Hypnosis myths and why you don't need to worry

Hypnosis Myths 1: In hypnosis I can be made to say or do anything and I won’t be able to do a thing about it.

You can’t ever be made to do something you don’t want to do. A person undergoing hypnosis is participating by choice and is fully in control of themselves. The subconscious is your guardian and will never let you say or do anything which goes against your own core values.

You’ll be conscious and in control throughout, even though you might feel somewhat removed or detached from the whole thing. You’re in control of the experience, and you’re in charge of everything that happens. You can come out of trance at any time, simply by opening your eyes.

Hypnosis Myths 2: I might be made to eat an onion or cluck like a chicken in hypnosis, and I really don’t want to

A hypnotherapist simply can't make you do or say anything against your will. Stage hypnotists will invite volunteers from the audience to get up on stage but they will have been very carefully vetted beforehand, and their suggestibility will be high. They’re also 'willing participants' who understand the nature of such shows and don’t mind making a fool of themselves to entertain the audience.

Hypnosis Myths 3: I might get stuck in a hypnotic trance.
Hypnosis is a calm and relaxed state, so people can sometimes be a little reluctant to leave such a lovely, pleasant state and return to full alertness. Some will need to be gently encouraged to open their eyes and 'return to the room'. In time a client will naturally return to a fully awake state or, if alone, would simply drift off to sleep. There is no danger at all that you won’t come out of trance.

And because you’re aware pretty much all the time, you can always choose to come out of trance simply by opening your eyes.

Hypnosis Myths 4: I won’t be able to do anything while in trance, and will be completely helpless.

You’ll be able to do all of these things, and more, throughout the session, just as as you can at any other time. You can move around if you’re uncomfortable, you can cough or sneeze or open your eyes. You can talk too, although for much of the time you might find it’s just too much of an effort.

Hypnosis Myths 5: I won’t be able to be hypnotised
Almost everyone can be hypnotised, though some people are more suggestible in hypnosis than others. People with a vivid imagination are often especially open to suggestion, as are those with phobias and those who smoke (because they’re in a trance when they smoke a cigarette). It is, however, difficult to predict who’ll be most suggestible, and a lot depends on client/therapist rapport and the choice of hypnosis technique used.

The thing to remember is that everyone goes into lots of hypnotic trances throughout the day - driving on auto-pilot, being engrossed in a good book or film, raptly listening to music, daydreaming, smoking (yes, someone smoking is in a hypnotic trance). And even if NONE of these apply, if you go to sleep and wake up, you’re passing through that lovely, relaxing not-quite-asleep and-not-quite-awake state that is the same as a hypnotic trance. Some people might resist going in to trance because they fear losing control, but a good hypnotherapist can allay those fears, and find the right way to guide that person into the real pleasure of a relaxing hypnotic trance.


Hypnosis Myths 6: It won’t work if I don’t believe in it
It won’t make any difference whether you believe it’ll work or not. The thing that IS important is that you really want to change. If you really don’t want to lose weight, you probably won’t. If someone else has said you need to give up drinking and you don’t necessarily agree, it’s unlikely to happen. but if you truly want to lose your fear of flying, or to sleep better, hypnotherapy can help even though you might be sceptical.

Hypnosis Myths 7: In hypnosis I’ll be ‘put out’ and become unconscious or go into some sort of coma, and won’t remember anything about the session.

At no point in hypnosis are you ‘put to sleep’; hypnosis is simply an extremely relaxed state in which you are in complete control at all times. A suggestion needs the help of a person’s intellect to help guide it, so if someone really was ‘put to sleep’ the process just wouldn’t work.

You’ll remember pretty much everything - apart from when you’re bored, day-dreaming or thinking about what you’re having for supper. Your conscious awareness may well drift in and out, so you’ll hear some, if not all, of what goes on. And even if you can’t actually remember much at all, your subconscious will have been listening, and that’s where the changes will take place.

Hypnosis Myths 8: if I can’t remember what was said during hypnosis, it won’t work
It’s entirely natural for your mind to wander while in hypnosis, just as it does when you’re day dreaming, so you may be aware of part or all of what is said during your session. Likewise, you may recall some or none of what has been said. But, however people feel, the effect is always the same and the suggestions for positive change will be taken into the subconscious mind.