Myth #1 – Hypnosis Is Mind Control
Sadly, this first myth is one of the top prevailing misconceptions about hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is not mind control. In fact, you are in complete control of your own mind the entire time you are in a state of hypnosis. One cannot be hypnotized or controlled against his or her will. A person has to want to be hypnotized, have confidence in the hypnotherapist, be willing to accept suggestions, be free from fear and the need to be in control. If at any time you want to come out of hypnosis, you need only open your eyes.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. When you enter a state of hypnosis you do so by your own choice and at your own direction. The purpose of the hypnotherapist is simply to guide you during the experience. One simple way to describe the role of a hypnotherapist is this: you need to hunt for something in your garage and the hypnotherapist is your flashlight. You have control over where we go, how we get there, what we see and what we do.
Myth 2 – You are Asleep During Hypnosis.
People associate hypnosis as a state of sleep for many reasons. One – people often look like they are asleep during hypnosis as their eyes are often closed, their breathing regular, and the body is relaxed. Two – when people watch stage hypnosis shows and participants engage in the funny, crazy antics the audience assumes they must be sleeping as no one would engage in such behaviors awake. The truth, however, is you are completely awake while in a state of hypnosis. In truth, you are more awake during hypnosis as you are hyper-aware of everything in the hypnotic state.
Myth 3 – You Can Get ‘Stuck’ in Hypnosis.
100% false. You cannot get “stuck” in hypnosis. Since all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you are in complete control over the hypnotic state. Should you desire to exit the hypnotic trance at any time, you are free to do so. Just like you end a daydream that you may find yourself in – you can also choose to end the hypnotic state. All you need to do is open your eyes, and the state will end.
Myth 4 – Only Weak-Willed People Can be Hypnotized.
As hypnosis requires the ability to concentrate well, typically the best subjects are the more intelligent. This myth plays into the myth that hypnosis is mind control and only those with a weak will can have their minds controlled. Again, hypnosis is not mind control. Those who have great concentration make for better subjects, not those with a weak will. All that’s required is imagination and a willingness to cooperate and accept suggestions. As long as the client can understand the words the hypnotherapist is using and has a desire to change that is greater than their desire to not change, they can be hypnotized.
Myth 5 – I Will Expose My Inner-Most Secrets.
As previously mentioned, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so you are in complete control the entire time. This means a person in hypnosis will not say anything while in a state of hypnosis they do not wish to say. They will also not see or experience anything they are not ready to deal with or work on.
Myth 6 – I Won’t Remember the Session.
Again, since hypnosis is not sleep you have the ability to remember everything said and done in the hypnotic state. Since it is a heightened state of awareness, you are fully involved in the entire process and remember everything.
Myth 7 – I will lose all control and could be made to do something I’m not comfortable with.
You cannot go against your morals or ethics in hypnosis. You have the power to accept only the suggestions you wish within your moral compass. Any suggestions that would cause a question in moral actions would immediately bring in the conscious mind and lessen (if not destroy) the depth of hypnosis you are in.
The ego never fully dissociates during hypnosis. Since it is present, listening in the background, you would never act outside of your morals or code of ethics. Stage hypnotists jobs are to make the audience laugh. Those who volunteer to participate also want the same thing. Because they want what the stage hypnotist is suggesting, they follow him. Hypnotherapy is not stage hypnosis. The two are very different with very different training and purpose.