Hypnotherapy and hypnosis have had mixed responses over the years and this has largely been to hypnotherapy used as entertainment – and it is entertaining. But there is a difference between stage hypnotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy and it is my objective to dispel a few myths around this powerful form of therapy.
It is fair to say some people are scared of losing control, not being in control or being programmed to do something or believe something against their will.
First things first, I want to offer a layman definition to allay any fears and to set a few pre-conceptions in order.
Before I discuss the 7 myths I will explain the hypnotic state.
A hypnotic state is a deep place of relaxation, that restful place you find yourself in before you begin to doze off, or when you are daydreaming, or focused intently on a task you are enjoying. You can take yourself to these places yourself or employ the services of a trained hypnotherapist to do it for you. When using the services of a trained hypnotherapist, you will be guided with imagery and/or calming music. So what happens when you are in this relaxed state?
The simple answer – you are relaxed. Simple. Nothing more. A relaxed state is just that, a relaxed state of being. Okay, I will give you a little more. In any relaxed sate, whether this is self-induced or facilitated through a trained therapist, allows an opening to the subconscious which means that any suggestions you wish to take on can bypass the conscious mind. NB only those messages that you want to take on will filter through. Your mind will not take on ideas or beliefs that work against what is true to you. The subconscious is the place where old habits or thought, beliefs and patterns are stored and this is where new programs or ideas can be implanted for transformation. The hypnotherapist and client will decide together on the changes or goals that are desired. So that out of the way, let’s get into debunking some of those myths.
Seven Myths Debunked
Myth One: I will lose control – it is not safe
Hypnotherapy is a completely safe and non-invasive therapy. You are fully in control at all times, you are relaxed but this does not mean you are at risk or that you will lose control. It is as safe as daydreaming, focusing intently on a hobby or transporting yourself through a movie or book. Being in a hypnotic state is pleasant and leaves you feeling more relaxed and in-control as opposed to out of control or scatty.
Myth Two: I might be hypnotised to do something I don’t want to do, like perform a silly trick
Many of us have seen the stage entertainers turning willing participants into chickens or dancing machines. But this type of hypnotherapy is not what a trained Clinical Hypnotherapist would do. A Stage Hypnotist and Clinical Hypnotherapist are 2 completely different disciplines. They may work through the same subconscious processes and with your consent but the result is different because of the objective.
Myth Three: If I can be hypnotised easily this means I am weak
Being hypnotised relies upon a relaxed state of mind not a strong or weak mind. A relaxed state of mind is about strength of mind not weakness. Allowing a hypnotic process to work with the subconscious takes more strength than weakness, just as re-programing old habits and negative thoughts relies upon a strong mind.
Myth Four: I will fall asleep when hypnotised
Rest assured, you will not snore your way through a hypnotherapy session. Whilst some may have heard a hypnotherapist use the words ‘you are getting sleepy’ this terminology is not used these days especially with trained clinical hypnotherapists. A trained hypnotherapist will use the suggestion of relaxation and whilst you are deeply relaxed you remain awake throughout the hypnotherapy session.
Myth Five: The Hypnotist will swing a watch or pendulum hypnotise me
Back to the Stage Hypnotherapists, and we find someone who may use this type of prop, possibly hypnotherapists of days of old as well. These days Hypnotherapists stray from this type of performance (for performance is just what it is.) However in saying that, in times past when this type of method was used it was used by some as a focus point. These days a trained therapist will used music, sounds of nature or a script to bring you into a state of relaxation.
Myth Six: Will I get stuck in a hypnotic state?
Not a chance! You cannot be stuck in a hypnotic state because a hypnotic state as already pointed out is a state of relaxation. Relax – you will not be stuck performing like a chicken for the rest of your life – you may however be ‘stuck’ with a broken addiction to smoking or negative thinking J
Myth Seven: Will I tell all – like my personal secrets?
Remember you are in a state of relaxation, you will still be aware of what is going albeit dreamily, but your mind is fully aware and awake during a hypnotic session. You will not share your deepest secrets or reveal skeletons in the closet; you may on the other-hand become more aware as your inner world reveals more about your inner programing.
I hope this has helped to allay any fears, concerns and put to rest some myths. The important things to remember are; hypnotherapy is not magical and the therapist is not a magician, you enter into a relaxed state but you are still in control, it is perfectly safe and non-invasive and hypnotherapy is powerful in breaking addictions, habits and negative thinking – hypnotherapy is empowering and can change your life.
Some of the positives of hypnotherapy are:
- The power to change or replace negative patterns, thoughts, and habits with new positive beliefs and patterns such as addictions
- Developing a deep sense of calm and relaxation not unlike meditation
- Helps you to awaken and connect with the greater potentials of your mind
- Understanding more about your inner programming
- Opens up a way for new perspectives and awareness
- Empowers and energises you into new life directions
Try hypnotherapy for yourself!
Information in this article is for educational purpose only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. There are no guarantees with this diet.