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  frequently Asked questions about hypnotherapy...

Frequently Asked Questions About HypnosisMyths and Misconceptions of Hypnosis
In this section of the web site I will be chatting about some of the bizarre ideas that people have about Hypnosis… I must admit that I believed a few of these things myself before I started studying the subject in a lot more depth. Now that I know a lot, they seem very silly.

The exciting thing is that more and more people are having positive experiences with Hypnosis. Society as a whole seems to be more accepting of it as a therapeutic aid than it used to be a few years ago.

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about hypnosis:

  1. Is hypnosis some form of mystical magic?
  2. Is hypnosis caused by the power of the therapist?
  3. Can you make me do something I don't want to do?
  4. Can you make me bark like a dog or run round and cluck like a chicken?
  5. I'm very strong minded and maybe a little stubborn, can I be hypnotised?
  6. Can everyone be hypnotised?
  7. Is Hypnosis dangerous?
  8. Can I get 'stuck' in hypnosis?
  9. Can I get possessed by the Devil while in hypnosis?
  10. What if I fall asleep while in Hypnosis?
  11. The secrets of Stage Hypnosis... what the Hypnotists don't want you to know

Is hypnosis some form of mystical magic?
Nope. There is no magic wand that we can wave over our reclining clients to take away all of their problems. It would be great if there was, but there isn’t. Hypnosis is simply a tool. Although the results of hypnosis can sometimes seem magical, there is no magic involved.

Hypnosis can make extremely positive, quick changes in a person’s life, but it is using the power of the mind to do this. The power of their own mind. The power that has always been there, but has been locked away.

Is Hypnosis caused by the power of the Therapist?
Definitely not! In fact, the hypnotherapist has no power at all. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. If someone does not want to be hypnotised then they won’t be. Simple as that. That’s why it’s important to know what hypnosis is and how it works.

Stage Hypnotists love to create the illusion that they possess some sort of paranormal, supernatural power over others, but it’s a load of rubbish.

A Hypnotherapist is nothing more than a tour guide. All they do is guide you on a peaceful journey of change. If you don’t want to follow the guide then you don’t need to. However, there’s not much point in having hypnosis if you don’t want to follow the guidance of the therapist!

Can you MAKE me do something I don’t want to do?
Nope. No-one can make you do what you don’t want to do. While in hypnosis you are completely in control and totally aware of everything that is happening around you. Think about this, if you could force people to do things with hypnosis, I could walk into a bank, wave my hands in a mystical manner and hypnotise the person behind the counter. I could then say (in a spooky voice) “Give me all of your money, and forget you gave it to me!” Then I could walk out of the bank with armfuls of cash and never have to work again! That would be wonderful – but you can’t do it.

Also, if you could make people do what they don’t want to do then there would be no wars. “No wars? How so?”, I hear you say. Well, the government could train up a squad of elite hypnotherapists, parachute them into a foreign country, hypnotise their leader and then there would be no problems. The said Dictator would be in our control.

Again, do you think that politicians haven’t tried the idea of hypnotising people to vote for them? If you could do so, then it would have been done by now. Let’s face it, some politicians are less than honest.

So you can’t make someone do what they don’t want to do. In the case of most problems, you need to want to get rid of it from your life. Then we can have success. So that leads us nicely into…

Can you make me bark like a dog or run round and cluck like a chicken?
So the answer to the above question is “Yes, if you want to bark like a dog or run round and cluck like a chicken then I can make you do that; but if you wouldn’t do it under normal circumstances, then you wouldn’t do it when you’re hypnotised.” And if you did do it under normal circumstances then I would be a bit worried about treating you!

One of the biggest misconceptions of hypnosis is that you can make someone do what they don’t want to do. As explained above, you can’t.

“So how come my mate went up on stage at Butlins and the Stage Hypnotist made him run around thinking he was a rabid dog?” That’s a good question. And it’s answered in the next section…

I’m very strong minded and maybe a little stubborn, can I be hypnotised?
Yes. In fact I love to have strong willed and stubborn people in my hypnotherapy chair. They’re great! Once they realise that it’s not a power struggle between the hypnotherapist and themselves; that hypnosis is just a form of relaxation… then they are really good at it. No-one can be controlled by a hypnotherapist.

Can everyone be hypnotised?
Almost everyone. People with severe mental problems or extremely low IQ are more difficult to hypnotise because specialist techniques need to be used. Anyone that wants to be hypnotised will be. There are two things that will stop someone from going into hypnosis though:

They believe one of the misconceptions about hypnosis and are fearful. Fear prevents people from going into hypnosis because you can’t relax and be scared at the same time.

The person doesn’t want to be hypnotised for some reason, perhaps they’re trying to prove that they can’t be hypnotised. Prove how strong minded they are or they believe it’s a power struggle between the therapist and themselves.

