How Effective is Hypnotherapy Compared to Other Forms of Therapy?

Updated: Nov 22, 2021



First, let’s define the word hypnosis. Hypnosis is a derivative of a Greek word meaning sleep. It’s often associated with nightmarish images from horror movies, where a man looks into a crystal ball and makes someone do his bidding. But hypnosis is much more nuanced. It’s generally defined as an altered state of consciousness characterized by heightened focus or concentration accompanied by lowered peripheral awareness and increased suggestibility. ​

Topics on this page: Hypnosis vs. Hypnotherapy Hypnosis vs. Other Therapies Revelation from a 1970 Study Conclusion

Hypnosis vs. Hypnotherapy

A good number of people think hypnosis and hypnotherapy are the same, but they’re not. Most people who look for a hypnotherapist want to find a practitioner who is also trained in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). The terms hypnosis and hypnotherapy are often used interchangeably because both modalities deal with modifying beliefs and behavior, but they should be treated as two separate disciplines. Although most therapists who use hypnotherapy do practice it separately from counseling or psychotherapy, there are some specialists whose practice focuses only on hypnotic techniques.

Hypnosis vs. Other Therapies

A lot of people wonder if hypnotherapy can be as effective as other approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, but there are some major differences in how hypnotherapy and CBT work and the results that they yield. Hypnotherapy comes from a different school of thought than CBT. While both use their own special techniques, they each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to choosing between any two therapies, you should consider which approach would best suit your needs and goals – and which one would give you the best chance of getting there faster.

Let’s take another look at hypnosis as it relates to psychological therapies, as well as its role in medical treatment. In a randomized controlled trial, researchers compared cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) and hypnosis to CBT alone for panic disorder. Researchers reported that both treatments were equally effective—and that hypnosis was associated with significantly lower relapse rates at six months. Evidence also suggests that when hypnotic inductions are combined with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), PTSD can be reduced more quickly than standard EMDR. ​

Revelation from a 1970 Study

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are rooted in science with evidence-based results that have been reported for decades. Here are the astounding results from a comparative study released in 1970:

Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions

Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions

Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions

According to this study, hypnotherapy can be more effective and faster than other traditional approaches.


If you’re looking for an alternative approach to dealing with stress, improving your quality of life, or helping clients in business as a hypnotherapist, hypnotherapy is worth considering. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are rooted in science with evidence-based results that have been reported for decades. This evidence-based approach makes hypnosis/hypnotherapy more effective and faster than other traditional approaches.

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