Research for Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Reduction

The following articles are presented as a sample of evidence on the efficacy of hypnosis for anxiety reduction. This list includes some specific types of anxiety and is not meant to be comprehensive. There are many other studies available on hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The exact usage of techniques as outlined in the evidence presented below is neither expressed nor implied. We also do not diagnose or treat physical or mental diseases or disorders, nor do we hold ourselves out to offer these services.

Access to the full text of some articles listed below may be behind paywalls as is customary for access to evidence-based research studies.

“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Hypnosis as Treatment Methods for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Modalities such as hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness have been shown by clinicians to improve symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) when used as individual treatments. This article describes the integration of these 3 treatment methods as a treatment protocol and discusses the efficacy of an integrative approach.

“The effects of using hypnosis for treating anxiety in outpatients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.”

“Positive effects of medical hypnosis on test anxiety in first year medical students.” This study describes the use of hypnosis on medical students who were suffering from test anxiety. There was a significant reduction between assessments withing the group of students who received hypnosis vs the control group.

“Effectiveness of a cognitive -behavioral therapy for public speaking anxiety.”

This research was conducted by a licensed therapist who was compensated for their work. A subscription or other purchase may be required to access the full text of these articles published on third-party websites.

Research on the effectiveness of NLP

The two books below are available on Amazon and lay out the evidence for the effectiveness of NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming). These books were written by PhD researchers and practitioners of these techniques.

“The Clinical Effectiveness of Neurolinguistic Programming: A Critical Appraisal (Advances in Mental Health Research)” 1st Edition
by Lisa Wake (Editor), Richard Gray (Editor), Frank Bourke (Editor)
“In this book international academics, researchers and therapists are brought together to examine the current evidence of the clinical efficacy of NLP techniques, considering how NLP can be effective in facilitating change, enrichment and symptom relief.” – Amazon

This book presents a survey of research into the effectiveness of NLP techniques, and how it is used to treat various disorders including post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety disorders, mild depression, and phobias.

“Resolve A new Model of Therapy” by Dr. Richard Bolstad
“The RESOLVE framework provides structure to NLP’s brief therapy approach to personal change.”- Amazon

This book presents a framework for change and examines evidence for the effectiveness of NLP techniques plus how they relate to evidence created for similar disciplines.

Research for Anxiety Rapid Relief Kit Tools

The Anxiety Rapid Relief Kit is a set of the simplest effective tools that I make available for my clients. There are 5 techniques described in the headlines below, along with evidence researched independently by a licensed therapist.

Begin with the Body- Pattern Interrupt

The harmful impacts of stress, negative emotions, and the dominance of the sympathetic nervous system can be alleviated through various meditation, relaxation, and breathing practices. This study found that incorporating these breathing techniques into both primary and additional treatments may effectively address stress, anxiety, depression, and certain emotional disorders.

This study examined nursing students, who often feel anxious and that anxiety could potentially hinder their learning experience. This study explored the use of progressive muscle relaxation as a strategy to reduce this anxiety. The study found that engaging in progressive muscle relaxation proved beneficial in enhancing communication skills and cognitive performance.

Individuals with a predisposition for anxiety often adopt a closed body posture during communication, reflecting a physical manifestation of the mental distress associated with such interactions. This closed stance, when persistent, exacerbates the speaker’s anxiety, contributing to a cycle of heightened worry and communication challenges. This study focused on finding if open body posture could have the reverse affect. The research found that shifting to an open body posture had a positive impact on both foreign language anxiety and general anxiety, breaking the cycle and improving overall communication experiences.

Evidence from this study on spontaneous smiles as well as those where smiles were intentionally induced consistently indicates that smiling can offer several health-related advantages. These include positive effects on our physiological responses during acute stress, enhanced recovery from stress, and a long-term reduction in the risk of illness.

Negative Emotion Detachment

This study found that being able to consciously control and manage emotions is crucial for adjusting behavior according to changing environmental situations and easing personal distress. The study demonstrates that employing a cognitive approach, specifically the strategy of detachment, can lessen both the subjective and physiological indicators of anticipatory anxiety related to pain. Additionally, it reduces the overall reactivity to experiencing pain.

The study aimed to compare two techniques, cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion, for dealing with personally relevant negative thoughts. Participants used one of these strategies or a control approach over a 5-day period. Before and after the intervention, participants rated the believability, discomfort, negativity, and willingness to experience the negative thought. The results showed that cognitive defusion was more effective than both the control and cognitive restructuring in reducing believability, increasing comfort and willingness to experience the negative thought, and enhancing positive affect. In summary, the findings support the effectiveness of using cognitive defusion as a strategy for managing negative thoughts.

This study found that taking on a third-person perspective tends to be linked with a decrease in the intensity of both positive and negative emotions. Research incorporating measures of semantic change indicates that this shift in perspective is a crucial factor in diminishing emotional intensity. Deliberately adopting a “distanced” third-person viewpoint is connected to a reduction in the strength of emotions, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

Mental Self Direction Strategies

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been extensively researched as a non-drug-based method for addressing social anxiety disorder, and its effectiveness has been confirmed through numerous studies.

In conclusion, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) proves to be a successful method for addressing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It is the preferred treatment for individuals who cannot undergo pharmacotherapy or those who express a preference for a psychotherapeutic approach

A controlled trial was carried out to examine how a short mindfulness-based intervention influenced the frequency and difficulty of letting go of anxious self-statements. Both groups showed improvement in mean scores from before to after the intervention.

The Positive Spin

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) stands out as a highly successful and widely acknowledged treatment for disorders linked to anxiety and stress. CBT employs distinct strategies to address detrimental thoughts, emotions, and actions that have been identified as contributors to the development and perpetuation of anxiety.

Positive Emotion Replacement

Happiness, which encompasses life satisfaction, coping abilities, and positive emotions, serves as a predictor for favorable outcomes across various aspects of life. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive emotions play a crucial role in helping individuals accumulate enduring resources. The link between positive emotions and heightened life satisfaction is mediated by a change in resilience. This implies that individuals who experience happiness don’t just feel better, but they also develop resources that contribute to a more fulfilling life.

Guided imagery (GI) has demonstrated effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of anxiety. Research suggests that interventions incorporating imagery related to nature are successful in managing anxiety, offering the additional advantages of cost-effectiveness and easy accessibility.

Positive affect (PA) has been observed to reduce the negative impact of stress reactions. However, this beneficial aspect of positive affect is not frequently explored in psychiatric conditions marked by heightened emotional responses. In this study, all participants elevated positive affect was linked to a notable decrease in anticipatory anxiety and reduced anxiety-related behavior. This effect persisted even after considering the level of negative affect. Conversely, lower negative affect was associated with a lessened sense of anticipatory anxiety.

In this study, different methods were explored to diminish excessive worrying in individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Participants were assigned to conditions where they either substituted their typical worries with mental images of positive outcomes or expressed the positive outcomes verbally. The findings indicate that replacing worry with various forms of positive thinking, even if unrelated to the specific content of the worry, yielded similar positive effects. This suggests that any form of positive thinking can effectively counteract worry.