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Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments.

15 Sep

Meta-analysis at the University of Connecticut reveals that, not only does hypnosis/imagery double weight loss when added to a behavioral program, but the benefits escalate substantially over time.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut at Storrs ran a third meta-analysis of the effect of adding hypnosis to a behavioral program for weight reduction. They collected data from 2 more studies, and corrected for computational inaccuracies in the 2 previous meta-analyses. Just as with the Canyon Ranch pilot study with our Weight Loss imagery, it continues to look like adding a right brain intervention like hypnosis and/or imagery to a behavioral program will double weight loss.

Averaged across posttreatment and follow-up assessment periods from all the studies, the mean weight loss was 6.00 lbs. (2.72 kg) without hypnosis and 11.83 lbs. (5.37 kg) with hypnosis.

The mean effect size of this difference was 0.66 SD (standard deviations) Correlational analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time (r = .74).

Citation: Kirsch I. Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments--another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology. 1996 Jun; 64(3): pages 517-9.
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