What is Hypnosis?
Mention the words hypnosis or hypnotherapy, and a popular misconception may arise. Many people will say, “I don't think I can be hypnotized.” A variety of reasons exist for this notion, including the belief that hypnosis requires the subject to be of a certain mental caliber (either weak-minded or strong-minded). Some believe that they must be able to deeply relax for hypnosis to work, and that somehow they will be unable to reach such a state.
The basis for all such myths is the mistaken idea that hypnosis is something that someone else “does to you.” In truth, hypnosis is a state of focus and concentration which no one else can force upon you. This means that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, even when it is assisted by a hypnotherapist.
Assuming any person has learned to reach a hypnotic state (and to carry out the correct suggestions in this state), there are things for which unassisted self-hypnosis proves beneficial.
"....all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, even when it is assisted by a hypnotherapist."
Other issues may require the assistance of a skilled hypnotherapist. For issues that may require assistance, a trained hypnotherapist can help you accomplish more in just a few sessions than people are often able to accomplish throughout their entire lifetimes.
There are three requirements necessary for hypnosis to occur: a minimal level of intelligence, an ability to follow simple instructions, and a willingness to be hypnotized. No one can make you do anything against your will. If they could, the world would be run by power crazed hypnotherapists who would hardly have a need to maintain private practices working with smoking cessation and weight loss.
Each and every person who wishes to be hypnotized can be hypnotized under the right conditions. It is a fallacy that strong minded people cannot be hypnotized. In fact, strong minded people often have some of the greatest success.
Hypnosis is a learned skill. Some of us are better at it initially, but anyone can improve with a little practice. The mind does not have to be quiet or still during the hypnotic state, which often makes hypnosis preferable to meditation for some people. A participatory process—the hypnotherapist works with you during your session to create the most powerful session for you based on the information you provide, and the goals you desire to achieve.
A few misconceptions include:
- I could get stuck in hypnosis! Not so. Even if the hypnotherapist were to leave the building and forget the client, the client would do one of two things: drift into a natural sleep for a few minutes or simply open their eyes and emerge.
- My secrets will be revealed. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You are always aware of the process and in control of what is said or not said at any time during the session.
- I don't want anyone to control my mind! Hypnosis is a state of heightened awareness, a tool in which you can tap into the power of your own mind and create positive changes in your life. The protective critical factor of the mind ensures that your morals, values, and beliefs are kept intact, and allows only positive suggestions into the subconscious.
- I don't think I can be hypnotized. What if I can't go under? “Go under” is a poor choice of words to describe the hypnotic state. During hypnosis one is not asleep or unconscious and in fact experiences a state of heightened awareness. Relaxation goes along nicely with hypnosis but is not a requirement. Hypnosis can occur when standing, sitting, with eyes open or closed. There simply needs to be a willingness on your part to participate and by following the instructions of the hypnotherapist you will be able to benefit from hypnosis.
- What if I fall asleep? It makes no difference whether you “remain awake” or “fall asleep” during a hypnosis session. It is only the opinion of your conscious mind which really has no way to gauge the hypnotic state and therefore may “think” you have fallen asleep when you are simply benefiting from a relaxed state.
- Will you make me cluck like a chicken? Only if you think it is therapeutically necessary. It is a myth that people can be made to do things against their will, you will not do something during the hypnotic state that you would not be inclined to do otherwise. Hypnosis simply affords you access to the more powerful part of your mind, the subconscious mind, where you can make changes that will benefit you. You are always in control.
- My mind is too sharp to be hypnotized. Only weak-minded individuals can be hypnotized. Not true. A sharp mind is an asset in accessing and benefiting from the state of hypnosis. Different induction methods will benefit different learning styles or information processing abilities. A skilled hypnotherapist will help you utilize your individual style and intelligence level to benefit from hypnosis.
In addition to the fact that hypnosis can work for almost anyone, other benefits also apply. Chiefly, hypnosis will not interfere with medications or other medical therapies. Since no drugs or expensive equipment are needed, the cost of hypnotherapy can be very competitive, even when paying an experienced, professional hypnotherapist. Also, some types of hypnotherapy begin in the office of the hypnotist, but can be followed up with self-hypnosis learned from the therapist.
Many clients are in the care of a physician, and are receiving parallel treatments which include hypnotherapy. When traditional doctors send us their patients, it's proof that hypnosis is being considered a viable treatment modality for many people.
Compliments: Eastburn Hypnotherapy Center