Current Practices, Experiences, and Views in Clinical Hypnosis: Findings of an International Survey

Olafur S. Palsson*, Zoltan Kekecs, Giuseppe De Benedittis, Donald Moss, Gary R. Elkins, Devin B. Terhune, Katalin Varga, Philip D. Shenefelt, Peter J. Whorwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An online survey of 691 clinicians who use hypnosis was conducted in 31 countries to gain a broad real-world picture of current practices, views, and experiences in clinical hypnosis. Among 36 common clinical uses, stress reduction, wellbeing and self-esteem-enhancement, surgery preparations, anxiety interventions, mindfulness facilitation, and labor and childbirth applications were the most frequently rated as highly effective (each by ≥70% of raters) in the clinicians’ own experience. Adverse hypnosis-associated effects had been encountered by 55% of clinicians but were generally short-lived and very rarely judged as serious. The most common hypnosis approaches used were Ericksonian (71%), hypnotic relaxation therapy (55%), and traditional hypnosis (50%). Almost all respondents reported regularly using other therapeutic modalities alongside hypnosis. Among a range of client variables potentially affecting therapy, most clinicians rated hypnotist-client rapport (88%) and client motivation (75%) as very or extremely important factors for successful hypnotherapy. The majority of respondents had conducted hypnosis treatment via teletherapy, and 54% of those estimated it to be as effective as in-person treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-114
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Issue number2
Early online date13 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2023


  • Adverse events
  • clinical hypnosis
  • clinical practice
  • effectiveness
  • survey
  • teletherapy


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