There are many myths surrounding hypnosis. Hollywood and popular culture propagate some of these myths, while hypnotists themselves are guilty of proliferating others. On this page, I hope to ease your concerns surrounding hypnosis by answering some frequent questions and addressing some common misunderstandings.
If you put me in a trance, will I be under your control?
At no time in trance will you be under my “control.” There is a dual aspect to the mind: one part of the mind acts as an observer and prevents you from doing anything that is contrary to your ethics and morals.
The myth of losing control arises from stage hypnosis tricks. The audience sees the participants get on the stage and perform all sorts of outrageous behavior. Note, however, that they bring many people to the stage and then eliminate everyone except those who are most suggestible or willing to play along with the act. Everyone on the stage actually has a conscious desire to participate in the act.
If hypnotists were truly able to “control” other people then they would be richest and most powerful people on the planet. This is obviously not the case.
I always review the suggestions that I give during the trance phase of the therapy. This gives you the peace of mind that the therapy is consistent with your goals and it gives me a chance to test for any resistance to suggestions.
Is hypnosis a “truth serum?”
You will not reveal any material in the session or during a hypnotic trance with which you are uncomfortable. Remember, there is a dual aspect to the mind; the observer part of the mind will not allow “dark” secrets to come out unless it agrees that it is beneficial to your therapy.
Are “strong minded” people able to be hypnotized?
Some people believe that hypnotists can only hypnotize those with weak and suggestible minds. However, the truth is that those who are very intelligent and highly creative are the easiest to hypnotize. This is because they are familiar with the tapping the imaginative aspects of the mind that make hypnosis possible. Others simply need to remember how to accesses the creative and imaginative states they experienced as children. The truth is everyone is hypnotizable to some degree or another.
Some researchers believe that to be hypnotized, one must have particular personality trait call “suggestibility.” This is typical found in research settings in academic and experimental hypnosis. They divide their subject using a battery of tests into control and experimental groups for purposes of their experiments.
However, I subscribe to a different school of thought, which states the experience of the hypnotic trance is a learned skill. Just as you can learn to relax or learn mediation or any other mental skill, you can learn to put yourself into a hypnotic trance. During our sessions together, I teach you how to do this.
What if I just can’t be hypnotized?
In truth, some people cannot be hypnotized. It is a known fact that people with brain injuries, in a coma, or under the influence of intoxicants cannot be hypnotized.
Some people think they cannot be hypnotized because they want to be in control, and do not allow themselves to relax. The truth is that the ego consciousness only has limited control. It is like a rider on top the elephant of the subconscious. They rider may think they have control, but given the right circumstances or environment, the elephant of the subconscious will ignore the admonitions of the conscious ego and head its own way. I like to ask those people who tell me that they like to be, or in most cases feel they have to be, in control why they are not able to control their level of relaxation. Inevitable, those who like to be in, or feel the need to be in, control experience high levels of stress and anxiety and are unable to relax.
In truth, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I simply act as guide, a facilitator. You put yourself into a hypnotic trance and you achieve your goals by internalizing the suggestions. This is one of the powers of hypnosis.