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The additive benefit of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating acute stress disorder.

23 May
This new study out of Australia compares the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Hypnosis plus CBT, and supportive counseling for reducing the symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder for 87 survivors of civilian traumas..
This research represents the first controlled treatment study of hypnosis and cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT) for acute stress disorder (ASD), which essentially has the same set of symptoms as PTSD, but they occur within the first few months of the traumatic event(s) and can either persist and become what is known as PTSD, or they can subside on their own.

Civilian trauma survivors (N = 87) who met criteria for ASD were randomly allocated 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 supportive counseling 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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Citation: Bryant, Richard A.; Moulds, Michelle L.; Guthrie, Rachel M.; Nixon, Reginald D. V. The Additive Benefit of Hypnosis and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Treating Acute Stress Disorder by from Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2005 Apr Vol 73(2) 334-340.
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