Research: BRYANT and others,

Listed in Issue 126


BRYANT and others, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, report on the additive benefits of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioural therapy in acute stress.


The aim of the study was to conduct a controlled treatment study of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) of acute stress disorder.


87 trauma survivors who met criteria for acute stress disorder were randomly allocated to 6 sessions of CBT, CBT combined with hypnosis (CBT-hypnosis), or supportive counselling. CBT comprised exposure, cognitive restructuring, and anxiety management. CBT-hypnosis comprised the CBT components with each imaginal exposure preceded by a hypnotic induction and suggestions to engage fully in the exposure.


Of 69 participants who completed the course, fewer in the CBT and CBT-hypnosis groups met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder at post treatment and 6-month follow-up than those in the supportive counselling group. CBT-hypnosis resulted in greater reduction in re-experiencing symptoms at post treatment than CBT.


These findings suggest that hypnosis may have use in facilitating the treatment effects of CBT for posttraumatic stress.


Bryant RA, Moulds ML, Guthrie RM, Nixon RD. The additive benefit of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating acute stress disorder. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 73 (2): 334-340, Apr 2005.

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