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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rational hypnotherapy : a therapeutic intervention for anxiety neurosis and panic attacks Lewington, Philippa J.


The efficacy of a rational hypnotherapeutic intervention for anxiety states and panic attacks is the focus of this research. Based on a single subject research design, the co-researcher was asked to complete pre-therapy, during and post-therapy assessments of personality, self-concept, mood states, stress and physiological symptoms. The baseline period was two weeks and therapy lasted 13 weeks. There were two weeks of post-therapy measures and finally a six-month follow-up study. The intervention was comprised of progressive relaxation, guided imagery, a cognitive restructuring and behaviour rehearsal based on an A-B-C-D-E paradigm. The subject examined her self-defeating or irrational thoughts in critical incidents and her subjective emotional behavioural and physiological reactions. She was then asked to substitute her own new more rational thoughts in the same situation. Post-therapy results from the objective tests and self-reports demonstrated significant improvement in almost all areas. Following the rational hypnotherapeutic intervention the co-researcher showed a normal personality profile, increased self-concept, improvement in mood states and a significant reduction in stress and physiological symptoms. This improvement was maintained in the six-month follow-up. Rational hypnotherapy is effective, relatively short-term and encourages the client to play an active role in finding new ways to deal effectively with problems and accept control over his/her own life.

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