Before I trained to become a hypnotherapist, I had preconceived ideas of what a hypnotherapist was, and I get asked many questions about misconceptions. So, let’s put some of the myths to bed.
Myth one: Can I get you to cluck like a chicken?
A common misconception is that while under Hypnosis, you can be made to do things you don’t want to. However, the truth is that you are entirely in control while in a hypnotic trance. We go into a hypnotic trance daily; for example, think back to when you were learning to drive; you had to think about every move, every press of the peddle, every look in the mirror. When you have passed your test and gained confidence, you start to drive without thinking. This you are now doing automatically in your subconscious.
So why do we see stage hypnotists getting people to do silly things on a stage?
The participants are fully aware of what they are doing; however, they are conforming. It’s human nature to go along with someone in authority, to not want to stand out. The hypnotist will test participants before the show to see who is the most susceptible to conform.
The stage hypnotist’s act relies on an extraordinarily potent mix of razzamatazz, showmanship, audience belief and expectation. Plus, of course, there is the essential fact that the volunteers want to be in the show. They know what is expected of them, and they are eager participants.
Myth number 2 – Hypnotherapists have special powers
I would love to say I did, but the truth is I don’t. This myth originates from a Hollywood movie belief. Instead, we have special skills, a deep knowledge of psychology and the human psyche, and experience working with people, but no special powers. With sufficient effort and practice, most people could induce a formal state of Hypnosis in someone else, but only with the person’s permission. Of course, the real skill is how we can use the hypnotic state to help people.
Myth number 4 – People who get hypnotized are weak-minded
Another myth and the opposite. Without a doubt, the people who can concentrate well and have a creative imagination make the best hypnotic “subjects.” People with these valuable attributes can enter a state of Hypnosis with ease. We are all susceptible to suggestions, but it is just a matter of what degree. If someone is offering me something helpful, I will work toward achieving it. It would be pretty stupid to work against something that can help you. It is, therefore, totally incorrect to say that people who become hypnotized are gullible or weak-minded.
Myth number 5 – You can get “stuck” in Hypnosis and be unable to wake up
A further myth. No one ever gets stuck in Hypnosis. It is impossible. Hypnosis is a natural and normal state that we all enter into daily; of course, It is a subjective experience, and everyone will experience it differently, but the worst that could happen is that you drift into natural sleep and wake up soon afterwards.