Depress Anxiety. 2013 Apr;30(4):342-52. doi: 10.1002/da.22046. Epub 2013 Feb 19.
In this review, the role of hypnosis and related psychotherapeutic techniques are discussed in relation to the anxiety disorders. In particular, anxiety is addressed as a special form of mind/body problem involving reverberating interaction between mental and physical distress. The history of hypnosis as a therapeutic discipline is reviewed, after which neurobiological evidence of the effect of hypnosis on modulation of perception in the brain. Specific brain regions involved in hypnosis are reviewed, notably the dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The importance of hypnotizability as a trait, stable variability in hypnotic responsiveness, is discussed. Analogies between the hypnotic state and dissociative reactions to trauma are presented, and the uses of hypnosis in treating posttraumatic stress disorder, stressful situations, and phobias as well as outcome data are reviewed. Effects of hypnosis on control of somatic processes are discussed, and then effects of psychosocial support involving Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy and hypnosis on survival time for cancer patients are evaluated. The evidence indicates an important role for hypnosis in managing anxiety disorders and anxiety related to medical illness.