Updated: Dec 7, 2020
So recently I heard someone speaking about hypnosis as if it was a method of brainwashing. This couldn't be further from the truth and I wanted to write up this question and answer page to dispel some myths around the subject. Obviously I won't get to them all, but I am going to target the larger questions that people usually have.
Q. Are you brainwashing me?
A. Flat out, no. When we are in hypnosis we are in charge of what we let in to our subconscious. A well trained hypnotist will be learning what you want to accomplish and tailoring positive statements accordingly for your session. If you are in hypnosis and suddenly hear something that sounds like it goes against what you came there to do, a red flag will go up in your mind and you will emerge from hypnosis.
The idea behind why hypnosis works is that the client is willing to make the change. If there is something said that conflicts with making this change, your mind will reject it naturally.
If you ever suspect a hypnotist is not treating your session with respect, you should assume that they have not been trained properly and leave the session.
Q. Am I asleep during hypnosis?
A. No, you are not asleep during hypnosis. No work can be done if you are asleep. During a hypnosis session, you are in a deep state of relaxation, but you can emerge at any point. Clients will ask mid session if they can get up and use the bathroom. Of course you can! They get up, use the bathroom and come back, hardly leaving that state of hypnosis. You can emerge at any point during hypnosis. It is merely the fact that your brain waves are moving much slower.
Q. Can anyone be hypnotized?
A. Most people can be hypnotized. Researchers have categorized it into high, med and low. 80% of the population falls into the medium band and can benefit from its clinical use. Approximately 10% of the population fall into the high band where they are easily hypnotized. The other 10% falls into the low band where they are not easily hypnotized. This being said, it is usually myths or nervousness around the subject that will affect the clients ability to be hypnotized. During your first session, a well trained hypnotist will go through what hypnosis is and is not and help you to feel confident in the process.
Q. Can I get "stuck" in hypnosis?
A. There is no evidence that anybody can become stuck in hypnosis. The worst that might happen could be that you fall asleep - and wake up unhypnotised!
Q. What about stage hypnosis, people are clucking like chickens and doing strange things!
(This answer comes from Hypnotc.com)
A. "In the world of hypnosis, there are many different types of hypnotists and ‘sub-genres’. However, when it comes down to it, you can pretty much categorize the uses of hypnosis into two distinct groups, therapy and entertainment. When a member of the public thinks about hypnosis, they’ll either think of a stage hypnotist ‘turning people into chickens’ and the like, or they’ll think of a hypnotherapist helping people to eradicate unwanted behaviours and achieve their goals using hypnosis.
As a rule, if someone hasn’t personally experienced hypnosis for both entertainment and therapy, they’ll tend to think of either one or the other. This is why it’s quite common that first-time hypnotherapy clients tentatively ask their hypnotherapist before the start of the therapy session ‘…you’re not going to turn me into a chicken, are you?’
So what's the difference?
Well, the main difference between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy is the expected outcome. Stage hypnotists aim to put on a show and for the volunteers and audience to have a fun, entertaining time. Also, stage hypnotists give suggestions that only last for the duration of the show, and that are removed after the volunteers are emerged at the end. In contrast, a hypnotherapist aims to help clients reach a personal goal, whether that’s becoming more confident, giving up smoking, sleeping better, losing weight, or any number of other things that a client may want to work on. The hypnotherapist gives suggestions that are intended to remain beyond the session (‘post-hypnotic suggestions’), in order that the client experiences long-term change in various aspects of his or her life.
So, one’s for entertainment and the hypnotic suggestions are temporary. The other is for long-term personal change and development."
If you have any questions about hypnosis please feel free to reach out to me! I am happy to answer them!