Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis as an evidence-based intervention to reduce emotional distress in women with breast cancer

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis as an evidence-based intervention to reduce emotional distress in women with breast cancer

Radiotherapy is a common and effective treatment for women with breast cancer. However, radiotherapy has also been shown to adversely affect patients’ emotional well-being. One intervention which has demonstrated clinical efficacy in the breast cancer radiotherapy setting is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis. According to a study published in 2014, breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy showed decreased fatigue as a result of cognitive behavioural therapy plus hypnosis. A randomized controlled trial of 100 patients showed that the treatment group displayed significantly less fatigue than a control group during the treatment and for up to 6 months post treatment.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2014; doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.49.3437), was led by Guy Montgomery, PhD, associate professor and director of the Integrative Behavioural Medicine Program in the Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York.
The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis on emotional distress in women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy. One hundred patients were randomly assigned to either the Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis (n = 50) or Attention Control (n = 50) group. Patients were taught the ABC model of cognitive-behavioural therapy: A, activating events; B, beliefs; and C, consequences. They were taught to identify beliefs that were negative and unhelpful and their consequences. They completed a thought worksheet based on the ABC model, and they were taught behavioural strategies such as activity scheduling and distraction to help them manage fatigue.
Results revealed significant benefits of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis on emotional distress at the mid-point (d = 0.54), the conclusion (d = 0.64), and 4 weeks following the conclusion (d = 0.65) of radiotherapy (all ps < 0.05).
In summary, the results support further study of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis has the benefits of being brief, non-invasive, lacking side-effects, and producing beneficial effects which last beyond the conclusion of radiotherapy. Given these strengths, the researchers propose that Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy plus Hypnosis is a strong candidate for greater dissemination and implementation in cancer populations.

Satori Self Development is excited and privileged to be in partnership with Big Yellow Umbrella

Satori Self Development is excited and privileged to be in partnership with Big Yellow Umbrella

In moving forward, Satori Self Development is excited and privileged to be in partnership with Big Yellow Umbrella, BYU (formally Camden Community Connections, CCC).
CCC has been providing services to the community of Narellan and Camden community since 1987. Today, BYU provides services to the entire Camden & Macarthur Local Government Area (LGA). The services include a Children’s Services program, Youth Services, and Community Development, including promoting and supporting a number of community groups.
The commitment has been to ensure an understanding of the people that live in the community and their needs through consultation. A key focus of the programs is to ensure equity of access for all groups in the community. The aim is to strengthen and enrich the community by connecting people with local services, community activities and each other.
What is the vision?
Simply, a strong and empowered community, where active participation in community life reduces isolation and disadvantage and improves overall quality of life.
In the coming weeks, Satori Self Development will be running programs.
So, come and join us for
Mindfulness Meditation 6 week program
Commencing 11th June, 12pm-1pm. Cost $10 per week
Narellan Child, Family and Community Centre
16-24 Queen St, Narellan NSW 2567
Wellness Seminars 6 week program [details to be announced shortly]
Improve your health, wellbeing and enjoy learning something new!
Book NOW for Mindfulness Meditation 6 week program by calling BYU on 02 46471283
BYU is a not for profit community organisation with no religious or political affiliations based in Narellan and serving the entire Camden & Macarthur Local Government Area (LGA).
Find out more, visit

Top 25 Most Popular Health and Fitness Services for 2017

We are delighted to announce that Health4You ranked Satori Self Development amongst the Top 25 Most Popular Health and Fitness Services for 2017. Health4You is Australia’s leading online marketplace for health and fitness.
In 2017, we held #1 Most Popular Health and Fitness Service in Macarthur & Camden Region and #3 Most Popular Health and Fitness Service in the Sydney Region.
Our services include – Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness Meditation, Medical Meditation, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Freedom Technique.
We provide Therapy & Coaching for Individuals, Couples & Groups for Mental Health & Wellbeing.
So, direct your attention now to better health and wellbeing!
Call us at Satori Self Development 0407906999 or 46474868

