These distorted and unrealistic images can cause some people to reject hypnosis as frightening and dangerous. Alternately, they can lead others to believe in hypnosis as a superpower that can produce a whole host of remarkable results, from rapidly curing ailments to remembering past lives.
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about hypnosis, and many “lay hypnotists” put patients at risk by providing care when they are not adequately trained.
Myths and Facts about Hypnosis
- MYTH: Hypnosis is like sleep.
Fact: The hypnotized person is an active participant who remains responsive and aware of his or her surroundings.
- MYTH: It is possible to be hypnotized against your will.
Fact: Anyone who actively resists attempts to induce hypnosis cannot be hypnotized.
- MYTH: One of the risks of hypnosis is getting stuck in a trance.
Fact: If the hypnotist left the room, you would spontaneously come out of the trance.
- MYTH: Hypnosis is a form of therapy.
Fact: Hypnosis is not a form of therapy. It is an altered state of consciousness in which therapy can be conducted.
- MYTH: The hypnotist can make you do things against your will.
Fact: The hypnotist gives suggestions that will not be followed if they are unacceptable to the subject.
- MYTH: The hypnotist is a powerful authoritarian figure who has total control over the passive subject.
Fact: Hypnotic subjects are active problem solvers who maintain their values, beliefs, and opinions while in a trance state.