Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique that allows clients to make deep changes more quickly than talk therapy alone. During a typical hypnosis session, the therapist and client collaborate through talk therapy to determine what topic they would like to address. Then, the clinician uses focused attention and guided imagery to help the client relax, focus their minds, and be receptive to the goal they have set for themselves.
Common Myths About Hypnosis (adapted from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis website)
1. Hypnosis will make you lose control or surrender your will.
A hypnotic state is not the same thing as gullibility or weakness. Many people base their assumptions about hypnotism on stage acts, but fail to take into account that stage hypnotists screen their volunteers to select those who are cooperative, with possible exhibitionist tendencies, as well as responsive to hypnosis. Stage acts help create a myth about hypnosis which discourages people from seeking legitimate hypnotherapy.
2. You will lose consciousness or have amnesia when you are hypnotized.
A small percentage of subjects, who go into very deep levels of trance will fit this stereotype and have spontaneous amnesia. The majority of people remember everything that occurs in hypnosis. This is beneficial, because the most of what we want to accomplish in hypnosis may be done in a medium depth trance, where people tend to remember everything.
3. You will be under the therapist/hypnotist’s control.
In hypnosis, the patient is not under the control of the hypnotist. Hypnosis is not something imposed on people, but something they do for themselves. A hypnotist simply serves as a facilitator to guide them.
Hypnosis is used to help treat a wide range of issues, including:
For more information about clinical hypnosis, please visit the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.