There are so many myths about hypnosis! This top 10 are the common ones I see and the truths about them.

Number 10 – “During a hypnosis sessions you will be unaware of your surroundings.”

Effectively ‘out cold’ like a sleep state. This is not the case. The type of trance your hypnotist will help you achieve will mean you are always aware of your surroundings. Remember – your hypnotist is taking you through a process to help you and it usually helps if you are aware of what they are saying! Some people even describe that their senses seem even more heightened when in a hypnotic state. They can become hyper aware of sounds or sensations. What you should expect to feel is calm and relaxed and you will have your eyes closed. Your chosen hypnotherapist will also explain to you what to expect during your session with them depending on the type of hypnosis you are accessing and the purpose.

Number 9 – “Will I be made to bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken”

This may well be something I get asked daily. The answer is No. And you need to discuss with your chosen hypnotherapist if you are feeling concerned your session may involve something you are not comfortable with. Stage hypnosis is wonderful and is designed for entertainment purposes. You would likely find those same people acting the same way after a few beers on a night out with friends. It raises awareness of hypnosis but is designed for a completely different purpose. Hypnotherapy has a specific aim in mind and I prefer to do that in the shortest time and minus any dog barks! So this one is false, but if you have concerns you must discuss them so your hypnotherapist can put your mind at ease.

Number 8 – “All Hypnosis is self-hypnosis”

This creates a lot of discussion in the field. The key thing to remember is that a hypnotherapist is trained in helping you to get into a state of hypnosis for a particular purpose. However – they do not own a magic wand! You have to follow the process and instructions and do it yourself. They are a guide, a professional who can help you to achieve a result using lots of techniques and to help you get into the right state for a great result. However, they cannot make you do that and as a result, yes, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. If a hypnotherapist asks you to close your eyes, they cannot do it for you…you have to choose to close your eyes.

Number 7 – “I will be forced to reveal things I do not want to”

This is rooted in the misconception that hypnotherapists have control of you or that you do not have control of yourself during a hypnosis session. Whilst your hypnotherapist cannot help you if you are not honest about what is going on, and can have bigger effects if you share anything that might be relevant; they cannot force you to share something you do not wish to share. So this is false. It is important to answer any questions asked truthfully and the most deep and long lasting change can occur if you are fully honest with your hypnotherapist, however – they cannot ‘make’ you reveal anything. This is a process of working together for a result.

Number 6 – “I am weak minded if I can be hypnotised”

No, No, No and once more for good measure NO! Ironically in order to be hypnotised you need to be able to concentrate and follow instructions which does not tend to be linked to weak mindedness if such a thing even exists! It is utterly unrelated to willpower and in my experience more linked to people’s perceptions of hypnosis and what it means. Misconceptions can influence so much! I work with clients to reassure them what is involved with hypnosis and what to expect from a session. If you are feeling that hypnosis is not working for you then I encourage you to talk to your hypnotherapist as there are many different tools that can be used and it might be they need to adjust or refer you to someone else. If you are concerned you need to be ‘weak minded’ in order to be hypnotised then you might need more information about hypnosis to be reassured this is not the case, or you may need to address some other concerns with your hypnotherapist before proceeding. It is always useful to be honest with them as they are not mind readers despite what the TV might have you believe. Well … we are not mind readers ALL the time! 😉😂

Number 5 –  “Hypnosis doesn’t work with everyone”

Not a straightforward answer as is partly true. Certain neurological and psychological conditions fall out of the scope of practice for hypnosis. In those instances hypnosis might not be appropriate. However, when I come across this comment it is usually in relation to someone stating that ‘I cannot be hypnotised, I’ve been told’ and this is usually a myth filled perception. Sometimes it is because the person believes some of the other myths I’ve covered, such as revealing something they don’t want to, or that they will not be aware of what goes on. These concerns can be easily addressed. Sometimes it links to their expectations of hypnosis. In others it is down to poor management by a hypnotherapist or different models of hypnosis suiting different people. The truth is we enter different states of hypnosis naturally during our everyday life and the difference in a session is that it is targeted at a particular depth of hypnosis for a particular purpose. I have yet to meet someone who could not be hypnotised at all! Once they have a trusting relationship with me as their professional and know what to expect. The final aspect is that the more we enter purposeful hypnotic states the better we get! Some enter a deep state of hypnosis very quickly from the start. Some take a bit more time. With plenty tools in my box to help people get there fast; they can start experiencing results quickly!

