Hypnosis Myths

Posted by Nadeen Manuel on

Hypnosis Myths Answered

Hypnosis is, perhaps, one of the most misunderstood and controversial methods of psychological treatment. The myths and misconceptions that surround hypnotherapy mostly stem from people’s ideas about stage hypnotism.


Myth #1

Can you get stuck in a hypnotic trance?

This is NOT true, it's up to you whether or not you remain in trance or come out of it, there's no possible way of getting stuck there. Even if a hypnotized person is told that they will never awaken, they eventually awaken! I'm using the word "awaken" purely as a convenience, because, you aren't asleep when you are hypnotized.

Myth #2

Is hypnosis the same as being asleep?

People look like their asleep when they’re hypnotized because their eyes are closed and they are peaceful. But, they are not asleep. Studies suggest that the hypnotic state is similar to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep state. However, you need to be awake for hypnosis to work because you need your brain to be processing the words (or in other words, you need to be listening).

In actuality, you are in a heightened state of concentration while in a hypnotic trance which requires you to be awake, alert, and very responsive. 


Myth #3

Can you be hypnotized to do something against your will?

No one is able to be hypnotized against his or her will. Contrary to popular belief, people under hypnosis are in total control of themselves and would never do anything they would normally find highly objectionable.

Myth #4

Hypnosis Is Mind Control

A lot of people ask, "Is hypnosis mind control?", the answer is No. no one can control your mind unless you let them. 
At no point during your session will you lose control of your mind. When you are undergoing hypnosis, you are doing so by choice and you stay fully in control of yourself. You have the ability to take yourself out of the hypnotic state when you choose, simply by opening your eyes. 

Myth #5

Only the WEAK minded can be hypnotized.

Quite the opposite, studies suggest that people with above-average intelligence, with great capability of concentration, and vivid imaginations make the best candidates for hypnosis.

However, if you find it hard to undergo hypnosis it does not mean anything is wrong with you. People naturally vary in their susceptibility to being hypnotized. 

Myth #6

Not everyone can be hypnotized.

Everyone can be hypnotized, hypnosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens to us every day. In reality, most of us have experienced at least a state of mild hypnosis. Hypnosis is a natural, normal state that each of us enters at least twice a day- upon awakening and falling asleep. 

Myth #7 

Hypnosis is truth serum and you can’t lie while hypnotized

Sure you can! Hypnosis is not a magical state in which you can only speak the truth. This is a natural result of the fact that you are not helpless when hypnotized and your morals and ethics are still active. 

Myth #8

When hypnotized, I will lose all sense of my surroundings and will have nor memory of the session. 

Hypnosis is not an unconscious state of sleep. Most people report having a heightened sense of awareness, concentration, and focus. 

Myth #9

Hypnosis can be used to retrieve memories. 

Yes, hypnosis is very effective in retrieving memories. However, it is important that the hypnotist is experienced and skilled in this area because you are using so much of your imagination during hypnosis.


Myth #10

A hypnotist can cure you in one session. 

Yes, a hypnotist can cure you for many things in one session such as fear or phobia, nail-biting, and smoking. However, it depends on the presenting issue, but in most cases, people see significant progress in just one session.


Myth #11

Hypnosis comes from “black magic” or is “supernatural."

Most of what people believe about hypnosis comes from what they have seen in movies or read in fiction, which are seldom based on fact. Hypnosis is actually a perfectly natural state that has been studied scientifically. Hypnotherapists are not psychic or palm readers with “special powers.” Hypnotherapy is based upon many years of clinical research by famous Psychologists such as Dr. Sigmund Freud, Dr. Carl Jung, and more recently by Dr. Milton Erikson, and Dr. John Kappas. 


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