In 1958 the American Medical Association recognized hypnosis as a legitimate, safe approach to medical and psychological problems.
Hypnosis is a normal state of consciousness, a natural state of consciousness that we experience on a daily basis. An example of this is whenever it is really important for you to get up at an unusual time and you set your alarm and you wake up ten minutes before the alarm goes off you have given yourself a post-hypnotic suggestion. Another example is when you are driving somewhere over a very familiar route and you’re thinking about something else and all of a sudden you realize you were at your destination. Really, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized.
There are a number of misconceptions about hypnosis which are popularized by the media. Much of it began in England in the late 1800’s with a fictional novel called “Trilby”. It depicted an unscrupulous villain called Svsngali who controlled and manipulated poor Trilby using hypnosis. Modern science has proven these popular misconceptions to be fiction.
- The individual always remains in control
- The hypnotist cannot make you do anything that is contrary to your moral and ethical beliefs
- You will always awaken from hypnosis
- You will not tell all your secrets
How is hypnosis defined?
There are several definitions but the one most generally accepted definition is that it is a normal state of consciousness in which the attention is so focused that other stimuli are ignored.
The word sleep is often associated with hypnosis.
As defined hypnosis is not sleep even though hypnotists often use the word in their induction to promote relaxation.
What is it like to experience therapeutic hypnosis?
In the office therapeutic hypnosis is experienced for the most part as a comfortable relaxed state. In the course of therapy some unpleasant experiences may be re-experienced but you will always be accompanied by the therapist who is there for you.