Many misconceptions surround hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Some people assume that Vegas style stage hypnosis is what they would expect when visiting a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Much of what is thought to be true about hypnotherapy can’t be further from the truth. Why should this matter to you?
Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis have been around for quite some time. Despite current popular belief, it is actually a very useful treatment modality for many issues people face in their day to day lives. It is also a highly legitimate medical-scientific method, supported by numerous peer-reviewed research articles demonstrating the effectiveness of the therapy. Most commonly, it is useful to help people with stress, anxiety, fears, phobias, weight management, motivation, insomnia and sleeplessness, confidence building, post traumatic stress etc. Some compelling new literature is also showing that is can help with certain types of irritable bowel syndromes. This article aims to inform you about the common misconceptions and reservations people have surrounding hypnotherapy. It’s an indispensable tool that will lead you to years of enhanced happiness and wellness in your life.
1. Not Everybody Can Be Hypnotized
Although some in the medical profession believe this to be true, everybody can be hypnotized to a certain degree if they allow themselves to. It is true that some individuals are more resistant to it than others, but this does not mean that they can’t learn how to allow themselves to experience the hypnotic state. With some focus and will, everyone can “train” themselves to experience this wonderful state of calm. Some people need more practice than others. The majority of the population, if willing, can experience it quite easily. Your hypnotherapist will gladly give you reading material, recordings, and exercises to safely practice self-hypnosis at home. The more you practice the better you get at it!
2. Once Hypnotized - The Therapist Can Control Me
This can’t be further from the truth and is probably the biggest reservation people have about trying hypnotherapy. In short, no one can make you do anything against your will unless you allow them too. Most people who have visited a hypnotherapist were aware of their environment and sounds around them. They are also able to recall everything that was said and was done during the session. You are simply in a more relaxed state. You are not frozen in your chair, unable to move, unable to open your eyes, unable to visit the restroom etc. If you are unhappy with how you feel or the direction the hypnotherapist is taking you, you have the choice to simply open your eyes and walk away. Your subconscious mind exists to protect “number one” - which is you. It’s one of it’s biggest jobs. Unlike popular belief, while in hypnosis, you are in control the whole time.
3. While In Hypnosis You Will Reveal Personal Secrets And Always Tell Your Therapist The Truth
Another very common misconception and reservation. You may not want to reveal certain details surrounding an issue you are trying to resolve. In fact, you have complete control of what you tell your therapist while in hypnosis. It would be no different than if you were in a fully conscious state. You may see or experience things that you would rather not share and that’s completely okay. Your thoughts, memories and emotions are yours and it’s totally up to you, what you choose to share with your therapist. No one can ever make that decision for you.
4. I’ll Be So Relaxed I Won’t Remember Anything My Therapist Is Telling Me
Hypnotherapy is simply a means by which you can access your subconscious mind. Everybody experiences hypnosis differently and one way is no more effective than another. Some people can focus on exactly what the therapist is saying, while others may wander off like they are day dreaming. Some may be so relaxed they pay no conscious attention to what the therapist is saying. However you choose to experience your session is up to you and everybody develops a personal style on how they would like to experience it. Subconsciously, positive changes are being made, and this is what ultimately benefits your wellness in the long run.
5. People With A High IQ Can’t Ever Be Hypnotized
In fact, the reverse tends to be more true. The smarter you are the easier it is for you to attain the hypnotic state. It has been shown that people who have the ability to concentrate, those are very creative and have a vivid imagination are able to experience hypnosis more easily. Can everybody resist it if they choose to? Absolutely, you can’t be hypnotized against your will. You have to be willing and focused to attain the hypnotic state. No one can ever do this against your will.
6. Overall Hypnosis Is Not A Very Effective Treatment
Many may think that it is not only a waste of time, but a waste of money. On the contrary, it’s probably the best way to make positive, lasting changes in your life. It’s been shown that “hypnotherapy has a 93% recovery after just 6 sessions” Source: American Health Magazine. In some cases, you can get positive results in as little as 3 to 4 sessions. The aim of the hypnotherapist is to resolve the core issue you are experiencing within as few sessions as possible.
7. Some People Can Get Stuck In A Hypnotic State Forever
This is impossible and ridiculous. Throughout our day, without even noticing, we slip in and out of the hypnotic state all the time. Have you ever been driving, 3 or 4 minutes will pass, and you all of a sudden snap out of it? Where am I supposed to be going? Well, it’s quite common, and you are actually in a state of natural hypnosis when this happens. While in a state of trance hypnosis, which is self-induced during a therapy session, the therapist will “count you out” at the end of the session to ensure that you are fully aware. If, for whatever reason, this does not happen properly, your body will always be able naturally come out of that state. Just as if you were waking up from a nap.
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Written By: Sebastian Di Cesare PhD, CHt - a research scientist & practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Vancouver, Canada.