Hypnosis – Who has Control?

  • Another question I am so often asked by prospective clients, or at the very least I have to deal with the fear arising from this question in the clients mind.

    “Don’t I lose (or give you) control whilst I’m in (under) hypnosis?”

    Now some people would quite happily give control to another person in their daily lives, let alone under hypnosis.  It’s their way of staying safe, exonerating themselves of all responsibility should things go wrong.  Being able to say “It’s not my fault… He told me to do it that way”.  For these people, this post is merely interest I feel.  This is for the people who have the misguided perception that you give control to the therapist once he or she has you hypnotised.  This is for the people that fear hypnosis for that very reason and for that very reason find it difficult to relax enough in order to attain a workable level of hypnosis.  They just can’t get their heads around the fact we ALL dip in and out of hypnosis quite naturally, perhaps 15 – 20 times a day!

    So who does have control whilst you are in hypnosis?  The short answer is:  YOU DO! You DO NOT give control to the hypnotist/therapist.  YOU are completely in control at all times.  I DO NOT and WOULD NOT make you squawk like a chicken.  It’s not in my interest and certainly not in your interest to do so (and as I have asked on my front page; Why is it always chickens anyway?)  It’s certainly not congruent with a therapy session to utilise such idiocy anyway.

    Now I hear the clamour of people asking “But the stage hypnotist DOES have people acting the fool, surely those subjects must have lost control in some way?”  Short answer again, NO they haven’t.  Why?  Because they WANT to act the fool.  Let me explain.  What you don’t see when the cameras start rolling is everything that has gone before!  Consider this;  The Hypnosis Act 1952 (yes there is such a law) forbids the transmission of a hypnotic induction.  No doubt the people that passed this law back in 1952 where fearful that they’d have half the population in hypnotic trance.  Although one might observe that a lot of politicians would like the population in trance so they can get away with an awful lot more than they do currently.  So when the cameras start rolling, you are instantly faced with the hypnotist and the 8 – 12 people sat in a line on the stage already in hypnosis.  You have not witnessed how the hypnotist has selected them through the use of suggestibility tests or whittled down to the people he’s got from perhaps 50 – 60 initial volunteers.  The hypnotist has skilfully selected the people who are easily hypnotised.  He doesn’t want to waste time with difficult subjects.  He has also selected the extroverts. The very people who love to be the centre of attention and will do almost anything to be there.  The very people who will probably act the fool after a couple of pints on a Saturday night anyway. This all makes it very easy for the sage hypnotist to suggest what he needs them to do and they act on it, because they want to!

    So for those of you that may be considering hypnosis as a tool to address an issue or help you achieve your goals, please don’t be fearful of it.  You still have control.  If the therapist suggests something incongruent to therapy, you will simply emerge from hypnosis.  It will break rapport and you would probably (and quite rightly) not go back to that therapist and launch a formal complaint against him or her.

    YOU have the control! NOT the therapist!


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