Considering hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety?

If you are considering hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety there are a few things you may want to know, such as:

  • What to expect
  • Does it work
  • How to get the right therapist


What to expect of hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety?

There are numerous approaches to the treatment of anxiety within hypnotherapy so it is almost impossible to say how a particular therapist will approach you. This is because most hypnotherapists actually use techniques and approaches from different types of psychotherapy and use the hypnosis to enhance their effectiveness. For example, a hypnotherapist may combine Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with hypnosis to help embed new beliefs into the unconscious mind. Some of this will depend on the therapists training and some on what they think will work for you.

Be assured that no one will attempt to ‘shock’ you into a cure or hypnotise you without your consent.


Does hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety work?

Put simply yes! Nothing works for everyone all the time but there is a wealth of evidence to show that hypnotherapy has a good record of success as a treatment for anxiety (Coelho, Canter, Ernst 2007), specifically with;

  • Chronic illness related anxieties (Genius 1995)
  • Test anxiety (Baker 1995)
  • Pre-operative anxiety (Absenger et al 2012)
  • Dental and medical phobias (Willemsen 2002).
  • Phobias (Morgan 2001, Hartman 2010).
  • Panic (Wild, 1994, 川嶋新二. 2012).


How to get the right therapist

To get the therapist who is right for you should consider

  • Are they a member of a professional body such as the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH)?
  • Do they talk about hypnotherapy as a treatment for anxiety on their website?
  • Do they have a broad set of skills (REBT, EMDR, Behavioural therapies); different skills are helpful with different types of anxiety.
treatment for anxiety
The author
Matt Krouwel is a hypnotherapist in Birmingham who specialises in the treatment of anxiety and related conditions.




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Baker, J., Ainsworth, H., Torgerson, C., & Torgerson, D. (2009). A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of hypnosis on exam anxiety. Effective Education, 1(1), 27-41.

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Genuis, M. L. (1995). The use of hypnosis in helping cancer patients control anxiety, pain, and emesis: a review of recent empirical studies. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 37(4), 316-325.

Hartman, D. (2010). The use of hypnosis in the treatment of driving phobia. Journal of Heart Centered Therapies, 13(1), 14-15.

Morgan, S. (2001). Hypnosis and simple phobia. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 29(1), 17-25.

Wild, A. J. (1994). Hypnosis as an adjunct in the treatment of panic disorder. Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis.

Willemsen, R. (2002). [Hypnosis technics used to diminish anxiety and fear: review of the literature]. Revue belge de medecine dentaire, 58(2), 99-104.

川嶋新二. (2012). The effectiveness of hypnosis for patients with panic disorder: Two case studies. 東京医科大学雑誌, 70(3), 341-350.