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April 2007 - English PDF Print E-mail


The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 55, Number 2 - April 2007 - English


What we Ought to Mean by Empirical Validation in Hypnotherapy: Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Hypnosis
Assen Alladin, Linda Sabatini, and Jon K. Amundson

Abstract: This paper briefly surveys the trend of and controversy surrounding empirical validation in psychotherapy. Empirical validation of hypnotherapy has paralleled the practice of validation in psychotherapy and the professionalization of clinical psychology, in general. This evolution in determining what counts as evidence for bona fide clinical practice has gone from theory-driven clinical approaches in the 1960s and ‘70s through critical attempts at categorization of empirically supported therapies in the ‘90s on to the concept of evidence-based practice in 2006. Implications of this progression in professional psychology are discussed in the light of hypnosis’ current quest for validation and empirical accreditation.


Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression: An Empirical Investigation
Assen Alladin and Alisha Alibhai

Abstract: To investigate the effectiveness of cognitive hypnotherapy (CH), hypnosis combined with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), on depression, 84 depressives were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of treatment of either CH or CBT alone. At the end of treatment, patients from both groups significantly improved compared to baseline scores. However, the CH group produced significantly larger changes in Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Hopelessness Scale. Effect size calculations showed that the CH group produced 6%, 5%, and 8% greater reduction in depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, respectively, over and above the CBT group. The effect size was maintained at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. This study represents the first controlled comparison of hypnotherapy with a well-established psychotherapy for depression, meeting the APA criteria for a “probably efficacious” treatment for depression.


Cognitive Behavioral Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome–Induced Agoraphobia
William L. Golden

Abstract: There are a number of clinical reports and a body of research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Likewise, there exists research demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of IBS. However, there is little written about the integration of CBT and hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS and a lack of clinical information about IBS-induced agoraphobia. This paper describes the etiology and treatment of IBS-induced agoraphobia. Cognitive, behavioral, and hypnotherapeutic techniques are integrated to provide an effective cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) treatment for IBS-induced agoraphobia. This CBH approach for treating IBS-induced agoraphobia is described and clinical data are reported.


Review of the Efficacy of Clinical Hypnosis with Headaches and Migraines
D. Corydon Hammond

Abstract: The 12-member National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Panel on Integration of Behavioral and Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Insomnia (1996) reviewed outcome studies on hypnosis with cancer pain and concluded that research evidence was strong and that other evidence suggested hypnosis may be effective with some chronic pain, including tension headaches.  This paper provides an updated review of the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of headaches and migraines, concluding that it meets the clinical psychology research criteria for being a well-established and efficacious treatment and is virtually free of the side effects, risks of adverse reactions, and ongoing expense associated  with medication treatments.


Hypnotically Facilitated Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Can it Be Evidence-Based?
Claire Frederick

Abstract: There are extensive evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with medication, behavior therapy, and cognitive therapy. Nevertheless, there remain a significant percentage of patients whose symptoms are more or less refractory to standardized treatments. This situation could be rooted in the phenotypic heterogeneity of the disorder as well as in its high rates of comorbid psychopathology. Studies have also found OCD to be associated with higher levels of dissociation. This paper examines what may be needed to establish evidence-based hypnotically facilitated therapies for treatment-resistant OCD. It provides an introduction to the complexity of the treatment issues surrounding OCD and considers both possibilities for and obstacles to setting up an evidence-base for using hypnotically facilitated psychotherapies for its treatment.


Hypnosis and the Treatment of Posttraumatic Conditions: An Evidence-Based Approach
Steven Jay Lynn and Etzel Cardeña

Abstract: This article reviews the evidence for the use of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder. The review focuses on empirically supported principles and practices and suggests that hypnosis can be a useful adjunctive procedure in the treatment of posttraumatic conditions. Cognitive-behavioral and exposure-based interventions, which have the greatest empirical support, are highlighted, and an illustrative case study is presented.


Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy for Asthma: A Critical Review
Daniel Brown

Abstract: Asthma is a chronic disease with intermittent acute exacerbations, characterized by obstructed airways, hyperresponsiveness, and sometimes by chronic airway inflammation. Critically reviewing evidence primarily from controlled outcome studies on hypnosis for asthma shows that hypnosis is possibly efficacious for treatment of symptom severity and illness-related behaviors and is efficacious for managing emotional states that exacerbate airway obstruction. Hypnosis is also possibly efficacious for decreasing airway obstruction and stabilizing airway hyperresponsiveness in some individuals, but there is insufficient evidence that hypnosis affects asthma’s inflammatory process. Promising research needs to be replicated with larger samples and better designs with careful attention paid to the types of hypnotic suggestions given. The critical issue is not so much whether it is used but how it is used. Future outcome research must address the relative contribution of expectancies, hypnotizability, hypnotic induction, and specific suggestions.

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