The Medical and Scientific Approval

‘Gather all these remedies together; numbers will win’. (Ovid, Remedia Amoris)

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) uncovered as one of the most evidence based therapeutic interventions, available today in the field of psychology and psychotherapy. The range of research in the area of psychological therapy goes back 50 years. Thousands of clinical and experimental research conducted in the area. Recent research includes brain-imaging data, clinical trials and laboratory experiments to name but a few.

The therapy gained recognition by the British Medical Association and the American Medical Association in the 1950’s. It is recognised by the American Psychological Association, The British Psychological Society and is used by the NHS.

In 2001, The British Psychological Society, commissioned expert psychologists to publish a report entitled The Nature of Hypnosis. The aim was to investigate hypnosis, its applications and practice, in a variety of contexts such as clinical purposes, academic research, training and forensic investigation. The report begins by stating ‘Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium’. The research went on to state that ‘…the inclusion of hypnotic procedures …beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy’.

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy integrates social, cognitive and behavioural psychology. Alladin (2008) refers to empirical research, including meta-analysis, which found increased effectiveness in incorporating hypnosis with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Noteworthy to mention, the majority of protocol and strategies of CBT were in fact devised in hypnotherapy. The traditional methods of hypnotherapy frequently viewed as a precursor to CBT.

Importantly, research conducted in the area (e.g. Kirsch et al 1995, 1996) found that for between 70% – 90% of participants, cognitive and behavioural therapies were more effective when incorporating hypnosis i.e. for the majority of participants Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy was more effective than Cognitive Behavioural Therapy alone.

‘Meta-analyses have established that different psychotherapies have different outcomes. Cognitive-behavioural therapies are significantly more effective than psychodynamic therapies, and their superiority increases when long-term follow-up is assessed. Hypnosis enhances the efficacy of both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy’. (Kirsch, 1996)

In sum, CBH is an integrated psychological therapy employing cognitive behavioural techniques and protocols utilising hypnosis to increase the therapy’s effectiveness. It can potentially aid one in coping effectively with life’s difficulties, developing psychological resilience and achieving long-term gains.

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