As an experienced Hypnotherapist, I'm used to answering questions about hypnosis.
And I've realised that there are a LOT of hypnosis myths out there!
So I thought I'd answer a few of the most common myths I find in my inbox. I think you'll find it interesting!
Questions & Answers
Can anyone be hypnotized?
Most people can, providing they are able to understand what they have to do in order to achieve this state.
Can I be forced to say or do anything against my will whilst I am in hypnosis?
No. Hypnotherapy is not the same as stage hypnosis, you are free to accept or reject any suggestions made.
Will I be aware of what is happening or being said whilst I am in the hypnosis state?
Yes. You will feel deeply relaxed but will never lose contact with the Hypnotherapist’s voice.
What happens if I don’t come out of trance or something happens to the Hypnotherapist?
You would simply come out of the trance naturally as the rapport would be lost with the Hypnotherapist. No-one has ever remained in trance indefinitely.
Will I be able to drive afterwards?
Yes. You will still be feeling relaxed, however your actions and reactions will be functioning super efficiently.
When I am in hypnosis am I unconscious?
No, you are in a state half-way between sleep and wake.
Common myths and misunderstandings
"Hypnotists have special powers!"
Afraid not - although all those old Hollywood movies would have us believe otherwise. Hypnotists don't have any special powers. They simply have the knowledge and experience to help induce a deep state of relaxation, and deliver the right kind of message to your inner mind.
Effectively, all hypnosis is *self-hypnosis*. You're the one doing the work and changing your thought patterns. The hypnotist simply facilitates the process.
"Hypnosis only works on weak-minded people!"
Wrong way round! It's actually those who can focus and have a more creative mind that get the best results with hypnosis.
That's because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You're not being influenced by someone else. You're actually guiding yourself. And those people with greater focus and imagination get much more powerful results with that process.
In an article for Psychology Today, Dr Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D wrote an article titled 'The Power of Hypnosis', in which she noted that "modern research shows that hypnotizability is correlated with intelligence, concentration and focus."
"During hypnosis, you can be made to do things against your will!"
Totally untrue. Your personal values and beliefs always remain intact during hypnosis.
With hypnosis, you simply allow yourself to enter into a state of heightened suggestion. At that point, you can 'reprogram' your thinking patterns. You're the active participant in this. If a hypnotist tries to tell you to do something that goes against your values, you'll naturally reject it and jump out of your trance-like state.
"You can get stuck in a hypnotic trance and never wake up!"
You can absolutely never get stuck in any form of 'hypnotic trance'!
There has never ever been a single recorded case of this. The state you reach during hypnosis is similar to that of day-dreaming. You're just super-relaxed. You can 'wake up' again whenever you want to. Usually that will be at the end of the session, when guided to do so by the hypnotherapist.
"Hypnosis goes against my religion! This is the occult!"
Hypnosis doesn't go against any religion at all, and it isn't what some consider the "occult." Hypnosis is simply a safe and natural method of relaxing your mind, and feeding yourself with positive affirmations and ideas.
Hypnosis is a branch of psychology, and has absolutely zero connection to any religion whatsoever.
"Hypnosis isn't really effective at changing anything!"
Another myth. There have been countless studies that have proved the efficacy of hypnosis in a wide variety of settings.
Hypnosis was approved for medical use in 1958 by the American Medical Association, and almost all modern hospitals now utilize hypnosis to some degree. It has a reported 90.6% success rate in stopping smoking. (The University of Washington School of Medicine.) It was found to be over 30 times more effective than regular weight loss routines. (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.) It was found to bring 'immediate' and 'significant relief' to 75% of women who used it to assist with their IBS symptoms, with 80% still reporting improvement up to six years later. (American Psychological Association.)
It has also been proven to dramatically reduce migraines, speed up recovery from surgery, reduce the intensity of pain, help overcome drug addiction, relieve chemotherapy symptoms, and lower blood pressure. It's been found to be as effective as Ritalin in treating ADD in children. And those are just a few of the actual medical applications!
Hypnosis has also been used by thousands worldwide to improve confidence and self-esteem, release addictions, let go of fears and phobias, lose weight, stop smoking, improve brainpower, and much more.
A research study by American Health Magazine found hypnosis to be more effective than other forms of self-change, such as behaviour therapy and psychoanalysis. It reports that hypnosis had a 93% success rate after just 6 sessions -- compared to behaviour therapy with 73% after 22 sessions, and psychoanalysis with 38% after 600 sessions.
I hope this information has answered your question and reassured you that I can actually help you.
If not, and you'd like to ask me a question not answered here, I'd be very happy to hear from you.
You can get in touch here.