Hypnosis Myth One – Not everyone can be hypnotised.
This is one of the biggest myths levelled at hypnosis. This is in fact not true. Everyone goes into trance often many times a day, when they are reading, watching TV or simply deeply engaged in an activity.
The Key here is that Hypnosis requires a level of cooperation between the individual to be hypnotised and the hypnotherapist. A good hypnotherapist will ask appropriate questions to find out about the person they are looking to treat, to assess how they can best be helped by the process. The information and rapport developed between therapist and the client builds the trust needed for someone to go into trance successfully. If this is not established then a resistance can develop and someone can quite easily refuse to go into trance. Ultimately all hypnosis is self hypnosis, so if a client is ready to make a change in their life then there is a much greater chance that a change can be made.
Hypnosis Myth Two – You Are MADE To Go Into Trance By Someone Else
Again this is untrue. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, and it is not possible for someone to go into hypnosis and do something that they don’t want to do.
We all hypnotise ourselves everyday by convincing ourselves of things that, in reality, might not be true. An example of this would be to imagine a trip to the dentist, where a needle might be used. We imagine the pain to be terrible, far worse than the reality, and the outcome is that it hurts in a terrible way because we have self hypnotised ourselves into believing this is true.
Hypnosis is a partnership based on trust, and a good hypnotherapist guides you into a state where your subconscious is better able to listen to the changes you want. Think of it as more of a partnership between you and your hypnotherapist.
In my sessions I will always ask my clients how committed they are to see change happening. If on a scale of 1 to 10, the want is high I will agree to work with the client, if not I wouldn’t want a client to waste their time effort and money. For example if someone doesn’t really want to give up smoking, it doesn’t matter how much hypnotherapy they have, the suggestions under hypnosis simply wont work in the long run. Hypnotherapy, when used well, works to assist and strengthen an individuals willingness to see change. If a desired change is what you want, it’s a powerful tool to aid the mind to bring it about.
Hypnosis Myth Three – You are not in control when you go into Trance
A fear that some people have regarding hypnosis, is that they will lose control and someone else will have control of their mind. This is often the image that is presented by stage hypnotherapists. This can cause people to be afraid of the natural process and not ask for the help they really need.
In reality you remain in control at all times, and can come out of hypnosis at anytime you choose.
Many individuals who consider themselves to be ‘control freaks’ often make the best hypnotic subjects because they are often very self-aware and can give more detail into their problem which the hypnotherapist can use for maximum effect. That greater level of concentration can be an asset to them when they want to bring about the change they are looking for.
Hypnosis Myth Four – Hypnosis can be bad for your health
Again this couldn’t be further from the truth! It is quite the opposite. I would suggest that all medical practitioners would agree on the health benefits of deep relaxation. One of the great benefits of Hypnotherapy is that it brings about a deep relaxation. By allowing our mind to enter a deep relaxing state we can bring about a homeostatic balance – a balance within the system, of mind, body and soul bringing a calm to ourselves both emotionally and physically. We in the west have a medical system where we are told the importance and need to relax, but often not the ways in which to best achieve it. Hypnosis can never be bad for your health, in fact we go into trance to some degree when we exercise, read a book, or watch television or simply day dream. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state, so if you want to feel a balance within yourself, it is the best state to be in. Hypnotherapy is a great way to guarantee that deep mental and physical relaxation, we all need, to recover, centre and balance ourselves.
Hypnosis Myth Five – All Hypnosis Is The Same
There is a huge variety in the different styles and techniques that come under the banner of hypnosis. You could see two different hypnotherapists for the same issue and they may take completely different approaches to your issue.
The two main approaches when using hypnosis are ‘authoritarian’ and ‘permissive’. Authoritarian techniques are direct and instructive and often not that great for most people as the direct nature of the suggestions can Jar the mind, making them resistant to the change they want. It can feel as if you are being shouted at and being told what to do. This can lead to clients who rebel against what they are being told to do, even if it is what they said they wanted to do!
Permissive hypnosis is more subtle and tends to work better with most people in most circumstances (in my experience!). This style of hypnosis tends to look for agreement with the client so they feel they are in control and don’t feel that they are being threatened or ordered by the suggestion, but simply part of the process of change that they have sought out for themselves. This is the style of hypnosis I use with clients and always seek to agree the solutions for which they want to adopt going forward in their lives.