Research & Neuroscience

The Health Education Authority has said, “research shows that there is more scientific evidence for hypnotherapy than any other complementary therapy, by using hypnotherapy people can perform prodigious feats of willpower and self-healing”. Hypnotherapy is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) as an effective treatment for IBS.

There have been numerous studies on the power of relaxation in relation to reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress. Hypnotherapy couch work, combined with the sleep MP3, can be a very powerful ally in reducing stress and anxiety levels. Studies have looked specifically at progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) as a technique for reducing anxiety. A 2013 study by Zargarzadeh and Shirazi into the efficacy of PMR for reducing test anxiety in nursing students found positive evidence that it was a helpful technique. The researchers comment that evidence shows relaxation to be the ‘strongest and most powerful treatment for psychosomatic complications including anxiety’.

An important concept with the client’s continued improvement is the brain’s ability to change. In the same way that muscles grow when being worked at the gym, so too can the brain grow. Research from a number of academics show how the brain is effectively being rewired all the time – as opposed to being fixed in one particular hard wired state. It has also been shown that our thoughts can affect the physical structure of the brain.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, conducted studies to determine whether imagination could lead to material changes in the brain. He taught two groups of non-musicians a sequence of piano notes, allowing them to hear the notes as they were played. One group physically practiced the sequence for two hours a day over five days. The other group simply imagined playing and hearing the sequence for the same amount of time, remarkably mental practice alone produced the same physical changes in the motor system as actually playing the pieces. The combination of ten hours mental practice with only two hours physical rehearsal, was enough to equal the skill level achieved through ten hours physical practice. Hypnotherapy can help clients to understand how the brain works, and encourage people to think more positively, using visualisation and solution focused techniques, so they can begin to form new neural connections in the brain related to positive outcomes- becoming naturally more positive and happier.

In 1999, the British Medical Journal published a Clinical Review of current medical research on hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies, it concludes:

  • There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety particularly that related to stressful situations such as receiving chemotherapy.
  • They are also effective for panic disorders and insomnia, particularly when integrated into a package of cognitive therapy.
  • A systematic review has found that hypnosis enhances the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy for conditions such as phobia, obesity, and anxiety.

I use CORP software as part of my practice. The software has been used by some of the top therapists in the U.K, but can be used by any professional looking to record their outcomes and increase the performance of their practice. Matthew Cahill is the Co-Founder of CORP and has been developed for the rigors of therapy; this software has been trialed in real life therapeutic situations and is the choice of the CPHT training collage, professional therapists, and members of the AfSFH for their research programme.

What does CORP stand for?

CORP stands for “CPHT Outcomes and Research Programme” because the software was originally  designed and used for measuring frontline outcomes in private practice and has been relied upon in some of the most successful practices in the U.K. Professionals from all walks of life are now finding that customers want evidence of the skills by the way of measured outcomes.


Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: A Practitioner’s Guide, Matthew Cahill (2018)

British Medical Journal (1999)

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