There are a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis.
Let's clear some of them up, shall we?
Will I lose control or be made to do things against my will?
No, you are not being controlled by me in any way. In fact, you are in more control of yourself as you are in a greater state of focused awareness. You will never say or do anything that goes against your morals or values. At any time, you have complete control to simply open your eyes and stop the process.
Am I asleep or will I forget everything?
You are not asleep and you will likely remember just as much as you would have out of any other interaction.
During A Hypnotherapy session your brain is fluctuating between Alpha, Theta and possibly Delta which are the states your brain is in when you are asleep. The magnificence of hypnosis is that you are able to reach those brain states while you are consciously aware and can use that to create the change you desire.
In fact, some people emerge from hypnosis and question whether they were hypnotized because they felt aware the whole time and remember most everything!
What about those stage shows when people act foolishly?
First of all, people volunteer and that is the first sign that they will comply with what the hypnotist says. Those shows are meant to be funny. The participants know what they are doing. They are just in a more relaxed state so they don’t care about feeling embarrassed. If the requests went against someone’s true values, they would not cooperate.
Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
No again, another myth. It's not like the movie Office Space. If that were true many more of us would be walking around believing we have been doing our favorite thing all day. Where are all these people?
Even though we might want to be hypnotized into believing that we were doing our favorite thing all day, it's just not possible. It makes for good entertainment though doesn’t it?
These misconceptions for entertainment purposes have contributed in large part to misunderstandings about hypnosis.
Why are there all of these myths and misconceptions about hypnosis?
Partly, it is due to The Manchurian Candidate, a novel published in 1959. It was made into a movie in 1962 and influenced pop culture’s perspective of hypnosis.
As previously stated, using hypnosis for brainwashing and mind control makes for good entertainment. Ethical hypnotherapy done by a trained professional is not that!
I am afraid of uncovering a repressed memory. What if this happens?
This is a common concern people have. Typically, people are aware of their past traumas. If a person has a repressed memory, there is a chance that it may be uncovered during hypnosis. If so, the path toward healing that memory can now begin. We cannot heal what we are not aware of. This is yet another reason choosing a professionally trained hypnotherapist is important.
Are there risks to hypnosis?
On rare occasions people have experienced side effects such as headache or dizziness. However, these usually fade during or shortly after the session ends. There is substantial research that shows that hypnosis is safe and has numerous benefits.
Will it work the first time?
Most people experience a significant level of relief the first session. However, creating lasting change typically takes multiple sessions to fully achieve your goal. I use a process that typically requires 3-6 sessions for lasting change.
Does it really work and is it guaranteed?
There are thousands of documented cases in which hypnosis has been successfully used for numerous issues including stress and pain management, childbirth, sleep problems, irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, smoking cessation and more.
However, A hypnotist can provide no guarantees just for the same reasons a doctor cannot guarantee recovery from a medical issue. You are the main participant in the process. Your desire for a solution, your willingness to participate in the process during, and after the session, is critically important to its success.
You are the one who is in control and the hypnotist is there to guide you. As with any professional from whom you seek assistance, you should seek a trusting relationship and have confidence in the person’s ability to assist you in meeting your goals.