Hypnosis FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Hypnosis Frequently Asked Questions
This Hypnosis FAQ answers some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that hypnotists come across regularly
Hypnosis FAQ: What exactly is hypnosis?
A: There is no generally agreed straight answer to this. Some hypnotists call it "A state of focused attention". Others call it "A method of engaging the unconscious mind". None of the definitions are entirely satisfactory. Whatever it is, it is a natural and normal state that we all go into from time to time. It is exactly the same as daydreaming. In daydreaming you are aware of where you are and what you are doing, but you are engaged in your subconscious mind. If you have ever driven home and can't remember the drive there, then you were in trance. Hypnosis is any of the many ways of getting you to enter trance when asked to, rather than waiting for it to happen at random.
Hypnosis FAQ: Isn't hypnosis a form of brainwashing?
A: What people call mind control is possible, but you need physical control of a prisoner for mind control to work. It can be done and is done in military type situations using starvation, sleep deprivation, white noise and so on. Hypnosis is something quite different. Hypnosis is merely focused concentration.
With hypnosis, you are in control of your own experience at all times. It is not mind control. If hypnotists could do that, I could just visit my bank and tell them to give me lots of money and then forget I was ever there.... sadly, it doesn't happen.
Hypnosis FAQ: Can I be hypnotized against my will?
A: No, you need to be a willing partner. If you don't want to be hypnotized all you have to do is sing the words of Happy Birthday in your mind while the hypnotist is speaking. Your own thoughts will drown out what ever the hypnotist is trying to do.
Hypnosis FAQ: Can I be hypnotized and not notice?
A: Yes, it happens every day. It is called advertising. The whole idea of advertising is to get into your unconscious and create desires there for the product. But, no matter how good the advertising is, nobody has yet found a way to make you buy things when you don't want to. Hypnosis is the same. I can make you direct your attention into your unconscious mind, but your own mind will reject any attempt by me to manipulate you. Your own mind will always protect you.
Hypnosis FAQ: Is stage hypnosis fake?
A: No. What you see on the stage is mostly real hypnosis. A few people, exhibitionists, may be faking it, but most of what you see is real. The people who make it to the stage have been screened from the audience several times. The hypnotist selects only the most hypnotizable, and rejects the rest. Those people will naturally go into trance easily, and are highly suggestible. After the stage show, people say that they were aware of what they were doing, but it was like someone else was doing it, and they didn't care. Stage hypnosis removes normal self imposed inhibitions, and lets you show off for others the way you always wanted to, but couldn't dare.
Hypnosis FAQ: How many hypnosis sessions will I need?
A Hypnotherapy is generally a short duration therapy. The old fashioned psychoanalysis where you lay on a couch used to take hundreds of sessions. Modern hypnosis will usually clear your problem in no more than three sessions. In fact, the most common number of sessions is one.
Hypnosis FAQ: How will I feel while I am in trance?
A: You will mostly just feel very relaxed. Most people find it a very pleasant experience. In fact, quite a lot of people don't want to come out of trance when the time's up.
Hypnosis FAQ: Will I lose control under hypnosis?
A: You are always in control of your own experience. Hypnosis is much like a daydream…you hear what's going on, and if something disturbs you, you refocus your attention and come awake if you need to.
Hypnosis FAQ: Will I let out all my secrets under hypnosis?
A: You can lie or edit under hypnosis all you want. It is not truth serum. You won't let slip any secrets under hypnosis either. However hypnosis is very good for allowing people to face their own fears and distortions, and thus changing them.
Hypnosis FAQ: Can I be made to do weird things afterwards?
A: You will never do anything under hypnosis that violates your own moral code. If a stage hypnotist tells you to quack like a duck, and you have no embarrassment about doing it, you may well join in. Another person might find that action insulting and would not do it. No hypnotist can make you do things you don't want to.
Hypnosis FAQ: Will I forget everything that happened during hypnosis?
A: Some people think that you will hear and remember everything that happens under hypnosis. Other people expect that you won't remember anything at all. Both are wrong. Most people remember most of it. Some people sort of 'tune in' and 'out' during the session and remember only some of it. Not remembering anything only happens when you go into the deepest of all trances, a "somnambulistic" state. This is not common. For most people, your mind is alert, your body relaxed, and you will remember what was said to the same degree as you would recall a conversation. You won't remember the exact words, but you will remember the main ideas.
Hypnosis FAQ: How do I know when I'm hypnotized?
A: Most people cannot tell if they're hypnotized or not. Some people get feelings of floating, or feel parts of their body are a different size, but everyone is different. Quite a lot of people expect to be so deeply under that they won't hear anything or remember anything, but isn't usually the case. The truth is, you will hear and remember almost everything that's said under hypnosis. Your mind is open, but relaxed.
