Tim Brunson DCH

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Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users



Full Title: Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users: effects on self-esteem, affect, and relapse

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a self-hypnosis protocol with chronic drug and alcohol patients in increasing self-esteem, improving affect, and preventing relapse against a control, a transtheoretical cognitive-behavioral (TCB), and a stress management (attention-placebo) group. Participants were 261 veterans admitted to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (SARRTPs). Participants were assessed pre- and postintervention, and at 7-week follow-up. Relapse rates did not significantly differ across the 4 groups at follow-up; 87% of those contacted reported abstinence. At follow-up, the participants in the 3 treatment conditions were asked how often they practiced the intervention materials provided them. Practicing and minimal-practicing participants were compared against the control group for each of the 3 interventions via MANOVAs/ANOVAs. Results revealed a significant Time by Groups interaction for the hypnosis intervention, with individuals who played the self-hypnosis audiotapes "at least 3 to 5 times a week" at 7-week follow-up reporting the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups. No significant effects were found for the transtheoretical or stress management interventions. Regression analyses predicted almost two-thirds of the variance of who relapsed and who did not in the hypnosis intervention group. Hypnotic susceptibility predicted who practiced the self-hypnosis audiotapes. The results suggest that hypnosis can be a useful adjunct in helping chronic substance abuse individuals with their reported self-esteem, serenity, and anger/impulsivity.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97. Pekala RJ, Maurer R, Kumar VK, Elliott NC, Masten E, Moon E, Salinger M. Biofeedback Clinic (116B), Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA. Ronald.Pekala@med.va.gov

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