Myths About Hypnosis
Myths About Hypnosis
Myths About Hypnosis
People often fear that being hypnotized will make them lose control, surrender their will, and result in their being dominated, but a hypnotic state is not the same thing as gullibility or weakness. Many people base their assumptions about hypnotism on stage acts but fail to take into account that stage hypnotists screen their volunteers to select those who are cooperative, with possible exhibitionist tendencies, as well as responsive to hypnosis. Stage acts help create a myth about hypnosis which discourages people from seeking legitimate hypnotherapy.
Another myth about hypnosis is that people lose consciousness and have amnesia. A small percentage of subjects who go into very deep levels of trance will fit this stereotype and have spontaneous amnesia. The majority of people remember everything that occurs in hypnosis. This is beneficial, because the most of what we want to accomplish in hypnosis may be done in a medium depth trance, where people tend to remember everything.
In hypnosis, a person is not under the control of the hypnotist. Hypnosis is not something imposed on people, but something they do for themselves. A hypnotist simply serves as a facilitator to guide them.
When Will Hypnosis Be Beneficial?
We believe that hypnosis will be optimally effective when a person is highly motivated to overcome a problem and when the hypnotherapist is well trained in both hypnosis and in general considerations relating to the treatment of the particular problem. Some people seem to have higher native hypnotic talent and capacity that may allow them to benefit more readily from hypnosis.
It is important to keep in mind that hypnosis is like any other therapeutic modality: it is of major benefit to some people with some problems, and it is helpful with many other people, but it can fail, just like any other clinical method. For this reason, we emphasize that we are not “hypnotists”, but health care professionals who use hypnosis along with other tools of our professions.
Selecting a Qualified Hypnotherapist
As in choosing any health care professional, care should be exercised in selecting a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis and the use of hypnotic therapies are not regulated in most states, and hypnotherapists are, in most cases, not state licensed in hypnosis. Lay hypnotists are people who are trained in hypnosis but lack medical, psychological, dental or other professional health care training. A lay hypnotist may be certified and claim to have received 200 or more hours of training, but licensed health care professionals typically have seven to nine years of university coursework, plus additional supervised training in internship and residency programs. Their hypnosis training is in addition to their medical, psychological, dental or social work training. Careful questioning can help you avoid a lay hypnotist who may engage in fraudulent or unethical practices.
Ask if the person is licensed (not certified) in their field by the state. If they are not legitimately licensed, they probably lack the education required for licensure. Find out what their degree is in. If it is in hypnosis or hypnotherapy, rather than a state-recognized health care profession, the person is a lay hypnotist. Check for membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (which are the only nationally recognized organizations for licensed health care professionals using hypnosis) as well as membership in the American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, the American Psychological Association, etc. Contact a state or local component section of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis to see if the person is a reputable member. If you have doubts about their qualifications, keep looking.
Uses of Hypnosis in Medicine and Psychotherapy
Other areas of application include: Allergies; anxiety and stress management; asthma; bed-wetting; depression; sports and athletic performance; smoking cessation; obesity and weight control; sleep disorders; Raynaud’s disease; high blood pressure; sexual dysfunctions; concentration, test anxiety and learning disorders.