The underlying assumption for cognitive-behavorial hypnotherapy is that depression, anxiety and anger are all negative emotional reactions stemming from ingrained thought processes and beliefs. A cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapist can guide patients to examine and re-evaluate thought patterns and beliefs to develop positive emotional responses that change these negative reactions. Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy changes thinking into an adaptive form of thinking and coping.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy?

Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy stresses the role of thinking in how people feel, behave and respond to events. This form of hypnotherapy combines hypnosis with behavioral psychology. It operates on the assumption that people aren’t affected by traumatic life events, as much as they are by the way they perceive the events.

This method differs from other methods of hypnotherapy. Instead of focusing on suggestion or the root cause of traumatic events, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on reaching the subconscious mind to turn negative views of a particular event into positive ones, thus changing the emotional responses and behavior.

History of Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy

The origins of cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy can be traced to Joseph Wolpe’s (1915-1997) “hypnotic desensitization” in the late 1940s. It was derived from the traditional form of hypnotherapy, focusing on relaxation combined with positive thoughts and imagery in hypnotherapy.

More recently, Theodore Barber (1927-2005) and his collaborators published a work in 1974 that coined the term “cognitive-behavioral” to describe this form of hypnotherapy. Barber’s work led to numerous studies in the 1980s through today and its application by hypnotherapists.

Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy Techniques

In cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy, hypnotherapists help patients to identify thought processes and beliefs underlying their negative emotional and behavioral responses. Hypnotherapists then assist patients in challenging the embedded negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts that allow them to accept and cope with new behaviors and thought patterns.

Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy is clinically proven to be effective in helping patients with depression, anxiety, anger, shame and guilt in a relatively short time period.

Choosing Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy

Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy is beneficial for treating disorders such as depression and anxiety in a short amount of time. However, it tends to be less effective against unhealthy habits or addictions since it doesn’t focus on the root cause that led to them. The best way to determine whether this form of hypnotherapy is appropriate for a particular goal is to consult an accredited hypnotherapist who can help guide patients to the correct form of hypnotherapy for their specific needs.


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 Posted on : June 12, 2014