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Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2000 Apr;48(2):225-38.

Hypnosis in the treatment of trauma: a promising, but not fully supported, efficacious intervention.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, USUHS, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Hypnotic techniques for the treatment of posttraumatic conditions were often used by the clinical pioneers of the end of the 19th century and by military therapists treating soldiers during the 20th century's conflagrations. More recently, hypnosis has also been used with survivors of sexual assault, accidents, and other traumas, and with various groups, including children and ethnic minorities. Nonetheless, there have been almost no systematic studies on the efficacy of hypnosis for posttraumatic disorders. This state of affairs is especially disappointing considering that: hypnosis can be easily integrated into therapies that are commonly used with traumatized clients; a number of PTSD individuals have shown high hypnotizability in various studies; hypnosis can be used for symptoms associated with PTSD; and hypnosis may help modulate and integrate memories of trauma. Hypnotic techniques may indeed be efficacious for posttraumatic conditions, but systematic group or single-case studies need to be conducted before reaching that conclusion.

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