Hypnosis and Self Esteem

In 2006, Thomas Herber conducted an interesting piece of research as part of his Masters program*.

His thesis begins, ” Enhancing self-esteem may have significant therapeutic value, but little research has been done on the application of hypnotic ego strengthening for this purpose. This study examined the effects of two procedures intended to enhance self-esteem: one in which ego strengthening suggestions were read verbatim to participants after a hypnotic induction (ES), and one in which the same suggestions were read to participants without a hypnotic induction (PT). Each participant attended two sessions one week apart. During the first session, participants (n = 33) were administered the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale (SHCS; Morgan & Hilgard, 1975) to determine hypnotizability, and the State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES; Heatherton & Polivy, 1991) to determine a pre-test indicant of self-esteem.”

Herber concludess, ” These findings indicate that although ego strengthening suggestions alone can result in higher self-esteem, including a hypnotic induction with such suggestions increases the effect.”

Further evidence of how a skilled therapist using hypnosis can achieve significant improvements in cases of low self esteem.



by Thomas John Herber. M.A.
Washington State University
May 2006

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