Hypnotherapy is perhaps one of the most confused modalities in the suite of alternative health therapies. Perceived as anything from mind manipulation to entertainment, it’s no wonder there’s some reluctance (or perhaps even fear) over what might take place in hypnotherapy session. So let’s break it down and separate the facts from fiction, and the reality from the myths.
Myth #1: Not everyone can be hypnotized.
Reality: Anyone can be hypnotized so long as it is by choice. Nobody can be forced into hypnosis against their will.
Myth #2: Hypnosis is a deep state of trance.
Reality: Hypnosis (for therapeutic purposes) is a very light state of trance that we experience naturally on a daily basis. It’s our ability as humans to function on ‘auto pilot’ that allows us to enter this hypnotic state. Example – you drive to a particular destination and have absolutely no recollection of the journey. Or you are scrolling through social media, pointer finger flying, and have no idea what you have read or seen. Both of these are hypnotic states that most of us are completely familiar with.
Myth #3: Hypnosis is the ability to be put to sleep.
Reality: Hypnosis is not about falling asleep. It is more often described as being similar to guided meditation. And while clients may experience different degrees or ‘depth’ of hypnosis, this has little impact on the success of the treatment. Hypnosis is a very easy and thoroughly relaxing experience.
Myth #4: A hypnotherapist can make me do anything while I’m in trance.
Reality: Absolutely, 100% false. Your mind will never allow you to do something that you morally and/or consciously would not choose to do. There is no ‘clucking like a chicken’, or ‘eating an onion believing it is an apple’ in a hypnotherapy office. If an individual could be persuaded under hypnosis to do something against their better judgment, hypnotherapists across the globe would be instructing them to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a session, or to write a blank cheque. It’s the same logic as instructing a client to rob a bank. They simply wouldn’t do it.
Myth #5: You can get stuck in hypnosis.
Reality: There is no evidence EVER, of an individual remaining “stuck” in hypnosis. You can talk, move your body, get a tissue, or even take a bathroom break during a session and it has no negative impact on the treatment. You can choose to exit hypnosis whenever you like and/or can be guided out of it very easily.
Myth #6: Hypnosis is a form of mind control.
Reality: Hypnosis is really just about the ability to put the conscious mind on hold (the ‘rational’ part of the mind) and give the subconscious (the ‘emotional’ part of the mind) an opportunity to speak. This provides great insight into why we do what we do (our actions) and why we choose what we choose (our decisions). The subconscious is the primary source of our behaviour, so if we want to improve parts of our behaviour, we need to understand how, where, why and when they came about in the first place. Self-sabotaging behaviours are not conscious or logical; they are subconscious and very often emotional.
Myth #7: Hypnosis is the ‘magic pill’ for resolving my problems.
Reality: Hypnosis is a highly effective tool for creating more productive habits in any area of your life – whether this be weight loss, stopping drinking, quitting smoking, improving confidence and self-esteem, reducing stress and anxiety etc. However, it requires some work at your end. A hypnotherapy session (specifically Rapid Transformational Therapy – RTT) will provide you with excellent insights into the underlying causes of your issues and assist you to clear them out. However, you must be an active participant in your own healing. It’s your body and your mind, and nobody can change it for you. Commitment to the process and outcome is paramount.