If there is one thing that thwarts the efforts of hypnotherapists everywhere, it is the insalubrious reputation that hypnosis has had since the time it was openly used by Franz Anton Mesmer back in the mid 1700's.
Although Herr Mesmer proved that hypnosis could be used as a force for good, he also used it as a way to dupe people - and a reputation like that very rarely goes away!
Needless to say, there are excellent hypnotherapists who will bend over backwards to help people, and there are people who will do the bare minimum to earn as much as they can- unfortunately this is the way of the world. So what is true and what isn't when it comes to common myths about hypnosis?
Myth one: Probably the most common "Hypnosis allows me to be controlled".
When a hypnotherapist works with you - they are a guide. Guiding you through the process of relaxation so your subconscious comes to the fore and is able to make changes you have agreed to during your consultation.
Think of your subconscious as your health and safety team, if a hypnotherapist suggests something that goes against your moral code, or even something you do not want to do - it will simply throw the idea out and you will remain unchanged. As an example - if you come for help to quit smoking and secretly you don't really want to... guess what? You won't!
Myth two: "Some people don't wake up from hypnosis".
Some people would love to stay in that wonderful state of relaxation but no one has yet! The truth is if a client is enjoying the relaxed place they found themselves in it can take a little while to encourage them to come back to conscious awareness but, as I said in the paragraph above, the subconscious is there to keep you safe, simply implying there is danger would snap someone back to full conscious awareness in a second - although its not the nicest way to end a relaxing session, yelling "fire" will wake anyone up!
Myth three: "Intelligent people can't be hypnotised".
If you have the ability to relax and go to sleep you can be hypnotised, and the more intelligent you are the easier it is generally to follow instructions and imagine/visualise what the hypnotherapist is asking you to.
Myth four: "I won't remember anything a hypnotherapist says".
If you want to remember everything the hypnotherapist says, you will. It is important to mention here that there maybe parts of your past, for instance, that might be best left alone but your therapist will have discussed this before any regression takes place. If you want to leave it in the past, your hypnotherapist will add wording so that your subconscious will let go of those things so you can then move forward - again it will be your choice.
Myth five: "Hypnotherapy isn't an effective therapy".
A comparison study shows:
Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions.
Behaviour Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions.
Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions.
(Source: American Health Magazine)
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About Karen Lee
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.