There are few misconceptions about hypnosis and hypnotherapy I would like to debunk for you:
Going Under? People often use the expression being “put under”or “going under” as if hypnosis were some out of control experience or like being put under a general anaesthetic. Going into a trance state is not something “other”. A trance state is something each of us experiences everyday; it is a completely natural state, one that happens at least twice a day. When you first wake up in the morning and you have not opened your eyes yet, you are just becoming conscious, you are aware of sound, such as birds singing outside but cannot quite bring yourself to open your eyes yet, this is a trance state and we drift into it as we fall asleep at night. We can also drift into it sometimes when doing a repetitive or monotonous task like driving, we just zone out. We are either fully awake-conscious, asleep-unconscious or this place that hovers between the two, drowsy, day dreamy, half asleep-trance.
Out of Control? You are not put into a trance by someone else, you take yourself there, the therapist is like a trainer or coach on the sidelines giving you instructions on what to do, to help you relax into this state and it is entirely up to you if you choose to do so or not.
Suggestibility? The power os suggestion is used in hypnosis, but it is used with consent, our natural defence mechanisms are always there, as is our own will power, all the therapist can do is enhance and work with what you want to achieve, it is not a magic act, despite the fact that some tv personalities would like to make it appear so. The person on TV who does something silly under hypnosis, is someone who wants to entertain and be centre of attention. The ability to work with the suggestions given is a sign of a lively and interested mind, able to respond to ideas, not from uncritical acceptance.
Telling Secrets? Some people fear they will disclose secrets under hypnosis, but no one can be forced to tell what they do not want to, it may be a relief to finally disclose some aspects of a person’s life, but hypnosis only helps the person let go if they want to, in a process of co-operation. You only need to share what you want to with your therapist and much of the procedure is one of your subconscious mind listening rather than the subject disclosing.
Will I wake up? As hypnosis is rather like zoning out into a daydream for a while, just like most of us did in the classroom and snapped to it as soon as the teacher said our name, or like dozing a little in front of the telly and someone pops in and says something to you, you will always become fully alert again, as you have not gone to some other unknown place, just a drowsy place you have been to before and always come back from.