Bangkok Hypnosis

Bulimia Nervosa And Hypnotherapy

Posted by Sun on September 21, 2011

Griffiths treated bulimic patients with 4 weeks of behavioral therapy highlighting self-monitoring to establish healthy eating patterns, followed by 4 weeks of hypnotherapy to enhance self-control of bingeing and vomiting episodes. There was a significant reduction in both bingeing and vomiting measured in 6 weeks and in two years. Eight of the 14 participants (57%) were abstinent from bingeing and 10 (71%) were abstinent from vomiting for 3 months prior to the 2-year follow-up. These results suggest that adding a self-hypnosis component subsequent to a behavioral treatment may aid participants in maintaining their progress.

The addition of hypnosis to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) revealed significantly less binge frequency and compensatory behavior frequency at posttreatment among the CBT+Hypnosis group than the CBT group (Barga & Barabasz (in press). The hypnotic suggestions were built based on Barabasz’s work (1990) on posthypnotic suggestions for creating awareness in individuals with bulimia which included (a) triggers precipitating urges to binge and to engage in compensatory behaviors, (b) negative consequences of bingeing/engaging in compensatory behaviors and benefits of not bingeing/not engaging in compensatory behaviors, (c) the participant’s control and choice over bingeing and engaging in compensatory behaviors, and (d) rational thinking about the participant’s body weight and shape. The participants were instructed to practice these hypnotic suggestions at least once daily.

Maryelln Crowley and Anna Campion reviewing the treatment of bulimia and obesity in the book Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach, edited by Lynn and Kirsh (2006) described how hypnosis can be used as an adjunct to cognitive-behavior therapy for bulimia. Their treatment protocol includes three stages. In stage one of ten sessions, in addition to education, development of alternative methods of weight control and teaching self-monitoring, hypnosis can be used with posthypnotic suggestions for self-monitoring of dysfunctional behavior and focusing on the benefits of change. Hypnosis can also help clients become more interpersonally oriented and less focused on food and eating behavior. Stage two consists of eight sessions focusing on cognitive restructuring aimed to reinforce that the root of the problem, is very often, extreme dietary rules. The hypnotic component is used to help clients reintroduce forbidden foods gradually and with control. Stage three is oriented to helping clients to set realistic expectations and develop plans to deal with urges to binge or purge. Thus, hypnosis can be a valuable adjunct to behavior and cognitive therapy of bulimia.


I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email ( to discuss your situation.

Related Articles

Anorexia Nervosa Treatment

How to Treat Anorexia Through Hypnotherapy

Anorexia Nervosa And Hypnotherapy

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: