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Hypnosis: Clinical


These distorted and unrealistic images can cause some people to reject hypnosis as frightening and dangerous. Alternately, they can lead others to believe in hypnosis as a superpower that can produce a whole host of remarkable results, from rapidly curing ailments to remembering past lives.

There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about hypnosis, and many “lay hypnotists” put patients at risk by providing care when they are not adequately trained.

Myths and Facts about Hypnosis

  • MYTH: Hypnosis is like sleep.
    Fact: The hypnotized person is an active participant who remains responsive and aware of his or her surroundings.
  • MYTH: It is possible to be hypnotized against your will.
    Fact: Anyone who actively resists attempts to induce hypnosis cannot be hypnotized.
  • MYTH: One of the risks of hypnosis is getting stuck in a trance.
    Fact: If the hypnotist left the room, you would spontaneously come out of the trance.
  • MYTH: Hypnosis is a form of therapy.
    Fact: Hypnosis is not a form of therapy. It is an altered state of consciousness in which therapy can be conducted.
  • MYTH: The hypnotist can make you do things against your will.
    Fact: The hypnotist gives suggestions that will not be followed if they are unacceptable to the subject.
  • MYTH: The hypnotist is a powerful authoritarian figure who has total control over the passive subject.
    Fact: Hypnotic subjects are active problem solvers who maintain their values, beliefs, and opinions while in a trance state.