Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

The neural mechanisms of immediate and follow-up of the treatment effect of hypnosis...

Full title: The neural mechanisms of immediate and follow-up of the treatment effect of hypnosis on smoking craving.

Hypnosis has a therapeutic effect on substance dependence. However, its neural basis remains unclear, which impedes its further clinical applications. This study investigated the mechanisms of smoking treatment based on hypnosis from two perspectives: immediate and follow-up effects. Twenty-four smokers screened from 132 volunteers underwent hypnosis suggestion and performed a smoking-related cue task twice during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning (in normal and hypnotic states). The number of cigarettes smoked per day was recorded at follow-up visits. The smokers reported decreased craving after hypnosis. The activations in the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC), the left insula and the right middle frontal gyrus (rMFG), and the functional connectivity between the rDLPFC and the left insula were increased in the hypnotic state. The reduced craving was related to the DLPFC-insula network, which reflected the immediate mechanism of hypnosis on smoking. The number of cigarette use at the 1-week and 1 month follow-up was correlated with the rMFG activation which reflecting hypnotic depth, suggesting the follow-up effect of hypnosis on smoking depended on the trait of smokers. We identified two different mechanisms of hypnosis effect on smoking, which have important implications for design and optimization of hypnotic treatments on mental disorders.

Brain Imaging Behav. 2020 Oct;14(5):1487-1497. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00072-0.

Self-help interventions for young people with persistent physical symptoms...

Full title: Self-help interventions for young people with persistent physical symptoms: A systematic review

Objective: Persistent physical symptoms are frequent among young people causing considerable social, psychological, and economic consequences. Easily accessible interventions adapted to non-specialized settings are needed. We aimed to systematically review randomized controlled trials on self-help interventions for young people with persistent physical symptoms compared to active or passive control groups. Our purpose was to 1) describe applied therapeutic approaches and content and 2) examine potential effects on symptom burden and psychosocial outcomes.

Methods: We included randomized controlled trials on minimal contact self-help interventions for young people with persistent physical symptoms. Systematic literature searches in PubMed, Cochrane Central, Embase, and PsycINFO were conducted. Study selection, data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers. A narrative synthesis of the effects was performed.

Results: We identified 11 studies on self-help interventions for young people. The methodological quality of the studies was generally low. Participants suffered from impairing fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, and musculoskeletal or multi-site pain. Applied therapeutic approaches were cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation training, hypnotherapy, and written self-disclosure. Outcomes were diverse and mainly related to symptom burden, whereas psychosocial outcomes were only sporadically examined. Overall, evidence of effectiveness of self-help interventions in alleviating symptom burden was weak, and potential effects could not be linked to one specific theoretical approach.

Conclusion: Few self-help interventions of diverse content exist for young people with persistent physical symptoms. Rigorously designed studies that include recommended outcome domains assessed by aligned measures are needed to determine and compare the clinical value of such interventions.

J Psychosom Res. 2021 Jun 19;148:110553. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110553.

Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome...

Full title: Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Type Symptoms in Patients with Quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Background and aims: Many inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] patients in remission have persisting symptoms, compatible with irritable bowel syndrome [IBS-type symptoms]. We aimed to compare the effectiveness of gut-directed hypnotherapy vs standard medical treatment [SMT] for IBS-type symptoms in IBD patients.

Methods: In this multicentre, randomized, controlled, open-label trial, patients aged 12-65 years with IBD in clinical remission [global assessment] and biochemical remission [faecal calprotectin ?100 µg/g, or ?200 µg/g without inflammation at endoscopy] with IBS according to Rome III criteria were randomized to hypnotherapy or SMT. Primary outcome was the proportion with ?50% reduction on a visual analog scale for symptom severity, as measured with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severity Scoring System [IBS-SSS] at week 40 [i.e. 6 months after finishing the intervention], compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included total IBS-SSS score, quality of life, adequate relief, IBS-related cognitions, and depression and anxiety scores.

Results: Eighty patients were included, of whom 70 received at least one session of the allocated treatment and were included in the modified intention-to-treat-population. Seven patients were excluded because of missing baseline data required for the primary outcome. The primary outcome was met in nine [27%] of 33 patients randomized to SMT and nine [30%] of 30 patients randomized to hypnotherapy [p = 0.81]. Adequate relief was reported in 60% and 40% of subjects, respectively. Exploratory analyses of secondary outcomes revealed no apparent differences between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions: Hypnotherapy was not superior to SMT in the treatment of IBS-type symptoms in IBD patients. Both treatment strategies are reasonable options from a clinical perspective.

J Psychosom Res. 2021 Jun 19;148:110553. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110553.

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