I was a Hypnotherapist for fifteen years before I retired... is hypnosis real?
I used it everyday in that fifteen years to help overcome many problems from ceasing smoking (90% success) to drug addiction (70% success) including many phobias, depression, anxiety etc. I also helped people to become successful in business, studying and sport.
Now, there are many misconceptions concerning hypnosis, hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a natural state, not a supernatural state... indeed, every person puts themselves into the state at least twice a day. It is the moment between being asleep and being awake - it is not being asleep. The job of hypnotist is to help the person into the state and keep them there for longer than usual. It is hard for anyone to be in the state for longer than 1/2 an hour.
Another misconception is that a person can be hypnotized against their will. In our training, we tried and the subject just bounced straight out of the state. It is also the case that a subject cannot be made to do anything in a state of hypnosis that they would not do so in waken state.
Many have asked me about stage hypnosis; it seems to contradict the last paragraph. Here we have two more aspects of hypnosis:
1/ there are levels of skill when it comes to being a subject. It is the case that everyone, just by the nature of being human, can be hypnotized. It is just that some are more able to go into trance. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the weak minded (what ever that is) who are the easiest to hypnotize, they are the hardest, as they resist.
The stage hypnotist selects a person who is well able to go into a deep trance quickly
2/ The stage hypnotist also selects a person who is an extrovert. You know the sort... just a few beers and they are up on the table singing 'Delilah'.
So, bring together those two elements and you have a really 'good' show.
Stage hypnosis is nothing like hypnotherapy. This is because hypnosis is nothing, it is just a state where the subconscious is open to suggestion... (remember, if the suggestion is against the subject's morals, they will bounce straight out). So the job of the therapist is to design a script that tackles the problem without invading the subject's morals.
That is why I had to do eighteen months post a degree in psychology and a diploma in counselling.
So, is hypnosis real, absolutely and you do it to yourself at least twice a day; it is a very useful tool in overcoming so many problems and is a wonderful state to be in.