Busting Hypnosis Myths

Hypnotherapy is probably the most misunderstood holistic modality. Because of decades of being poorly portrayed in movies, and exploited in manipulative stage entertainment, the serious minded, helpful side of the field has largely gone unknown.

I have been in practice as a clinical hypnotherapist since 2001, helping individuals in the Greater Boston area with hypnotic solutions to everyday problems. Prior to my role as a hypnotherapist I worked as a registered nurse for 10 years. To shed more light on the empowering field of hypnotherapy I thought I would do my best to dispel some the many myths and misconceptions.

Myth #1: I will relinquish free will

Fact: You always have control of you. No one can control your thoughts unless you let them. Hypnosis is actually a way for you to take control from within. You and the hypnotherapist determine prior to the session what suggestions and direction will serve you best. Your subconscious will automatically reject anything suggested that is not in line with your values, just as it always does.

Myth #2: I will be made to perform embarrassing acts

Fact: Stage hypnosis is very different from clinical hypnotherapy. The volunteers at one of these shows are typically eager to ‘perform’. Peer pressure also plays a role as the volunteers understand the audience expects them to play along. Lastly, the hypnotist has good technique and easily guides willing participants into hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is the serious minded, helpful side of the field.

Myth #3: I might get stuck in hypnosis

Fact: Clients are in control of how deeply hypnotized they become and can also may emerge from the hypnotic state whenever they choose, the same way we pull ourselves out of a deep daydream state or a moment of zoning out.

Myth #4: I have never been in hypnosis before so it will difficult to be hypnotized

Fact: Entering the hypnotic state is something we are all hardwired to do. Hypnosis is a simple process that helps one enter a very familiar state of mind for the purpose of considering positive changes. I have been in practice since 2001 and the majority of my clients are hypnosis newbies and I don’t recall the last client who had difficulty getting into hypnosis.

Myth #5: Hypnosis is magic

Fact: Hypnosis is nothing more than a deep daydream state which we all float in and out of everyday to varying degrees. This is when the sc is more open and active than usual which helps individuals to be more open and receptive to helpful suggestions and direction supporting particular goals. Hypnosis has been researched for decades by many professional journals and institutions.

Myth #6: Hypnosis can get someone to confess to a crime

Fact: Individuals in hypnosis never have to do or say anything against their will. Hypnosis can help one recall situations more clearly but free will remains intact. You are always in control.

Myth #7: Self-Hypnosis is safer, better, or more effective than going to a trained professional.

Fact: Not only is hypnosis safe but it is wonderfully relaxing and the overwhelming majority of clients are pleasantly surprised by how good it feels. In-office sessions with a trained professional are far more effective than self-hypnosis, or even doing sessions you might find on YouTube. The hypnotherapist will guide you into a deeper, more receptive level of thought, and offer detailed suggestions supporting your specific goals.

Myth #8: Hypnosis is an other-worldly experience where one loses awareness of surroundings, and has no memory of the hypnosis session

Fact: Hypnosis is a combination of heightened awareness and deep physical relaxation. Unlike sleep, those in hypnosis typically recall the experience. In fact, many describe a heightened sense of awareness, concentration, and focus.

Myth #9: I can’t be hypnotized because I am strong willed

Fact: Those who want to be hypnotized will be hypnotized. Hypnosis is not a battle of wills. A hypnotherapist is prepared to guide you on a therapeutic meditative journey but you need to be an open minded, willing participant to the process. If you like the idea of deep relaxation and don’t mind being guided in to it then you are good to go, enjoy the ride.

Myth #10: Hypnosis is a miracle cure

Fact: Hypnosis can create unexpected emotional freedom and relief from whatever problem a client wants help with, but sustained relief comes with repetition. By listening to reinforcement sessions at home new preferred patterns become more deeply rooted than the problem patterns of the past.

by: Paul Gustafson RN CH   [Contact]