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In the latter half of the twentieth century, two factors contributed to the development of the cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnosis:

  1. Cognitive and behavioural theories of the nature of hypnosis (influenced by the theories of Sarbin) and Barber became increasingly influential.
  2. The therapeutic practices of hypnotherapy and various forms of cognitive-behavioural therapy overlapped and influenced each other.

Although cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis must be distinguished from cognitive-behavioural approaches to hypnotherapy, they share similar concepts, terminology, and assumptions and have been integrated by influential researchers and clinicians such as Irving Kirsch, Steven Jay Lynn, and others.

At the outset of cognitive-behavioural therapy during the 1950s, hypnosis was used by early behaviour therapists such as Joseph Wolpe and also by early cognitive therapists such as Albert Ellis.Barber, Spanos snd Chaves introduced the term "cognitive-behavioural" to describe their "nonstate" theory of hypnosis in Hypnotism: Imagination & Human Potentialities (1974). However, Clark L. Hull had introduced a behavioural psychology as far back as 1933, which in turn was preceded by Ivan Pavlov. Indeed, the earliest theories and practices of hypnotism, even those of Braid, resemble the cognitive-behavioural orientation in some respects.

Barber, Spanos and Chaves (1974) proposed a nonstate "cognitive-behavioural" theory of hypnosis, similar in some respects to Sarbin's social role-taking theory and building upon the earlier research of Barber. On this model, hypnosis is explained as an extension of ordinary psychological processes like imagination, relaxation, expectation, social compliance, etc. In particular, Barber argued that responses to hypnotic suggestions were mediated by a "positive cognitive set" consisting of positive expectations, attitudes, and motivation. Daniel Araoz subsequently coined the acronym "TEAM" to symbolise the subject's orientation to hypnosis in terms of "trust", "expectation", "attitude", and "motivation".

Barber et al., noted that similar factors appeared to mediate the response both to hypnotism and to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), in particular systematic desensitization. Hence, research and clinical practice inspired by their interpretation has led to growing interest in the relationship between hypnotherapy and CBT.