Dispelling Hypnosis Myths
Worried about experiencing hypnosis? Concerned about losing control or being made to do embarrassing things?
Major Hypnosis Myths
A number of myths and fears around hypnosis have emerged over the years, many of them due to the perceptions of stage show hypnosis and Hollywood movies. The most common myths are explained below.
Myth 1: Fear of being humiliated.
You may have seen or heard of hypnosis stage shows where the people on stage are clucking like chickens or doing other odd behaviour. The people on stage freely volunteered to come up on stage and also freely chose to accept the suggestions given to them on stage. Because the people who volunteer to go up on stage have less inhibition than those who do not, they are likely to do things that others would not do anyway.
Importantly, it has been proven through research that if a suggestion is made to a client during hypnosis, which is in conflict with the client’s values and beliefs, the client will either ignore the suggestion or come out of hypnosis fully and instantly. That means that if someone was to suggest to you to cluck like a chicken and you would never act in that way (because it is in conflict with your values and beliefs), you would simply ignore the suggestion or come out of hypnosis. Therefore, you will never be humiliated during hypnosis.
Myth 2: Fear of loss of control.
This myth is related to the first one. It also relates to some people’s misconceptions that only the weak and the gullible can be hypnotised because they can be controlled. Studies have shown that people with above average intelligence who can concentrate and have an imagination, make the best hypnotic subjects.
Often clients are out of control when they have unwanted habits and behaviours eg. over eating, smoking, fears, etc. Hypnosis helps them to get control back of their behaviours and their life. Again, if the client finds a suggestion inappropriate during hypnosis, the client will either refuse to participate or come out of hypnosis fully and instantly. You are always in control. If you are hypnotizing yourself negatively with your self talk, you will be more in control during hypnosis than in your everyday life.
Myth 3: Being zonked out, in a deep sleep.
Some people think that hypnosis requires them to go into a deep sleep where they have no recollection or remembrance of what happens during hypnosis. This myth comes from old Hollywood movies and traditional hypnotherapy techniques from years gone by where the hypnotherapist would ask the client to watch the watch, and then ask them to fall into a deep sleep.
Using new hypnosis techniques requires the client to only be in a light to medium state of relaxation, during which the client will have heightened awareness and will hear what the hypnotherapist says. Because you will hear every word during hypnosis that means you have hypnotised yourself.
Most importantly, all hypnosis is self hypnosis where the client is hypnotising themselves by following the suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. During hypnosis, the client is always in control of the suggestions that they accept and that they act upon.