Myths & Misconceptions
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The Truth - the whole truth and nothing but ...

Hypnosis is caused by the power of the hypnotist and hypnotists work miracles:

The hypnotist may use his or her communication and rapport building skills, making it more likely that the subject will accept guidance through a suggested experience, but only to the degree that the subject permits it. Amazing things may occur during hypnosis, however this is, again, due to the willingness of the subject. It is clearly a relationship of mutual responsiveness.

Only certain kinds of people can be hypnotized:

In practice, there are definitely some people more difficult to induce hypnosis in than others, but this does not mean they are less capable of being hypnotized. It merely indicates their resistance for one of many possible reasons, (e.g., fear of losing control, difficulty in distinguishing internal states such as relaxation or tension, negative situational factors, fear of change, etc.) Once the nature of the resistance is identified and resolved, the subject becomes able to experience hypnosis satisfactorily.

Once one has become hypnotized, one can no longer resist it and surrenders their personal will:

This is, of course, not true. If a subject chooses not to go into hypnosis, for whatever reason, then he or she will not. Prior experience with hypnosis, good or bad, is not the sole determining factor of whether hypnosis is accomplished or not. Even the most responsive subjects can refuse to follow the suggestion of a hypnotist if they choose to.

One can be hypnotized to say or do something against one's will or engage in anti-social behavior:

Since the subject retains ultimate control of his or her self, it is not possible to hypnotize someone to do something against their will. For example, if the subject does not already have anti-social behavior traits, it is not possible to induce anti-social behavior in hypnosis. It is true that brainwashing and other untoward influences exist. However, the conditions necessary to effect such a powerful influence do not typically surface in the therapeutic context, nor are those conditions in and of themselves hypnosis, and they are quite far removed from the ethical and sensitive applications of hypnosis promoted in hypno- therapy.

One can become "stuck" in hypnosis or might not "wake up" from hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a state of focused attention, either inwardly or outwardly directed. The subject can initiate or terminate the experience any time he or she chooses and is in complete control.

One must be relaxed in order to be in hypnosis:

Since hypnosis is a state of concentrated attention, you can be anxious, even in deep suspense, and still be focused. Although desirable, physical relaxation is not a necessary prerequisite for hypnosis to occur.

One is asleep or unconscious when in hypnosis:

Hypnosis is not sleep! Although physically there is decreased activity, muscle relaxation, slowed breathing, etc., the subject is relaxed yet alert mentally, with a level of awareness of what is going on around them. Even in deep hypnosis the subject is aware of external reality to some degree.

Hypnosis may be used to accurately recall everything that has ever happened to you:

The mind does not simply take in experience and store it in exact form for accurate recall later. In fact, memories are stored on the basis of perceptions; therefore, are subject to many of the same distortions as perceptions. People can remember things that did not actually happen, they can remember selected fragments of an experience, and they can take bits and pieces of multiple memories and combine them into one false memory.

Hypnotized persons will tell secrets or will always tell the truth:

Hypnosis will not compel a person to tell secrets or share any other information if they don't want to. Persons under hypnosis can lie purposefully or recall information in a distorted manner as noted above.

Hypnosis is a satanic practice:

Hypnosis and trance are perfectly natural occurrences and are neither good nor bad in and of themselves.

Hypnosis will not work on highly intelligent persons:

Innate characteristics of people such as intelligence do not have any effect on the hypnotizability of a person. Persons can resist being hypnotized on demand either actively or passively regardless of their intellectual capacity.

The Hypnosis Quiz!

Basically, the answer to every question in the hypnosis quiz is TRUE. Give yourself four points for each correct answer - 4x Total Correct =%.