University of Sussex
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Boosting hypnotic response for treating anxiety: the effect of combining rTMS on the left DLPFC with hypnotherapy on anxiety

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posted on 2023-06-10, 03:15 authored by Sarah BeamishSarah Beamish
33.7% of the population will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, according to large population surveys (Bandelow & Michaelis, 2015). Anxiety disorders are associated with immense health care costs and have a considerable adverse effect on daily life (Shin & Liberzon, 2010). Accepted anxiety treatments, such as psychotherapy and medication, can be time consuming and expensive, and often people do not respond to them. Hypnosis, which has been used to treat anxiety symptoms for centuries, is regularly overlooked despite having been shown to help reduce anxiety symptoms either as a stand alone therapy or in conjunction with other therapies (Daitch, 2014; Hammond, 2010; Holdevici & Craciun, 2013; Lotfifar, Karami, Daramadi, & Fathi, 2013). Dienes and Hutton (2013), conducted a study into understanding hypnosis metacognitively using cold control theory of hypnosis. They hypothesised that disrupting the left DLPFC would increase hypnotic response, and a 6% increase in hypnotic susceptibility provided evidence to support their theory. The current research builds on these findings to consider if rTMS can increase the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for anxiety. The main result substantially supported the hypothesis, P = .000, ? 2 = .56. With positive results in decreasing anxiety, the lack of side-effects, ease of application and the possibility of reduced costs, this innovative intervention provides a plausible alternative to the accepted methods of treating anxiety.


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