3 things hypnosis cannot do

One of the main misconceptions about hypnosis is that it involves the complete loss of control and free will, as portrayed in some media and entertainment. This popular misconception suggests that individuals under hypnosis become passive and susceptible to the complete direction of the hypnotist, leading them to do things against their will.


In reality, hypnosis is a cooperative state where the individual remains aware of their surroundings and retains control over their actions and decisions. The person under hypnosis is not in a state of unconsciousness or mind control. Instead, they are typically in a heightened state of focus and concentration, known as a trance, which can make them more open to suggestions

Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis as a therapeutic technique to help individuals overcome limiting beliefs, destructive habits, past trauma, and PTSD but also improve self-confidence. Hypnotherapy involves guided relaxation, focused attention, and heightened suggestibility to promote positive change, personal growth, and healing.  However, this form has its own limitations and here are 3 things hypnotherapy cannot do:

Control your mind against your will

Hypnosis is a collaborative process that requires the individual’s consent and cooperation. A hypnotherapist cannot take control of your mind or make you do something against your will. You remain conscious and aware during hypnosis, and you can choose to resist or reject any suggestions that go against your values or desires. 

It's important to note that individuals cannot be forced to act against their morals or values while under hypnosis. They still have the ability to reject or ignore suggestions that go against their principles. Ethical and professional hypnotists work collaboratively with their clients and prioritise their well-being throughout the process.

Retrieve forgotten memories accurately

While hypnosis can be used to help individuals access long-time buried memories, it is not a foolproof method for retrieving accurate information. Memories are malleable and subject to suggestion, so under hypnosis, a person may inadvertently create false memories or distort existing ones. Hypnosis should not be relied upon as a sole method for retrieving important or legally significant memories. As a result, it is crucial your therapist use clean language to avoid any false memories being created.

Cure serious mental health conditions

Hypnosis can be a useful adjunct to psychotherapy for managing certain psychological and emotional issues, such as anxiety, phobias, and stress. However, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment. Serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression require comprehensive medical and psychological interventions, which hypnosis alone cannot provide.

Hypnosis is not a cure for serious mental health conditions. While it may be used as a complementary or adjunctive therapy in some cases, it is important to understand its limitations and the need for evidence-based treatments for serious mental health conditions.

Serious mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and severe anxiety disorders, require comprehensive and evidence-based interventions. These interventions often include psychotherapy, medication, and other therapeutic modalities provided by mental health professionals.

It’s important to approach hypnosis with realistic expectations and consult with a qualified and licensed hypnotist or mental health professional when seeking its benefits. Bear in mind that like with any other types of therapies, hypnotherapy has its limitations so just be aware of it.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
London, Greater London, SE14 6TY
Written by N. Verdickt, Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy EMDR Lucid Dream & Kinesiology
London, Greater London, SE14 6TY

Mr Verdickt is a Paid Media Expert by day and Therapist by night specialised on Hypnotherapy, EMDR, Lucid Dreaming, African Constellations and Kinesiology. Critical thinker, he also produced thought provoking content to make this world a better place. Follow him on his https://theverdickttherapy.substack.com/

Show comments

Find the right hypnotherapist for you

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals