Ten Hypnotherapy Myths

pocket watchHypnosis.

The very word often brings to mind a magician in a black cape swinging a pocket watch in front and chanting “Look into my eyes ….”

But contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapy today is a valid form of therapy when done by a trained and accredited professional, and useful in the psychological treatment of a range of issues such as weight loss, quitting smoking, or learning to relax.

Here are just some of the myths that abound …

Myth 1: The hypnotherapist will be able to control my mind.

The truth is, only you can control your mind. You will be aware of everything that happens in your hypnosis session. You will decide whether to accept or reject anything that is suggested.

Myth 2: The hypnotherapist will be able to see everything in my mind. I will have no privacy.

Your hypnotherapist will only be aware of what you say or do; they don’t have “special access” to the contents of your private thoughts or feelings unless you choose to reveal them.

Myth 3: Under hypnosis I will be forced to tell only the truth.

Hypnosis cannot force you to do or say anything you do not want to do.

Myth 4: When hypnotised I will be unconscious and have no memory of what happens.

Hypnosis is a trance state; a state in which you have an alert mind and relaxed body. During and after hypnosis you will remember everything (unless you choose not to).

Myth 5: Most people have never been hypnotised.

Untrue. That’s because hypnosis is a naturally occurring body-mind state. It has been estimated that most people go into some sort of trance on average twice per day, e.g., a daydream, absorbed in a good book or movie, highway hypnosis, etc.

Myth 6: People with strong minds cannot be hypnotised.

Research shows that nearly everyone can enter trance state from which they can receive treatment benefit.

Myth 7: When hypnotised I will be able to remember everything from my past.

These days hypnosis is seldom used to attempt to enhance memory, because in hypnosis it may be hard to distinguish between a real memory and an imagined one.

Myth 8: Hypnosis is a ‘miracle cure’ for many things.

Hypnosis is natural and available to everyone. It can help with many things, but everyone’s experience will be different. Most people can get lasting benefit when hypnosis is done correctly and skillfully.

Myth 9: You can get stuck in a hypnotic trance and not wake up.

Hypnosis happens naturally to everyone almost every day, and no one ever gets stuck! When applied professionally, entry into a trance state, and exit from trance, happen very smoothly.

Myth 10: I could become dependent on the hypnotherapist.

You remain completely aware during hypnosis; you remain in complete control. Professionally trained and accredited hypnotherapists use processes designed to ensure you maintain that control throughout.

If you are interested in finding out more about the use of hypnosis in therapy, and if it could be helpful in your situation, please feel free to make an appointment with myself or any of the other Vision Psychologists with experience and training in this field.

Dr Malcolm Davies Learning At WorkAuthor: Dr Malcolm Davies, B.Psych.(Hons), M.Psych (Clin), Dip. Clin. Hypnosis, PhD, MASH.

Dr Malcolm Davies is a registered senior consultant psychologist who holds honours, masters and doctoral degrees in psychology augmented by the post graduate Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis and full professional membership of the Australian Society of Hypnosis. He is an extensively trained and experienced practitioner.