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Action on Depression campaign: GPs use self-hypnosis to combat depression

Dr Alistair Dobbin has led GPs in Edinburgh in the use of an innovative self-hypnosis programme ­ designed to tackle the crisis in access to depression services. Dr Dobbin, a GP in the city, designed a 12-week psychological therapy programme on CD that GPs prescribe to patients to copy and return, in place of antidepressants.

Patients lie back in a hypnotic state while listening to the Positive Mental Training CDs, which use CBT and emotional training based on a course designed to help Swedish athletes reach the Olympics.

Dr Dobbin said: 'The interesting thing about this is that existing staff are doing the work so you don't need psychologists.'

The pilot programme, launched in February, has already proved popular with GPs.

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