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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rational self-directed hypnotherapy : a therapeutic intervention for major depression McBride, Maureen L.


The efficacy of a rational hypnotherapeutic intervention for unipolar major depression is the focus of this study. Based on a single subject research design, the participant was asked to complete pre-therapy, during and post-therapy assessments of depression, anger and dysfunctional attitudes. Pre-therapy testing, to collect a baseline measure, was conducted two weeks prior to therapy, and therapy lasted 12 weeks. Post-therapy measures were taken one week after therapy, and a follow-up assessment was done six months post therapy. The intervention was comprised of progressive relaxation, guided imagery, and cognitive restructuring and behavioral rehearsal based on the A-B-C-D-E paradigm. The participant examined his self-defeating or irrational thoughts in critical incidents and his subjective emotional and behavioral reactions. He was then asked to substitute his own more rational thoughts in the same situation. Post-therapy results from the assessment devices and self-reports demonstrated significant improvement in all areas. Following the rational hypnotherapeutic intervention, the participant showed decreased symptoms of depression, decreased dysfunctional attitudes and decreased anger and irritation. He also reported subjective feelings of emotional well-being. This improvement was maintained in the six-month follow-up. Rational Self-Directed Hypnotherapy is shown to be an effective, relatively short term intervention that encourages the client to play an active role in finding new ways to successfully deal with problems, and accept control over his/her own life.

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