“Will I quack like a duck?”  “What if I don’t wake up?”

“I don’t want someone to control my mind”   “I can’t be hypnotized”

“Can someone be hypnotized to rob a bank?”  “I don’t want anyone to know my deepest secrets”

Thanks in part to the dramatic licence taken in movies, television and books there are many misconceptions about hypnosis, as a result, many people have questions or concerns when considering hypnosis.  Let’s set the record straight.

Going to sleep or losing consciousness:  A common technique used to hypnotize someone combines relaxation and suggestions of sleep which induces a lethargic state, but does not cause you to go to sleep.  During this altered state you are alert and aware of everything at all times.  Hypnosis isn’t sleep, it is a natural state of focused concentration, that we are in and out of many times during the course of the day.

 Clucking like a chicken, barking like a dog:  Hypnosis for entertainment is entirely different from clinical hypnosis.  We both have willing participants to work with, the difference is what they are willing to do.  Stage hypnotists work with people who want to be on stage, want to have fun, and to entertain.  In a clinical setting, hypnosis is used to help people make the changes they want in their lives, crazy antics are not required.

 Mind control:  A hypnotized person is in control and always has a choice to accept or reject the suggestions given.  Hypnosis requires a condition of trust between hypnotist and client.  You must be willing to accept the suggestions given, you can’t be made to do anything against your will.

 Hypnotized to commit criminal acts:  A hypnotized person will not do something in hypnosis that they would not do in their normal waking state.  If a suggestion is given that is against your morals or values, it will be rejected or ignored.

 Your deep dark secrets:  Hypnosis should not be confused with truth serum.  When you are hypnotized, in trance, you will not divulge secrets that you don’t want to share.  If a question is asked that you don’t want to answer, you don’t have to answer.  I don’t need to know your secrets to help you resolve your issues.

I can’t be hypnotized:  Almost everyone can be hypnotized, its a natural state.  In fact, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.  The hypnotist facilitates the trance state, but the ability to be hypnotized rests with the individual.  You are always in control.  There is a correlation between intelligence and hypnotizability.  It is virtually impossible to someone with an IQ below 70, simply because they lack the ability to focus their attention long enough to alter their state of mind.

Hypnosis is a state of mind that we enter into, by ourselves every day.  It is a focusing of attention to the complete exclusion of everything else, like being absorbed in a book or movie.  In clinical hypnosis the altered state is directed to achieve a positive outcome.  I work with people to gain mastery over a wide range of concerns that they are having difficulty dealing with themselves.  Clinical hypnosis puts this natural ability to work for you.