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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is hypnotherapy effective for OCD?

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  • Offers information and education advice about protecting mental health, mutual support and advocacy services. View Profile

     
    There are some medical professionals that will swear by hypnotherapy and similarly there are others that may find the treatment non-beneficial. Like all mental health interventions treating OCD is about striking a balance between pharmacotherapy and behavioural therapies which is tailored to each individual case.

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    Sherri Mulconry

    Hypnotherapist

    I combine Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Counselling and offer programs to help you release the automatic negative thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back from … View Profile

    Hypnotherapy can be effective for OCD. OCD is generally an anxiety issue and as such by learning how to manage your anxieties through hypnotherapy you can then establish new healthy patterns of behaviour. As with any therapy, different people can experience different degrees of change with hypnotherapy. The key is to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and is a good fit for you.

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    Anthony Berrick

    Psychologist

    There is no doubt that hypnotherapy may be effective for some people, but like any treatment approach it will not work for everyone.

    The Australian Psychological Society publishes a scientific review of evidence-based psychological interventions (including hypnotherapy) for mental disorders every few years. In the latest edition, on the evidence for OCD interventions, it states:

    There is Level I evidence for cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and Level II evidence for self-help (primarily CBT-based) in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults. One study with a small sample size provided Level IV evidence for acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In the current review, there was insufficient evidence to indicate that any of the remaining interventions were effective.

    N.B.: Level I is the highest level of evidence.

    So it's pretty clear that the evidence strongly supports CBT as an effective treatment for OCD. This is not to say that other approaches are not effective, just that there is currently insufficient evidence (i.e. large, scientific studies) to demonstrate their effectiveness.

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