Debunking the Myths

Myth:  Hypnosis is caused by the power of the by hypnotist.
Truth:  All hypnosis is self hypnosis.  To be hypnotized a person must allow the hypnosis to take place.  The hypnotist is a trained professional who guides individuals into the hypnotic state.

Myth:  Only people with a weak mind can be hypnotized.
Truth:  Anyone of average intelligence who wanted to use hypnosis can experience hypnosis. Studies indicate that people with above average intelligence actually make the best hypnotic subjects.

Myth:  People can be hypnotized to do things against their will.
Truth:  While hypnotized, a person may be in an extremely relaxed state; however, that person is still in full control. The subconscious will not allow an individual to do anything that is against their morals or ethics, unless they want to do it.

Myth:  Hypnosis is just relaxation.
Truth:  While it is very nice to be in a relaxed state during hypnosis, hypnosis is not just relaxation.  During hypnosis, individuals are able to undertake activities such as riding a stationary bike or running on a treadmill (Banyai & Hilgard 1978).

Myth:  People can remain permanently stuck in hypnosis.
Truth:  People cannot get stuck in hypnosis.  If for some reason the hypnotist left the room when you were in a trace, eventually your own mind would do one of two things:
1.  You would either realize the hypnotist was no longer talking to you and you would open your eyes and be wide awake and feeling fine.
2. You would drift into a normal sleep for a few minutes and then wake up normally, feeling fine.

Myth:  When people are hypnotized they go to sleep or are unconscious.
Truth:  While it may appear to an observer as if the hypnotized person is asleep or unconscious, the hypnotized person is focused, alert, and usually aware of their surroundings.

Myth:  When hypnotized, you are in a trance and have no control.
Truth:  A person experiencing hypnosis will be able to stop a hypnosis session anytime they want to with or without the help of the hypnotist.

Myth:  The hypnotist has magical powers.
Truth:  The hypnotist is just an ordinary person who has studied techniques to help people learn how to access and communicate with their subconscious mind to achieve their goals.  Hypnosis helps people think differently.

Myth:  People do not remember anything from the hypnosis session.
Truth:  When you are hypnotized you will relax enough to keep your conscious mind from interfering with what you are trying to do with the subconscious mind; however, your conscious mind is still present and will usually allow you to remember everything.

Myth:  The hypnotized person will confess secrets and tell the truth.
Truth:  During a hypnosis session the hypnotized person is still in full control of their mind.  A person will not do or say anything they don’t want to, such as telling secrets or confessing.

Some of this information comes from:  Patti Scott with UP Hypnosis

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