COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL HYPNOTHERAPY

The use of behavioural techniques combined with hypnosis have been well understood by leading researchers such as Hull (USA) and Pavlov (USSR) that developed from the science and theory of classical and instrumental conditioning in the earlier part of the 20th century (Robertson 2013). Present day Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most extensively researched forms of psychotherapy. Butler et al (2005) note the efficacy of CBT for many disorders that include anxiety, depression, phobias, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive compulsion disorder and post traumatic disorder.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Therapy (CT) respectively developed by Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck are two of the main approaches that encapsulate CBT. Whilst there are conceptual similarities, there are also differences. REBT is not only a form of psychotherapy but also delineates a philosophy for living. Dobson (2010) notes that REBT is effective for a wide range of clinical conditions and outcomes and is correspondingly effective for a diverse age range of 9 to 70 years.

The underlying philosophical premise of REBT is that we as humans are generally responsible for our emotions. People not only get distressed over adverse situations but also how they construct their world through their perceptions and beliefs. Our lives are primarily defined by our perceptions and beliefs that get programmed into our mind from our genes, and early childhood experiences. The process of REBT allows the identification of unhealthy and irrational beliefs that have powerful emotional and behavioural consequences. The conscious mind, according to cognitive scientists, is only aware of of approximately 5 per cent of our cognitive activity, so that much of our behaviour, emotions and decision making is driven by the unconscious (Szegedy-Maszak, 2010).

There is an increasing demand for evidence based therapies and CBH is is becoming an important approach to clinical hypnosis. The REBT model easily integrates with hypnotherapy and different studies have shown that the combination of both CBT and hypnosis, has considerably improved outcomes in the treatment of stress and depression (Alladin and Alibhal, 2007; Bryant et al, 2006; Kirsch et al, 1995).

Bibliography

Alladin, A. Alibhal, A. (2007) Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression: An Empirical Investigation International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis Vol 55, Issue 2, 2007, Special Issue: Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Hypnosis Part 1

Bryant, R. Moulds, M. Nixon, R. Mastrodomenico, J. Felmingham, S. Hopwood, S. (2006) Hypnotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy of acute stress disorder: A 3-year follow-up
Behavior Research and Therapy Vol 44 (9) Sep 2006 1331-1335

Butler AC, Chapman JE, Forman EM and Beck AT (2005) The empirical status of cognitive behavioural therapy; A review of meta-analyses Clinical Psychology Review 26 (2006) 17-31

Dobson K (2010) Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (ed) The Guilford Press

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