Dispelling Myths About Hypnosis

Myth #1: Intelligent people can’t be hypnotized. Only the mentally weak can be hypnotized.

Fact: In fact the exact reverse is probably, more true. The higher your intelligence and the stronger your self-control, the more easily you are hypnotized. That’s because entering a hypnotic trance is all about concentrating. Those who have a capacity for creativity and vivid imagination usually make the best subjects.

However finding it hard to enter a hypnotic state doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. People naturally vary in how susceptible they are to hypnosis. Studies have shown that around 30% of people are relatively resistant to being hypnotized. Although with effort, the state can usually be achieved eventually.

Myth #2: The Hypnotist will be able to control my mind.

Fact: No one can control your mind, unless you let them. Your Hypnotherapist will give you suggestions that you want to be given, based on the Pre-Hypnotic Interview. At no point during your session will you lose control of your mind. If you hear a suggestion that you don’t agree with, or don’t understand, your subconscious mind will automatically reject it.

Myth #3: I will be made to perform embarrassing acts, such as bark like a dog, or walk like a duck.

Fact: This assumption is based on Stage Hypnotism and Hollywood fiction. The truth is, these people volunteer to act on stage, and thy allow themselves to participate in silly suggestions. Hypnotherapy is a serious process of self-improvement, not entertainment.

Myth #4: When Hypnotized, I will lose all sense of my surroundings, and will have no memory of the session.

Fact: Hypnosis is not an unconscious state of sleep. In fact, most people report having a heightened sense of awareness, concentration and focus, and can even hear more acutely during a session.

Myth #5: Hypnosis comes from “Black Magic” or is “Supernatural”.

Fact: Hypnosis is a natural state that has been studied scientifically. Hypnotherapists are not Psychics with special powers. Hypnotherapy is based on many years of clinical research by famous Psychologists such as Dr. Sigmund Freud and Dr. Carl Jung, and more recently, by Dr. Milton Erikson and Dr. John Kappas.

Myth#6: If I become Hypnotized, I may not be able to snap out of it, or Hypnosis is dangerous, a person can get stuck in a trance forever.

Fact: No one has ever been stuck in a hypnotic trance. Hypnosis is very safe and is in fact, a state of hyper-awareness. Any time there is an emergency, a person would naturally be able to come out of the Hypnotic state by opening their eyes, and stretching or speaking. If the hypnotist fails to emerge someone from hypnosis, he/she will return to a fully alert state on their own. Depending on that person’s need for sleep, he/she will either drift on into a natural sleep or simply emerge to full consciousness spontaneously within minutes.

When in the state of hypnosis, our brainwaves vacillate through the Alpha to Theta ranges. Any time you choose to emerge from hypnosis, for any reason, you are able to simply open your eyes and become fully alert. If you were practicing self-hypnosis before going to bed and ended in the Delta state, then it would mean you’d simply fall asleep.

Myth #7: Some people can’t be hypnotized.

Fact: Although some researchers and clinicians claim that some people are not able to be hypnotized, everyone has the ability to be hypnotized because it’s a natural, normal state that each of us enter at least twice each day – upon awakening and falling asleep. We also enter a hypnotic state whenever we get totally engrossed in a movie or TV show. Whenever we are driving and daydreaming enough to miss a turn or highway exit we know to take, we probably were experiencing a light state of hypnosis.

People may have this misconception because of an unsuccessful experience they’ve had with a hypnotist.  People are responsive to different approaches, and if a particular approach has not been successful in the past, it’s a matter of finding the way that works best for them. Hypnotherapists/Hypnotists have several techniques that they can use, and are trained to find a method that will work best for you.

Myth #8: Hypnosis is a miracle cure.

Fact: While Hypnosis is a relatively quick method of making permanent improvements, there is no such thing as a one-time miracle cure. Every individual makes progress at his or her own rate.

Myth #9: Hypnosis is a great tool to get someone to confess.

Fact: Hypnotherapy sessions are kept private and cannot be used for court testimony. It is not an alternative to lie detector tests. Hypnosis cannot force anyone to tell the truth or to confess.

Myth #10: You can be hypnotized to do things against your will

Fact: The hypnosis practitioner is merely a guide or facilitator. He/she cannot make you do anything against your will. In fact, during a hypnotic session, you are completely aware of everything going on. In other words, if you do not like where the hypnotist is guiding you, you have the power to reject the suggestions.

Myth #11: Under hypnosis you will always tell the truth and could even reveal personal secrets

Fact: You can lie under hypnosis just as easily as in the waking state. In fact, as hypnosis gives you greater access to unconscious resources, you may even be able to tell more creative lies when in trance. Additionally, you are in complete control of what you chose to reveal or conceal.

Myth #12:  I won’t remember anything the hypnotist says.

Fact: Everyone experiences hypnosis differently, for some it’s a state in which you are focused on the hypnotists’ words and listening more carefully, for others it’s a little more like day dreaming and your attention may drift and wander from one thought to another, sometimes not paying any conscious attention to what the hypnotist is saying.  Either way is okay, and neither will be more or less effective than the other. It’s simply a matter of your own personal style.

Myth #13: Hypnosis is sleep

Fact: People look like they’re asleep when they’re hypnotized because their eyes are closed and they’re peaceful. But they’re not asleep. The brain waves of a person who is hypnotized are nothing like those of a person who is asleep. In fact the hypnotic trance is a heightened state of concentration. A high level of alpha waves on an EEG, show that a hypnotized person is awake, alert and very responsive.

Myth #14: Hypnosis is contrary to religious beliefs

Fact: Hypnosis can be used to ease or remove pain, overcome fears, phobias, addiction and other problems.  While a handful of religious sects have raised objections to hypnosis, today most religious groups accept the proper ethical use of hypnosis for helping people. Included are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestant Christian Churches as well as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others.  Hypnosis is not associated with any of the world religions. A professional and ethical hypnotist respects the faith of clients and will not use it inappropriately to influence a person’s religious beliefs.

Myth #15: Hypnosis isn’t an effective modality.

Fact: A Comparison Study Shows: “Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions.
Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessionsHypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions” Source: American Health Magazine