Misconceptions about hypnosis

The word “hypnosis” is derived from the word "sleep". It is therefore a common misconception that someone in a hypnotic trance is asleep or unconscious. The truth is that a person in hypnosis is awake and the mind is focused on something specific. Outside noises are ignored and the person is more open to suggestion for learning and inner exploration to facilitate change. A person in hypnosis does not become unconscious. In truth one will be aware of everything at all times.

Another common misconception is that a hypnotized person loses his/her will and is partially or completely under the command of the hypnotherapist. The perception exists that the hypnotherapist has the power to go into your subconscious mind and discover all your secrets (PIN numbers, passwords, etc.) and that you won't be able to withhold anything and will always tell the truth. In fact, the person who is in hypnosis is the one in control and cannot be made to do anything against their will. Such a person will not reveal any information that they wish to keep secret. Therefore the will of a person in hypnosis is not weakened in any way.

Hypnosis, particularly the deeper forms, could appear to be like sleep because the person's body could be typically very still and quiet. There is usually a great deal of mental activity. Measurements of brain activity during hypnosis show a significant level of neurological activity. A person in hypnosis is therefore not asleep but allowing intentions for change to take effect.
Hypnosis misconceptions - in a nutshell...

People are mistakenly concerned that one may be asleep, relinquishes control, could be "programmed" to act contrary to their value systems or against their will. None of this is true!
Dr Lorna Geer
Copyright 2017
Last updated on 10 May 2017
Counselling Psychologist
Centurion, Pretoria