Understanding Hypnotherapy: Debunking Stereotypes & Misconceptions Around Hypnosis
When most of us think of hypnosis, we conjure up old Hollywood clichés of a stage show hypnotist entrancing his subjects with the swing of his pocket watch and commanding them to “Look into my eyes….you are getting sleeeeepy” and then, with a snap of his fingers, declaring they will quit smoking or get over their fear of spiders forever.
But there is much more to hypnosis than stage show theatrics and we want to set the record straight.
Here are three myths about hypnosis, debunked:
I will do embarrassing things like bark like a dog or quack like a duck while under hypnosis. Not true. (Unless you’ve volunteered to be hypnotized on stage and use this as an excuse to act silly and entertain the crowd.) Hypnosis is a clinically proven mental state of highly focused concentration that is often used to help people relax, diminish pain, or to promote some desired behavioral change. Hypnotherapists coax their patients into a trance-like state using verbal repetition and mental imagery. Once relaxed, patients’ minds are more open and receptive to transformative suggestions for self improvement (Psychology Today). Hypnosis is a serious therapeutic process. It is not entertainment.
I will never be able to snap out of hypnosis. Nope, not true. Hypnosis is a very safe state of hyper awareness that allows people to enter a deeper state of concentration and receptiveness. A person can pull themselves out of a hypnotic state just by opening their eyes, stretching or speaking.
My brain is too too strong to be hypnotized. Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized. Wrong again. Like we said before, hypnosis is a state of highly focused concentration and similarly, every time we lose ourselves in a book or a daydream or do something with intense concentration and feel the outside world fade away, we are experiencing a form of hypnotic trance. Most of us experience this on a daily basis!
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get into the nitty gritty of it. Traditional hypnosis uses a direct approach in which the patient is essentially ordered to enter into a trance to change their behavior.–and it most resembles that image we conjured up earlier. This method of hypnosis tends to take a one-size fits all approach to healing, with each ailment or issue assigned a specific script for the hypnotist to use. The challenge with this method is that some patients are resistant to being ordered to relax—especially when they are in pain.
Then came Milton H. Erickson.
Until Erickson, the predominating thought was that direct hypnosis was the best way to get someone to enter into a trance.
Erickson took a more indirect approach to hypnosis because he believed that the unconscious mind could not be forced to change. His method also acknowledges that each patient is unique and requires individualized treatment plans. So hypnosis for one person will look completely different for another. By using indirect suggestions (in the form of stories and metaphors) rather than direct orders Erickson saw greater behavioral changes and improvement. (www.Ericksonian.com)
Come see for yourself and experience the true benefits of hypnosis in our two upcoming workshops:
Ericksonian Hypnotherapy: Learn Self-Hypnosis & Therapeutic Trance
Led by: Doug O’Brien
Date: Wednesdays, July 8 – July 29 (4 Sessions)
Time: 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST
Price: Members $155/ Nonmembers $180
Integrative Hypnosis: Rapid Techniques to Rewire the Brain
Led by: Melissa Tiers
Date: Thursdays, July 9 – July 30 (4 Sessions)
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm EST
Price: Members $110/ Nonmembers $125
Doug O’Brien is one of America’s leading hypnotherapists and Havening practitioners in NYC. He was a master trainer for the Anthony Robbins’ training company. As a Hypnotherapist, he helped found the Department of Complementary Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital under Dr. Oz doing pre-surgical hypnosis in the Cardio-thoracic unit. He is the author of The User’s Guide to Sleight of Mouth, and is an internationally recognized trainer of NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis.
Melissa Tiers is founder of The Center for Integrative Hypnosis and has a private practice in NYC. She is an award-winning author, lecturer, life coach, hypnosis trainer, and creator of Integrative Hypnosis.
If you missed Melissa Tier’s OC LIVE event on 7/6 click here to view it today.