Hypnotherapy for anxiety helps 79% of subjects


In a recent study of 100 previous anxiety clients we found that overall 74% of clients noticed significant benefits from their course of hypnotherapy treatments.

In our analysis of previous hypnotherapy clients, we looked at 100 clients that presented with either social anxiety or agoraphobic type anxiety. The clients were drawn at random over a three year period between 2007 and 2010. Only clients that had completed their course of hypnotherapy were selected. The average number of sessions over the 100 clients was 5.4 sessions.

In the study, 59 had agoraphobia type anxieties (fear of travelling, fear of driving on motorways, fear of crowded places, etc) and 41 had social anxiety (fear of public speaking, presentation nerves, fear of being the centre of attention, etc).

As part of the study we asked 3 specific questions:

  1. In your opinion does hypnotherapy work?
  2. How effective was your course of hypnotherapy?
  3. Would you recommend hypnotherapy to someone else?

1. In your opinion does hypnotherapy work?

Although this was a simple yes, no and not sure response, the subjects were given an opportunity to expand on their answers. The results were as follows:-

  • Yes – 79%
  • No – 9%
  • Not sure – 12%

Interestingly, out of the 9 that said ‘no’, 4 commented that they just found it very relaxing.

The majority of the ‘not sure’ said that they didn’t notice any difference during the process of the actual hypnosis. This is a common misconception that most people have about hypnotherapy and that is that in some way they will be ‘under’. We at the Institute have still not been able to understand what ‘under’ is!

What we do know is that at no time do we have any control over our clients so they are not under our control. We also know that they will not be unconscious or asleep. If they fall asleep we have to wake them up as the hypnotic process does not work during sleep.

For the vast majority of clients during the hypnotic process they will just feel very relaxed and comfortable.

2. How effective was your course of hypnotherapy?

In this question we were looking for how effective the client thought hypnotherapy was for their anxiety issue.
The results were as follows:-

  • It resolved my anxiety completely – 27%
  • It helped significantly with my anxiety – 47%
  • It helped my anxiety somewhat – 10%
  • It did not help my anxiety at all – 16%
  • It made my anxiety worse – 0%

Overall 74% of the subjects thought that the hypnotherapy sessions they had at the Surrey Institute had a significant effect or resolved their issue completely.

3. Would you recommend hypnotherapy to someone else?

The options in this question were ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘I already have’.

The results were as follows:-

  • Yes – 41%
  • No – 12%
  • I already have – 47%

The interesting thing here was that although 16% had said that they thought hypnotherapy had not helped their anxiety at all, only 12% said they would not recommend hypnotherapy to someone else. We believe that this is because although the hypnotherapy did not work for them, the client has taken the blame for the failure on themselves. This of course is not the case. Hypnotherapy for anxiety does not work for everyone for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of rapport between the client and the hypnotherapist, or there maybe external influences that may effect the outcome, like financial or family pressures.

In the study, the breakdown of presenting issues were :-

  • Fear of being sick in public
  • Panic attacks
  • Fear of presentations
  • Fear of crowded places
  • Fear of transport
  • Fear of needing the toilet
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Claustrophobia
  • Fear of lifts
  • Fear of driving
  • Fear of blushing
  • Exam nerves

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