Misconceptions About Hypnosis
As a Hypno-Psychotherapist, I find that the general public has some very interesting ideas about hypnosis. Most of this “knowledge” is misunderstanding. It is important that you understand what misconceptions exist regarding hypnosis and have these allayed before seeking hypnotherapy.
Loss of Consciousness:
This is probably the most common misconception surrounding hypnosis. Many believe that people who are hypnotised are unconscious. This misunderstanding can be attributed directly to stage hypnosis. The truth of the matter is that many people who experience hypnosis actually feel more alert and aware than in a normal waking state.
Surrender of Will:
Again, because of certain stage hypnotists, many members of the public believe that hypnosis is somehow a surrender of will. In that the client will submit to the “power” of the hypnotist. As hypnosis is a subjective experience, nothing could be further from the truth. It is important to stress that the client is always capable of making decisions at all times.
Some believe that only fools can be hypnotised. The truth is, because hypnosis requires concentration, the best subjects are actually the more intelligent of the population.
Revelation of Secrets:
Some others believe that while under hypnosis you can be forced to reveal secrets about yourself and others. However, as a subject is aware of everything while being hypnotised, this surely could not happen. Some also believe that hypnosis is akin to a truth drug. The truth is one can lie just as easily in hypnosis as in a waking state.
Fear of Not Being Revived:
There are some people who are afraid that once hypnotised, they will never come out of it. Since the clients actually induce the trance themselves (as all hypnosis is ultimately self hypnosis), clients can readily revive themselves when necessary.
Confusion Between Hypnotisability and Gullibility:
This is similar to the misconception about weak-mindedness; here clients believe that if they are hypnotisable, it means that they are gullible. This misconception was already answered in weak-mindedness.
This is a misconception that one has to have a strong will to be a hypnotist and that males make better hypnotists than females. This is not the case, and in fact some of the most successful hypnotherapists adopt a permissive rather than authoritarian style.