“Hypnosis puts a person in a trance-like state so that they are more receptive to new suggestion, and better able to control what is happening to the body or see a problem from a new point of view.”
— Dr. David Speigel
Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy, because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts and feelings. In addition, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently related to:
Hypnosis can be useful in treating:
• Phobias, fears, and anxiety
• Sleep disorders
• Grief and loss
Common Misperceptions about Hypnotherapy
Hypnotists have special powers.
Hypnotists do not have ‘special powers’. They should have specialized training, knowledge and experience of humans. The real skill is in what way you use it, and how you use the hypnotic state to help people.
Hypnosis will only work on certain people.
Hypnosis will likely work if an individual has the motivation, willingness, and the ability to concentrate. If a person is interested in something and it’s something that you want, generally they will be open to its effects.
People who get hypnotized are weak minded.
Without doubt it’s the people who can concentrate well and have a creative imagination that are, if you want to use the term, the best ‘hypnotic subjects’. These types of people go into hypnosis easier and deeper than anyone else.
When in hypnosis, you can be made to say or do something against your will.
Generally, hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestion. People won’t do anything which goes against their personal values or beliefs. What you have to remember about hypnosis is that it’s not sleep and you’re aware of everything that’s happening around you. If someone tells you to do something that is really against your values then you won’t do it. You’ll come out of the state of hypnosis, and in fact it would you’d almost be shocked out of hypnosis.
You can get stuck in hypnosis and be unable to wake up.
Remember that hypnosis is a natural and normal state to be in from time to time. It’s not a state which is completely alien to us. Of course hypnosis is a subjective experience. You’ll never get stuck in hypnosis and be unable to wake up.
You’re asleep or unconscious when in hypnosis.
You’re not asleep and you’re not unconscious, you’re fully aware of what’s happening around you. Of course everyone’s experience is slightly different, some people feel light, some people feel heavy, but almost everyone feels extremely relaxed. Generally, when people are in a deep state of hypnosis, they feel as if their body has gone to sleep but the mind is still alert, awake, and aware
You’ll become dependent on the hypnotist.
You have a conscious awareness during hypnosis, and are in full control. If the hypnotist was to ask you to do anything inappropriate then you’d pull yourself out of it, spontaneously for most people. The best, most professional and ethical hypnotherapists work in a way that the makes the client feel empowered rather than working in an authoritarian way where problems may result.
In hypnosis you’ll be able to recall everything that’s ever happened to you.
Hypnotists may use certain specific techniques that may help a person remember certain things from the past if that’s going to be useful for them. Normally there is no real need to go back into a personal memory or personal history,