Researchers from the University of New South Wales find in a controlled study that CBT and CBT plus hypnosis significantly reduced symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder, and that the greater reduction was in the CBT plus hypnosis group.. Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, produced a controlled treatment study of hypnosis and cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT) for acute stress disorder (ASD).

Civilian trauma survivors (N=87) who met criteria for ASD were randomly assigned to 6 sessions of CBT, CBT combined with hypnosis (CBT-hypnosis), or supportive counseling (SC).

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.

In terms of treatment completers (n=69), fewer participants in the CBT and CBT-hypnosis groups met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder at posttreatment and 6-month follow-up than those in the SC 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. Copyright (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved

Citation: 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 and Clinical Psychology. 2005 Apr; 73 (2): pages 334-40. [email protected]