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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is hypnotherapy an effective treatment for anxiety/ocd?

    Is hypnotherapy an effective treatment for anxiety/ocd? I have had many surgeries and loss in the last 10 years and feel that my anxiety/OCD has started since.
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  • 2


    Stephen Lockley


    Stephen will soon be returning from lecturing in the UK on his eclectic style of hypnotherapy and its effectiveness on clients with anxiety and depression. View Profile

    As part of a treatment team I work with medical professionals using hypnotherapy. Predominantly my work is with people who have been medically diagnosed suffering with anxiety and depression. My clients report after their sessions that they feel a great change within themselves. Firstly I install a tool that helps the client quell the panic attack. Then we work on the cause of the anxiety and OCD. Once this is completed we move onto dealing with the cause and reprograming the subconscious. As with any therapy, different people can experience different degrees of change. Whatever therapies you choose use a therapist that you feel comfortable with.

  • Anthony Berrick


    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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