Hypnotherapy – de-bunking the myths…
When I tell people I’m a practicing hypnotherapist, the first thing I am asked is usually `can you make me bark like a dog’ or ‘can you make me cluck like a chicken’. To which I always smile and say – let me tell you a joke – “how many hypnotherapists does it take to change a light bulb?” (cue shakey heads) me: “only one – but only if the lightbulb wants to change” and that is the key… hypnotherapy can help you do anything – but only if YOU want to…
So here is a list I have compiled of all the myths I have come across during my time as a Hypnotherapist.
- How do stage Hypnotists make people do all those weird things?
The clue here is ‘stage hypnotist’ – They usually have several tools to help them identify the kind of people that will ‘perform’ for them, and they are usually the type of people who like attention and like to act the fool, often fuelled with alcohol and in a show where they are expected to act like one.
Hypnotherapy is also good at reducing inhibition (just like alcohol) and it does this by helping you remain relaxed. Inhibition is essentially just anxiety about behaving in a particular way, so if you are relaxed you are less inhibited.
So, you have someone who likes attention, likes to play the fool and with a lessoning of inhibition combined with the expectations of the audience and the excitement of the occasion you have your perfect recipe / mix and candidate to perform for the stage hypnotist.
- Can only some people be hypnotised?
As mentioned above, if you really dont want to be hypnotised, you wont allow yourself to be hypnotised. However, there may be a small group of people who wont respond to hypnosis due to their inability to perceive context and implication, which can be an aspect of Asperger’s syndrome. People who struggle with imagery may also find it difficult.
Its also not suitable for people who suffer from psychosis to have hypnotherapy.
- Will I loose control / be helpless when I’m hypnotised?
In hypnosis you are still `awake’ as your subconscious is accessed where the changes are made and your conscious is still.. well conscious – acting as your ‘watchman at the gate’ – you will not accept any suggestions that you dont want to as your conscious won’t accept them (remember the lightbulb joke?).
As your conscious is still active – if you hear a fire alarm for example you will still know that it is a fire alarm and you will need to get out.
- Is Hypnosis the same as being asleep?
No, but the brainwaves associated with sleep, in particular REM are similar. You need to be awake for hypnosis to work because you need your brain and your subconscious to be processing the words and suggestions – so you need to be listening. In hypnosis you have an experience in parallel with your conscious awareness, you are fully aware of where you are and what is happening but at the same time you have an internally – focused awareness.
So there we go, I hope that’s de-bunked some of the myths of Hypnotherapy!
If you wanted to discuss how Hypnotherapy could work for you, please contact me