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Meta-Analysis Shows Benefits of Hypnotherapy on PTS Symptoms

09 Feb

Investigators from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University, Fresno campus conducted a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of hypnotherapy techniques in reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress.

Altogether, 81 studies were reviewed for inclusion criteria. Only the outcomes of six studies representing 391 participants met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed for this report. 

Evaluation of effect sizes related to the PTS cluster symptoms of avoidance and intrusion, in addition to overall PTSD scores after hypnotherapy treatment, revealed that all studies showed hypnotherapy to have a positive impact on PTSD symptoms.

The overall Cohen's d was large (-1.18) and statistically significant (p < .001). Effect sizes varied based on study quality; however, they were large and statistically significant.

Using the classic fail-safe N to assess for publication bias, it was determined it would take 290 nonsignificant studies to nullify these findings.

Citation: O’Toole SK et al. A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotherapeutic Techniques in the Treatment of PTSD Symptoms. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2016 Feb;29(1):97-100. doi: 10.1002/jts.22077. Epub 2016 Feb 8 

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award