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How Do I Get Rid of My Fear of Being Hypnotized?

Updated on August 28, 2017

Many people who come into a first hypnosis session have some worry or fear of hypnosis. They research enough to have an interest in it but still hesitate to take action.

Hypnotherapy is one of the most powerful ways to treat fears and phobia. Fear of being hypnotized can prevent people getting results from other areas in their life.

They may think that the hypnotherapist will make them bark like a dog or forced to do something against their will.

There are many misconceptions about hypnosis which prevents people from improving their lives.

Fears of Hypnotists, hypnotic trance, and hypnotherapy come from the misconceptions they have about hypnosis and not knowing what it is.

The Misconceptions of Hypnosis

Many people formed these ideas by trusting the media, stage performing hypnotists, reading fiction, and watching films that exaggerate the powers of hypnosis.

When they think of the word "hypnosis," images of mind control, a dangling watch, becoming unconscious, quacking like a duck, and the famous line "you are getting sleepy" come to mind.

No wonder people fear hypnosis! People don't want to lose control or be mind controlled. When hypnosis is presented as a method of taking power over another, then the thought of 'hypnosis' itself brings up negative images that make people feel hesitant to seek hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is Not Mind Control

For the client to have the best therapeutic experience with hypnosis, it's important to relieve the misconceptions they have about hypnosis.

The three widely held misconceptions about hypnosis are that hypnosis is mind control, that you become unconscious, and that it's supernatural power.

1. Hypnosis as mind control

Many people think that hypnosis is a form of mind control. One cannot be made to do something against their will. If it did, hypnotherapists would have made millions from turning all prisoners into good citizens.

The fact is that hypnosis only works when the person is ready to make it work. The client's motivation to change plays a significant role in hypnotherapy. While there are various degrees of susceptibility for each person, a motivated person can benefit from hypnotherapy.

2. Hypnosis makes you unconscious

During the hypnotic session, the hypnotherapist guides the client to a calm and relaxing state of mind. One can listen or ignore the hypnotherapist's suggestions. They are not in any way unconscious but are rather in a state of hyper awareness.

Neuroscientists saw a decrease in dorsal anterior cingulate (cognition and motor control) but an increase in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the brain body connection) during hypnosis. While the client in hypnosis is not present with the outside world, he/she involves greater focus and concentration inside his/her mind.

Not only are clients in control during hypnosis but they are more in control than in waking state. In hypnosis, they can control the habits, behaviors, and results they want.

3. Hypnosis as supernatural power

Lastly, hypnosis is not a supernatural or mystical power. It is a well-established researched science that has tremendous value to particular problems.

In 1958, both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) recognized hypnotherapy as a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses. In 2005, The American Psychological Association published a formal definition of hypnosis and recognized it as a viable modality for a broad range of issues; it includes stress, anxiety, pain, and psychosomatic illnesses.

It doesn't take a genius or mystical powers to use hypnosis. Any healthy person can use hypnosis if one knows how it works.

What is Hypnosis?

The word 'hypnosis' comes from the Greek word 'Hypnos,' the god of sleep. Dr. James Braid first coined hypnosis because the trance state resembles sleeping. After further experiments, he wanted to change the word 'hypnosis' in favor of "neuro-hypnotism" (nervous sleep), but it didn't catch on.

Hypnosis is not a state of sleeping but the sleeping of the nerves. Therefore, it resembles more of relaxation than sleeping.

There are records of hypnosis dating back to 2500 years ago in ancient Greece. The physician Aesculapius created a sleep healing temple. After a long cleansing ritual including purifying waters, baths, and fasting, the physician led the patient to a dark lighted stone chamber where they were instructed to relax and wait on a klini (an ancient reclining chair). Then the physician would heal the patient with hypnosis.

We have come a long way from the ancient world, but the practice still exists under a different explanation.

Hypnosis is a calm and relaxing state of mind. When the mind is relaxed to a certain point, it enters a deeper state of consciousness. During hypnosis, the client enters the alpha state to theta state consciousness. When one is in the alpha state, he/she is as relaxed as watching a movie or reading a good book. When one is in theta state consciousness, he/she is in a dreaming or meditative state of mind.

Accessing the deeper states of consciousness opens up the subconscious mind, which holds our deeply held beliefs, behaviors, patterns, performance, fears, etc. By tapping into the power of the subconscious mind, a client can make profound changes in their life.

There is nothing to be afraid of

The media doesn't accurately portray the beneficial use of hypnosis. When misconceptions of hypnosis surround us, it's easy to be scared of hypnotic trance.

Hypnosis is safe and natural. It was a therapeutic tool for over 2500 years. Hypnotherapy is still among one of the most powerful ways to overcome fears, anxiety, and other problems in our life.

During the session, it is like going to a regular therapy or counseling session. The only difference is that hypnotherapists use unique hypnotic techniques to solve client's problems.

A first-time hypnosis client has more to benefit than to lose in hypnotherapy.


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