The good news is hypnosis is amazingly effective at helping people. The bad news is many people think hypnosis is magic.
Hypnosis isn’t magic. It’s a very specific process that anyone can experience if they have an attention span and can follow instructions.
Thanks to the media and other poor representations of hypnosis in pop culture there is a large number of misinformed people who think hypnosis is mystical, magical and even, God forbid, satanic.
For those people whose minds are already made up about this there’s nothing I can say. But for those willing to learn and put aside preconception they will find out that hypnosis is a natural process we all experience.
The problem of “Hypnosis is Magic” occurs when people come to me with some of the following requests:
Hypnosis as a cure for your relationship.
I once had a couple come to me requesting to hypnotize the wife to prove that she didn’t have an affair five years earlier while the husband was passed out drunk. Clearly, that was not a hypnosis problem, it was a relationship problem. I told them to see a counselor to help them with their trust issues.
Hypnosis for someone else’s problem
I still get asked “Can you make my kid/parent/spouse fill-in-the-blank?” Basically they are saying “I can’t control my this person the way I want. Can you help?”
The short answer to that is “Maybe I can, but only if they ask me.”
I know the strength of hypnosis and in some cases it’s possible to change people without them knowing but I won’t do that. It’s too much work and there are no guarantees.
Hypnosis to forget
This is usually requested because of pain or trauma that people want to get over. As powerful as hypnosis is total amnesia for events is hit-or-miss at best. Yes, it’s possible but it’s seldom efficient.
A better solution to painful memories and trauma is to strengthen character of the client so can remember events without associated pain. Former traumas become simply events of their life. They will agree they were painful but feeling stronger and those events no longer control them on a day-to-day basis.
Hypnosis for some new age psychic energy thing
Because hypnosis has such broad applications it’s been applied heavily in the new age arena of mystics, psychics and energy workers. While I wish them well in using it, for me hypnosis is a very powerful and precise tool for helping people. Things like ‘opening the third eye’ or ‘raising my own energy’ are just too nonspecific for me to measure. Hypnosis is best suited for changing unwanted behaviors and enhancing performance.
Yes, When I’m hypnotizing someone I go for the ‘Wow!’, that’s what they proclaim when the session is over. It’s a testament of the intensity of what they experienced and proof to them they were in hypnosis.
People will tell you the quality of change they feel from hypnosis is “magical” but that does NOT mean it is magic.