Hypnosis: The Safety Factor
Let’s say something in your life is bothering you. You are anxious, or depressed, or can’t sleep, or are having temper problems. Maybe you want to stop smoking, or you’re worried about your drinking. Maybe you just go to bed at night feeling like your life isn’t right somehow, but you’re not sure why.
You’ve read things about hypnosis and hypnotherapy, and you are wondering if that might help; but you’ve also heard negative things about it, that it’s phony, that it doesn’t work, that it’s only for weak people, and you’re not weak.
Most of all, you wonder if it’s safe.
The fact is that when it comes to experiences that can have a major impact on your life, hypnosis may be one of the safest experiences you can have*.
Professionals use it every day, everywhere to help people deal with physical and mental pain, increase motivation, sharpen skills, study and relax*.
Hypnosis is a powerful tool, and a safe tool.
The safety of hypnosis comes from one simple fact—all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. When you watch a stage hypnotist, or read a lot of popular stuff about hypnosis, the impression can be that the hypnotist is in control. The hypnotist puts you into a trance. You are the puppet, and the hypnotist is the puppet master.
Not true at all. When you go into a trance you are on a journey, and the hypnotist is your guide. The hypnotist can make suggestions about where to go, and what to do, but you are always in charge*. You decide if you are going into a trance*. You decide when you are going into a trance*. You decide how long you are going to stay in that trance, and you decide what you are going to do while you are in that trance*. You are the boss*.
If you are in a deep trance it may not feel like you are in charge, because your unconscious mind is running the show. But that is still you. If anything, it is a deeper, truer you*. And no matter how deep you go into a trance state, there is always a part of you that hangs back and stays close to the surface of your mind. Call it your hidden observer. That part of you is keeping an eye on things, and if you are at risk of going somewhere in your mind that you are not ready to go, it will pull you back to a safe place.* Your hidden observer will see to it that you won’t do anything in a trance state that you would be unwilling to do in your normal waking state*.
That being said, while hypnosis and hypnotherapy are among the safest methods going, nothing is absolutely safe*.
Anyone can sometimes be persuaded to do or believe foolish things, even when wide awake; and as any competent hypnotist will tell you, if you can be persuaded of something when you are wide awake, you can be persuaded even more easily if you are in a trance*.
What that means is that when you are thinking about hypnosis or hypnotherapy, there are a few good rules to follow.
First, have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, what problem you want to solve, or what goal you want to achieve. Like the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want; but if you at least know what you want, you be able to tell pretty quickly if you’re not getting it.
Next, locate a competent hypnotist/hypnotherapist, someone you can trust to have the skills, training and experience to help you. In Australia, that typically means a member of the Australian Hypnotherapy Association.
Finally, make sure that the hypnotist in question has experience dealing with your particular issue. Many hypnotists are great at some things, but not able to deal with others.
Having taken those precautions, settle back and look forward to a truly great experience*.
Last updated: August 9th 2016
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