What is hypnosis? Briefly it is simply a natural, yet altered state where there is a “bypass of the critical factor of the conscious mind and the establishment of acceptable selective thinking.” In light of this here are a few answers for you.
Can anyone be hypnotized? Yes….virtually everyone. As long as you have an IQ higher than 40, not psychotic, very aged or under the influence then YES….most definitely.
Can I be hypnotized against my will? No…. hypnosis is a constant consent state. You will not do anything in hypnosis that is outside your moral code.
Can I get “stuck” in hypnosis? No… remember, you are consenting to be in hypnosis at all times; therefore YOU are always in control and aware of what’s going on.
Can I be made to act like those people on stage? Only if you WANT to. You see, those people on stage wanted to be a part of the show. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. So, in a clinical setting, you and I are working together to find the solution to your issue.
Will I tell all my deep dark secrets? NO….not unless you want to. Remember, you are in control.
Am I unconscious like sleeping? No! You actually are in a heightened state of awareness where your conscious & subconscious mind are working simultaneously. Hypnosis is a word that was coined by James Braid, a mid 19th century British doctor, derived from Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep, however it is a misconception that you have to be zonked out and unconscious to be in a hypnotic state.
Can children, elderly, or mentally challenged people be hypnotized? Some hypnotists believe that absolutely anyone can be hypnotized whether or not the client believes they can be as long as the hypnotist really understands them. My belief is that everyone who is in relatively “normal” mental health can be hypnotized. I find it is difficult, if not impossible, to hypnotize severely mentally challenged people, drunk or drugged people, very young children, or people experiencing Alzheimer disease or other dementia.
(If you are severely depressed, suicidal, or have a strong tendency to want to hurt yourself, do not seek out a hypnotist. You must see a medically trained psychiatrist. A hypnotist is not to be used a “last resort” for your mental health and well being.)
Children are the easiest people to hypnotize because they mainly live in a state of trance. They are constantly walking around in a waking state of hypnosis. This, linked with brain elasticity, is why they can suck in so much information in such a short period of time, and it is why children have such great imaginations and retain every word you say (even when you think they are not listening).
Personally, I would not do trance work on any child under school age, but I do watch my language around the little ones too, because they are picking up everything we say and forming ego states. (And I don’t mean just refraining from swearing!) So if you say something like, “Why are you kids always acting up and fighting with each other?” Guess what? Your kids are going to always act up and fight with each other because you have programmed that in their little sponge-like minds. Instead, you should say something positive like, “You are always such good kids! I don’t understand this behavior today because good kids—like you guys—really love and take care of each other.” Then keep reinforcing the positive suggestions for their good behavior, and reward them when they are truly being good.
Is the phenomenon called Hypnosis paranormal or supernatural? No!. Hypnosis is a scientifically recognizable occurrence. We experience shifts in brain states naturally throughout the day: watching tv, while driving, reading a book, “zoning out”, etc.
I don’t think I can be hypnotized, because I tried it before and was aware of everything going on around me. In fact, I could have just stood up and walked away at will. Are there people who cannot be hypnotized? Yes & no. You were most likely hypnotized. Only a small percentage of the population with mental disorders actually cannot be hypnotized. Some people can be super-hypnotized and fall easily into deep states of trance, while others only go into a very light state of hypnosis. The lasting effects tend to be the same no matter how deeply one goes into trance; although the effects seem to take effect more quickly the deeper one goes
Can’t I just hypnotize myself? You can absolutely hypnotize yourself, especially if you have had the proper training. I hypnotize myself frequently although I would rather just relax and let someone else do all the work! If you can get yourself into a light state of trance, you can embed your own positive suggestions.
Self hypnosis is great for all kinds of things, but if you find it not working as well as you hoped, it may be because you have a secondary gain for your problem, (an underlying issue that’s been suppressed and needs to be addressed) so it helps to have a trained hypnotherapist to guide you through the process to by using conflict-resolution therapy to help figure out what the secondary gain is so you can get past it
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