Mindful Hypnotherapy to Reduce Stress and Increase Mindfulness:

Mindfulness has been popular for quite some time now, and in the same way that hypnotherapy shares a huge amount of common ground with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, there is also an overlapping between hypnotherapy and mindfulness.

Within all of these therapeutic approaches, we are seeking to deal with our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. You find yourself with troublesome thoughts, feelings and behaviours and you want to change those patterns to something more helpful and beneficial. 

Mindfulness can be defined as 'paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.' It is something that I employ within my therapy room in combination with hypnosis to help clients with anxiety, stress and so forth, as part of helping them to achieve their goals and feel better. In addition to being okay with thoughts as they happen in the present moment, we also want to expand upon this to help you take this ability into everyday situations and to help you to progress towards your goals.

Recently, some research was published that examined the results of adding hypnosis to mindfulness to reduce stress symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Hypnosis 

Before I move on to report on that research into mindfulness and hypnosis for stress reduction, it's worth refreshing our minds on earlier research that looked at the added value of adding hypnosis to cognitive behavioural therapy.

Kirsch, in his meta-analysis of 'Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy' (1995), analysed existing evidence in which cognitive behavioural therapy was compared with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. He found that,

"The results indicated that the addition of hypnosis substantially enhanced treatment outcome, so that the average client receiving cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy showed greater improvement than at least 70% of clients receiving non-hypnotic treatment."

That is, adding hypnosis to cognitive behavioural therapy led to much better results than cognitive behavioural therapy for people when used on its own. 

Hypnosis added to cognitive behavioural therapy tends to enhance results. I've written more on this subject and the scientific evidence behind it in some previous articles. If you want to know more then take a look at these posts: 

Should all Cognitive Behavioural Therapy include Hypnosis for better results? 

Does Adding Hypnosis To Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Help Treat Acute Stress Disorder?

Cognitive Hypnotherapy For Depression - How Effective Is It?

The Kirsch research looked at the evidence across a whole range of issues, including weight loss, anxiety and insomnia. Adding hypnosis to cognitive behavioural therapy tends to lead to better results than if you just have cognitive behavioural therapy on its own.

mindful hypnotherapy to reduce stress hypnotherapy ely


Mindfulness and Hypnosis

Now onto the research exploring the impact of adding hypnosis to mindfulness for the purpose of helping you to reduce stress:

Olendzki et al (Mindful hypnotherapy to reduce stress and increase mindfulness: A randomized controlled pilot study, 2020) investigated the feasibility of mindful hypnotherapy for stress reduction in a randomized trial.

Forty two college age participants with elevated stress were randomly assigned to the mindful hypnotherapy intervention group or a wait-list control group. The Mindful hypnotherapy participants completed eight weekly, one hour sessions of mindful hypnotherapy and used self-hypnosis audios daily.

Results of the study demonstrated that the mindful hypnotherapy participants recorded large, statistically reliable, and clinically significant improvements in perceived stress, overall mindfulness and psychological flexibility, and psychological distress. As if this wasn't positive enough already, each of the subscales of distress individually decreased by a significant margin, including depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger.

These are very beneficial outcomes that support mindful hypnotherapy as a way of significantly decreasing psychological distress and stress. 

"In conclusion, mindful hypnotherapy shows promise for being an effective intervention for decreasing stress. Given that the results for mindfulness and psychological flexibility were comparable or superior to mindfulness interventions delivered in a nonhypnotic context, this novel intervention shows potential for being a unique and a valuable contribution to stress reduction interventions" (Olendzki, 2020).

The evidence here shows that combining mindfulness and hypnotherapy can help you to reduce your stress. In addition we also have the evidence and research mentioned above that shows that adding hypnosis to cognitive behavioural therapy tends to enhance positive outcomes.  

 All of which when combined would support the notion that if you are looking to make psychological changes and reduce issues such as anxiety and stress, it makes sense to, instead of using mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy as stand-alone treatments, to combine them with hypnotherapy to increase the likelihood that you will enjoy a positive result from your therapy. 

To your success,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket


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Alladin, Assen, and Alisha Alibhai. "Cognitive hypnotherapy for depression: An empirical investigation." Intl. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 55, no. 2 (2007): 147-166.

Bryant, R.A., Moulds, M.L., Guthrie, R.M. and Nixon, R.D., 2005. The additive benefit of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating acute stress disorder. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 73(2), p.334.

Kirsch, I., Montgomery, G. and Sapirstein, G., 1995. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 63(2), p.214.

Kirsch, I., 1996. Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments—Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 64(3), p.517.

Montgomery, G.H., Kangas, M., David, D., Hallquist, M.N., Green, S., Bovbjerg, D.H. and Schnur, J.B., 2009. Fatigue during breast cancer radiotherapy: An initial randomized study of cognitive–behavioral therapy plus hypnosis. Health Psychology, 28(3), p.317.

Montgomery, G.H., Bovbjerg, D.H., Schnur, J.B., David, D., Goldfarb, A., Weltz, C.R., Schechter, C., Graff-Zivin, J., Tatrow, K., Price, D.D. and Silverstein, J.H., 2007. A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control side effects in breast surgery patients. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 99(17), pp.1304-1312.

Olendzki, N., Elkins, G.R., Slonena, E., Hung, J. and Rhodes, J.R., 2020. Mindful hypnotherapy to reduce stress and increase mindfulness: A randomized controlled pilot study. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 68(2), pp.151-166.