8 Myths and Misconceptions About Hypnosis Whether you are learning how to be a hypnotist or thinking about going to a hypnotist/hypnotherapist for help, it is important to have a clear idea of what hypnosis is as well as what it is not. Why? Well, as far as becoming a hypnotist is concerned, you need to be able to quell people's fears about being hypnotized. Many people have common misconceptions about hypnosis that have been fueled by movies (think Manchurian Candidate), stage and comedy hypnosis shows, and various other forms of media. These misconceptions can cause people to resist going into hypnosis. When you, as the hypnotist, clear these misconceptions up, you will increase your chances of hypnotizing your client/subject successfully! Now as far as being the person undergoing hypnosis, having misconceptions about hypnosis can decrease your chances of receiving the full benefits of hypnosis, as you are likely to resist going into hypnosis. When you get those misconceptions cleared up, you can relax and enjoy the process as you go into hypnosis, and you will receive the full benefits that hypnosis has to offer you. To help the hypnotist and the person being hypnotized alike, I have included the eight most common misconceptions and myths about hypnosis below with an explanation of the truth about hypnosis. 1. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Hypnosis. Let us face it, all hypnosis is not the same. Do not be fooled. There is good, bad, and so-so hypnosis. It all depends on how it is done and who is doing it. The best form of hypnosis is performed by a skilled hypnotist/hypnotherapist who has a good foundation of proven psychological principles to help you get what you need most effectively. There really is a load of crap out in the hypnosis world today. In today's world, people are learning more and more to think for themselves and do not like to be told what to do. All of that old "you are getting veddy, veddy sleepy" stuff is outdated and ineffective. Thank goodness that science and psychology (as well as many great hypnotists) have elevated hypnosis to a much higher plain today. Although I still think there is some great value in direct hypnosis (in certain situations), my personal feeling is that indirect/conversational hypnosis is, by far, on the "razor' edge" as far as effectiveness and being up to date. Also, be really careful and hold onto your wallet because there are many hypnosis hucksters selling "hypnotic snake oil" products such as low-rate subliminal messages and pseudo-spirituality stuff ("You are now completely whole because you are 'at one' with the universe."). Do not get me wrong, I am not against all subliminal messages, and I do think that hypnosis can be used in combination with spirituality. I am just saying that there are a whole lot of charlatans out there who are willing to sell you anything in the name of real hypnosis. Many of these people have no real experience and training in hypnosis whatsoever! 2. Only mental weaklings can be hypnotized/I cannot be hypnotized. Perhaps you have heard that "smart" people cannot be hypnotized. Part of the reason behind this myth is just plain, old, bad hypnosis like I mentioned above. People do not like to be ordered around and told stuff like, "Your eyes ARE feeling so heavy that you CANNOT open your eyes!" while they are thinking to themselves, "Oh, YES I CAN!" Most people do not find that sort of thing to be very pleasant and so they simply do not go into hypnosis. It is that simple. On the other hand, when you really get to experience being skillfully and gently directed into a state of deep relaxation and focus, you will realize that you can, in fact, be hypnotized. In reality, anyone with sound mental faculties and a reasonable amount of intelligence can be hypnotized. Truth be told, experience shows that people who are intelligent and have a creative mind make the best hypnosis subjects/clients because they can "think outside the box" and do not limit their imaginations about what is possible for them. 3. Hypnosis is not mind control/you are not the hypnotist's puppet. The only person who has absolute control over your mind is you. A hypnotist cannot make you do something you are not willing to do. Bizarre news stories, stage hypnotists, and people who do not know much about hypnosis have promoted this myth for far too long. That being said, a person can use hypnosis and persuasion techniques (both for good and for bad purposes) to cause another person to become more willing to do what they say and accept their suggestions. Ultimately, though, each person has the power to make his/her own decisions (even under hypnosis). A hypnotist cannot force anyone to do anything against his/her will (including go against their morals) unless already willing to do so in the first place. Generally speaking, the hypnotist serves as somewhat of a guide to lead you into a relaxed and focused state and uses psychologically sound hypnotic techniques to help you make changes or experience certain things that you want to experience. 4. Hypnosis is not sleep. People who try hypnosis for the first time often come out of it a little disappointed because of this myth. They say things like, "I could hear everything you said" or "I felt like I could open my eyes and walk out if I wanted to." In reality, when you are in hypnosis, you can be aware of everything that is going on around you. In hypnosis, you are simply deeply relaxed and highly focused. When you sleep, your conscious faculties seem to disappear for a while. When you wake up, they seem to return to you. Hypnosis is kind of the "middle ground" between these two states of consciousness. It is not the same as when you are asleep, nor is it the same as when you are wide awake. One of the causes behind this misconception is that hypnotists often use the word "SLEEP!" as a command to put someone into hypnosis. This is because sleep is used as a metaphor for helping someone go into hypnosis. I will teach you more about hypnotic metaphors in later articles. 5. You cannot get "stuck" in hypnosis. No one has ever gotten stuck in hypnosis. The only reason a person would stay in hypnosis is because it feels fantastic to be so relaxed and focused. Some people do not want to come out of hypnosis because they do not want that feeling to go away. The worst thing that would happen if the hypnotist left or suddenly died while the person was in hypnosis is that the hypnotized person would most likely fall asleep and wake up feeling really good. 6. Hypnosis is not amnesia. You will not forget everything that happened while you were in hypnosis. Remember, hypnosis is not sleep. You are not unconscious while you are in hypnosis. You are just very relaxed and highly focused. Now, a hypnotist can suggest that a person forget everything that was said during the hypnosis session, resulting in the person not remembering. However, as a general rule, people tend to remember everything that happens while in hypnosis. 7. You will not reveal your deep, dark secrets in hypnosis. As I said before, you are in control of your own mind and will be even when you are in hypnosis. You will not reveal anything you do not want others to know unless you want to. Hypnosis can, however, be used as a way to help people explore and deal with those things that they would not normally want to talk about under normal circumstances. This is always done with the person's consent and usually in the context of hypnotherapy. 8. You will not become someone else. You will always be you when you are in hypnosis. That being said, a hypnotist can use hypnosis to help another person explore what it would be like to "become" another person. This is usually done so that the subject/client can experience what it would be like to have the traits that the person they are "becoming" possesses (for instance, confidence). The hypnotized person can then bring this trait back with them into their own personality when they come out from being in hypnosis. (I will teach you the techniques to elicit this hypnotic phenomenon in later articles) Well, if you are wanting to be hypnotized, I hope this clears up any misconceptions you may have had about hypnosis. If you are a hypnotist, you now have answers to give people to help quell their fears and clear up their misconceptions. Hope this helped!
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