“A person under hypnosis is asleep or unconscious.”
This is probably the most common misconception about hypnosis. You never lose your full sense of awareness or fall asleep in hypnosis. On the contrary, you are actually more fully awake. All levels of hypnosis are characterized by increased attention, and it’s this heightened concentration that increases your receptivity to suggestion.
“A person doesn’t remember anything that happens while under hypnosis.”
You’ll be aware of everything while hypnotized and afterward. It’s possible that you’ll have a "dreamy" feeling, or feel as if you are drifting back and forth between sleep and wakefulness throughout hypnosis. It's normal for your mind to wander at times. After hypnosis it’s likely that you’ll probably have a fading memory of the session, similar to emerging from a deep daydream or a nap.
“A person can be hypnotized against their will. Once a person has been hypnotized they can no longer resist it.”
Most stage hypnotists are skilled at creating the illusion that they possess a magical and mysterious power over other people. There is, in fact, no such "power." Hypnosis is a state of consent and cooperation. The only control the hypnotherapist has over you is the control you allow him to have. The normal amount of control is to allow the hypnotherapist to guide you into a state of relaxation and then suggest the thoughts and imagery for your concentration. Throughout the process, you can end your state of physical relaxation and mental concentration at any time.
“A person surrenders their will once they go under hypnosis, and can be made to do things he or she does not want to do."
You are capable of making normal decisions at all times under hypnosis. You can't be ‘made’ to do anything under hypnosis that you would find objectionable under normal circumstances.
“A person has to relax deeply to be in a state of hypnosis.”
Your level of physical relaxation doe not necessarily impact the effectiveness of suggestions given during the session. There are methods of hypnosis that don’t even rely on physical relaxation.
Most people who are concerned about their ability to relax physically under hypnosis are very pleasantly surprised after a much needed mental rest.
“A person under hypnosis might reveal his or her deepest secrets.”
You don’t lose control or reveal personal secrets under hypnosis.
“Hypnosis can be used to accurately recall everything that has happened to you”
Hypnosis can be very effective for capturing lost memories, but you can also lie when under hypnosis, or even have false memories. Hypnosis isn't a truth serum.
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