Would you consider doing hypnosis but aren’t exactly sure what you’re letting yourself in for? Have you ever watched someone make a complete fool of themselves on TV while in a trance?

Today I want to bust the four main fears that people have about hypnosis and reassure you that it’s a wonderful and quite practical experience.

Hi, this is Suzanne from Suzanne Dinter Hypnosis Coaching. Today, I want to talk about the four main fears that people have about hypnosis that might prevent them from doing hypnosis.

Fear 1: Not being in control

The first one is people have a fear of not being in control. They think that hypnosis takes over their minds. They might have seen stage hypnotists and people on stage or in shows, where they walk around clucking like chickens or barking like a dog, or even taking their clothes off or something like that.

That has firstly nothing to do with therapeutic hypnosis. But what has happened in those situations is, before the show, the hypnotist has done some suggestibility checks to see how suggestible people are in the audience, and then chosen the ones that are highest suggestible, that go into a deep trance and then take on the commands that he gives.

Then he asks those people before the show and says, “Would you like to come onto the stage during the show?” Of course the absolute exhibitionists among them, not just the extroverts, but the exhibitionists say, “Oh yes, me please, I want to come on stage, I’ll do it!” and he says, “Would you do anything that I ask you to do? Anything that I tell you to do?” And they say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I want to be on stage!”

They’re the people that have already given their permission to do whatever the hypnotists ask them to do. So they’ve given their permission to cluck like a chicken, bark like a dog, even take their clothes off, whatever, to do really embarrassing things, just because that’s part of the show element.

But they’re always in control. If he said to them to do something that they did not believe in or did not want to do, then they could easily not do it, even in trance on the stage. That would be absolutely no problem.

That’s the same in a therapeutic setting. Of course, we talk about your goals and what do you want to achieve in the interview part of the session. It’s not all hypnosis, there’s an interview part, which is quite extensive, where I’ll ask about what you want to achieve, what you’d like to change, then I give you suggestions when you’re in a trance for things that you want to achieve in a positive way, positive affirmations and things like that.

If I for any reason I said to do anything that you didn’t agree with, then you could easily just ignore that and reject it in your mind, and just carry on listening to the other positive suggestions that I make to you.

This happened to me once when I was listening to a generic CD for weight loss. A hypnosis CD for weight loss. The hypnotist, or the hypnotherapist said, “You’re letting go of dairy, and gluten, you’re not eating those anymore.” I just thought, “I don’t want to give up dairy and gluten, I just want to be a moderate eater, a sensible eater.” So I just ignored those suggestions and carried on with the other suggestions and it helped a bit.

It was generic, it wasn’t tailor made to me. Of course, if you were with me, you’d get tailor made suggestions that are exactly in tuned with your goals, what you want to achieve, and the suggestions will then do their magic in your subconscious mind.

The fear of not being in control is unfounded, because you are in fact, completely in control. You’re very aware of what’s going on, and you can reject anything that you don’t agree with.

Fear 2: Not hearing or knowing

The second fear is not hearing or knowing what’s going on. This connects with the first fear or the explanation of the first fear, that you’re very, very aware when you’re in a trance.

A trance is like a really, really deep level of relaxation. And because you have your eyes closed, and you’re deeply relaxed, you’re very aware of what’s going on.

You might even drift off a little to sleep, or feel like you might have gone off to sleep, and then you think you’ve lost awareness, but you don’t lose awareness. You’re subconscious mind is always listening. Your senses are sharpened when you’re in a trance, so that is an unfounded fear. You know exactly what’s going on.

Fear 3: Not coming out of trance

The third fear is that people say, “Well, what if I don’t come out of trance?” Again, they see the zombie films, or the googly eyes, the Svengali type things, and they think people are in a trance until the hypnotist tells them otherwise.

Well, what happens in reality is that I count you out of trance. I count from one up to five, and I change the tone of my voice so that it becomes slightly more commanding and a little bit louder perhaps, and you feel yourself becoming more and more aware of everything else around you, not just my voice and the suggestions I give you, and then you wake up.

Most people, 99% of the people wake up feeling refreshed. They might feel a little bit groggy to start with where they need to stretch and to yawn. I ask them to smile as well and you do feel refreshed.

But if somebody doesn’t come out of a trance the first time, that’s happened a couple of times, then I’ll just count them out again, using a little bit more of a commanding voice, a little bit louder, then they open their eyes and they’re fully aware again.

I say to people though, if you’re really worried about not coming out of trance, do you have an alarm clock set at the weekend and they say, “Oh no.” And I say, “Well, do you wake up naturally?” And they say, “Yes, of course.” I say, “Well, that’s exactly what would happen. If I just left you, which I would never do of course, but if I just left you there in a trance, you would just naturally wake up when you didn’t hear my voice anymore for a few minutes. Then you would wake up naturally, and would be able to get on with your day.” But that doesn’t happen, because I’m there to guide you and to help you.

I’m your facilitator and that’s not going to happen. That’s an unfounded fear as well, but it’s good to get these clarified so that people feel safe in a session and that’s why I’m explaining these now.

Fear 4: Not remembering

The fourth one is not remembering. People say I’m scared that I won’t remember what happened. Again, this is a loss of control thing, it always comes back to that. Sometimes you do drift off and you don’t remember every single word of the programming part of the session. But I make a recording for you and then I send it to you. That’s your homework, to listen to the recording so that you can then listen again and again, and to strengthen what I’ve said to you in the session and to reinforce as these suggestions. So you have a recording. You can always listen to that with your eyes open and not in a trance, to find out exactly what I do say. But like I said, I always do this in accordance with your wishes to achieve your goals.

So you will know what is going on in the session, because you’ll have the recording of the programming part of the session.

I hope I’ve helped to clear up some of the fears that people have. It’s a very unknown field, hypnosis, and to build trust with a therapist, you need to be able to ask these questions and I always have the answers ready for you, because it’s important to clear that up at the beginning, so that we can get on with our good work.

That’s it from me today. If you have any more questions or any other fears or worries, or just general questions about hypnosis, please feel free to post them in the comments. Alternatively, book a chat here and let’s talk.