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What is hypnosis ... and what is not

Let's clear up some misconceptions.



Hypnosis has been around for centuries, but unfortunately it is surrounded by a lot of misconceptions.


What is hypnosis … ?


We all know what the hypnotic state is because we experience it all the time, even daily. Remember when you had ...

  • been driven somewhere and you have suddenly come to yourself with the surprised realization that you have just arrived at your destination?

  • felt drowsy while sleeping or waking up, but still aware of what is around you?

  • been absorbed in a pleasant task like drawing, where you don't see the time going?

  • dreamed of watching the flames flicker in a fireplace one evening?

  • thoughtfully looked at one drop of water after another on a window pane?

These and similar experiences are hypnosis - in fact, we all naturally find ourselves in the hypnotic state several times a week, as these examples show.

Hypnotherapy is all about using this natural psychological and physiological state to bring about positive changes in your life.


… And hypnosis is not…


A lot of people instead believe that hypnosis means being in a deep, sleepless trance, and there's a lot in the movies and on stage to make you think so. You might fear that you

  • will not be able to enter a trance;

  • will not be able to come out of the trance, and will remain "stuck" there forever;

  • will be under the control of the therapist and will be forced to do silly things;

  • won't remember anything;

  • reveal embarrassing things against your will;

  • will have something done to your brain that the therapist does not later undo.

If you have any of these misconceptions, don't worry, you are far from alone!

However, let me reassure you.


Hypnosis is not a "trance".


On the contrary, you are in the same calm and focused state of mind as when you watch the raindrops on the glass. What we do know is that in this mindset, you will be more inclined to respond to positive suggestions, just by focusing on the suggested ideas.


Hypnosis is not about controlling your brain.


No one can make you do something against your will; in fact, it can only work if you want to accept the suggested ideas and imagine yourself actively responding to them.


Hypnosis is not dangerous.


No one has ever been "stuck" in hypnosis, and when working with a responsible professional therapist, it is completely safe.


Hypnosis is not street or spectacle hypnosis.


Stage hypnosis has existed in various forms since the 18th century when Franz Mesmer convinced half of Paris that he could do magical treatments with magnetism; he had to go into exile when Benjamin Franklin and other scientists examined him and concluded he was a charlatan. What is happening on the streets or on stages today has very little to do with hypnotherapy, which is a real shame. It prevents many people from getting treatment.


Hypnosis doesn't do unwanted things in your brain that you can't undo.


Our psychological and emotional difficulties are caused by negative thoughts, and hypnosis seeks to replace them with positive thinking, by giving you suggestions - which you then choose to accept or not.