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Hope For ME Sufferers

Thousands of people in the UK suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), a long-term fatigue that affects everyday life.  

Researchers in Scotland have now identified two forms of treatment for sufferers of ME (otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS), discarding the assumption that nothing can be done for people living with the condition.   

According to the Scotsman, scientists - who spent eight years researching the syndrome - believe the condition can be reversed with counselling and exercise. Using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and graded exercise therapy (GET), researchers found that six out of ten patients returned to 'normal' energy levels after the year-long trial.

Michael Sharpe, professor of psychological medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said scientists had achieved a significant "milestone," as it confirmed CBT and GET were effective.

"This trial has clarified that picture, finding both GET and CBT have substantial beneficial effects and they are safe if delivered properly."

According to the Daily Telegraph, 641 people took part in the trial to receive one of four treatments - including specialised medical care and adaptive pacing therapy. Both CBT and GET, combined with the specialist care, produced the greatest improvements. 

Additionally, further studies for how other therapies - such as hypnotherapy - could help to relieve the symptoms (which can include tiredness, poor concentration and muscle pain) are being carried out, with the aim of identifying how they can be used more effectively.  

Trudie Chalder, a co-author of the study and professor of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy at King's College London said: "It is very encouraging that we have found not one but two treatments that are similarly helpful to patients, which provides them with a choice.