I receive a lot of questions about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy and how it compares to other forms of mental health counseling.

First, hypnotherapy is not stage hypnosis where a hypnotist puts a subject into a deep trance and gives them suggestion for the entertainment of the audience. In hypnotherapy, the trance state is used to create a connection between the client’s conscious and subconscious minds, allowing wisdom to be shared, and healing to happen at the deepest levels.

As for the effectiveness…

Here are some interesting statistics for you:

It wasn’t until 1958 that hypnosis was accepted by the American Medical Society as a legitimate therapeutic modality. And, naturally, that brought on a great deal of research to challenge its effectiveness. Research carried out  between 1970 and 1990 demonstrated clinical and experimental evidence regarding the effectiveness of hypnosis for smoking cessation, substance abuse, weight loss,  depression,  anxiety, and phobias. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis concluded:

  • Home Study Self-Hypnosis :                    2 – 5% success rate
  • Group Hypnosis Session:                          2 – 5% success rate
  • Single Private Session:                               17 – 20% success rate
  • Three Private Sessions:                             45 – 50% success rate
  • Five or More Private Sessions:              85 – 90% success rate


The researchers also discovered that customizing sessions to the individual dramatically increased the effectiveness of the work.

In separate research and surveys, Alfred A. Barrios, Ph. D., discovered the following success rates for hypnotherapy versus other therapeutic methods:

  • Psychoanalysis:              38% recovery after 600 sessions
  • Behavior Therapy:        72% recovery after 22 sessions
  • Hypnotherapy:               93% recovery after 6 sessions

In conclusion, hypnotherapy, when delivered as multiple, client-centered and individually-tailored private sessions, is by far the more effective way for clients to reach their goals in least amount of time.

Many hypnotherapists still use methods from stage hypnosis – they put their client into a deep trance and read them scripts and deliver suggestions. While this can be effective to a degree, it is not unlike the results of Group Hypnosis Session above, since in both cases the subject is listening to a prefabricated monologue.

In the manner in which I facilitate client-centered hypnotherapy, the session is accomplished through dialogue where the subject is fully engaged in the process of exploration, discovery, and making choices about how they want to reach their goals.