Frequently Asked Questions about Hypnosis

Do you remember being Hypnotised?

Most people have the ability to remember everything that occurs when in hypnosis, although some may not always remember it all. Of course, there might be small trivial things that are forgotten.

There is a minority of people who may not remember what happens in hypnosis. However, this is a very small percentage.

Can hypnosis enhance recall of forgotten events?

Hypnosis does enhance memory and bring to the forefront of the mind things have may have been forgotten or repressed. It is normal to have a disorted memory of things, and it is possible that this view might be broadened or enhanced through hypnosis. This is generally therapeutic, as sometimes we remember things in a way that locks our emotions of the event away. By remembering it more fully and completely, we can process the event and then put it behind us in a way that feel resolved.

Can Hypnosis force people to act against their will?

Hypnosis does not take away free will, although it is true that hypnosis generally makes people more suggestible. However, being suggestible is not the same as being under someone else’s control. Being suggestible simply means you are more open to ideas and suggestions that you want to be more open to and have influence over the way you act, feel and think.

What is the neodissociation theory of Hypnosis?

Hilgard (1974) first proposed the idea that the dissociative state of hypnosis altered the functioning of the mind in a way that allowed a separation of the executive control system, (ecs), into the part with awareness of the effect of the suggestions but no awareness of how the suggestions had an affect, and another dissociated part influenced by the suggestions given in hypnosis.

How do you know if Hypnosis worked?

You can see the impact of hypnosis in terms of the degree of the desired change. For example, someone who wishes to let go of anxiety, might notice their anxiety decreasing with the assistance of hypnosis. Likewise, a smoker might notice they aren’t smoking as a result of their hypnosis sessions.

How do I know if I was Hypnotised?

Being hypnotised is a subjective experience. Some people notice a more profound or intense hypnotic experience that clearly tells them they have been hypnotised. Others may experience an increased level of relaxation which they might only notice after their session. Finally, others might only notice that they are responding to suggestions give throughout their session that tells them they were hypnotised. It could also be any combination  of these elements, but might also be indicated by distorted perception, watery eyes, numbness, fussiness, cloudiness, sleepiness, groginess or vagueness.

What are the risks of hypnosis?

While very rare, it is possible to experience some symptoms which may detract from the experience and overall benefits. They could include the following:

  • Grogginess, tiredness or sleepiness;
  • Headaches;
  • Anxiety, or distress;
  • False memories.

However, an experienced therapist will be able to guide you past these where you can return to the pleasantness more commonly felt while in hypnosis.

What are the side effects of hypnosis?

The side effects of hypnosis should not be over stated. After all, hypnosis is a natural state that people enter into everyday of their lives. However, in therapeutic trance or hypnosis, people generally feel surprisingly better, more relaxed and even more confident. In very rare cases people might experience:

  • Mild headache,
  • Grogginess, sleepiness, or vagueness,
  • Anxious you are not in control, (even though you are).

However, with the right guidance, a good hypnotherapist will help you through those experiences so that you can return to the more common experience of pleasantness.

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