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  • 5 Hypnosis Myths (and the real truth about them).

    As a hypnotherapist, one tends to hear the same old myths regarding the hypnotic state.  I often go out giving presentations to various organisations about hypnosis and it’s beneficial effects and part of this presentation is to debunk these myths that have settled so easily into the collective consciousness of the general public.  Whenever seeing a new client, much of an initial consultation is taken up by addressing these myths and it’s an important part of that consultation, otherwise the focused state of relaxation we are after is a lot more difficult to attain.  The mind will wander easily to doubt and negative questioning if these myths are left un-addressed.

    So I thought it might be a good idea to post about the top five myths in my blog and debunk them right here and now.  At least that way, if a new client has read this post, I might get to waste a little less time in getting them comfortable with it.

    1.  You give/ lose control to the hypnotist/therapist.

    Think about it!  If this were true, why are there not a lot of very rich (and powerful) hypnotists around?  The truth is you do not lose control to the hypnotist!  Clearly this would appear to be at odds with what you might see on stage during a presentation of stage hypnosis.  But if you were to examine the dynamics of stage hypnosis a little more closely you would realise that you still don’t lose control to the hypnotist.  First of all there is a level of expectancy.  If you buy a ticket to see such a show, you expect to see hypnosis for entertainment.  If you volunteer at such a show, you expect to be hypnotised and to do some very silly things.  Secondly, the stage hypnotist will, through the skilled use of  various hypnotic tests, whittle down his group of willing volunteers to the ones that are the most suggestible, thus the easiest to work with in the stage setting.  These people tend to also be quite extrovert and would probably act the fool after a couple of pints on a Saturday night anyway!

    2.  Hypnosis is unnatural.

    This couldn’t be further from the truth if you tried!  We all dip in and out of hypnosis all the time.  It’s part of our natural biorhythm.  When you go to sleep, you transit hypnotic state from full waking state to fully asleep.  The same is true when waking up.  Daydreaming is another form of hypnosis.  A therapist just utilises this natural focused state of relaxation to facilitate therapeutic change.

    3.  You go under hypnosis.

    Okay, this is semantics really, but language in hypnosis is vitally important.  To believe you go under hypnosis is to suggest there is some unnatural outside force facilitating the hypnotic trance.  For example, you go under an anaesthetic.  Having this outside force gives credence to the notion that you are losing control whilst in hypnotic trance.  You go into hypnosis, not under hypnosis.

    4.  You reveal your deepest secrets in hypnosis.

    Again, this would suggest some element of a loss of control and many are profoundly uncomfortable by the thought they might reveal some sort of embarrassing information about themselves .  It suggests that the therapist has an all-encompassing power to rummage around in your mind and find out all sorts of stuff you’d really rather he or she didn’t know about you.  In reality, you offer no more information to the hypnotist than you are completely comfortable with.  A hypnotist cannot make you “tell-all”.  Obviously the more information you offer connected with the issue for which you are seeing the therapist the better and this information is always treated with the strictest confidentiality.  But if you don’t want to tell, you won’t!

    5.  Hypnosis is a magic wand!

    Clearly this myth is fuelled in the main by the stage hypnotist.  They suggest a thing or an action and the volunteers acts upon it.  It really does look like magic and there is a perception that you go to see a hypnotherapist and he or she will wave their magic wand and all will be well with the world.  Hypnosis does make it a whole lot easier to facilitate therapeutic change in an individual, but the work still comes from the individual!  As with any “talking therapy”, the answers, the desire to change and ultimately the will lays within you.  So if you must think of hypnosis as some sort of magic wand, imagine it’s in your hands, not the hands of the therapist!

    So that’s my top five myths.  I have no doubt that if you talked to a different therapist in this field they might come up with one or two more or even a different list entirely.  The one thing I hope for, however, is that in publishing the truth about the top five myths I am always asked about, it might go some way to addressing the fear that many of us have regarding this powerful therapy and get more of us using it!

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  • Hypnotherapy – An Audience With The Hypnotist

    Your chance to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about hypnotherapy, the hypnotic state and even learn self-hypnosis and how it can benefit you.

    If you’re in the area, please don’t pass up the chance to come and grill me!

    Hypnotherapy - An Audience With The Hypnotist

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  • Does Absence Make The Heart Grow Fonder?

    Another one of those tired old clichés?  Perhaps.  Regular followers of this blog will have noticed that it has been quite some time since I last posted anything.  In fact, it was New Year’s Eve 2012 that I posted on the vagaries of making New Year’s Resolutions, so many months ago.  Have these followers missed me? (more…)

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  • The Weight of a New Year’s Resolution

    So here we are, at the end of an incredible 2012 where many inspiring individuals (and teams for that matter) have shown us just what can be achieved through the vehicle that was The London 2012 Olympics.  Here we are looking toward 2013 and wondering what might be in store for us and perhaps even considering making a New Year’s Resolution. (more…)

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  • Is It Okay To Be Selfish Sometimes?

    Just lately, I’ve had a number of clients for whom this question would resonate quite powerfully.  Most of us would see “being selfish” as a negative. I’m sure we’ve all fallen foul of hidden agendas and the selfish desires of other people and possibly those quite close to us in our lives.  I for one remember my mother telling me not to be selfish for one reason or another.  Quite frankly I think that’s one memory most of us would have.  But, when you’re being that completely unselfish “will-do-anything-for-anyone” can it go on to have a detrimental affect on your own health? (more…)

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  • Can You Measure Happiness?

    A report on BBC Breakfast News highlighting a piece of research by the Office of National Statistics (OFN) asks that very question.  The report suggests that the most unhappy people do not come from the most deprived areas in the country, perhaps questioning the notion that money makes you happy. (more…)

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  • People Watching

    Sat in my local community centre today, answering questions about hypnosis for anyone that cares to ask, I can’t help but watch people.  How they behave, their body language, everything but what they are actually saying to each other. (more…)

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  • Everyday Hypnosis

    They say that all hypnosis is self hypnosis, i.e. you have to accept and expect the hypnotist to hypnotise you.  I don’t bother to hypnotise anyone who challenges me with something like “You can’t hypnotise me” because they will clearly fight it and do their best to prove me wrong.  So if all hypnosis is self hypnosis, wouldn’t follow that you can use this wonderful natural state of relaxation in everyday situations? (more…)

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  • The Vagaries of Time

    Well it has been quite some time since I last blogged on these pages.  No excuse really, apart from the fact I’ve been very busy and it has been difficult to have the time to sit and write a considered piece without taking the time from something else.  Considering this lack of time I seem to be experiencing at the moment got me thinking how vague we can be about it, especially where hypnosis is concerned. (more…)

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  • The Bali Bombings – 10 Years On.

    Tomorrow (12th October 2012), marks the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Bali Bombings in which 202 people of various nationalities sadly lost their lives. (more…)

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  • Why Worry? – 12 Tips for Dealing With Worry.

    In the immortal words in the lyrics of the song of the same name by Dire Straits, Why Worry?  Or you could follow the philosophy of the very clever lyrics by Baz Luhrmann in his song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” which simply state, “Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum”.  It really is no surprise that in this ever changing world, financial, technological and cultural, that we all worry about things from time to time.  But when one’s worries start to become a more deep seated anxiety that stops us from behaving in an appropriate fashion, it really is time to so something about it. (more…)

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