Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

What is cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnotic states and or language for the use of forms of psychotherapy. CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy is one such form of psychotherapy.

Hypnosis is the use of either methods from Mesmer or Braid. Mesmer is more associated with spirituality, showmanship and “magic” since it uses flowery terminology and slight of hand.  In contrast James Braid was a physician who was only interested in clinical applications.

Braid’s use of hypnosis uses focus and attention and could not be farther from the silly dramatic nonsense employed by entertainers. It is clinical, focused and strictly a form of therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a 20th century product, which aims to have a practical and evidenced based approach. Sometimes criticised as a “one fits all” or “cold” approach, it does however have a great deal of clinical evidence supporting it, and is very useful in the appropriate cases.

Golden et al (1987 cited in Robertson 2013 p14) gives a clinical description of cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy as “A generic term for cognitive behavioural approaches to hypnotherapy. CBH methods are based on the premise that most psychological disturbance results from a destructive type of self hypnosis that has been termed negative self hypnosis by Araoz. He explained that negative thinking, and imagining are hypnoticlike when they are accepted without critical evaluation. The CBH client is shown how the content of negative self hypnosis, self defeating thoughts and images, can be changed through the corrective process of positive self hypnosis.”  In other words we are being subjected to a hypnosis like experience every day when we are bombarded by ideas, thoughts and images, often those we rehearse in our minds. This creates a kind of negative or destructive hypnotic effect or programming. CBH seeks to undo and replace this with something fit for purpose and helpful.

Analytic Hypnotherapy

CBASP Cognitive Behavioural Analysis

Does Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy work?

This is perhaps not quite the correct answer. Because CBH combines CBT and hypnotherapy, we first have to consider these separately.

Firstly hypnotherapy: NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommend hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Anxiety UK recommend it for anxiety, phobias, fears and panic. Flammer & Bongartz (2003, cited in Robertson 2013 p15) carried out a meta analysis of 57 high quality randomised controlled trials of the use of hypnosis. Overall positive results were identified in a wide range of conditions. Anxiety stood out, but also included were Tinnitus, Insomnia, Duodenal ulceration, Enuresis, Asthma, Warts, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronis and recurrent headaches, Hypertension, Smoking, Test anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Quality of life and care following surgery, Post operative vomiting (after breast surgery), Blood Loss / pressure in maxillofacial surgery, Analgesia during labour, Osteoarthritic pain, care of third molar surgery patients, healing process in bone fractures, local anaesthesia, post operative recovery (open heart surgery), analgesia / reducing unnecessary movement in ophthalmic surgery, improvement of postoperative course in children, analgesia in interventional radiological procedures, analgesia for invasive medical processes, distress / pain in breast biopsy patients, treatment of burn pain, procedural pain during burn pain, chemotherapy-related nausea / vomiting in children, pain distress and anxiety in children undergoing bone marrow aspiration, pain / nausea during cancer treatment, chemotherapy distress in children with cancer.   It should be noted that many of these are MANAGEMENT of condition based and not “treatments”, and it is likely perhaps that it is partly stress and anxiety reduction that improves the patient condition.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:  CBT is one of the most heavily researched and recommended therapy models today. NICE recommend cognitive behavioural psychology based methods for virtually every form of mental health condition. Anxiety UK recommend it for Anxiety, panic attacks and phobias. A simple google search will provide vast quantities of evidence.

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, or the use of Cognitive behavioural therapy methods in combination with hypnosis techniques enables the treatment of all those conditions that respond to CBT, but also using elements of hypnosis. Studies including Shoenberger et al 1997, Bryant et al 2005, and Kirsh et al 1995, cited in Robertson 2013 p16) all indicate a better efficiency or effectiveness combining hypnosis and CBT (cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy) than CBT alone.

In other words: Hypnotherapy works, CBT works and the combination, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy works even better according to the above mentioned studies.

Alladin et al (2007) showed a better reduction in adult depression with CBH than general psychotherapy.  Golden (2012) showed a reduction in adult anxiety at least as good as other CBT methods. Pirirani et al (2019) showed reduction in intrusive thoughts with a group of women with breat cancer.

Alladin, A., & Alibhai, A. (2007). Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression: An Empirical Investigation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 55(2), 147–166.

Golden, W. L. (2012). Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54(4), 263–274.

Pirirani, S., Soleimankhani, H., Motamedi Shalamzari, A., & Sayyad, S. (2019). The Effectiveness of Cognitive Hypnotherapy on Reduction of Intrusive Thoughts, Avoidance, Hyper arousal and Pain Intensity and Improvement of Quality of Life in Women with Breast Cancer. Contemporary Psychology, Biannual Journal of the Iranian Psychological Association, 13(2), 99–108.

What should I consider Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy for?

it is important to note that most integrative or multi modal therapists do not just use one methods, nor so they treat “conditions”, they work with human beings who happen to have “conditions”.  However if choosing a core model, cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy could legitimately be considered for any condition where hypnotherapy, CBT or CBH has a clinical recommendation (such as NICE) or where there is clinical evidence. Further combined with mindfulness, such as the work by Michael Yapko on combining hypnotherapy and mindfulness, or when provided alongside MBSR, mindfulness or MBCT (all of which have comprehensive research evidence and clinical recommendation), the efficiency and appropriateness increases in range and scope. So far as the evidence above shows, anxiety, depression and intrusive thoughts are evidenced as suitable issues to treat.

Why choose Stuart for Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

Since 1993 Stuart has been providing cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy, clinical hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural analysis, psychodynamic analysis and humanistic psychotherapy in a multi modal integrative combination. His training and accreditation have specifically addressed CBH, CBT and integrative models of psychotherapy (psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and humanistic). Stuart is fully accredited and registered with the NACHP and NCP. He is also subject to “right touch” regulation via the CNHC Professional Standards Authority Accredited Registered under hypnotherapy.

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Robertson, D (2013) “The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.  A manual for Evidence Based Clinical Hypnosis“. Karnac Books.

Key words:
CBH, CBT, CBA, cognitive behavioural hypnosis, cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, self hypnosis, hypnosis for change, change hypnosis, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, therapy, therapist, hypnotist, hypnotherapist, hypnosnalyst, hypnoanalysis, trance, anxiety, depression, mental health, clinical therapy, PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk.

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