Ericksonian hypnosis in tinnitus therapy

-ENT. 2007;3 Suppl 7:75-7
Maudoux A, Bonnet S, Lhonneux-Ledoux F, Lefebvre P.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Liège, Belgium.



To evaluate the effect of Ericksonian therapy on tinnitus


Non-randomised, prospective longitudinal study.


Tertiary referral centre.


A total of 49 patients underwent hypnosis therapy. Fourteen patients failed to finish the therapy (drop-out rate: 35%). Of the 35 patients who completed the therapy, 20 were male and 15 female. The average age was 46.3 years (range 17-78).


The treatment is based on the principles and approaches of Ericksonian hypnosis. The first session was mainly dedicated to the evaluation of the impact of tinnitus on the patient's life and to an explanation of hypnosis therapy. The next sessions were "learning sessions" based on relaxation and mental imaging. Exercises were first based on all senses other than hearing. Then they focused on hearing, teaching patients how to modulate sound intensity, and finally how to modulate tinnitus intensity. Patients also learnt self-hypnosis.


To evaluate the effect of the treatment, tinnitus was assessed with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory questionnaire before and after the therapy. Results: After 5 to 10 sessions (mean: 8.09 + -1.92) of Ericksonian hypnosis therapy, the 35 patients were capable of self-hypnosis with the aim of modulating their tinnitus, and the measured THI score fell for all patients. The global score improved significantly from 60:23 before EH therapy to 16.9 at discharge. Within the group, the initial score was distributed as follows: 0% slight, 14% mild, 31% moderate, 31% severe and 23% catastrophic. The t-test for dependent variables revealed significant improvements in all subgroups (p < or = 0.005).


The results of this clinical trial demonstrate that Ericksonian hypnosis, in particular using self-hypnosis, is a promising technique for treating patients with tinnitus.