5 most common myths and misconceptions about hypnosis
What seems to cause the greatest fear among people is the assumption that in hypnosis you have no control over your actions or your mind. Other concerns are that in hypnosis one is asleep, can get stuck in that state or do things against one’s will. None of this is true, they are all myths.
Am I asleep in hypnosis?
On the contrary. You are very attentive and focused, just on a different level compared to sleep. You can hear everything that happens around you whether it’s voices, sounds – no matter what.
In self-hypnosis, you might fall asleep while listening to a CD or mp3. This is not so bad as the brain continues to receive and process the messages. This should not be the case in practice for the therapist, because then the efficiency of the therapy is greatly reduced or even impossible.
What if I get stuck in hypnosis?
It is impossible to get stuck in hypnosis, even if the hypnotist should leave the room or even worse, drop dead. You either simply come out – back to the “awake state”. Or go into a light sleep and wake up normally, as you would wake in the morning. There is no danger of not waking, and after all we slip into a state of hypnosis several times a day without realising it. And we come out naturally again.
Everyone has the ability to be hypnotized, because it’s a natural, normal state that each of us enters at least twice each day. Upon waking and falling asleep. More examples are: when daydreaming, meditating, driving routes that we travel often (such as to and from work) and arriving at our destination barely remembering the journey at all.
Since it is not sleep, you cannot “wake up” from hypnosis, but you “come out” again from this pleasant, relaxing state.
Do I do things against my will in hypnosis?
Definitely not. This is the biggest misunderstanding that prevails in general.
The hypnotherapist or practitioner is merely a guide or facilitator. They cannot “make” you do anything against your will. During a hypnosis session, you are completely aware of everything happening around you. If you do not like a suggestion given, you have the power to reject it.
There are 4 approaches or attitudes for a given suggestion (mental attitude)
Whether a suggestion is effective or not depends on how it is received by the recipient and there is only one attitude that works:
“I like this suggestion, I know it will work for me.”
The other possible attitudes that cause the suggestion to be rejected where no change is brought about are:
“I do not know, it does not sound right and I’m not comfortable with it, it just does not suit me.”
“I’m relatively neutral about this suggestion, I really do not care if I understand it or not.”
“I like this suggestion, I hope it will work.”
Will I reveal my deepest secrets?
You would not reveal any secrets that you would not tell under normal circumstances. The brain does not stop functioning in hypnosis and you can always choose one or the other (truth or lie).
In reality, in hypnosis, one can discover truths about oneself that have long been hidden in the subconscious. Sometimes unpleasant things can come to the surface. In therapy, this is exactly the intention, which can in turn ultimately solve many problems.
Am I “weak-willed” when hypnotised or will I become so?
Unfortunately, this prejudice is repeatedly brought up. No, on the contrary, it even demonstrates a certain willpower to allow yourself to be “controlled” and relax immensely. People who are able to concentrate and have a strong sense of creativity and/or a vivid imaginations are most likely to be successful candidates of hypnotherapy. Even after a many many sessions of hypnosis, one does not suddenly become weak-willed.
Motivation and cooperation are also necessary for success, none of which are easily achieved by the weak-willed or weak-minded.
So there you have it. Five most common myths or misconceptions.
To read more about what hypnosis is, how it works and feels and if it is dangerous, go on over to this blog post.