Brain areas altered during hypnotic trances identified

Brain areas altered during hypnotic trances identified

Researchers at Stanford University found changes in three areas of the brain that occur when people are hypnotized. By scanning the brains of subjects while they were hypnotized, researchers could see the neural changes associated with hypnosis. The possibility of a treatment that combines brain stimulation with hypnosis could improve the known analgesic effects of hypnosis and potentially replace addictive and side-effect-laden painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Hypnosis was the first Western form of psychotherapy. It involves highly focused attention, referred to as absorption (Tellegen and Atkinson 1974), coupled with dissociation, the compartmentalization of experience (Elkins et al. 2015), and suggestibility, nonjudgmental behavioral responsiveness to instructions from others (Spiegel H and Spiegel D 2004). Hypnosis is an effective adjunct in the treatment of pain, anxiety, psychosomatic, post-traumatic, and dissociative disorders (Spiegel and Bloom 1983; Colgan et al. 1988; Brom et al. 1989; Lang et al. 2000; Barry and Sanborn 2001; Bhuvaneswar and Spiegel 2013; Spiegel 2013; Tefikow et al. 2013; Adachi et al. 2014; Schaefert et al. 2014).
The scientists at Stanford University Medical Center, scanned the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis sessions. A study, published online on July 28, 2016 in Cerebral Cortex (1) reported that during hypnosis, distinct sections of the brain showed altered activity and connectivity.
A comment made by the study’s senior author David Spiegel, MD, professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioural sciences “now that we know which brain regions are involved, we may be able to use this knowledge to alter someone’s capacity to be hypnotized or the effectiveness of hypnosis for problems like pain control.”
There is a growing interest in the clinical potential of hypnosis, however little is known about how it works at a physiological level. In the past researchers have scanned the brains of people undergoing hypnosis. Those studies were designed to pinpoint the effects of hypnosis on pain, vision and other forms of perception but not the state of hypnosis itself.
To study hypnosis itself, researchers required people who could or could not be hypnotized. About 10 percent of the population is generally categorized as “highly hypnotizable,” while others are less able to enter the trancelike state of hypnosis. In this study, Spiegel and his colleagues screened 545 healthy participants and found 36 people who consistently scored high on tests of hypnotizability, as well as 21 control subjects who scored on the extreme low end of the scales. According to Spiegel, “it was important to have the people who are not able to be hypnotized as controls. Otherwise, you might see things happening in the brains of those being hypnotized but you wouldn’t be sure whether it was associated with hypnosis or not.”
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the brain activity of 57 participants were measured. Each person was scanned under four different conditions – while resting, while recalling a memory and during two different hypnosis sessions.
Brain activity and connectivity
In this study, Spiegel and his colleagues discovered three hallmarks of the brain under hypnosis. Each change was seen only in the highly hypnotizable group and only while they were undergoing hypnosis.
Firstly, the results showed a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate, which is part of the brain’s salience network. According to Spiegel, “in hypnosis, you’re so absorbed that you’re not worrying about anything else.”
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) lies in a unique position in the brain, with connections to both the “emotional” limbic system and the “cognitive” prefrontal cortex [dorsal anterior cingulate]. Cingulate cortex plays a significant role in mediating cognitive influences on emotion. The salience network is a collection of regions of the brain that select which stimuli are deserving of our attention. The network is critical for detecting behaviourally relevant stimuli and for coordinating the brain’s neural resources in response to these stimuli.
Secondly, the results showed an increase in connections between two other areas of the brain – the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. According to Spiegel, the brain-body connection helps the brain process and control what’s going on in the body.
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is a region in the frontal lobes toward the top and side; important function of the DLPFC is the executive functions, such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning, inhibition, and abstract reasoning. The insula is small region of the cerebral cortex located deep within the lateral sulcus, which is a large fissure that separates the frontal and parietal lobes from the temporal lobe. The insula has increasingly become the focus of attention for its role in body representation and subjective emotional experience. It is believed to be involved in consciousness and play a role in diverse functions usually linked to emotion or the regulation of the body’s homeostasis. These functions include compassion and empathy, perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal experience.
Thirdly, the researchers observed reduced connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode network, which includes the medial prefrontal and the posterior cingulate cortex. Spiegel commented that this decrease in functional connectivity is likely to represent a disconnect between someone’s actions and their awareness of their actions. According to Spiegel “when you’re really engaged in something, you don’t really think about doing it – you just do it.” During hypnosis, this kind of disassociation between action and reflection allows the person to engage in activities either suggested by a clinician or self-suggested without devoting mental resources to being self-conscious about the activity.
The default mode network (DMN), is a network of interacting brain regions known to have activity highly correlated with each other and distinct from other networks in the brain. The DMN is most commonly shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning. The network activates “by default” when a person is not involved in a task.
Thus, identifying the areas in the brain that hypnosis affects has great potential toward developing treatments for people that are less susceptible to hypnosis. According to Spiegel, a treatment that combines brain stimulation with hypnosis could improve the known analgesic effects of hypnosis and potentially replace addictive and side-effect-laden painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs. However, more research is needed before such a therapy could be implemented.
1. Heidi Jiang, Matthew P. White, Michael D. Greicius, Lynn C. Waelde, and David Spiegel. Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Associated with Hypnosis. Cerebral Cortex, July 2016 DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhw220
Tellegen A, Atkinson G. 1974. Openness to absorbing and selfaltering experiences (“absorption”), a trait related to hypnotic susceptibility. J Abnorm Psychol. 83:268–277.
Elkins GR, Barabasz AF, Council JR, Spiegel D. 2015. Advancing research and practice: the revised APA division 30 definition of hypnosis. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 63:1–9.
Spiegel H, Spiegel D. 2004. Trance and Treatment: Clinical Uses of Hypnosis. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Spiegel D, Bloom JR. 1983. Group therapy and hypnosis reduce metastatic breast carcinoma pain. Psychosom Med. 45: 333–339.
Colgan SM, Faragher EB, Whorwell PJ. 1988. Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in relapse prevention of duodenal ulceration. Lancet. 1:1299–1300.
Brom D, Kleber RJ, Defares PB. 1989. Brief psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorders. J Consult Clin Psychol. 57:607–612.
Lang EV, Benotsch EG, Fick LJ, Lutgendorf S, Berbaum ML, Berbaum KS, Logan H, Spiegel D. 2000. Adjunctive nonpharmacological analgesia for invasive medical procedures: a randomised trial. Lancet. 355:1486–1490.
Barry JJ, Sanborn K. 2001. Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of nonepileptic seizures. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 1:381–389.
Bhuvaneswar C, Spiegel D. 2013. An eye for an I: a 35-year-old woman with fluctuating oculomotor deficits and dissociative identity disorder. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 61:351–370.
Spiegel D. 2013. Tranceformations: hypnosis in brain and body. Depress Anxiety. 30:342–352.
Tefikow S, Barth J, Maichrowitz S, Beelmann A, Strauss B, Rosendahl J. 2013. Efficacy of hypnosis in adults undergoing surgery or medical procedures: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 33:623–636
Adachi T, Fujino H, Nakae A, Mashimo T, Sasaki J. 2014. A meta-analysis of hypnosis for chronic pain problems: a comparison between hypnosis, standard care, and other psychological interventions. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 62:1–28.
Schaefert R, Klose P, Moser G, Hauser W. 2014. Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of hypnosis in adult irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychosom Med. 76:389–398.
Dr. Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor of Medicine and associate chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is internationally known for his work in gauging the effects of the mind on physical health. As director of Stanford’s Center on Stress and Health, he oversees a wide variety of research on how stress and support affect the brain and body. He is also the Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford, which provides alternative and complementary services, such as acupuncture, meditation, hypnosis and massage, to help patients cope with cancer and other diseases. Spiegel has authored more than 475 research papers and chapters in scientific journals and ten books.

