Is hypnotherapy good for anxiety? No, it’s bad for anxiety, but good for you.
I am a clinical Hypnotherapist and the majority of my clients come to me because they are affected by anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is the main issue they come to see me about. Sometimes the main issue is something else, like Fibromyalgia, pain management or relationship problems, quitting smoking. But anxiety may still be playing a role, predisposing someone to be affected conditions like pain, or being stressed at work. In all the years I’ve worked as a therapist I dont believe anyone I’ve treated for anxiety hasn’t benefited. The simple act of being in a relaxing environment and a listening ear can be hugely beneficial, and that’s before we get to the actual therapy!
So if someone is considering treatment for their anxiety they might ask questions like these.
“Does hypnotherapy work for anxiety?”.
My answer will be, in a nutshell, yes. While I can’t offer you a guarantee any more than your GP can when they prescribe a pill, I can say in my experience yes, and that’s backed by scientific evidence.
What is the success rate of hypnosis for anxiety?
I generally say the overall success rate for hypnotherapy varies depending on a number of factors, but is around 70% across all the the various things I treat (that’s higher than many medical treatments) But for anxiety the success rate is higher, more like 75 to 90%. By this I mean between 75 and 95 people in every 100 treated feel a significant improvement in their quality of life.
So that’s my success rate, and the success rate for the treatment. That is the quantitative result.
The second significant thing to consider is, what is the percentage improvement for the individual in their condition / symptoms. That’s the Qualitative result, which is more complex to research. I haven’t yet done my own research on this, so here I rely on ther research conducted by others in research establishments such as universities and foundations.
A well respected and validated scientific study found ‘At the end of active treatment, 17 trials produced a mean weighted effect size of 0.79 (p ≤ . 001), indicating the average participant receiving hypnosis reduced anxiety more than about 79% of control participants. Click the link to see more details of the study.
That’s not the only relevant research
In fact, a study analysis from 1970 found hypnosis to have a 93 percent success rate, with fewer sessions needed than both psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. “This led researchers to believe that, for changing habits, thought patterns, and behavior, hypnosis was the most effective method,”.
This meta-analysis of hypnosis research studies was conducted by Alfred A. Barrios, which led to the mainstream acceptance of hypnosis as an extremely effective form of therapy. https://hypnotherapy-now.co.uk/news/research/hypnosis-better-success-rate-type-therapy/
Barrios compared 1,018 studies and articles on hypnosis, 899 articles on psychoanalytic therapy and 355 on behavioural therapy. In particular he noted the overall lasting success rates of the different therapies.
He found that hypnotherapy had a massive 93% success rate after only 6 sessions compared to only a 72% success rate with behavioral therapy (after 22 sessions on average), and only 38% success rate with psychotherapy (after an average of 600 sessions).
How long does it take for hypnosis to work for anxiety?
Typically for anxiety and stress related issues, a minimum of 4- 8 sessions are required, sometimes more perhaps 12 to get you where you want to be. But this will be over a long period, not all at once like DBT or Freudian analysis. Which in my view makes it more emotionally nurturing and affordable! I believe this is born out by the research findings.
So in summary, I believe Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety, probably more effective than other talking therapies. Science backs this up. If you would like to read the science give me a call and I can probably direct you to lots of research. Or just book you an appointment and show you.