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  • Writer's pictureMelissa McLeod

10 Myths About Hypnosis

10 Myths about hypnosis


A hypnotist might turn you into a chicken or make you do other embarrassing things.


A clinical hypnotherapist would not do this. A stage hypnotist is very different and will do this because it is expected of them as an entertainer. Participants would also have agreed to be involved in this way. Clinical Hypnotherapy is only used to help fulfill therapeutic goals by enabling the subconscious to make positive changes.



I can't be hypnotized because my mind is too strong. Only weak people can be hypnotized. FACT 2

This has been proven to be untrue. An open mind is actually a strong mind. It depends on what people think the experience will be like. It is not something that is “done” to you. Many people are aware of everything that is being said and if they don’t agree with something they can reject that idea just as if they were wide awake.



Hypnotists swing a watch in order to hypnotise a subject. FACT 3

This is outdated these days and rarely used. It is actually more like a deep-guided relaxation exercise.


What if I fall asleep and have no memory of the session? FACT 4

Hypnosis is often found to be so relaxing and occasionally some people drift off to sleep. However most people are able to relax and also listen clearly to every single word. There are medical studies that show that even in deep hypnosis a person is still aware and are actually concentrating at some level. The hypnosis session is recorded so that it can be listened to as homework to reinforce the benefits, so if someone falls asleep it doesn’t matter.


MYTH 5 Someone else will be in control of my mind? FACT 5

No, not at all. You will remain in control. Just like in every day life you are able to pick and choose what thoughts you listen to and take onboard and able to disregard things that you may not agree with. Even if deeply relaxed you are able to make decisions and choices for yourself. There is a saying that "all hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis" and that really you are always in control.


You can’t get stuck. Some people may relax so much that they don't want to open their eyes straight away as they are enjoying the feeling so much. It is a bit like watching television and zoning out where you don’t notice things around you but you become aware as soon as you hear someone mention your name, your attention comes back instantly.



You’ve never been hypnotized. FACT 7

Many people think they’ve never been hypnotised but actually we often go into a type of trance almost daily. When we are daydreaming for example, or driving long distance or even watching television. Try asking a child a question when they are fixated to their favorite program or engrossed in a game. Meditation is even similar to self-hypnosis.



If I can hear the therapists voice during the hypnosis then it hasn’t worked. FACT 8

No not at all. That is a big misconception. Even in hypnosis you are able to listen and follow the hypnotherapists voice, this is evident because as the therapist brings the session to a close the client listens and opens their eyes when asked. Some people may feel like they have drifted off because they g=have been relaxing, but it depends on the person. Even if they are lightly in trance the effects can still be as effective.



A hypnotist cured me in one session! FACT 9

Many people have heard this and this can lead to an unrealistic expectation. It is not a magic pill. In reality the person may have considered the changes they have wanted to make for some time and therefore ready to think differently. Often a problem has been around for quite some time and therefore more than one session is suggested to help enable lasting significant change.



Hypnosis comes from the "Supernatural." FACT 10

Hypnosis is a very natural state that has been studied scientifically and proven to have significant benefits and successful outcomes. Hypnotherapy is based on many years of clinical research and helps people to focus their mind on the ways they would prefer to think rather than being stuck in old patterns and unhelpful behaviors. When a person is calm they are more open to new ideas and have clarity. For example it is known that some people listen to classical music whilst studying to help them relax and therefore concentrate better. Hypnotherapists are not magicians. (Although the results can feel magical :)


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