Myth-busting hypnosis

‘You use hypnosis not as a cure, but as a favourable climate in which to learn,’ Milton Erikson

When I talk to people who want to come for hypnotherapy there are questions that come up. Frequently. 

That’s natural. Whenever we’re trying something new, we may hesitate. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and forget about our aims – to move forward towards our goals, free from what’s been holding us back.

So here are a few questions I’ve heard and here are the answers. If you have more questions, you are very welcome to contact me. And do your own research; hypnotism has been researched for a long time. There’s lots out there.

Once I’m hypnotised, will I be instantly transformed?

Hypnosis is a tool, not a magic wand. In hypnosis we work within the world of the subconscious mind, where emotions and feelings are more easily accessed. This is why clients engage at a level that’s not available through the conscious mind alone. More of the mind is working towards your specified goal.

Will I surrender all control?

I hear this frequently, and I’m not surprised, given the dramatisation of hypnosis we see on TV and in the theatre.  Stage hypnotists are of a different ilk. And they get confused with hypnotherapists. All that ‘you are in my power…’ nonsense (cue therapist eye-roll moment). It’s a show. Stage hypnotists are looking for highly extroverted people who, on a subconscious level, want to be part of the fun. And that’s all stage hypnotism is – fun.

Consider this… if stage hypnotists and hypnotherapists could make you do anything against your will, why are we not all living on tropical islands, living lavish lifestyles because you’ve given us all your money? That’s not the situation, is it. We live ordinary lives because we’re ordinary people. Yup, because YOU are in control.

Will I tell you things I don’t want to?

Again, you are in control. If there’s something you don’t want to say, you won’t say it. Hypnotherapists cannot ‘make’ you do or tell us anything you don’t want to.

I’ve heard hypnosis is ‘unnatural’ or ‘dangerous’

You naturally go in and out of hypnotic states all the time, often without even realising. Have you ever arrived somewhere and realised there are stages of the journey you don’t remember? That’s one type of trance state. And very common.

Hypnosis is an ancient therapeutic tool that can be dated back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Modern hypnotherapy is based on research by famous twentieth century psychologists such as Carl Jung and Milton Erikson.

What if I can’t be hypnotised?

If you’ve ever fallen asleep or woken up, you’ve been in a hypnotic state. That moment before you slip off to sleep or are stirring into wakefulness; they are both hypnotic states.

Being in hypnosis is somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, in many ways. It’s a sleep of the nervous system that allows us greater access to what’s going on in our subconscious. What drives our emotions and feelings is rooted in there. The subconscious mind knows where your issues are rooted?

What if you make me believe things I don’t want to?

Your hypnotherapist is your guide, working in partnership with you. You can accept or reject suggestions in hypnosis and that is absolutely right. It’s my job to adapt to your needs and discover what is meaningful for you in that moment. Everyone responds in their own way; it’s not a test, it’s a journey we take together.

Will I just need one session?

Anyone who tells you they can get consistent, instant results in one session, isn’t being realistic. Each client comes with different issues, we all respond differently to hypnotherapy and we are all living in different environments which may challenge us in different ways that may not have been explored in that hypnotherapy session. It is possible to achieve long-lasting instant results, but it is not the norm.

You are a unique individual dealing with a unique circumstance, based on your unique experiences. Be compassionate with yourself. Your hypnotherapist will be too.

Can’t I just listen to suggestion recordings?

Positive suggestion recordings are great and they’ll make you feel good, but experiencing lasting change for you is unlikely. If your subconscious is like a pool and the water is murky from unresolved past experiences that are holding you back in the present, going swimming in that water unhindered is unlikely. Better to get clarity and clear up the pool before you go swimming. 

If you have more questions about hypnotherapy, contact me at I offer a 20-minute free discovery conversation for you to explore whether hypnosis is right for you.

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