The word hypnosis is quite emotionally laden, at least when used by individuals living in the West today. People have many pre-conceived ideas and thoughts that are associated with hypnosis, ranging from losing control to becoming a hypnotist’s puppet through being stuck in a hypnotised state and performing antisocial acts. These assumptions are everywhere, novels, songs, drawings, shows, even in movies. The movie-making industry usually portrays hypnosis as very dangerous and shows the interaction between the hypnotists and the hypnotised to be seductive or exploitive.
Here we are going to exploit the myths surrounding hypnosis and break them one by one in simple terms.
The Myths of Hypnosis
1. When I go under hypnosis I will lose control
No one has any control over your mind. It is always good to remember that. Unless you give them control, nobody can control your mind, period. The hypnotherapist you are seeing will make your mind enter a state of relaxation and extreme focus. Then, they will give you suggestions that you need for your case, these suggestions are based on the pre hypnotic interview you performed. There is no point throughout the whole session when you will lose control over your mind. If you happen to hear a suggestion that you do not agree with or even do not understand, your mind will reject this suggestion automatically.
2. The hypnotherapist will make me perform embarrassing acts
As we previously mentioned, hypnosis does not give anyone the power over your mind. This myth is based on stage hypnotism and Hollywood movies. We can say with absolute certainty that this is a myth and your hypnotherapist will never do such a thing to you. Hypnotherapy is a serious profession that aims for self-improvement, not entertainment.
3. Hypnosis is something unnatural or magic
This is one of the myths that surround hypnosis in almost every culture there is. Hypnosis is not magic, it is not something unnatural, and it is absolutely not evil. Hypnosis is a natural state that has been scientifically studied for decades. Hypnotherapists are not magicians, psychics or some palm readers who claim to have powers. Hypnotherapy is based on years of medical and clinical research performed by the top researchers in the entire world. Famous Psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have researched hypnosis and even used it in their work.
4. Hypnosis is dangerous, it could mess me up
Again, this one is because the misconception we received about hypnosis from novels and movies. Hypnosis is extremely safe to be performed. It is a state of super awareness. Coming out of hypnosis is quite simple; you simply open your eyes and stretch or speak. There is no point along the road where you will lose the ability to come out of hypnosis or that hypnosis messes you up.
5. I have never been in hypnosis and I do not want to try something I have never encountered
Every one of us enters a state of hypnosis at least twice on a daily basis. The moment just before falling asleep at night, and when we wake up in the morning just before we get out of bed. Other people enter what is called “Environmental Hypnosis”, while they are at cinemas watching movies, or driving, or even while reading a novel.
6. Hypnosis is a cure
Hypnosis is a quick method to overcome certain things, like bad habits or phobias. However, when you go to a hypnotherapist, it is important that you remember that they are not a physician. Indeed hypnotherapy can help you overcome phobias, and manage pain better. However, hypnotherapy does not provide you with a cure to your diseases. Hypnotherapy is not considered a psychotherapeutic treatment. It is not even considered a form of psychotherapy. However, hypnotherapy is a procedure, which helps other forms of therapies and medical treatments to work properly. Hypnotherapists that are certified in clinical hypnosis are the ones that can decide whether hypnotherapy would be beneficial to be used alongside the other medications or not. The patient has the final decision to accept hypnotherapy or refuse it.
7. Hypnosis can make someone confess he did something
Hypnotherapy sessions are private and cannot be used in any court. On the other hand, hypnosis cannot force anyone to do or say anything that they do not want to do or say. Thus, it is not an alternative to the lie detector test and cannot make any person to confess or detect when that person is lying about something.
8. When I come back from Hypnosis I will not remember anything that has happened
That is another myth that is surrounding hypnosis. Hypnosis is NOT a state of unconscious sleep. It is -in fact- the exact opposite. It is a state of heightened sense of awareness and focus. You have total full control over your mind and body throughout the entire session. Moreover, you will remember every single thing that happened during your sessions, as you have not been unconscious at any time.
9. Self-Hypnosis is safer
Self-hypnosis can have opposite effects especially if it was not taught by a professional in the field. One negative suggestion or belief about yourself while you are in session and it can be reinforced in your unconscious mind, no matter what you keep suggesting. This can cause more harm than good in the long run. It is also worth noting that hypnotherapy accesses the unconscious mind, while self-hypnosis cannot do that effectively.
10. No one can perform hypnosis on me, my mind is too strong
Long ago, that was the belief then. It was believed that only 50% of the human population can be hypnotised, while the other 50% is resilient to hypnosis. However, over the past 30 years, Dr. John Kappas has developed new methods to induce hypnosis in 100% of the population. No one is resilient to hypnosis now with those techniques. Dr. Kappas’s techniques first determine what type of suggestibility a person has, thus making it possible for that person to fall under hypnosis. Since, it was your own decision to use hypnotherapy; your mind is already in a state where it accepts hypnosis.