Updated: Nov 15, 2021
This is a pretty common question that I am asked. In fact, I can remember asking that very question myself. I think the confusion about Hypnosis comes from the stage performers. We have all seen, or heard about people dancing around the stage like Elvis or clucking like a chicken. Is it fake? Is it real? Well, it is a little of both and I will explain it in more detail in a future post. For now, I'd like you to consider that Hypnosis in a clinical setting is very different than Hypnosis for entertainment.
Have you ever watched a sad movie and cried? How does your mind and body produce such an emotional response when you know that it is just a movie? After all, we know these are just actors playing a role but somehow we allow ourselves to be affected emotionally.
This happens because we choose to suspend reality in our minds temporarily and we allow our imagination to "buy into the experience."
Hypnosis is similar in the sense that the Hypnotist cannot create the phenomenon without the cooperation of his/her subject. Anybody that wishes to experience a deep hypnotic trance can achieve success as long as they can follow basic instruction and they have a desire go into trance.
Could you prevent hypnosis from occurring? Sure, you could. Just like you could go to a movie theater and not be emotionally impacted by the story. It is not likely that you would go to a movie with that mindset but that does not negate the fact that you could.
My clients come to me to resolve a problem or to improve performance. They take time out of their day to see me and they expect to get results that are worth more than the cost of the intervention.
They want a change and they want it now. The steps they take to move towards a solution before they ever meet me pave the way for hypnosis to occur.
I've had several clients tell me that they cannot be hypnotized. They feel that they are of strong mind and they view people that can be hypnotized as weak. Once I explain what hypnosis is, they begin to see that it takes a narrowing of focus to become hypnotized. It's the strong minded that can narrow their focus in such a way to create an altered mental state. It is never surprising to me that that the most skeptical are often the most hypnotically talented.