FAQ About Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy - Busting Some Popular Myths
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The Truth vs The Myths
FALSE – You are always in control of your own mind and the decisions you make. You cannot be made to do anything against your will or core values. You can always simply open your eyes to come out of hypnosis, it’s that easy. Also, an ethical hypnotherapist will never ask you to do anything wrong. At a young age you learn what is right and wrong. This learning is like a filter and will always be there.
FALSE – Hypnotherapy is a collaboration between you the client and your therapist. It does require you to be committed to the positive changes you want to make. It is not like waving a magic wand. You do need some will power to change but, it will help you make positive changes.
FALSE – Although hypnosis can change some things quickly, it often takes time for full positive effect to take place. So, if you need a confidence boost for an interview or to help you give a speech, it can aid you quickly allowing you to complete your task. However, with more complex problems like stress management or anxiety relief it may take a number of sessions for the changes to really sink in and be made. You may see some positive changes each week but, more than one session is usually required.
FALSE – People cycling can be induced into hypnosis. (Banyie E et al 1976) Also many people with stress and anxiety don’t find it easy to relax, but hypnotherapy still works for them. Having said this, as with anything practice makes perfect. You may learn to relax during hypnotherapy if you choose to.
FALSE – Although hypnotherapy has much in the way of documented evidence proving its efficacy, it is not a panacea. It can help you but, it is not a cure for illness or disease. It is often used as a complementary therapy in addition to other treatments, such as CBT or medical treatment for best effect.
FALSE – Hypnosis is a natural, focused and relaxed state of mind that can be likened to dreaming. Many famous hypnotherapists have been studied by science and this is what we base our techniques on. It has been proven to work. It is not magic.
FALSE – Hypnosis is a focused state of mind. You will have experienced this when you are driving or even watching television. You know when you set off in a car and suddenly, you arrive and have not even noticed much of the journey. Also when you sit down with a bag of crisps to watch a gripping drama on tv that you love. Suddenly there are no crisps left in the bag but, because you have been focussing on the TV you haven’t really noticed eating them all. Both of these are good examples of something close to hypnosis.
FALSE – There is a huge advertising industry that convinces people to buy products. That is how they have made masses money for hundreds of years. Now admittedly if you don’t have a dog and see an advert for dog food you are unlikely to be persuaded to by it. However, consider breakfast cereals. Don’t you think you or your children have been influenced by advertising suggestions to choose that big white box with a rooster on or that big blue box with a tiger on it? You know the ones I mean don’t you? Advertising is suggestion and it definitely works.
- Banyie E et al (1976) A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation induction. [online] available at https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.85.2.218
- Emamzadeh A. (2021) 21 Myths About Hypnosis [online] available at https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/finding-new-home/202102/21-myths-about-hypnosis