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Top 10 Hypnosis Myths Uncovered

By Nicole Lipman
Updated June 6, 2015

Many people find that hypnosis is a useful technique for helping them make behavioral changes like eating better or quitting smoking. However, as useful as hypnosis can be, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what happens when a person is under hypnosis. Keep reading to learn the truth about 10 common myths people believe about hypnosis.

1. Hypnosis Forces People To Do Things Against Their Will

People are often under the impression that a hypnotist could theoretically force a person to do something contrary to his or her will. In reality, the person who is being hypnotized determines the level to which he or she falls into a hypnotized state. That means the person receiving the hypnosis always ultimately has control.

2. Hypnosis Is Related To Witchcraft

It’s a gross misunderstanding that hypnosis is related to witchcraft or the devil. Actually, famous clinical psychologists, including Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, studied hypnotherapy for many years, and it has its basis in psychology, rather than anything having to do with the black arts.

3. Once I Am Hypnotized, I May Not Be Able To Snap Out Of It

Hypnosis is a state of hyper-awareness. In the event that a person wanted to come out of being hypnotized, he or she would simply open his or her eyes, stretch or speak. Hypnosis is very safe, and people should not worry that it is dangerous. Even without direct intervention from the hypnotist, you would eventually realize when he or she is not speaking to you any longer and come out of hypnosis on your own.

4. People Who Are Hypnotized May Be Made To Perform Silly Acts

You may have seen TV shows where people who are reportedly under hypnosis do funny things like make animal sounds or kiss strangers. However, those people are individuals who volunteer to come up on stage, and many of them are making the most of their time in the spotlight, or might even be actors who have been paid to perform. Hypnosis is something that is practiced for self-improvement purposes, not sole entertainment.

5. Hypnosis Is A Miracle Cure

Even though hypnosis is a relatively quick form of self-improvement, you should not agree to be hypnotized and expect overnight success. Your hypnotherapist will go through a pre-hypnosis interview with you to determine what kinds of self-improvements you want to make and how many hypnosis sessions you might need.

6. Hypnosis Might Make Me Divulge Private Information

Anything that is said within a hypnotherapy session is kept confidential. Things said when a person is under hypnosis also cannot be used as testimony in courts of law.

7. If I Can Be Hypnotized Successfully That Means My Mind Is Weak

People often think if they can be put under hypnosis easily, that means they have a lack of willpower or a weak mind. In fact, the opposite is true. In order to be hypnotized, a person must be able to concentrate and feel very willing to participate.

8. I Have Never Been In A Hypnotized State Before

Did you know that you’ve probably been in a hypnotized state before without even realizing it, and maybe even as recently as today? If you have ever daydreamed or gotten engrossed in a good book, those are just two examples of when you likely passed in and out of a hypnotic state. The same is true just before you drift off into a deep sleep.

9. Hypnosis May Be Unhealthy

Hypnosis is recognized as a valid therapy by many leading medical associations in places like the United States and Canada. It supports good mental and physical health, and that’s especially true when hypnosis is used to help a person break away from a bad habit like smoking or eating too much.

10. Doing Self-Hypnosis Is Just As Effective As Going To A Professional

Although there are many CDs and MP3s you can listen to in an attempt to do self-hypnosis, that method may not work as well as visiting a professional. That’s particularly true if you are prone to Pin It self-defeating thoughts or have low self-esteem. Professionals have received thorough training and they understand how to best work with you for ideal results based on your situation and needs.

Now that you’ve learned the realities behind some of the top myths about hypnosis, hopefully you’ll feel encouraged to learn more about the practice and schedule an appointment with a hypnotherapist to see if it could help you embark on a path of self-improvement.

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Katherine Hurst
By Nicole Lipman
Nicole is a Nationally Certified Consulting Therapist, with a Bachelor of Science degree, a background in life management and motivational coaching. She specializes in hypnosis for stress reduction, habit cessation and pain management. One of her favorite quotes is “the mind is powerful, and we have more control than we think”. She strongly believes that the mind holds the key to most of life’s problems, and that hypnosis helps to unlock and find answers to these problems.

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