Hypnotherapy Facts Myths

Most people get their “facts” about hypnosis from nightclub acts, movies and television shows. These entertainment sources depict humorous or frightening hypnotic episodes in which a hypnotist gains control of an individual’s mind and behavior. This fictitious portrayal doesn’t resemble the facts about hypnosis, when practiced by healthcare professionals. If you’re considering hypnotherapy as a treatment option, read these facts and myths about hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy Myth: A Hypnotherapist Can Make You Do Anything

On the contrary, you gain greater control of your mind and actions with hypnosis. During a hypnotic trance, you open your mind to the perception that you control your own actions and thoughts, whether your goal is to quit smoking, enhance your performance, think more positively, or feel less physical pain or anxiety. The hypnotherapist merely facilitates the session to keep you on track.

Hypnotherapy Myth: You Can Get “Stuck” in Hypnosis

Although humorous material for a classic comedy plot, you can’t get stuck in a hypnotic state. Because you’re in total control of your mind, you can also control whether you’re hypnotized and when you choose to come out of a hypnotic trance.

Hypnotherapy Myth: Only Weak-Minded People Can Be Hypnotized

The facts about hypnosis support the opposite. Through hypnosis, many people have reported success in:

  • Controlling nausea associated with chemotherapy
  • Diminishing anxiety
  • Losing weight
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Managing pain
  • Quitting smoking.

Maintaining control over your own body and mind reflects a strong mind.

Hypnotherapy Myth: You Won’t Remember What Happened Afterward

After each hypnotherapy session, most people will remember everything that happened. Remembering the events that occur during hypnosis often benefits the hypnotized person.

Hypnotherapy Myth: You Can Be Hypnotized Against Your Will

Only you can hypnotize yourself. Hypnosis doesn’t work if you choose not to be hypnotized. The hypnotherapist guides you into the hypnotic state and presents suggestions designed to advance your goals. A hypnotherapist can’t do this without your cooperation.

Hypnotherapy Myth: Hypnotherapy Replaces Mainstream Treatments

Although hypnotherapy may actually successfully address some conditions, hypnosis has its limits. As with any alternative or complementary treatment, discuss your options with your doctor. After learning the facts about hypnotherapy, you can determine if it’s an appropriate treatment for you and your condition.

If you decide to pursue hypnosis as a therapeutic approach, distinguishing between its facts and myths is essential, as hesitancy or doubt can hinder its success.


American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (n.d.). Myths about hypnosis.Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.asch.net/Public/GeneralInfoonHypnosis/MythsAboutHypnosis/tabid/135/Default.aspx

Mayo Clinic. (2009). Hypnosis. Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypnosis/MY01020/DSECTION=risks

Rosenzweig, S. (2009). Mind-body techniques.Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec25/ch302/ch302c.html