Number 4 – “I have never been hypnotised”

This really comes down to a misconception over what hypnosis is. What is true is that you may never have been to see a hypnotist or used hypnosis explicitly to deal with a situation. However, it is false that you have never been hypnotised. Hypnosis is just the word we use to describe a particular state of mind you are in for a particular purpose. This happens naturally to you anyway but you may not utilise it in the way a hypnotherapist does for helping you. For example, if you meet someone and you just know their name and feel like it is on the tip of your tongue but somehow cannot grasp it. This is a hypnotic phenomenon. By seeing a hypnotherapist you can utilise these states of mind for a particular purpose. For tackling issues, resolving internal conflict and fears or phobias. Building confidence and facing life with a renewed perspective. Hypnotic states, however, may not be as new to you as you think! And this is why sometimes people say they ‘didn’t feel anything different’ during hypnosis. The benefit comes in having a trained hypnotherapist who can quickly help you get into a state of hypnosis to achieve an outcome consistently and effectively.

Number 3 – “Hypnosis is not real and people pretend to be hypnotised”

False. Whilst there is a lot of work ongoing to understand how hypnosis works, there is little question that it is a real phenomenon. Which my previous clients will be glad to hear! This might be linked to perceptions over hypnosis used for entertainment mixed with the fact you are actually aware of what is going on during hypnosis. This can create a misconception that people are ‘faking’ when in reality there are subconscious cues people give when they enter hypnotic states, that cannot be consciously created. Again this is a lot to do with misunderstanding hypnosis and what it is. There are two major parts. The hypnotherapist helping a person to get into the correct state for change and the process they take them through to get a result. This state of hypnosis can be measured in terms of brainwave frequencies and the process should be geared to whatever the aim of the session is. This is where the toolbox of techniques comes in.

Number 2 – “Hypnotherapists should be properly trained”

True. Always check out the credentials of your hypnotherapist to make sure they have been appropriately trained in the area you are seeking help with. If they are affiliated to a governing body – check this out too and make sure it is reputable and either independent from them or with independent accreditations. As with any industry there will be the cowboys who enter the field. A good hypnotherapist will not only have been trained but also undergo what is known as CPD, continuous professional development. This is an annual investment in their discipline to either refresh their skillset, learn new modes of thinking and techniques, attend conferences or expand their toolkit in different disciplines. Seek out hypnotherapists who invest in their own learning.

Number 1 – “Hypnosis gives hypnotherapists control of your mind”

False. I saved the biggest and most common misconception to last. Just think about it for a moment. If hypnosis meant that someone had control of your mind – we would be being hired right now to make sure everyone social distanced and followed the rules! There were even countless research projects carried out during WW2 to investigate the use of hypnosis in mind control. It was found it was not possible to do so. Hypnosis is a ‘do with’ process and not a ‘do to’. Yes the hypnotherapists is there to help you get into a certain state to achieve and outcome, and they are trained in the tools for that. However you remain in control at all times and aware of what is going on. Stage shows have been great for bringing hypnosis into common knowledge and also led to a belief that people have lost control of themselves in some way. This is not the case. Hypnosis is simply a process of choosing to follow what the hypnotherapist asks you to do. At any stage you can choose not to. That is why trusting and building a relationship with your hypnotherapist is so important. So absolutely and completely NOT mind control! Or I’d be making better use of my skills!

These myths and truths of hypnosis are only a few of the common ones I hear. If you’d like to explore how hypnosis can help you then get in touch for the facts.