When many people hear the word hypnosis or hypnotism, there are certain stereotypical images that spring to mind. We often think of the over-the-top performers calling “random” participants to a stage to induce a deep trance state. The results can be shocking or comical – depending on the crowd. The problem is that this leads to many misconceptions over the legitimacy and true practices of hypnosis.
The truth is that real hypnosis doesn’t take place with random subjects on public stages. Nor does it have that level of impact on the participant. Hypnosis is a genuine therapy tool that many people can use to help them break through thought patterns, clinical issues, phobias and more. That is why we want to uncover the truth behind some common hypnosis myths.
Myth: Hypnotists have complete control over their subjects
This is not true at all. There is a common myth that once a hypnotist places someone into a trance, they have complete control over that person. We see this in stage shows where participants are apparently so subjectable that they start acting in an embarrassing way. Hypnotists can’t make people act like a chicken against their free will. Instead, subjects are in control of their actions and thoughts and are simply guided by the hypnotist.
Myth: Subjects will repeat anything and respond to any suggestion from the hypnotist
This is another myth where cartoons and popular culture have skewed the reality of hypnosis. Authentic hypnotists aren’t going to wave a watch in front of someone’s eyes and get them to repeat every line they say. Hypnosis doesn’t rely on this sort of up-front suggestion. There are no aggressive, bullying tactics here. Instead, hypnosis relies on many post-hypnotic suggestions to help subjects deal with the issues and thought patterns. Ideas fed to people in trance work in the unconscious long after the session.
Myth: Anyone can be hypnotised
Again, much of this idea stems from the performers that insist that they can call upon any willing participant and put them into a deep trance. There are, in fact, different levels of hypnotizability in different individuals. What this means is that while there are some people that can go into trance with ease, others cannot. That element of free will also come into play here. Subjects need to be open to the process and a willing volunteer for hypnosis to truly work.
Myth: Hypnosis is only possible under the direct influence a trained hypnotist
Many in the profession would like to insist that this is true. Also, there are plenty of con artists keen to over-hype their abilities. However, there is no doubt that self-hypnosis is indeed possible. That level of hypnotizability mentioned above has a lot to do with the results here. Some people can follow the appropriate steps and find themselves in a relaxation state of trance. Others won’t be able to do so. The depth of the trance and results will also vary between users.
Myth: A skilled hypnotist can cure people of their debilitating phobias in no time at all
There are some people that expect far too much from hypnotists. The preconceptions of deep trance and manipulated thoughts lead to this idea that hypnosis can provide sudden, extreme results. It is incredibly unlikely to cure a fear of flying in a couple of sessions. It is a slow gradual process to overcome negative thought patterns and habits. Progress is gradual and requires regular work.
It may be time to re-evaluate the idea hypnosis
The practice of hypnosis isn’t what many people expect. This may be a disappointment to those the expect the showmanship and extreme results of the stage show. But, it is also good news for those looking for a genuine therapeutic session. It may take a little longer to get results, and the approaches may be more subtle, but they work. You don’t have to give up control and lose yourself to a deep trance. You will retain control with positive guidance from your hypnotherapist. If you want to learn more about the truth behind authentic sessions, call Core Hypnosis on 0432 808 450.