• Poppy St Jonn-Mosse

8 Mythbusting Facts about Hypnotherapy

This article sets out the truth behind some of the common misconceotions surrounding Hypnotherapy. Hopefully, it can demystify things a bit for you if Hypnotherapy is something you have thought about but are a bit unsure of.

Myth number 1: Hypnosis is being made to go to sleep or become unconscious. Hypnosis is actually a state of consciousness, often people can hear and smell things around them, they are simply in a very relaxed and receptive state of consciousness where their attention has been focussed on one thing. But they are still aware of where they are and what is happening and could come up to full consciousness at will if they so desired.

Myth number 2: Only very gullible or unintelligent people can be hypnotized. Absolutely no relation has been found between the capacity to be hypnotized and gullibility or intelligence. To be hypnotized, people must be willing and active participants. In fact, a type of hypnosis takes place when you are very engrossed in a film you are watching or a book you are reading, it is something that anyone willing and open to the experience can achieve.

Myth Number 3: You may not be in control of yourself or what you say or reveal. During Hypnosis it is not possible for you to be receptive to suggestions that are not helpful to you, your subconscious mind will automatically decline these suggestions. During stage hypnosis, volunteers who are highly suggestible will be people who see value in participating and having fun with it, and so will be able to take silly suggestions such as act like a chicken. However, during a hypnotherapy session, this would be a highly innappropriate and one would be very unlikely to be said if you are with a trained and reputable therapist and two your subconscious would not accept it. If you are not ready to reveal something about yourself or it would not be useful to you to do then your subconscious will not let you go there. The therapist does not have control over your mind, they just help you to access a state of mind where you are able to explore and make useful positive changes if that is your desire.

Myth Number 4: Traumatic events are resurrected from buried memories. If someone is directly seeking to explore a traumatic event that they want to remember more about there are hypnotic techniques to help with this, however, hypnotherapy, in general, does not cause buried memories to resurface. If this is not relevant to the treatment it is highly unlikely that your subconscious will throw it up. If a client does want to explore perhaps a childhood memory or something from their past it is important they are working with a therapist that has the appropriate training to help them deal with whatever may come up for that person. Hypnotherapy may cause your subconscious to produce images but there is no evidence that these are accurate memories, so it is always more about what these images mean to you and how they make you feel.

Myth number 5: You might get stuck in a hypnotic trance It is not possible to get stuck in a hypnotic trance, sometimes people are so relaxed and enjoying the experience so much that they refuse to come out of that state. if this is the case then they will be given time, and may even fall asleep, and will wake up or emerge in a normal state of mind.

Myth Number 6: Hypnotherapy is a cure Hypnotherapy is not a cure. It is a therapeutic technique used to help people achieve short term goals and make a focussed change. It can be very useful in helping with self-improvement goals, and can be useful if physical symptoms have a psychosomatic root, but is not appropriate for all conditions.

Myth number 7: There is a particular way to enter a hypnotic state We are all unique and so experience hypnosis very differently. You might think that if you don't go out cold or have your head and body go all floppy immediately that you are not in hypnosis. But the truth is it is different for everyone because each person's mind processes information uniquely. People experience things differently in everyday life, sound, time, smell, so this stays true when in the hypnotic state. Some people remember very little of the session, others have heard every word, some people have very vivid visualisations whilst others only vague shapes, some have very strong physical sensations. A good hypnotherapist will be able to construct sessions that make use of the senses that are strongest for you.

Myth number 8: You can only be hypnotised by a hypnotist. Hypnosis is something that can be learned by anyone, and this is great news for clients as your hypnotherpaist can teach you to hypnotise yourself. There are many self-hypnosis books out there, and whilst a hypnotherapist will have a level of training and experience that will enable them to guide you on your journey with skill, anyone can learn this skill. Self-hypnosis can be a very useful form of therapy.

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