Hypnosis: What it is and how it can help you feel better...
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 abut 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 hypnotic session.
Is hypnosis therapy?
Hypnosis is not a type of psychotherapy. Instead, it is a technique that can be used, and that can be taught to you, in the context of other therapies.
Who should perform hypnosis?
Clinical hypnosis should be conducted only by properly trained and credentialed health care professionals (e.g., licensed psychologists) who have been specifically trained in the use of hypnosis, and who are working within the limits of their professional expertise.
What kind of results can I expect from hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been demonstrated to have a wide range of benefits, from simply improving symptoms or difficulties, to completely eliminating them.
What can I expect to feel during hypnosis?
Most people describe hypnosis as a pleasant experience, during which they feel focused and absorbed in the hypnotic experience. Depending on how you and your therapist agree to structure your hypnosis sessions, they may help you to feel more alert, more relaxed, more comfortable, or more peaceful.
What can hypnosis be used for?
Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping people with a wide variety of conditions including (but not limited to):
* Dental and Medical Procedures
* Post-Surgical Recovery
* Nausea and Vomiting
* Anxiety and Phobias
* Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms
* Dissociative Disorders
* Smoking Cessation
* Weight Management
* Habit Disorders
* Gastrointestinal Disorders (e.g., IBS)
* Skin Conditions
*(This description of hypnosis was prepared and reprinted with permission by the Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association, Division 30--Society of Psychological Hypnosis)
Dr. Becker is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and is on the Board of the Florida Society of Clinical Hypnosis (FSCH). She has extensive training and experience with clinical hypnosis and teaches it to other professionals.