Is Hypnosis Safe?
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Is the black cloud that shadows the timeless art of hypnosis creating undue negative connotations? This is a question I answer and often times defend on a daily basis. The short and directly to the heart of the matter, is yes, hypnosis is extremely safe. Allow me to take a few brief moments and clear up some of the common myths and untruths surrounding hypnosis:
Can you get stuck in hypnosis? You cannot get stuck in a state of trance! Trance state is a naturally occurring state of consciousness that everybody enters into a minimum of 2X each day. Ever watch a movie and been so emotionally attached to the plot, theme or one or more of the characters? Then, my good friend, you were in a state of hypnosis or trance.
Can you be hypnotized? The short answer to this much debated question, is yes, you can be only if you want to be hypnotized. Third-party guided trance inductions can be consciously resisted. As an example, if your spouse is forcing you to come see us for whatever changes they'd prefer and you're only visiting us to accommodate their demands, then, yes, you can consciously override any guided induction modality.
Will you reveal deeply kept secrets while under hypnosis? No, you cannot be coerced into doing or saying anything that you do not want, are uncomfortable with or that goes against any of your ideals or beliefs.
Is all hypnosis self hypnosis? Yes! All trance and hypnotic states are self-induced states of consciousness. Working with a hypnotherapist affords you the chance to create an interdynamic loop of cooperation and trust. The therapist merely guides and directs, however, the responsibility to enter and exit trance is a naturally occurring phenomena that is up to you and you alone.
Does hypnosis work? "Hypnosis works and the empirical support is unequivocal in that regard. It really does help people," says Michael Yapko, PhD, a psychologist and fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a physician and leading expert in integrative medicine, says hypnosis is safe and effective, adding that the practice would benefit from more study. “I think it has been insufficiently researched because it has generally not been taken seriously by the research community,” he says. Weil says he’s seen most benefit in people with stress-related skin conditions, GI issues, autoimmune diseases and for kicking bad habits like smoking. “I think it has been tainted by its association with stage hypnosis,” Weil says.