Myths and Misconceptions about Hypnosis

The Truth About Hypnosis

Is Hypnosis the same as mind control?
Hypnosis is not mind control or brainwashing. People change their minds and actions throughout their lives. When such changes occur as a result of exposure to specific information, it is because this information has been presented through persuasion and influence. A hypnotherapist uses communicative methods of persuasion and influence; so do people who advertise and market goods and services; so do teachers, politicians, lawyers, entertainers, parents, and ministers.

I fear I won't know what's happening during Hypnosis?
During trance, you are not immobilized. You know exactly where you are the entire time. You can adjust your position, scratch, sneeze, or cough. You can open your eyes and bring yourself out of trance at any time you wish. During trance, you can still hear sounds around you, like a phone ringing. You can alert yourself and respond to any situation that needs your immediate attention. You remain oriented as to person, place, and time. You can even hold a conversation in trance.

Isn't Hypnosis just sleep?
Trance is not sleep, although some people get so relaxed in trance that they may fall asleep. This is no problem because some part of the mind continues to listen to the voice of the hypnotherapist. In trance, sleeping subjects can still follow instructions such as moving a finger, taking a deep breath, or awakening themselves when they are told to do so.

Doesn't everyone experience trance the same?
There is no "right" way to experience trance. One person may experience it as a deep, heavy restful feeling, while another may experience it as a light, floating sensation. Some people hear every word spoken by the therapist, while others allow their minds to drift to other thoughts. Some experience vivid imagery, while others do not. Some people remember the suggestions they hear, and some do not. Every person's experience of hypnosis is unique.

I fear that in Hypnosis I will be made to do something I don't want to.
Hypnosis cannot cause anyone to do something against their will or that contradicts their values. First, a hypnotherapist is ethically required to make only those suggestions that support agreed-upon outcomes. Second, clients are not receptive to suggestions that go against their morals or values---because receptivity is one of the ingredients of success in hypnosis.



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