It happens all the time. A client walks into my office, plops himself into the chair and begins to tell me how badly he needs to stop smoking: “I smoke fifty plain cigarettes a day. I have full emphysema which makes me cough for two hours when I get up in the morning and even longer when I go to bed. My chest wheezes all the time and my teeth and hands have gone yellow from all the smoke. I have to stop smoking.” He then turns his head to look at me and with a very worried look on his face asks me, “Are you sure hypnosis is safe?”
Now I know it’s obvious to the reader that the cigarette smoking is going to kill him far faster than hypnosis ever will (have you ever heard of someone dying from hypnosis?), and yet the client has a serious and genuine concern for his safety while in hypnosis. I always find this odd as most of my clients are very reluctant to emerge from hypnosis. Profound relaxation is a wonderful experience. So, what could be the cause of this unfounded fear?
I blame TV. It usually starts off with young children watching cartoons. Young children have very poor judgement and so when they see cartoons of hypnotists making people do silly things while in hypnosis, they sadly believe it. This is repeated until adulthood so that even adults believe hypnosis can get you to do things you don’t want to do while in hypnosis. This is as ridiculous as believing that Spiderman is a real flesh and blood person! Maybe that’s why companies are prepared to spend billions of pounds on TV advertising?
Here are the facts on hypnosis:
- You Are Not Asleep in Hypnosis. Have you ever tried working with someone that’s asleep? It just doesn't work unless you test beds for a living. If you’re asleep in hypnosis, how would you know when the hypnotist snapped his fingers? Obviously that’s wrong! Your mind is alert and clear in hypnosis. You can hear everything the hypnotist says and you’ll remember everything. Hypnosis is safe.
- You Are In Control.The hypnotherapist has no control over you. You will only do things you consider reasonable and pleasing while in hypnosis. Otherwise the police would employ people such as me to hypnotise suspects to get the truth out of them. Unfortunately for the police, people lie better while in hypnosis. Stage hypnotists only every use volunteers. If they don’t use people that think it’s reasonable and pleasing to play the fool on stage, the show will fails. The stage hypnotist will have to refund the audience their money. The venue will still need to be paid. Hypnosis is safe.
Hypnosis is nothing like the way it’s presented on TV. Clinical hypnotherapy is nothing like stage hypnosis or the world of entertainment. As more people discover how ruthlessly effective hypnotherapy is and how safe it is, hypnosis is becoming far more popular. In the foreseeable future hypnotherapy will be sponsored by the NHS because the public will demand that their money is spent on the methods that give them the best results. If hypnosis is safe enough and good enough for royalty and the rich and famous, hypnosis is safe enough for everyone.