«The first step to absolute happiness is to take full,

total and complete responsibility
as the creator of every single aspect of your life.
This includes the good and the bad.»

M.D. Rowland


A survey of scientific literature was conducted by Alfred Barrios to compare recovery rates for various modalities of therapy:

  • Psychoanalysis can be expected to have a 38% recovery rate after approximately 600 sessions

  • Behaviour therapy (“All behaviours are learned and unhealthy behaviours can be changed through CBT, desensitisation therapy, aversion therapy…”) can be expected to have a 72% recovery rate after an average of 22 session

  • Hypnotherapy can be expected to have a 93% recovery rate after an average of 6 sessions


Conclusion: Barrios noted that to change thought patterns, behaviours and habits, hypnotherapy was the most effective therapy and needed less time than any other type of therapy.

Source: Barrios, Alfred A. "Hypnotherapy: A Reappraisal," Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice (1970)

More and more, hypnotherapy is being recognised as an extremely efficient therapy in all sorts of fields, and studies are there to prove it. Here are some examples of research studies covering a variety of cases: childbirth, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, recovery (surgery), skin diseases (ichthyosis), sports performance.


* A. Madrid, R. Giovanni, M.Wolfe (2011) “Treating persistent nausea of pregnancy with hypnosis” - American journal of clinical hypnosis.

** Harmon, T.M., Hynan, M., & Tyre, T.E. (1990) - Improved obstetric outcomes using hypnotic analgesia and skill mastery combined with childbirth education - Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Prior to any other work, hypnotherapy must deal with negative beliefs about the birthing experience: by releasing fears, anxiety and preconceived ideas, imagined detrimental outcomes are avoided, thus allowing both the mother and the father to be to relax and enjoy the process.

Research shows that hypnotherapy can significantly reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy* with some positive suggestions being given, for instance, to reduce sensitivity to odours.
Five reports quoted 60-79% of women using hypnosis required no medication. In another study, subjects given hypnosis reported reduced pain, shorter stage 1 labours, less medication, more frequent spontaneous deliveries than other groups. In two other reports, 58% of women using hypnotic analgesia required no medication**. Also, some had lower depression scores after birth than the other groups.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Whorwell P.J; Prior A; Faragher E.B. (1988 & 1987). Whorwell, P.J., Prior, A. & Faragher, E.B. (1984). "Controlled Trial of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Severe Refractory Irritable-Bowel Syndrome." Lancet, pp. 1232-1234. Whorwell, P.J., Prior, A. & Colgan, S.M. (1987). "Hypnotherapy in Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Further Experience."

Hypnotherapy is one of the most successful treatment methods, giving 80+% success rate for abdominal pain and distension.


It often results in assisting with other problems such as migraine and tension headaches.


With patients who have severe chronic IBS, it was hypnotherapy patients that showed dramatic improvement in all measures, and they maintained that improvement at a two year follow-up.


Rapkin, D.A., Straubing, M., Singh, A. & Holroyd, J.C. (1988).

"Guided Imagery and Hypnosis: Effect on Acute Recovery from Head and Neck Cancer Surgery" Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Asheville, N.C. Spiegel, D, (1998).

Report in the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

Patients trained with hypnosis before surgery had significantly shorter stays in hospital.


Research also shows that hypnosis methods have been used successfully for anxiety associated with medical procedures.

Skin diseases. Ichthyosis

Extrait du British Medical Journal, 1952

“The article relates the almost fantastic episode of a British lad who had been born with ichthyosis. This is one of the most hideous diseases imaginable, a congenital affliction, often dubbed fish-scale disease in which the skin forms a thick black casing over practically the entire body. The skin furthermore is covered with close-set black bumps between which is a scale as hard as a fingernail. When this scale is bent, it cracks and oozes a bloodstained serum. For this loathsome disease, neither cause nor cure is known.
But this particular victim, even though his condition was so repulsive that his teacher and fellow students at school resented his presence, was more fortunate than others. An English hypnotherapist heard about the case and offered to try hypnosis. Understandably, other doctors were sceptical of what seemed to be a ridiculous gesture. Already the boy had undergone, to no avail, treatment in the best British hospitals. And even a trial operation for grafting new skin to the hands had only aggravated the matter. The grafted skin blackened, shrank and brought more pain. No wonder then that many scoffed the young hypnotist who dared think he could talk out of existence a serious congenital disease. Nevertheless he started his cure, after taking only 10 mn to induce a trance, with 5 words: “The left arm is cleared”. He repeated the suggestion several times. Sure enough, to the amazement of everyone, within 5 days, the coarse external layer turned soft and crumbly and fell off. Soon the skin underneath became pink and soft. The hypnotist shifted his suggestion to other parts of the body with similar results. Twelve doctors witnessed the hypnosis and the outcome.”

Sports Performances

The Soviet Olympic Team of 1956, Melbourne - Australia

The Soviet Union team had arrived with an extra 11 coaches -quite different from your usual sports coaches. They were hypnotists, with the mission to hypnotise the Russian athletes into super-athletes. And they did! By the end of the 1956 Olympic games, the Soviet Union had won more medals than any other nation: 98 medals (24 more than the USA), and 37 gold medals.

Jimmy Connors
Popular US Tennis player Jimmy Connors was a keen advocate of hypnosis using a variety of techniques to visualise winning strokes on his way to winning the US Open championship 5 times.

The Chicago Bulls “ Coach Phil Jackson” and Michael Jordan
NBA Basketball head coach Phil Jackson used self-hypnosis daily with the famous Chicago Bulls team of the 1990s when he coached Michael Jordan and the Bulls to their incredible 6 NBA Championships.

Take your life in your own hands and what happens?

A terrible thing: no one to blame.


Erica Jong

Serenity Hypnotherapy & Coaching

Audrey Vallat

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Lifr 

Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy,

Regression Hypnosis

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