Over the years many misconceptions, misleading information and good old Hollywood sensationalism have surrounded hypnosis. These myths have created many misperceptions and perhaps have given you second thoughts about trusting hypnosis. The questions and answers that follow will give you clarity about many of these persistent falsehoods.
Q: What if I can't be hypnotized?
A: You have most certainly experienced some form of the trance state. When you daydream, lose track of time when intently involved with something like reading or a hobby or even when you suddenly realize you 'blanked out' the last 10 miles when driving! We know that the primary factor in the success of hypnotherapy is the relationship between the client and the hypnotist. Find a well-trained hypnotist that you are confident and comfortable with and expect positive results!
Q: Can anyone be hypnotized?
A: Yes, with very few exceptions, the trance state is readily available to everyone. A common belief is that 'strong-willed' people can't be hypnotized. Quite the opposite is true. Creative, highly intelligent people often find it easy to be hypnotized.We have found it typical that beginning clients wonder whether or not they have been in trance. The experience, while different for everyone, has some shared characteristics. What can happen is that later that day, maybe a few days later, or even the next week you become aware changes. The effects of your work can be subtle or profound. In learning self-hypnosis, as with so many worthwhile pursuits in life, practice makes perfect.
Q: Can I be hypnotized against my will?
A: No, an individual cannot be hypnotized against their will. You have to desire to be hypnotized and it is your choice to enter into trance. You are able to end your trance at will.
Q: Will I recall exact facts from the past?
A: Think of the witnesses accounts of a car crash. Invariably, the witnesses, though they have seen the same event, have differing accounts of what happened. This is because for all of us memories are a mixture of fact and perception.
Q: Can Hypnosis make me do something against my will?
A: This is one of the biggest and most enduring myths of all. You will not accept any suggestions or direction that go against your values, beliefs or moral code. It isn't possible to make you do something. If that were possible, any hypnotist could make you stop smoking, start exercising and bring all your money to them. Hypnotists would all be rich and powerful. You've probably noticed this isn't the case. Stage hypnotists often have volunteers do outrageous things. These entertainment hypnotists are expert at selectively choosing their subjects. This enables them to have willing participants. The silly behavior these people engage in is entirely voluntary. In fact, these are the very people who enjoy the chance to behave outrageously.
Q: What if I don't wake up?
A: There are no reported incidents of anyone remaining in a hypnotic state. It is not believed to be possible. Occasionally you may be slow to terminate your trance because you are enjoying the pleasant feelings of relaxation you are experiencing. If left alone you would either return yourself to full awareness or you would fall asleep and then wake up normally.