Can anyone be hypnotised? I hear this question all the time from people that are concerned they'll have to pay for hypnotherapy only to discover they don't have the ability to go into hypnosis.
To set your mind at ease, we now know that just about anyone can be hypnotised, but only if they want to be.
In the eighteen hundreds it was thought that only a small percentage of people could be hypnotised. They used very slow, cumbersome methods and they didn't have a good grasp on the nature of consciousness then. Their thinking was definitely wrong. Fortunately we've come a long way since then even though this perception still remains in some circles.
Newcomers to hypnotherapy need not worry. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of awareness that most people experience spontaneously and often. Most people are not aware of being in this spontaneous altered state of awareness. There isn't a light that comes on in your head when you move into hypnosis. Hypnosis is as natural as breathing and it’s just as easy as breathing. As such, almost everyone can go into hypnosis if they want to. Hypnosis is far easier done than said.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to go into hypnosis on their own and so they need to use a hypnotist to help them. The hypnotist's job is to direct them into hypnosis. To allow a hypnotist to guide you into hypnosis you need three things: intelligence, communication and consent.
Generally, there’s no need to be concerned about your ability to go into hypnosis. It’s a very pleasant and easy-to-reach state of awareness. The best advice I can give you is to just enjoy the relaxation and follow your hypnotist’s directions.
One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is if hypnosis can make people do things they don’t want to do. At the same time I must confess I’ve had a number of very strange requests over the years! One of the most common requests I get is from jilted lovers that want to know the truth about their partners.
So, here’s the answer: No, hypnosis can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
First of all, if you don’t want to go into hypnosis you simply won’t follow the hypnotist’s directions and as such you won’t go into hypnosis. There’s the first obstacle. You have to want to go into hypnosis in which case it’s very easy. Hypnosis is a one-hundred-percent consent state and if there’s no consent there’s no hypnosis. You have to be willing.
Once you’re in hypnosis you’ll only accept suggestions that are acceptable to you. By acceptable I mean reasonable and pleasing. A suggestion must be both reasonable and pleasing before it’s accepted by the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the protective part of the mind and so you can’t get people to do what they don’t want to do in hypnosis.
If you think about this for a second it’s obvious. For example I have two wonderful teenage daughters. If I could, as a Board Certified Clinical Hypnotist and as a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, get other people to do what they don’t want to do in hypnosis, my two beautiful daughters bedrooms would always be immaculate! It’s not cool when you’re a teenager (nor reasonable or pleasing) to have an immaculate bedroom and so that suggestion is very definitely rejected. My daughters are not in any way motivated to accept that suggestion. I would be far better off hypnotising myself and giving myself the suggestion to accept and make peace with the fact that living with teenage daughters requires a certain amount of compromise.
Also, if hypnotists could get people to do what they don’t want to do, Scotland Yard would have me on speed dial. I’d also be the Prime Minister, for life, and I’d be considerably wealthier. The trouble is there isn’t enough hypnosis on this planet, or anywhere else, to get people to vote for me or hand over all their money to me. If I or anyone else could get people to do these things using hypnosis, I’m sure hypnosis would be illegal. The politicians don’t like competition.
So, for this reason, whenever a jilted lover phones or writes to me asking me to hypnotise their partner and force their partner to tell me the truth of their indiscretions while in hypnosis, I have to very gently explain that I can’t. I explain as best I can that you can’t get people to do what they don’t want to do in hypnosis. I then give them the details of the local polygraph service!
As a Board Certified Clinical Hypnotist and Professional Clinical Hypnotherapist, with thousands of hypnotherapy sessions under the belt I'm sure I can handle your toughest questions! In the rare occasions that I don't know the answer (it can happen!) I've made it my business to know some of the best living hypnotists, hypnotherapists and consciousness researchers alive. I also know the people that taught them. So I'll hunt down, track down and find the answer for you.
Sometimes I may ask an industry leader to answer some of the more specialised questions too. Most of them are very generous with their wisdom.
So, it doesn't matter where in the World you live, or what your question is as long as it relates to hypnosis, hypnotherapy and consciousness, I'll answer it or I'll track the answer down or I'll track down the best person to answer the question for you. Fire away!
Can Hypnosis make me do things I don't want to do?
Troy Robins - Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Oxford & Witney, Oxfordshire in the UK.