hypnosis myths

Hypnosis Myths: Busting the Biggest Misconceptions about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy


Trying to discern fact from fiction when it comes to hypnotherapy?

Are you still believing the most common hypnosis myths?

Hypnosis is one of the most misunderstood human conditions and few people understand what it’s all about and what its benefits are. Much of this is due to its portrayal in popular media such as movies, TV shows, and books.

The many caricatures of hypnosis and hypnotists on-screen date back as far as the early 1920s with the influential film, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and these stereotypical depictions continue to this day.

Fortunately, the perception of hypnosis and hypnotherapy is beginning to change. More and more people are learning about the facts surrounding hypnosis and the research is showing how impactful hypnotherapy can be for influencing medical conditions, behaviors, stress, and anxiety.

If you’re behind the times and are still falling for old hypnosis myths, keep reading. Below we’ll bust the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis and hypnotherapy for good.

Myth #1: You Can Get Stuck In Trance

One of the most common fears associated with hypnotherapy and hypnosis is that it’s possible to get stuck in a hypnotic state. Luckily, this is simply not true and like many other myths on this list, the fear is based on movie and TV depictions of hypnosis rather than on reality.

The truth is that hypnosis is extremely safe and getting stuck in trance is not a real possibility or a fear that anyone should have.

When under hypnosis you’re not paralyzed, you’re not asleep, and you’re not unconscious. You’re very much awake and still in control. You’re simply in a heightened state of inner awareness in which you’ll be a bit more open to suggestions and new ideas.

Myth #2: You’ll Be Able to See Exact Details of Past Events

While the hypnotic state can be incredibly powerful for helping with a variety of behaviors or with recalling certain memories in a patent, there are limits to what it can do. Hypnosis isn’t magic.

When you’re under the influence of hypnosis, your body or mind won’t be transported into a moment from your past where you can notice every detail of freckle on someone’s face. Unfortunately, that’s the way that TV and film often depict hypnotherapy.

In truth, getting exact details is difficult and memory is a tricky thing. While you’ll be able to “step into” memories to some extent with the use of the hypnosis there are limits to the details you can see while there.

Myth #3: Only the Weak Can Be Hypnotized

Another common misconception that needs to die is that only weak-minded people are able to be influenced by the power of hypnosis. The truth is that anyone can be hypnotized and hypnosis techniques aren’t limited to working on only people with low IQs.

If anything, it takes a more intelligent person to use hypnosis and experience the benefits. Hypnosis does have a strong connection with the brain and it requires a person who has the powers of concentration, focus, and creativity. A person undergoing hypnotherapy will have to focus to get into the mental state of hypnosis and this isn’t easy for just anyone to do.

Myth #4: You’ll Lose Your Free Will

Another popular myth about hypnosis that needs to be dispelled is that hypnotists control people and make them do things they don’t want to do. While this idea may make for good television, it doesn’t match real life.

Anyone who attends a hypnotherapy session will allow themselves to be hypnotized willingly and it can’t be forced upon them. They’ll also retain control while they’re in a state of hypnosis.

When hypnotized, you’ll still have control over your thoughts and actions and if you choose to return to wakefulness at any time you can. While hypnotized, you’ll be more receptive to new ideas and concepts, but you won’t have to submit to a hypnotist’s directions unless you want to.

Also important to note is that you don’t have to worry about a hypnotist trying to get your bank account numbers or social security number while in trance. You won’t have to reveal any deep secrets if you don’t want to and you’ll still have the ability to say no.

Myth #5: Hypnosis is Part of the Occult

The stereotypes that surround hypnosis make some people believe that it’s mystical or magical in some way. However, hypnosis is very much grounded in reality and science. It’s a myth that hypnosis is satanic, part of the occult, or sacrilegious in some way.

Hypnotism is unlike what you see in the movies and is not a part of any religion or cult. Similarly, it’s not a magical technique at all. Hypnotists don’t have any special powers. Anybody can be a hypnotist just like anybody can be hypnotized. 

Hypnosis is just a state of mind that is completely natural and normal and is similar to the moments between wakefulness and sleep. A hypnotist only helps to get a person into this natural state of mind with a few tricks and techniques that aren’t magical or part of the occult in any way.

Myth #6: You Won’t Remember Anything From Your Session

Contrary to what some believe, your mind probably won’t just go blank during hypnosis leaving you with no recollection afterward of what happened during the session. Usually, a person will remember everything that happened to them and everything that they heard during their hypnosis or hypnotherapy session.

In rare cases, someone who undergoes hypnosis may forget some things about the session. Usually when this happens, however, it’s not permanent and their full memory will come back after a bit of time has passed.

Myth #7: Hypnosis Doesn’t Work

Perhaps the biggest myth about hypnosis and hypnotherapy is that it doesn’t work. Nothing could be further than the truth and in fact, hypnosis is incredibly effective when used to help with a variety of conditions, ailments, and psychological issues.

For example, one study found that when hypnosis was used in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, a group of people were able to more effectively lose weight compared to a group that used CBT alone.

Other studies also back up the fact that hypnosis is a great way to create new behaviors, get out of destructive patterns, and improve well-being.

Moving Beyond These Common Hypnosis Myths

While many continue to believe in hypnosis myths, the truth is that it’s very different what many people believe it to be. Luckily, you should be starting to get a bit more clarity about what hypnosis is and about what it isn’t.

Hypnosis is a beneficial technique that can help improve your life in a lot of big ways. You may want to try hypnotherapy yourself if you want to start experiencing the benefits.

Ready for hypnotherapy? Click here to learn more about our personal hypnosis sessions and to find out more about what we can do for you.