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What treatment, by whom, is most effective for this individual with that specific problem, under which set of circumstances?
Gordon Paul (1967, author's italics)

Empirically-Supported Treatments
Hypnosis & Psychotherapy

The Empirically Validated Therapies list was published by the American Psychological Association, Division 12, The Society of Clinical Psychology. The objective was to identify and promote psychological treatments that had evidence showing they were effective (i.e. were "empirically validated").

The concept of evidence-based medicine rests on the premise that the quality of patient care is enhanced when practitioners use treatments with empirical support (Sackett, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 2000). In an effort to identify and promote empirically supported psychological treatments, Division 12 of the American Psychological Association (APA) first established a Task Force to examine this issue in 1993. The aim was to define empirically supported psychological procedures, along with examples of interventions that met those criteria... This Task Force, headed by Dianne Chambless, conducted a survey of doctoral and internship training programs in clinical psychology, focused on training and supervision in empirically supported treatments (ESTs).
                                        Empirically Supported Treatments: 10 years on, Woody, Weisz, McLean

The table of empirically-supported treatments below is based upon the Update on Empirically Validated Therapies, II’ published by the Chambless task force (The Clinical Psychologist, June 4, 1997.) The main treatments supported in these areas are also broadly cognitive or behavioural in orientation.  Interventions have been grouped under different headings, and hypnotherapy interventions which more recent studies have explicitly proposed to meet the Chambless et al. criteria have been included.

 

Key to Levels of Empirical Support

1 = Well-established

2 = Probably Efficacious

? = Subsequently Proposed

 

Pain Management

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

2

Multi-component cognitive-behaviour therapy

Pain of sickle cell disease

Gil et al. (1996)

1

Multi-component CBT

Pain associated with rheumatic disease

Keefe et al. (1990a,b)
Parker et al. (1988)

2

Thermal biofeedback & autogenic relaxation training

Migraine

Blanchard et al. (1978)
Sargent et al. (1986)

1

Behaviour therapy

Headache

Blanchard et al. (1980)
Holroyd & Penzien (1990)

2

CBT & physical therapy

Chronic pain

Nicholas et al. (1991)

2

EMG biofeedback

Chronic pain

Flor & Birbaumer (1993)
Newton-John et al. (1995)

2

Multi-component operant-behavioural therapy

Chronic pain

Turner & Clancy (1988)
Turner et al. (1990)

2

CBT

Chronic low back pain

Turner & Clancy (1988)

2 ?

Hypnosis

Acute pain during surgery

Lang et al. (2000)

1 ?

Hypnosis

Acute Pain

Montgomery et al. (2000)

1 ?

Hypnosis

Headaches & migraine

Hammond (2007)

 

Depression

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

2

Brief dynamic therapy

Depression

Gallagher-Thompson & Steffen (1994)

2

Cognitive therapy

Depression in geriatric patients

Scogin & McElreath (1994)

2

Reminiscence therapy

Depression in geriatric patients

Arean et al. (1993)
Scogin & McElreath (1994)

2

Self-control therapy

Depression

Fuchs & Rehm (1977)
Rehm et al. (1979)

2

Social problem-solving therapy

Depression

Nezu (1986)
Nezu & Perri (1989)

1

Behaviour therapy

Depression

Jacobson et al. (1996)
McLean & Hakstian (1979)

1

Cognitive therapy

Depression

Dobson (1989)

1

Interpersonal therapy

Depression

DiMascio et al. (1979)
Elkin et al. (1989)               

2 ?

