UPDATE 21-10-08 Please reas this post in conjunction with this post: Hypnoanalysis.
There are many treatments for anxiety and very little research to show what works and how. At present, if you are not taking a SSRI antidepressant like Celexa, or having CBT, then scientifically you are on dodgy ground, because they are the only officially recognised long-term treatments for anxiety. But, the thing is the SSRI’s only treat the symptoms, and there are a lot of complex cases where people do not get the relief they feel they need from CBT…that leaves us in the domain of unproven anxiety solutions. Like hypnoanalysis.
It is very hard to test the efficacy of something like hypnosis, because there are different techniques and every practitioner is different. There also isn’t one standard training or accreditation. Hypnotherapists tend to say they can cure everything and anything! I have seen a documentary where a renowned hypnotherapist failed to make any impact on a simple phobia. I have also seen a documentary where a man was treated with hypnotic regression and instantly got over a fear of flying!
There are two types of hypnotherapy. Suggestion hypnosis is the standard kind, which seeks to re-programme faulty thinking just by suggestion when you are in a relaxed state. Hypnoanalysis however is somewhat like a speedy version of psychotherapy, where the aim is to get to the cause and eliminate it, thus freeing you permanently.
So, does it work? Well, it’s hard to tell. The practitioners say yes, and certainly there does seem to be some positive feedback around. Double-blind studies? No chance! (If you know of some, give me an email!) I do think that if CBT hasn’t worked for you then maybe it would be worth a try…it is much cheaper than long term psychotherapy, has more science behind it than EFT and generally makes a good case for itself.
If you can afford it, go for it!