Is clinical hypnosis an effective method for treating physical and psychological conditions?

Clinical hypnosis is legitimate and effective
Clinical hypnosis is not legitimate or effective
Started by
Abby Lyall

The Issue

When most people hear the word “hypnosis,” they picture a man on stage forcing audience members to do silly dances or cluck like chickens. But clinical hypnosis, performed by psychologists or other licensed practitioners, is a therapeutic method that has recently been gaining significant traction as a valid solution for issues such as chronic pain, weight loss, infections and addiction. The question plaguing the psychological community today is whether these methods are actually effective, or if their positive impact is all in our heads.

Most Divisive Question

2 stories vs 3 stories

Remaining Questions

8 questions total

Final Thoughts

What people think
Pro: Hypnosis
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    K.T. Fei

    The evidence above suggests that clinical hypnosis is more legitimate and effective than not. Hypnosis is linked to reduced pain, anxiety and depression as well as improved sleep. It could even be more effective than traditional methods for treating addiction issues and weight loss.

    Although hypnosis may in some instances lead to memory loss and may need to be integrated with other types of psychotherapy in order to be effective, it seems to be legitimate overall.

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    Lea Thali

    The evidence overall seems to support the practice of hypnosis. While it may not be for everyone, as not everyone is equally susceptible, hypnosis has been shown to be an effective way to manage pain and even treat warts.

    My one concern is that with some illnesses such as anxiety disorders, hypnosis can make the condition worse, so I would be hesitant to try it for those conditions.

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    Tahnsarah (Sarah) Peters

    From reading the Nia, there seems to be a lot of information that supports the legitimacy of hypnosis. It appears that a definition for hypnosis does exist and the method itself has been studied and practiced more than I realized previously. While I'm convinced of its legitimacy, I'm a little wary of it's effectiveness. Not everyone is susceptible to hypnosis in the same way, and to be effective it should be used in conjunction with other methods. I am also divided on the issue of self hypnosis. I view clinical hypnosis as a valid procedure, but I am not completely convinced that self-hypnosis is nor is it effective.

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    Molly Banta

    On a whole, the idea of hypnosis is slightly ambiguous (though it seems as though this is on purpose). There are definite benefits to hypnosis, if only merely as a meditation technique to clear your thoughts and peace of mind.

    The Nia shows that on top of these there are clear benefits on top of simple meditation, such as relief from warts, treating addiction and pain. Ultimately, however I remain in the "depends" category as the results are not quite as dramatic as many would think. Though they do not promote any harm, it seems the tangible benefits are quite limited.

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    Aya Abitbul

    There is certainly some astonishing research suggesting the efficacy of hypnosis in pain treatment, such as the miraculous healing of warts using hypnotherapy. However, it is also worth noting that hypnosis is too vaguely defined, therefore its impossible to praise "hypnosis" as a treatment that is always effective. As the nia indicates, there is no injury that hypnosis alone can treat; it almost always has to accompany another form of treatment, so it is difficult to know whether something healed due to the hypnosis or the other treatment. I believe there is much to be developed and researched in terms of hypnosis' practices, techniques, and public perceptions.

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    Abby Lyall
    Nia Creator

    I think it is important to analyze the effectiveness of hypnosis on a case-by-case basis. For some individuals and under some circumstances, such as treating weight loss, pain or addiction in suggestible individuals, hypnosis can be a very viable option. However, the practice is not effective for those who are not highly suggestible and can potentially worsen certain conditions. Additionally, mental health professionals seem unable to come to a consensus as to which practices actually constitute hypnosis.

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Anti: Hypnosis


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