Cognitive hypnotherapy

Depression

Alladin et al. (2007)

 

Anxiety & Stress

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

1

Exposure therapy

Agoraphobia

Trull et al. (1988)

2

Exposure & couples communication training

Agoraphobia

Arnow et al. (1985)

2

Applied relaxation

Panic disorder

Íst (1988)          

1

CBT

Panic disorder with and without agoraphobia

Barlow et al. (1989)
Clark et al. (1994)

1

Stress Inoculation Training

Coping with stressors

Saunders et al. (1996)

1

CBT

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Butler et al. (1991)
Borkovec et al. (1987)

2

Applied relaxation

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Barlow et al., 1992
Borkovec & Costello, 1993

1

Exposure & response prevention

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

van Balkom et al. (1994)

2

CBT

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

van Oppen et al. (1995)

2

Relapse prevention program

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Hiss et al. (1994)

2

Exposure therapy

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Foa et al. (1991)
Keane et al. (1989)

2

Stress Inoculation Training

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Foa et al. (1991)

2

EMDR

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Civilians

Rothbaum (in press)
Wilson et al. (1995)

2

Systematic desensitization

Social anxiety

Paul & Shannon (1966)

2

Systematic desensitization

Social anxiety (public speaking) 

Paul (1967)
Woy & Efran (1972)

2

CBT

Social phobia

Heimberg et al. (1990)
Feske & Chambless (1995)

2

Exposure therapy

Social phobia

Feske & Chambless (1995)

1

Exposure & guided mastery

Specific phobia

Bandura et al. (1969)
Íst et al. (1991)

2

Systematic desensitization

Specific phobia (animals)

Kirsch et al. (1983)
Íst (1978)

 

Eating Disorders

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

2

Hypnosis & CBT

Obesity

Bolocofsky et al. (1985)

2

Behaviour therapy

Childhood obesity

Epstein et al. (1994)
Wheeler & Hess (1976)

2

Interpersonal therapy

Bulimia

Fairburn et al. (1993)

1

CBT

Bulimia

Agras et al. (1989)
Thackwray et al. (1993)

2

Interpersonal therapy

Binge-eating disorder

Wilfley et al. (1993)

2

CBT

Binge eating disorder

Telch et al. (1990)
Wilfley et al. (1993)

 

Psychosomatic Disorders

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

2

Multi-component cognitive therapy

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Lynch & Zamble (1989)
Payne & Blanchard (1995)

2 ?

Hypnosis

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Palson et al. (2002)

1 ?

Hypnosis

Asthma (managing related anxiety emotional states)

Brown, D. (2007)

 

Habit Disorders

Level

Treatment

Condition

Research

2

Habit Reversal Therapy

Thumb-sucking and nail-biting.

Azrin et al. (1980b)
Azrin et al. (1980c)

2

Scheduled, reduced smoking & multi-component behaviour therapy

Smoking cessation

Cinciripini et al. (1994)
Cinciripini et al. (1995)

1

Multi-component CBT & relapse prevention

Smoking cessation

Hill et al. (1993)
Stevens & Hollis (1989)

 
Note: We have omitted the ESTs for “problems of childhood”, “marital discord”, “sexual dysfunction”, and “chemical abuse” (excluding smoking), which did not relate to common applications of individual hypno-psychotherapy in clinical practice or research. 
 

References for Proposed Studies
Alladin, A., Sabatini, L., Amundson, J.K.  (2007).  ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression’, IJCEH, 55: 147-166.
Brown, D. (2007).  Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy for Asthma: A Critical Review.  IJCEH, 55: 220-249.
Hammond, Corydon D.             (2007).  Review of the Efficacy of Clinical Hypnosis with Headaches and Migraines.  IJCEH, 55: 207-219.
Lang, E.V., Benotsch, E.G., Fick, L.J., Lutgendorf, S., Berbaum, M.L., Berbaum, K.S.            (2000).  Adjunctive non-pharmacological analgesia for invasive medical procedures: a randomised trial.  Lancet, 355: 1486-1490.
Montgomery, G.H., Du Hamel, K.D., & Redd, W.H.   (2000).  A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: how effective is hypnosis?  IJCEH, 48: 136-151.
Palsson, O.S., Turner, M.J., Johnson, D.A., Burnett, C.K. & Whitehead, W.E.          (2002).  Hypnosis treatment for severe irritable bowel syndrome.  Digestive Diseases & Sciences,
47: 2605-2614.