Common Questions And Misconceptions About Hypnosis And Hypnotherapy

This written an article that seeks to explain the many misconceptions that exist in people’s minds. Before you even consider hypnosis or hypnotherapy as a treatment for your problem, you need to understand the content of this article. Every hypnotist needs to learn the facts about hypnosis and not just adopt the impressions from cartoons and movies. Enjoy this enlightening article about hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

There are many stories about hypnotherapy being dangerous, turning people into chickens, people not being able to wake up, and unscrupulous hypnotists exploiting their ‘vulnerable’ patients.  However, many people are adamant that it has helped change their lives, helping them succeed in their goals.  Millions of people swear that it has helped them with many issues such as weight loss, quitting smoking, other addictions, confidence, phobias, stress, success, IBS, and many more problems.

There is a large and growing tradition of hypnosis being used for therapeutic purposes, not just for entertainment.  Therapeutic and entertainment hypnosis are two very different things.  A clinical hypnotherapist does not aim to create the illusion of having people ‘under’ his control.  Stage hypnotists do this with the clever use of pressure, showmanship, and choosing the correct participants.

Many people are missing out on this powerful yet safe therapeutic tool because they are too afraid to use it.  I hope to dispel these fears by answering these common questions about hypnotherapy.

Can I be hypnotized?

Most people can go into a hypnotic trance.  The only types of people that cannot be hypnotized are …

  1. Those who have psychosis or a thought disorder
  2. A person with a low IQ
  3. A person does not want to be hypnotized.  It is straightforward to resist hypnosis (in all its forms) if you want to.

What is a hypnotic trance?

It is a normal and natural state that most of us experience several times a day.  It commonly happens when people are driving.  Have you ever gone somewhere and not remembered the journey?  It also often occurs when reading a book or watching TV.  Sometimes you can be so absorbed in the book or TV program that you are not consciously aware that someone is talking to you.  Hypnosis focuses on conscious attention in such a narrow corridor of influence.  The conscious mind is so intensely concentrated that the conscious mind is not critically analyzing other forces.  We still hear them, although we are not always aware.  An excellent example of this is when you are in a place where several conversations are going on at once.  They may all sound like a mass of background noise.  However, if someone in one of those conversations mentions your name, you consciously focus on that conversation.  How did you know someone said your name?  Your subconscious mind (which is far more powerful than your conscious mind) was listening to EVERY conversation AT THE SAME TIME!  That is perhaps a reason why you can sometimes “know” something.  Your subconscious mind has absorbed it without you consciously being aware.

What does hypnosis feel like?

When in a trance, you feel more mentally and physically relaxed.  It is an enjoyable experience, and you can tell that you are still in control.   You can still hear exactly what is happening around you unless you choose to drift your attention away.   You become aware that you can easily stand up, talk, or move whenever you want.  Many people (me included), when they first experience a hypnotic trance, thrust their fingers or hands to test whether they can move at will.  Sometimes a patient can be a little difficult to wake up.  This is not a sinister thing as it has been portrayed.  No one has ever been stuck in a trance.  It is more a case that a patient just “can’t be bothered” to wake up as it feels so pleasant.  However, they soon become bored and will wake up pretty soon.  One trick the old hypnosis pro’s use is to tell the patient that they are charging for the time.  It’s amazing how quickly they then wake up!

Is hypnosis dangerous?

A hypnotic trance is a natural state that almost everyone goes into several times per day.  In 1955 the British Medical Association set up an inquiry favorably reported hypnosis as a therapeutic tool.  It even recommended that it should be taught at medical schools.  The Council also approved hypnosis of Mental Health of the American Medical Association in September of 1958 as a safe practice with no harmful side effects.  Since then, there has been an acceleration in establishing hypnosis societies for doctors, dentists, and psychologists.  No one has been seriously hurt with hypnosis.

Can I be made to do things against my will?

You could never be made to do anything against your will or contrary to your value system.  If this was possible, would there not be criminals learning the art of hypnotherapy to hypnotize their bank managers into opening the vaults and handing over a large sum of cash?!  In a trance, you would not unknowingly reveal your deepest secrets.  You can even lie when in a daze, which is one reason why testimony in hypnosis is not admissible evidence in a court of law.  Police only use it to help with the investigation. A person will only act upon suggestions that serve them in some way or reinforce an expected behavior, anything else their subconscious will ignore. Most people develop these misperceptions from seeing or hearing about a Stage Hypnosis show.  However, they essentially achieve their results from showmanship, selecting the more extroverted people, and peer pressure.

How long will it take before I notice a change?

In one session, you can expect to become more relaxed than you are right now.  Most people do not relax enough, and some never seem to rest!  Being more flexible can help most mental and physical problems that you may have.  I have often had patients report that people noticed that they seemed more relaxed after just one session.  In the past, I have significantly helped with problems such as IBS, skin complaints, and addictions simply by doing relaxation work.

Hypnosis can bridge the gap between your head and your heart, making your goals much more emotionally compelling and therefore increasing your chances of permanent change.  Depending upon the intensity and number of sessions, you will notice suggestions for the desired behavioral changes spontaneously popping into your conscious mind almost immediately.

Please keep an open mind when deciding if to use hypnotherapy.  For several years, I have been a clinical hypnotherapist, trained by the London College of Clinical Hypnotherapy (LCCH).  During this time, I have witnessed many things that, quite frankly, amaze me at times!  I have helped so many people in so many ways that I feel it would be a shame for people to opt-out simply due to unfounded fear and misinformation.  Make sure you find a therapist that has received good training from a well-respected body, such as the LCCH, and you will not be disappointed.  It is not perfect.  Hypnosis does not solve everything all the time.  However, it does help almost all of the time and can create remarkable changes.  With a well-qualified practitioner, you are pretty much guaranteed a comforting, relaxing, and enjoyable experience, as well as a shot at gaining perfect ground towards your goals.  I hope you are not missing out for the wrong reasons. ed (even though hypnosis is a pervasive state)

And to answer your question more directly, YES, it’s widespread that the clients will estimate that they have been in hypnosis a concise while, which has taken a great deal longer.