Treating anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation

Lucy M. O'Neill, Amanda J. Barnier, Kevin M. McConkey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The outcome and process of treating subclinical anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation were compared. Twenty individuals who presented for treatment for 'stress, anxiety, and worry' were assessed (for anxiety and self-hypnotizability), exposed to a 28-day treatment programme (which involved daily measures of outcome and process variables), and re-assessed (for anxiety). It was found that both self-hypnosis and relaxation alleviated anxiety pre-to post-treatment. Although there was no difference in the outcome data, throughout treatment self-hypnosis rather than relaxation was associated with a greater sense of treatment efficacy and expectation and with a greater sense of cognitive and physical change. The findings are discussed in terms of the expectational and experiential aspects of self-hypnosis, and their potential role in the perception, progress and impact of using self-hypnosis in therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-80
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Hypnosis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Hypnosis
  • Hypnotizability
  • Relaxation
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Treatment efficacy


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