Hypnosis FAQ: Do I need to go into a deep trance to get results?
A: Most of the work in hypnotherapy requires only a light trance. Issues such as weight loss, smoking, procrastination and dozens of others require only a light trance to effect change. If you're going in for surgery or under the dentist's drill, you want to make sure you are in a deeper trance. But depth has very little to do with achieving results.
Hypnosis FAQ: How do I get the kind of powerful hypnosis I need?
A: There is no such thing as 'hypnosis power'. All hypnotists have exactly the same power. It is you who is the one with the power. You are responsible for your own experience under trance. The hypnotherapist is merely a guide, a facilitator. He or she cannot ‘make’ you do anything against your will or intent. Some of my clients wish I had that kind of power, so I could magically and instantly fix them. But it is actually you who has the power.
Hypnosis FAQ: What if I can't be hypnotized?
A. Everyone can be hypnotized. If you've ever daydreamed, were totally engrossed in a movie, or passed your exit on the freeway, you were in a light trance state. The lightest state of hypnosis (Alpha) is achieved easily. Everyone enters hypnotic states every day, several times a day. It's that state you are in when you are watching TV, reading a good book, playing video games, and even listening to a boring speaker. It's the state you are in when you are just waking up or just going to bed.
You are not fully conscious, but you are not fully unconscious either. In this state you are much more suggestible than when you are fully awake. The vast majority of the population can be hypnotized. High intelligence, a strong will, a strong imagination, an analytical mind all respond to hypnosis. The main qualification is an ability to concentrate and trust the process.
Hypnosis FAQ: Are some people harder to hypnotize that others?
A. Yes. Going into trance for hypnotherapy requires that you listen and follow the hypnotist. Some people are totally focused on keeping control of everything. They are afraid of what might happen if they lose control. When the feel the hypnosis working, and they feel themselves slipping away, they instantly force themselves right out of trance. Another group of people have busy minds. Their minds are always buzzing with worries, memories, ideas. There is so much going on in their minds that they cannot focus on what is being said to them. A third type of person over analyses everything. When the hypnotist is talking to them, they are so busy wondering why the hypnotist chose one particular phrase instead of another, or working out the structure of the session that they do not follow the instructions. All these types can be hypnotized. It just a little more care.
Hypnosis FAQ: Will I know right away if it's working or not?
A: You won't know at the time if you're being hypnotized. The proof will in the results. Your feelings and actions in the days to come will be the measure of your success.
Hypnosis FAQ: What if I don't wake up?
A. Your eyes close, but your ears cannot close. Even if you think you are "asleep" during the session, your brain is still recording all of the information in your subconscious mind. Similarly, if a fire alarm went off you would ‘wake’ instantly. Even if some reason the hypnotist left you, you would gradually come out of it, just like waking up from a nap.
Hypnosis FAQ: What if I do it wrong?
A: You can't. All you have to do is allow yourself to relax and follow the instructions. If you can't relax, tell the hypnotist. If you don't think it is working, open your eyes and say so. Don't just go along with. The hypnotist will use a different method that will put you into trance. It is the hypnotist's responsibility, not yours. You cannot do it wrong.
Hypnosis FAQ: What if I am too intelligent to be hypnotized?
A: Intelligence is directly linked to suggestibility. The more intelligent you are, the more easily you can be hypnotized.
Hypnosis FAQ: Isn't hypnosis dangerous?
A: Hypnosis is a natural technique. It is accepted and used by all natural healing specialists. Hypnosis has absolutely no side effects. Except maybe a tendency to smile more that usual. However, in a few people, hypnosis brings on what is is known as an abreaction. An abreaction is the opening up of a fear that the person has all the time, but is covering up. Hypnotists are trained to deal with this.
Hypnosis FAQ: Surely it's all just hocus pocus. Western medicine doesn't accept it, does it?
A. Hypnosis has been officially endorsed as an effective treatment method by the British Medical Association since 1901, and by American Medical Association since 1959. Medical Hypnosis can be used in a wide variety of medical situations: the main reason why it is not used more often is the time involved in doing an induction versus the speed of drugs. However, hypnosis has the advantage that it does not have any side effects. Hypnosis is used routinely in hospitals and by dentists.
Hypnosis FAQ: Hypnosis is the work of the Devil, according to the TV. What do you say to that?
A. There is nothing in hypnosis that will conflict with your religious beliefs. The Vatican has endorsed hypnosis as an aid to childbirth. Hypnosis for medical purposes is accepted by all world religions except for one Christian church.