Is hypnosis dangerous?
In a word, no. In fact hypnosis is a very natural state. We all drift in and out of hypnosis every day. It’s a completely safe and normal state for us to go into. With all the law suits around today and the sensationalism that tabloid writers put into stories; the front page of newspapers would be splattered with reports of people getting injured or hurt while in a hypnotic state.

Can I get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis?
Again no. If an emergency were to happen while you were in hypnosis, you would emerge quickly and deal with the situation in your normal effective manner. Hypnosis is just a wonderful calm state of relaxation, and we can all snap out of a relaxed state very quickly can’t we? If people could get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis then there would be loads of them in Mental Institutions stuck in a trancelike state… and there isn’t.

If you could get stuck in hypnosis Hypnotherapy would be banned because poor old Uncle Albert went for a Stop-Smoking session and never came out again, he got ‘stuck’ in hypnosis and his family really miss him. They visit him regularly in London City Mental Institute. It just doesn’t happen does it? Can you imagine the faces of my clients in the waiting room if I wheeled someone out on a stretcher and said loudly – “Not another one. They just keep getting stuck in hypnosis… Who’s next?” I’d quickly run out of people to see!

Can I get possessed by the Devil while in hypnosis?
Now that one really sounds daft doesn’t it? Some people believe it though. They will happily smile at you and then show you in the Bible where it tells you that hypnosis is a tool of Satan and that you open yourself up to evil spirits when being hypnotised.

There’s a couple of problems with this argument. The first problem is that the word Hypnosis was not invented until the 1800’s. Now parts of the Bible have been around (as far as we are aware) for about 7000 years. The most recent parts of the Bible (i.e. the New Testament) have been around for about 2000 years. If the word ‘hypnosis’ appears in the Bible then it wasn’t put there by the prophets who wrote in the Good Book was it? It must have been added a lot later, in fact it would have been added at least 1800 years later. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that.

I can understand where this idea comes from. You can bet a stage hypnotist hypnotised some poor ‘unsuspecting’ folks and they ran round on stage clucking like a chicken. The wife of this normally ‘sane’ man exclaimed “My husband is POSSESSED!” and promptly got a Priest to exorcise the demons from her husband! Quite comical really.

What if I fall asleep while in Hypnosis?
That’s fine! We’ll be talking to your unconscious mind and even if your conscious mind were to fall asleep hypnosis would still work. Your unconscious mind never sleeps. If it did then you’d die, because the unconscious mind controls your heart beating, your lungs moving and all of the other incredible things that your body does without our conscious interruption.

The secrets of Stage Hypnosis… what the Hypnotists don’t want you to know
First of all let me tell you I don’t agree with Stage Hypnosis. I think it gives the wrong impression of this wonderful tool and cheapens it. If you can’t be made to do what you don’t want to do then how come these people get up on stage and do the most crazy stunts?

Let’s look at what the Stage Hypnotist does. Firstly he has an audience of a couple of hundred people. If he’s on the TV then his audience is even larger. He asks for volunteers to come up on stage.

Now you’re not going to get a shy person bounding out of their seats and jumping up on the stage to make a fool of themselves are you? Everyone who goes on stage makes a fool of themselves, they all know what’s about to happen. You’re only going to get people who love to be the centre of attention and want to act stupidly.

So the hypnotist might have ten extraverted people on the stage with him. He then puts them all through some tests. He might call them “Concentration Tests” but they’re actually testing something else. He is testing to see if the people are “Suggestible”. In other words he’s looking for people who will do exactly what he wants them to do. You must have some friends who you can suggest daft things to and you know they’re gullible or just plain daft enough to go ahead and do them? Well, that’s the kind of person he is looking for.

The hypnotist will then reject seven out of the ten volunteers, he’ll ask them to go back to their seats. They will smugly walk off stage, smiling to themselves and proudly boast to their friends “He couldn’t hypnotise me, my mind’s too strong!” – what a load of dribble! They’ve been rejected because they won’t make a twit of themselves on front of hundreds of people.

And now we have it… the hypnotist is left with three people on stage who have the following traits:

1. They love to be the centre of attention
2. They WANT to act stupidly
3. They will do everything that the hypnotist asks because they like acting like a nutter.

And so from that point onwards the hypnotist doesn’t actually need hypnosis at all. I mean, if you look at the Generation Game, they act just as stupidly on that show and nobody is hypnotised. The only difference between Stage Hypnosis and the Generation Game is a conveyor belt. They’ve just found the right kind of person who is entertaining.

Of course, when the ‘victims’ come off stage they can blame their antics on the hypnotist. Bit embarrassing for them if they don’t, as they’ve just made a complete monkey of themselves in front of hundreds of people!

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