10 Misconceptions About Hypnosis You Should Know!

As a clinical hypnotherapist and long-time stage hypnotist (over 17 years) I have addressed many concerns both clients and volunteers have had regarding going or being guided into hypnosis. You may have had these concerns yourself.  My hope is to address the main reasons I have come across in my years in this profession.

ONE

I MUST DO EVERYTHING THE HYPNOTIST TELLS ME.  NO—HYPNOSIS IS NOT CONTROL, YOU ARE FREE TO IGNORE SUGGESTIONS WHILE IN TRANCE AND WILL NOT DO ANYTHING AGAINST YOUR WILL.

TWO

HYPNOSIS IS SLEEP—YOU ARE TOTALLY AWARE AND IN A HEIGHTENED STATE OF FOCUSED CONCENTRATION.  IF YOU WERE NOT AWARE THEN YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HYPNOTISTS’ SUGGESTIONS.

THREE

I CAN GET STUCK IN HYPNOSIS—NO, ONCE YOUR FOCUS IS BROKEN OR IF YOU WANT TO “WAKE UP” JUST OPEN YOUR EYES.  THE COMMENT I LIKE TO USE IS THIS, “I COULD DROP DEAD OF A HEART ATTACK WHILE YOU ARE ALL UNDER OR IN TRANCE AND YOU WOULD SIMPLY WAKE UP OR JUST FALL ASLEEP.

FOUR

I WOULDN’T WANT TO GET HYPNOTIZED BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE BEING OUT OF CONTROL.  BECAUSE YOU ARE AWARE, YOU ARE IN CONTROL.  AS A MATTER OF FACT, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE MORE CONTROL WHEN IN A HYPNOTIC MIND STATE.

FIVE

I WASN’T HYPNOTIZED, I WAS AWARE OF EVERYTHING YOU SAID.  YOU ARE ALWAYS AWARE., THAT AWARENESS IS YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND JUST SITTING BACK AND BEING AN OBSERVER.  THE STATE OF HYPNOSIS OCCURS WHENEVER YOU BECOME SO FOCUSED ON SOMETHING THAT TIME BECOMES INSIGNIFICANT. YOU ARE IN A TIMELESS STATE OF “FLOW”.

SIX

“…I KNOW THAT THE HYPNOTIZED NEVER LIE…” FROM “WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN” THE WHO.  PEOPLE LIE UNDER HYPNOSIS ALL THE TIME, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WANT TO IMPRESS THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM.  HYPNOSIS IS A VERY UNINHIBITED STATE OF MIND (MUCH LIKE WHEN ONE IS INTOXICATED).

SEVEN

IT MUST BE NICE TO BE A HYPNOTIST AND BEING ABLE TO CONTROL AND MAKE PEOPLE DO WHATEVER YOU WANT THEM TOO.  YES IT IS NICE TO BE A HYPNOTIST (MUCH LIKE IT IS NICE TO BE ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL), BUT ONCE AGAIN, IT IS NOT CONTROL.  IT IS SUGGESTION AND INFLUENCE AND CLIENTS AND/OR VOLUNTEERS ONLY FOLLOW SUGGESTIONS BECAUSE THEY MAKE SENSE TO AT THAT TIME.  THINK OF IT THIS WAY – IF IT WAS CONTROL THEN I WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE EVERYONE WHO CAME TO ME FOR QUITTING SMOKING ACTUALLY QUIT.  INSTEAD, I HELP THEM TO QUIT AND WHEN THEY ARE READY TO QUIT AND FOLLOW MY PROGRAM THEY ARE  SUCCESSFUL).

EIGHT

HYPNOSIS CAN GIVE YOU THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS YOU NEVER COULD BEFORE. YES AND NO.  IN THE CASE OF CONFIDENCE AND HIGH SELF ESTEEM, YES.  GETTING HYPNOTIZED TO BE A GREAT GOLFER WHEN YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED GOLF BEFORE, NO.  HYPNOSIS IS ALL ABOUT FOCUS AND WITH GREAT FOCUS YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS.  “IMAGINE WHAT YOU WOULD DO IF YOU WERE NOT AFRAID FAIL.”

NINE

PEOPLE WHO GET HYPNOTIZED DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE.  THIS ONE IS BASED ON STAGE SHOWS AND HYPNOTISTS SUGGESTING THEY WILL REMEMBER NOTHING ABOUT THE SHOW.   THIS IS BOTH TRUE AND FALSE.  I HAVE SEEN A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO REMEMBER THEIR DREAMS AND THOSE WHO REMEMBER WHAT THEY DO IN THE HYPNOSIS SHOWS.  ESSENTIALLY SOME REMEMBER IT LIKE A DREAM WHILE OTHERS REMEMBER NOTHING.  THE MEMORIES ARE ALL THERE AND CAN BE BROUGHT BACK WITH A SIMPLE INDUCTION AND SUGGESTION TO REMEMBER

TEN

PEOPLE ARE REALLY DIFFERENT WHEN THEY GET HYPNOTIZED.  NOT REALLY. THEY BECOME THEIR NATURALLY UNINHIBITED SELVES. MUCH LIKE HOW A PERSON CHANGES WHEN THEY ARE INTOXICATED, THEY ARE WHEN THEY ARE HYPNOTIZED.  THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AS CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THEY LOOK OR ACT AND ARE MORE FOCUSED ON WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.