top of page

Habit Breaking

Habits, both good and bad, shape our daily lives. Breaking free from detrimental habits often proves challenging, but hypnotherapy has emerged as a promising avenue for effective habit change. This page explores the efficacy of habit-breaking through hypnotherapy, drawing insights from research conducted since the year 2000.

Hypnotherapy involves guided relaxation, focused attention, and heightened suggestibility to facilitate positive behavioural changes. A study by Elkins et al. (2004) in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis significantly enhanced treatment outcomes for various conditions, including habit cessation.

Research in neuroscience supports the idea that hypnotherapy can influence neural pathways associated with habit formation. A meta-analysis by Oakley and Halligan (2009) published in Psychological Bulletin suggests that hypnosis can modulate brain activity, making individuals more receptive to breaking entrenched habits.

A study by Carmody et al. (2008) in the American Journal of Psychiatry explored the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in smoking cessation. Results indicated that hypnosis was more effective than standard behavioural counselling, emphasizing the potential of hypnotherapy in breaking addictive habits.

Weight Management:
For individuals seeking to overcome unhealthy eating habits, a review by Kirsch et al. (2014) in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis showed that hypnotherapy led to significant weight loss and improved eating behaviours. This suggests that hypnosis can play a vital role in breaking the cycle of unhealthy eating patterns.

Breaking the Grip of Anxiety-Induced Habits:
Habits often arise as coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety. A study by Schoenberger et al. (2000) in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis demonstrated that hypnotherapy effectively reduced anxiety and helped individuals replace maladaptive habits with healthier alternatives.

The evidence from research conducted since 2000 highlights the potential of hypnotherapy in breaking a variety of habits, from smoking to overeating and anxiety-driven behaviours. While more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms fully, the existing studies suggest that hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in fostering lasting behavioral change.
1. Elkins, G. R., et al. (2004). Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 52(2), 143–169.
2. Oakley, D. A., & Halligan, P. W. (2009). Hypnotic suggestion and cognitive neuroscience. Psychological Bulletin, 135(4), 494–521.
3. Carmody, T. P., et al. (2008). Hypnosis for smoking cessation: A randomized trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 557–565.
4. Kirsch, I., et al. (2014). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments: Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(2), 341–354.
5. Schoenberger, N. E., et al. (2000). Hypnosis and medication in the treatment of acute stress disorder. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 43(2), 161–171.

bottom of page