There are many misconceptions people hold about hypnosis. Many of them start at stage hypnosis shows. Let's dispel common myths and misconceptions about hypnosis and look at the truth.
7 Common Myths about Hypnosis Busted.
1. Hypnosis is a (super) power and is not natural.
Perhaps the greatest misconception - and one which is a reminder of how hypnosis used to and continues to be a form of entertainment - is that hypnosis is some sort of power.
The ‘look into my eyes’ nonsense still suggests that the hypnotist takes control of a mind through a mixture of clever words and some as yet undefined mystical or supernatural process.
Obviously the sceptics believe that it is all a trick and at the extreme there are those who believe that the phenomenon does not exist at all.
Those who see hypnosis as some sort of supernatural manifestation are confusing what is a perfectly normal suggestible state to a form of spiritual ‘happening’.
The fact is, a subject can exit his or her own hypnotic state at any time of their choosing and the hypnotist has absolutely no control over their mind, except in a mildly encouraging way which also means that there is no such thing as ‘covert’ hypnotism during which a hypnotist places someone into a trance without them being aware of it.
In fact, you are likely experiencing hypnosis right now.
Hypnotism can only work with absolute co-operation between hypnotist and subject. In fact, the best way to consider a hypnotist is as a facilitator rather than some sort of powerful being with a special talent.
As they say, hypnotists are trained and not born!
2. A hypnotist can control your mind.
The hypnotist himself is not a guru, spiritualist or even especially gifted.
Once again, hypnotism continues to suffer from the fallout generated by those who did claim to be gifted in the art of ‘mind control’.
It is now generally accepted that all that happens during hypnosis is that the hypnotist verbally ‘prods’ the subject into a hypnotic state which in the final analysis is created by the subject himself.
Any hypnotised subject can reject any suggestion made to him by the hypnotist.
That means for instance, that any individual in a trance cannot be made to commit a crime because one thing that hypnosis cannot impinge upon is on an individual’s moral compass.
3. Hypnosis is a turth serum.
Although a subject retains his or her moral compass when in a hypnotic trance, there are those who believe that hypnosis can act in the same way as, say a truth serum which destroys an individuals will and they eventually lose all discretion.
That is another myth because even under hypnosis you can not only withhold information but more interestingly, you can even lie under hypnosis!
4. Not everyone can be hypnotised.
One of the phrases I have heard more than most in relation to hypnotism is ‘No-one can hypnotise me’.
That too is a myth and those who propagate it appear to believe that hypnotism is a battle of wills between the hypnotist and the subject.
The fact is that in order for a subject to enter a trance, there has to be absolutely 100% co-operation between the hypnotist and his subject.
It is certainly not a question of the subject saying to the hypnotherapist or hypnotist ‘I bet you can’t hypnotise me!’ Anyone can resist being hypnotised if they want to.
The other reason why certain people feel that they cannot be hypnotised can be summed up as follows: There are no bad subjects – only bad hypnotists.
Anyone who has had the experience of actually wanting to be hypnotised and not being able to achieve it, has quite likely come into contact with and untrained or poorly trained individual masquerading as a hypnotist.
5. Hypnosis is instant.
Any issue requiring hypnosis will take time to resolve. There is no such thing as a ‘one-hit’ session which is guaranteed to deliver a miracle cure.
6. Hypnosis cures everything.
There have been examples of ‘hypnotists’ who claim to be able to cure everything from baldness, stammering to poor eyesight.
Not everything can be cured by hypnosis.
It is those individuals who have done so much to promote the rather poor image that hypnotherapy and hypnosis in general enjoys in certain quarters.
7. You can be stuck in hypnosis forever.
Finally, it is not possible to somehow remain in a hypnotic state after having been in a trance unless a subject has been dealt with by an amateur who hasn’t quite managed to return the individual to a fully normally open conscious state - although even then, the subject will return to normality soon enough.
And again, you are likely in a hypnotic trance like state right now.
Yes, there are many myths surrounding hypnosis – most of them as a result of the general public’s ignorance of psychology and the continuing influence on popular thought by ill-informed books and movies.
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