Hypnotherapy Myths #2 & 3: I will be out of control
Let’s talk about fear.
Fear is one of the biggest factors in limiting our achievements. Fear of heights keeps us from climbing mountains, fear of being alone keeps us trapped in broken relationships and fear of the unknown keeps us from changing our lives for the better.
Your comfort zone is not a soft couch on which you are meant to relax for the rest of your life. It is an egg from which you are supposed to break free as you grow past its boundaries. This shell is meant to be broken; it’s not meant to be an easy process, but it is a necessary one as we are created with the genetic drive to evolve.
Fear of what is on the other side of that shell keeps us sitting on our couches, literally and figuratively.
In this way, you could say that by remaining in your comfort zone you are currently not in control of your life. Your fear is controlling you; you are not controlling it.
How’s that workin’ for ya?
My job is to help my clients overcome their fears; to heal the memories and/or beliefs that impressed this emotion on their psyche. I help my clients to move forward in their lives feeling empowered and free of negative, limiting beliefs.
In my previous article on the myths and misconceptions about hypnosis, I discussed a person’s belief that they can’t be hypnotized.
This belief, as I have heard in my discussions, seems to be rooted in fear and misinformation. These fears actually compromise two of the misconceptions about my profession.
Myth #2: When in hypnosis you are out of control.
Myth #3: A person is under the hypnotherapist’s control and could be made to do or say anything. They could be made to go against their ethics and moral principles, possibly made to commit a crime.
Here is where stage hypnosis is truly a detriment to the profession of hypnotherapy. (Read my article on stage hypnosis v hypnotherapy here.
While stage hypnotism does bring awareness to hypnotherapy, it does not necessarily showcase the practice accurately.
What many people take away from a stage hypnotist’s show is the impression that the volunteers on stage were “under hypnosis” or “under the control of the hypnotist.”
The saw these people acting in strange ways, doing things that they would not normally do if they were conscious. This gives the impression that the hypnotist is controlling them, that they are acting out HIS suggestions, not acting of their own free will.
Based on observation alone, it is very understandable how these people arrived at this impression.
This impression is unfortunately very inaccurate.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “All publicity is good publicity.” In this case, not so much.
Yes, stage hypnosis does bring a level of awareness to hypnosis in general. But, stage hypnosis creates barriers of fear in people who could be helped by hypnotherapy. They fear acting foolish or blurting out some deep, dark, embarrassing secret while hypnotized.
When we examine a performance more deeply, we may find that the shy volunteer who danced like an uncoordinated Baryshnikov actually has a deep-seated desire to be the center of attention. Her conscious mind, from years of hearing limiting beliefs, tells her she cannot shine like a star, she must stay in the background, so she lives quietly and dreams in silence.
That dream deep inside her wants to be expressed. So she volunteered for the stage. She danced her dream and was probably told that she would not remember it. That to me is sad. This person should be empowered to remember her experience, no matter how awkward, in a positive light – she stepped forward, came out of her personal shadow and expressed her inner desire. That is a step in the right direction.
To remove that memory from her is cruel. To leave it to her friends to relate her behavior to her will probably just reinforce the negative internal talk that she has heard for years, voices such as, “See, you looked foolish,” “they all laughed at you,” or “you looked so bad up there.”
And that leads us to the realities of hypnosis and hypnotherapy:
You cannot be hypnotized against you will. You choose to go into the state and you are in full control and fully aware the entire time you are in the state.
Did you notice that I did not use the phrase, “under hypnosis?” That’s because clients are not “under” anything. This phrase suggests a loss of control, and creates the impression that the volunteer/client is under the control of the hypnotist.
The volunteer/client is making an active choice to enter into the state of hypnosis. In hypnotherapy, they do so with the goal of healing. If at any time they choose to end the session and walk out, they are free to do so and can do so. They simply need to open their eyes, stand up and put one foot in front of the other.
Our second fact for today: You cannot be hypnotized to do something that is against your moral/ethical principles.
Either while in the state or after (with a post-hypnotic suggestion), the client cannot be made to act outside of their moral code. They cannot be made to lie/cheat/steal/murder/maim/harm if those tendencies are not part of their personal code.
You also won’t say something that you don’t want to reveal. If you have a deep, dark secret that you have never told anyone, you are not going to blurt it out while in hypnosis. If it happens to relate to what you are seeking help to heal, you will reveal it as it becomes necessary for the healing to occur. You will NOT just put it on the table for no reason.
I will restate this again, just to make it abundantly clear: YOU are in full control when you are in the state of hypnosis. You are fully aware of everything around you and you choose to remain in the state or leave it. You are NOT under the control of anyone other than yourself.
Hypnotherapy can help in resolving many issues from our pasts. It can typically do so much faster than other forms of mental therapy because we are addressing the root of negative beliefs and emotions and transforming them into empowering, positive thoughts.
How can I help you to overcome fear? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.