving both CBT and hypnotherapy had significant improvements in depression compared to those who only received CBT.

A meta-analysis of 18 studies examining the impact of hypnosis on depression reported that hypnosis is an effective treatment option for depression. This analysis found that hypnosis provided an immediate improvement in depression symptoms and that these improvements were maintained for up to six months after treatment (van der Velden et al., 2018).

In conclusion, research indicates that hypnotherapy appears to be a highly effective treatment option for depression. Research shows that hypnotherapy can help reduce depressive symptoms and improve the quality of life or someone suffering from depression.

At the time of this writing, hypnotherapy remains an unregulated therapy in Canada. Sessions should only be sought with a registered or licensed therapist to insure they have the professional training and experience required to treat depression with hypnotherapy. ARCH Canada is a registering association with the highest standards for membership in North America.


Alladin, A., Alibhai, A., & Dhillon, A. (2016). Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 17(1), 1–10.

Miller, C. L., Freedland, K. E., & Carney, R. M. (2017). Hypnosis Intervention for Depression: Does Hypnosis Work? American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 60(3), 236–247.

van der Velden, A. M. T., van der Helm, E., & Evers, S. M. A. A. (2018). Hypnosis for depression: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 240, 146–156.