Since April 1999 I’ve been helping people make improvements to their lives with hypnosis. The first time I heard someone say “I don’t believe in hypnosis” I was stumped. I didn’t know how to respond. For a moment I felt like I needed to defend myself and the practice of hypnosis. But, I realized that wouldn’t be useful.
That got me thinking. Saying “I don’t believe in hypnosis” isn’t exacting and it’s likely they mean one of three things.
What Do They REALLY mean?
Meaning #1 – Hypnosis is Fake. The most obvious way to understand those words is they are telling your that hypnosis is all fictional and fake. It’s not real in the same way fairies and elves, and Harry Potter, are not real.
Meaning #2 – Hypnosis is against my faith/value system. Many people are indoctrinated by religion or culture to consider hypnosis a source of evil. Some people have been told it will open the mind to malevilant forces.
Meaning #3 – Hypnosis is real but don’t do it on me! Yes, some people believe hypnosis is real but are seriously afraid of being hypnotized. This may be do to a fear of losing control. One person was fearful of “going under” as though they understood what that would be.
Response to “I don’t believe in hypnosis“
The best response to “I don’t believe in hypnosis” is one of curiosty and non-defensiveness. Anytime someone talks about their beliefs they are discussing something personal. Beginning a conversation with a defensive reaction or question makes it hard to create a sincere conversation. The best responce I have that is “Oh wow! Excellent! Can I ask you a few questions about that?” and make my tone of voice as curious and as non-defensive as possible.
My purpose isn’t to convince them anything about hypnosis, it’s to understand them. If they agree to talk further with me I will usually proceed by saying something like “When someone tells me they don’t believe in hypnosis, it usually means one of three things. It may mean they think hypnosis isn’t real like magic fairies elves aren’t real. Second, you may believe it’s real but it goes against something you were taught. The third reason could be, you believe it’s real, but you don’t want it used on you.” or I might simply ask “What do you mean?” and let them talk.
Again my objective is to understand, not argue. Should someone say “Hypnosis is against my religious faith” or any other response I curiously ask “Can you tell me more about that?” The point is to create a conversation and to better understand their how they see the world.
Okay, What IS Hypnosis?
For the clinical answer there are a lot of articles that will explain hypnosis in very scientific and clinical terms. Having been hypnotized many times and done hypnosis of over 10,000+ people I have my own description: Hypnosis is a deeply intense focus of attention that makes it easy to change feelings, habits and emotional responses.
We all understand that our minds are powerful. Controlling that power is our challenge. Hypnosis focuses ones attention so profoundly it sidesteps the triggers, excuses and normal reactions that prevent success. So, for example, a person with fear of public speaking consciously understands they shouldn’t be afraid but they feel anxious anyway. Hypnosis can create a feeling of ease and confidence so strong they can easily imagine giving a public presentation.
Special thanks to Dr. Siegfried Stoll of Hypnose Mannheim for his encouragement and support.
I feel like I have my life back. David helped me regain my motivation and drive. Before I experienced feeling overwhelmed and stressed out when I had things to do. Now I am super productive, and I feel happy and look foward to completing everyday tasks. There are no adequate words to express my gratitude. Thank you David.