As a practising hypnotherapist and a bit of a hypno-junkie I will try to de-mystify hypnosis a bit.
Many myths abound regarding hypnosis.
- It can be used to control you
- It can be used to make you do things you don’t want to do
- It can be used to take advantage of you
- You are a victim of the hypnotist
- Only weak minded people can be hypnotized
- Not everyone can be hypnotized
- Hypnosis is done to you
- You have no part in the hypnosis process
On the positive side the myths consist of:
- Hypnosis is a magic bullet.
- One session is all you need
All Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis
Even the smallest amount of research into the topic of hypnosis will uncover this statement being used repeatedly. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It is repeated so often because it is the truth. YOU are always in control. A hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything you don’t want to do.
If you do not want to be hypnotized you will not be. It only takes a small amount of effort to prevent yourself from achieving a trance state. I am reminded of Barbara Streisand in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Her hypnotherapist is trying to induct her telepathically and she begins to sing and dance to prevent it.
Alternately it only takes relaxation to achieve a trance state.
Not Everyone Can be Hypnotized
This is a nice theory but so far I have not met anyone that cannot be hypnotized. In school I learned that possibly people with brain damage cannot be hypnotized but I have run across an instance where that has been proven incorrect.
I generally find that the people that have been told they cannot be hypnotized are the ones that will resist being told directly to do something. There are several methods of speaking to someone that can circumvent this.
Having said this it is important to remember that you need to have a rapport with your hypnotherapist. Find someone you like and trust. This is not absolutely necessary however it does make the experience much more pleasant.
You and Your Responsibility in the Process
Hypnosis is not something that is just “done to you”. At every stage you have a responsibility to yourself. Remember we are talking about the subconscious here your subconscious, in your own mind.
Bearing in mind that you will always retain control, the more you can just relax and let the process take you to where it needs to go, the better the result.
As an example, when I was going for hypnosis in the beginning I decided a couple of times that there was something specific that I wanted to experience. Those were the least valuable experiences I have ever had. When I set my intention of what I wanted to accomplish and then let my subconscious take me where I needed to go I had amazing results.
Although many of us feel that we know where our issues stem from we can and will be amazed by just how little it took for some major issues in our lives to be cemented in.
One Session is All It Takes
You would not go to a psychologist and leave after the first appointment thinking “well that’s fixed”. Psychoanalysis can go on for years. Even when you do something as simple as get a massage, you realize that in order to maintain the relaxation of your muscles you will have to do it again. You don’t get one massage and think that you will never need another.
There is a misconception in the general public that hypnosis can take care of the issues that someone has buried for an entire lifetime in a single session. I would love to be able to say this is the case but sadly it takes a number of sessions to get lasting results.
I have had people with weight issues and addictions come to me expecting that they can make a single appointment and that will be the end of the problem. Not so. All issues have an emotional and trigger component, sometimes just a single component and as in the case of weight issues, many emotional components.
If you are making an appointment for past life regression or stress relief in the moment then a single session is all that is needed. If you are attempting to deal with deeper issues at least 6 sessions are needed and many times more than that.
Truly the only way to remove any deep seated issue is to deal with it and let it go. Hypnosis can assist you with this. Sometimes the results are spectacular and sometimes the results are more subtle. They show up months later in your changed reaction to whatever your trigger used to be.
Hypnosis is an amazing tool but you need to be fully engaged in the process to achieve significant results.