Myths about hypnosis and hypnotherapy in Chicago and the surrounding areas are fairly common. If you have been seeking information about hypnosis, you probably have run into more than a few “eye popping” claims that seem almost too good to be true.
This hypnosis Chicago page is designed to debunk many of the myths connected to hypnotherapy that you may have read or heard about – but were too embarrassed to ask.
What’s unfortunate about the myths associated with hypnosis is that they can act as a barrier to helping people who might otherwise benefit from the hypnotic experience.
Understanding misconceptions about hypnosis can alleviate your fears about being hypnotized. That old saying is really true: knowledge is power. This is particularly the case when it comes to the world of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
What follows are 10 common hypnosis Chicago “myths” about hypnotherapy that you need to know. Some of these you may seem super obvious. Others, however, may give you a moment of pause and reflection. Be sure to read them all so that you have a greater understanding of what hypnotherapy is and more important – what it is not.
Throughout most of our history, hypnosis has been linked to the occult. The concept of hypnotherapy has been tied so many things over the centuries, particularly related to “magic” that is can be difficult at times to dissect out fact from fiction.
And of course as with any fiction, there is always a little bit of truth sprinkled in to make things convincing.
Here is what you need to know about hypnosis and its connection to “mysticism”. Are you ready? The connection itself is complete non-sense.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that all of us enter into throughout the course of our daily lives. Be sure to read our “What is Hypnosis” page to learn specifics.
In actual practice, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is simply a conduit of using focused thought through the use of guided imagery to help with problems. Nothing mystical, magical or mysterious is involved.
With that shared, the results you may experience from clinical hypnotherapy may seem magical, particularly if they help as part of therapy with creating change – but the process of hypnosis does not involve magic.
Hypnosis itself is not dangerous. When you are working with a licensed therapist conducting hypnotherapy, you are particularly safe. You are always in control and can come out of a hypnotic state whenever you want to.
The one caveat offered here is avoiding involvement with an unqualified hypnotherapist and by extension, stage hypnotists. Keep this one in mind when reflecting upon our hypnosis Chicago myths.
Unscrupulous people, who have little to no training in the process of hypnosis, often use the “hypnosis business” as a pathway to increasing personal wealth.
This is why it is so important that you work with a licensed professional when partaking in hypnosis. If you come across a person who you have identified as being a hypnotist (not licensed), you run the risk of being hypnotized by someone who does not have an understanding of the unique complexities involved with psychological issues or problems.
This is particularly true related to things like addiction or nicotine dependence for stop smoking efforts through hypnosis.
A qualified, licensed therapist who is trained in hypnotherapy will ensure that you are taken care of emotionally and treat you with dignity, care and compassion.
There is a big difference between stage hypnosis and clinical hypnotherapy. Stage hypnosis is all about entertaining, laughs and giggles. Clinical hypnotherapy is about helping you with real life problems and achieving goals.
A stage hypnotist wants to get a public reaction from the audience and make people laugh. A clinical hypnotherapist isn’t there to impress you. There’s a big difference.
Bear in mind that a stage hypnotist will carefully select the person who comes on to stage. In many cases, they will pick a submissive, “extrovert” personality for the show they will perform.
Stage hypnotists often have few requirements and may or may not have much experience. The people chosen by these hypnotists will often do whatever goofy thing they are asked.
Clinical hypnotherapy isn’t about chuckles and giggles, although laughter can be part of the experience. Instead, one on one clinical hypnotherapy is about assisting you to make positive, meaningful and potentially lasting change.4. Hypnotists and Hypnotherapists are the Same Thing
One of the biggest myths that continue to float around the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois is that hypnotists and hypnotherapists are the same thing. Allow us to draw out the distinctions.
In most states, anyone can claim to be a hypnotist. Getting certified for this title is not difficult at all and can be accomplished with little effort. In fact, you can do it instantly with a credit card if you want by visiting certain websites.
Typically, hypnotists are employed in the “stage hypnosis” business for the purposes of entertainment. You often see them at carnivals, magic shows and even amusement parks.
Hypnotherapists (clinical hypnotherapists) by definition are involved with using hypnosis (hypnotherapy) as a tool to facilitate therapy. This means they have been trained in psychological principles and counseling.
When you see a therapist who offers hypnotherapy, look for a person who holds the appropriate state license in mental health or medicine.
Here are specific things to look for:
Just because someone is a “Certified Life Coach” or claims to be a “Certified Hypnotist” doesn’t mean they are trained in mental health.
Hypnosis is not therapy. Instead, hypnosis is a therapeutic technique that is used an adjunct to therapy or counseling.
In other words, hypnotherapy is the therapeutic process of hypnosis. And so when you hear the term “hypnotherapy”, bear in mind that it is a tool that can be used in tandem with approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as part of cognitive therapy.
Hypnosis can also be used with psychodynamic approaches, depending upon the clinician.
Hypnosis is nothing more than highly concentrated thought that focuses your attention on a given goal. When you daydream, get engrossed in a book or focus intensely on a work related problem, you are in effect experiencing hypnosis.
When you think about it, this probably happens to you in some form or another, several times a day.
And so here is the truth – you can come out of a hypnotic trance state anytime you want. Hypnosis is not the same as sleep. It’s more like being super focused on a goal with a hypnotherapist acting as your guide.
In this way, hypnotherapy happens through guided imagery.
This one is easy to dispel. When you are experiencing hypnosis, you are awake. You will hear everything going on around you. You will be aware of everything happening with your body.
Many people mistakenly believe that the goal of hypnotherapy is to induce sleep. In truth, the opposite is true.
The primary goal of hypnotherapy is to help someone become highly focused on a goal attainment, which commonly occurs through guided imagery.
7. Some People Can’t Be Hypnotized
This one contains fractions of the truth, blanketed by urban myth. Here is the truth – some people cannot be hypnotized. While the numbers are somewhat scatted, the collective research suggests that somewhere around 5 to 10% of the population are not able to experience an induced, hypnotic experience.
The good news is most people can be hypnotized. In order for this to happen, you will want to work with a qualified hypnotherapist. And of course, it helps if you are open to the hypnotic state.
It is true that you can self-hypnotize – no question about it. But in order to gain the full benefit of hypnosis, it is best to work with a qualified hypnotherapist to learn how to do it in a way that focuses on deep psychological or emotional issues.
Once you experience hypnosis with a qualified hypnotherapist, you are in a stronger position to decide to engage in self-hypnosis and self-exploration.
Anyone can move during a hypnotized state. In fact, movement is often necessary to remain comfortable and relaxed. You can scratch, itch and even cough. Remember, you are not “asleep”. It doesn’t break your hypnotic state.
There are many forms of hypnosis where the hypnotherapist will encourage you to engage in “open eye” hypnosis. An example might be a sports player who is looking to achieve optimal performance. In this case, the hypnotherapist may ask the person to keep their eyes open while they envision a given play in the future.
Additionally, in rare cases, some people who have experienced a past trauma that may require an “open eye” approach to avoid trigger
This is yet another example of why it is important to work with a licensed professional who is trained in hypnosis.
It is simply not true that a person can get stuck in a hypnotic state. Although this idea has been the source of comedy in movies, it is simply not true. If something were to happen to the hypnotist during a session, the subject would simply open their eyes and remain normal. Remember that hypnosis is merely a psychological state made possible through suggestions.
What is important to bear in mind is that like most approaches to wellness, education about the facts is key.
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