The Banksia Project – The Growth Rooms

It is a great pleasure to be involved with the The Banksia Project, as the South Western Sydney Growth Room Facilitator.
The Banksia Project is a men’s mental wellness initiative combining awareness building with constructive action.
This is achieved through:

  • Empowering Community and peer support
  • Enhancing social connection and learning through the sharing of experiences and
  • Promotion and adoption of positive, evidence-based lifestyle and mental health practices

The Growth Rooms are male only community support groups lead by trained facilitators discussing a range of topics from stress management, mental illness to wellness practices. All groups will have a Mental Health professional referral network and clinical supervision from partner institutions.
The Growth Rooms is a pilot and is intended to run for 6 months where the group can meet regularly (once per month) for approx. 2 hours.
Attendance is Free.
 If someone you know could be interested to participate in the pilot, please share this information.

Where?   The South-Western Sydney Growth Room is located at:
 SNAP Fitness 24-7.   Unit 3 / 4 – 6 George Hunter Drive. Narellan NSW 2567
When?   Start: Monday 17th July, 2017  from 7 – 9pm

Thereafter, every Monday from 7 – 9pm on the following dates:
14th August, 11th September, 16th October, 13th November and 11th December
Register:   go to and register your details.
Or contact – Achim SchenkGrowth Room Facilitator
M: 0407 906 999            E:
An informal chat with Australian Olympian Matt Shirvington; chatting about the strains of being a top sports performer. The Banksia Project- The Garden Room, held on 30th  May, 2017.
For more information about the The Banksia Project, please visit

Mindful May, 2017

Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Priest 1904 – 1971)
“If your mind is empty it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”.
Suzuki said that humans live in a trance, being half asleep/ awake at the best  of times and suggested
Meditation as a tool of intervention/ awakening.
Source: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
Let Mindful May, 2017  be the beginning of your awakening!!
Join us for Mindfulness Meditation – 8 weeks.
Commencing 10th May – 28th June, 2017.
Go to All Events for details.