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What is Hypnosis?

Many people have concerns or worries about hypnosis based on misconceptions they have. These misconceptions may be based on things they might have seen on TV, in the movies, or in stage shows. Listed below are some common misconceptions, and the actual facts about hypnosis

Misconception 1: The person being hypnotized will be under the control of the hypnotist, and can be made to do or say anything the hypnotist wants.

Fact 1: This is not true. No matter how deeply hypnotized you become, you will remain in control throughout the session. You cannot be made to do anything you do not want to do, or anything that you are uncomfortable doing.

Misconception 2: Hypnosis is something that is done to people, rather than something that they can do for themselves.

Fact 2: This is not true. Hypnosis is a skill you can learn. It is a tool you can use to help yourself feel better.

Misconception 3: People become trapped in hypnosis and cannot "come out" of it when they want to.

Fact 3: This is not true. People can end hypnosis whenever they want.

Misconception 4: People have to be very "hypnotizable" or "suggestible" or "gullible" for hypnosis to work.

Fact 4: This is not true. Research has indicated that the vast majority of people can benefit from hypnosis. Furthermore, being hypnotizable or choosing to be responsive to suggestions means only that you have the ability to use hypnosis effectively. It is not at all related to being gullible or weak-willed.

Misconception 5: During hypnosis, people are unconscious.

Fact 5: This is not true. During hypnosis, people are not asleep or unconscious. Although they may feel very relaxed, they are active participants in the hypnosis session.

Source: APA Division 30, Society of Psychological Hypnosis©