Hypnosis & confidence/self-esteem research


Research suggests that regular self-hypnosis can have a positive impact on confidence and self-esteem. Research by Pelkala et al (2004) found that:

“individuals who played the self-hypnosis audiotapes … report(ed) the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups.”

In particular Kow and Oldridge reported good results using “ego strengthening” suggestions to improve self-esteem in university students:

“susceptible subjects made significant improvements in self-concept after four sessions of hypnotic treatment…”

One of the great benefits of using hypnosis for confidence and self esteem is that it uses the imagination to improve self-image. Techniques can help individuals imagine themselves receiving the support they need for whatever challenges lay ahead. Ruysscheaert (2014) puts this particularly well:

“Hypnosis offers a wealth of tools to work on self-image, from direct suggestions to symbolic and imaginary experiences as the imaginary support circle where one can be surrounded by nurturing and caring people to experience acceptance and support”

A technique known as “hypno-analysis” in combination with the “affect bridge” has also been found to be of great benefit, where experiences which have contributed to low confidence or self-esteem can be safely re-visited and re-processed (Watkins, 1971).


Further reading

Daitch, C. (2007) Affect regulation toolbox: Practical and effective hypnotic interventions for the over-reactive client, New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Koe, G.G and Oldridge, O.A(1987) An Experimental Investigation of the Interaction between Hypnotic Responsiveness and Type of Esteem Suggestion on Self-Concept American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 30 , Iss. 1

Pekala, R.JMaurer, R., Kumar, V. K., Elliott, N.C., Masten, E., Moon, E. and Salinger, M (2004) Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training with Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect, and Relapse. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 46 , Iss. 4

Ruysschaert, N (2014) The Use of Hypnosis in Therapy to Increase Happiness. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 56 , Iss. 3

Watkins, J. G. (1971) The affect bridge: A hypnoanalytic-technique. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, XIX, : 21–17.


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