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Hypnosis, Phobias, and Anxiety

A review of research exploring the use of hypnotherapy in the treatment of anxiety conducted by the Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kansas, concluded that hypnotherapy and training in self-hypnosis can help persons achieve remarkable success in alleviating anxiety, not only in anxiety disorders such as phobias, generalized anxiety, and posttraumatic stress, but also in any problem involving anxiety. It provides relief through improved self-regulation and also beneficially affects cognition and the experience of self-mastery. For example, a rapid hypnotic desensitization technique successfully eliminated a hospital phobia for a pregnant woman after five 30 minute sessions and eliminated needle phobia in two dental patients.

  • Morse, D. R. & Cohen, B. B. Desensitization using meditation-hypnosis to control "needle" phobia in two dental patients. Anesth Prog. 1983; 30(3):83-5.
  • Waxman D. Hospital phobia: a rapid desensitization technique. Postgrad Med J. 1978; 54(631):328-30.
  • Smith, W. H. Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety. Bull Menninger Clin. 1990; 54(2): 209-216. Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kansas, USA.

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