Top 5 Myths About Hypnosis

Myth 1. You're asleep during hypnosis

Hypnosis is not sleep. It's not a particular mood. It's not relaxation. Hypnosis is a state of mind; a focused openness to experience. Think about the last time you read a great book or watched a great movie. That's hypnosis. You likely experienced lots of moods according to the story.

Myth 2. "I can't be hypnotized."

Don't worry. Most likely, you can be hypnotized. I've yet to have an un-hypnotizable client. However, some mental illnesses like schizophrenia do affect a person's ability to be hypnotized.

Try this for a moment: 1) Take a deep breathe in (really do it), expand your belly as you do so,  2) Breathe out all the way...all the way out... and, 3) Relax.

If you are able to follow the instructions above you are very hypnotizable! You basically did it all by yourself. With practice and help, almost everyone can do it.

Myth 3a. Hypnotherapy/hypnosis = mind control

This is actually comical from the point of view of a working hypnotherapist.

Collaboration is absolutely vital to successful hypnotherapy. The client's goals guide the session, while the hypnotherapist guides the process. The client's feeling of safety and choice is paramount at all times. 

Myth 3b. What about stage hypnotism? Don't they make people cluck like a chicken?

I'm not a stage hypnotist so I can't say I know everything about it. My training is about using hypnosis to help people. Entertainment is a whole different pursuit. I've talked to hypnotists who do some stage work. They've said it's important to select the right people and that the volunteers must want to be hypnotized. Every hypnotherapist I've spoken to agrees that you can't hypnotize someone against their will. 

Myth 3c. What about advertising? Don't advertisers hypnotize people to buy their products?

Advertisers are experts at playing on human fears and emotions. They can't "make" you buy their products but they do spend billions trying to convince you to do so. 

Hypnotherapy moves clients from fear to freedom. It helps you become less vulnerable to attempted manipulations from advertisers or other fear mongers. 

Myth 4. The Bible Forbids Hypnosis

No. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that explicitly mentions hypnosis. 

If you're a Christian, you might note that a good sermon, or a great hymn, can get you emotionally involved toward the goal of getting closer to Christ. That's hypnosis. 

Good story telling is hypnotic. The Bible contains some of the best storytelling in human history.

Myth 5. You have to put your complete faith in the hypnotherapist/hypnotist.

No. However, I recommend you work with a hypnotherapist you trust! Hopefully, you trust the other people who work with you.

You're in control the whole time during hypnotherapy. Your hypnotherapist should mention this, and should welcome any concerns you have throughout the therapeutic process.