Effectiveness/Success Rate?

April 2017

How effective is hypnosis? What is the success rate?

These are very common questions I get asked so I figured why not do a quick blog about it. The reality though is the information is out there and fairly easy to find, but I wanted to see if I could make the info more readily attainable. To be honest, I’m not sure how many people even read through my blogs-I know a few do!-but it’s fun for me to write them anyway, so let’s get started!

First off, let’s just generalize things. When people ask me, “What is your success rate?” I usually answer with an approximation. My answer is this:  For most issues as well as for most people you’re looking at right around an 85% success rate. That might mean one session or a group of sessions, but that’s a comfortable number for me. I have zero doubt that the rate of 85% gets hit. I have two points of reference that tell me it’s accurate. 1. The studies and research out there validate the number. You’ll see a range of percents and they are different for each study, but after you look at enough of them like I have, you’ll see that the effectiveness rate hovers around that number. This is the rate of people who were satisfied in the changes they were able to make with the addition of hypnosis.  2. Since I’m a professional hypnotist, I am able to gauge how well people are doing when they work with me personally. The studies show us information based on various hypnotists assisting people, but this is my own practice, and thus the results that matter to me are purely how well I am doing. I don’t actually monitor people after they have completed sessions. I don’t really like to bug people once they have had their sessions. But I always find out how they are doing up until the time they choose not to do any more work. So I’m very aware of how well my clients are doing. You’ll find I’m very efficiency minded and so I’m not a big fan of when things aren’t going as well for someone. Ya know, hypnosis is different for every single person, and so all I can do is put my expertise into practice and adjust when I can to try and get the best possible outcomes for my clients. But anyhow, the point is with all of that, is I’m 100% comfortable saying the 85% rate. I believe it may be higher, but that number is a good minimum.

This next section I’m just going to post studies and let you be the judge. For every one study I post there are hundreds more, but I’ll leave it to you to find them. And please do that. It’s really great when people come in and they have spent the time researching. They know it works when they come in and are therefore in a great frame of mind to start things off. So here are a few studies for you to review and see the effectiveness numbers!

  1. Here is one about smoking cessation. I like it because it is a meta-analysis. So it took many studies and averaged out the info.

Hypnosis Most Effective Says Largest Study Ever: 3 Times as Effective as Patch and 15 Times as Effective as Willpower

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone.

-University of Iowa, Journal of Applied Psychology, How One in Five Give Up Smoking.
October 1992.

2. Here is one about weight loss. Another meta-analysis.

Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off

Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.

Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.

-University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.

3. Weight loss.

Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches

An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.

-University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).

4. Famous survey.

In 1970, Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. conducted a survey of scientific literature to compare recovery rates for various modalities of therapy:

  • Psychoanalysis can be expected to have a 38% recovery rate after approximately 600 sessions.
  • Behavior therapy (Wolpian) can be expected to have a 72% recovery rate after an average of 22 sessions.
  • Hypnotherapy can be expected to have a 93% recovery rate after an average of 6 sessions

-Source: Barrios, Alfred A. “Hypnotherapy: A Reappraisal,” Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice (1970)


Well, that’s all I’m going to write about this subject for today. Hopefully this blog was helpful when it comes to getting some answers to the most common question of all. One thing you’ll find if you do your own research is that some studies are not as friendly to the idea of hypnosis as others are. And to me that’s okay. Not all studies are created equal and some are better than others or stronger than others. For every one study that suggest hypnosis didn’t seem to help all that much, there are a hundred others that say the opposite. There are far more positive ones about hypnosis. I know I’m convinced of it, but it’s easy for me. I’ve done the research and I also do the work one-on-one with clients every week of the year. For those considering it, know this:  There isn’t much to lose by trying it, provided you’re in the right position to engage in the process. It’s usually a winning move for the vast majority of people. It doesn’t work for everyone, but then again what does work 100% of the time, for every single person? An 85% typical success rate for most issues and most people is pretty impressive to me at least. Just go in open minded and with some knowledge if you can and you’ll be set up for success. I am not a fan of seeing someone walk away without feeling great about their growth as a person, so be assured that anytime I encounter such an experience I make a note of it and begin to see what I could do different to help reduce that particular outcome. Humans are humans, but I want to do my best to make sure I have every box ticked. Have questions? Hit me up! You’re not bothering me in the least asking me questions or voicing your feelings about the process. If you had a so-so experience with another hypnotist, just know that every professional has their own style and techniques. Often I have people come to me who didn’t click with the style of another and excelled with me. So don’t give up on this wonderful process we call hypnotism.  If you know anyone who might benefit from this information please pass it along! Thanks for reading! Also, I’d love it if you went on the Facebook page for Repose Hypnosis and clicked LIKE. Thanks!