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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hypnosis Real?

Yes. Psychologists recognise that hypnosis is a genuine phenomenon and there has been much research within the last century resulting in thousands of academic research papers published over many years. Hypnosis has probably existed in different forms in various cultures for thousands of years. However, a modern evidence-based understanding of  hypnosis actually often differs somewhat from public perceptions perpetuated by popular culture or stage performers.  In essence, hypnosis is the natural phenomenon of your attention to become totally absorbed in an idea, usually with some willingness to allow yourself to be open to suggestion. If you have ever been absorbed in a daydream, a novel or a movie then you have already experienced something similar. Hypnotherapy merely exploits this natural psychological phenomenon for therapeutic gain.

 

Can you get stuck in Hypnosis?

No.  There is no evidence for this. 

 

Can I be hypnotized against my will? 

Again, no.  Unfortunately, this is one of the many misconceptions perpetuated by popular culture.  The truth is actually the opposite of this: it is the subject's willingness to focus and to allow themselves to be suggestible that is the key. In essence, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Are there any harmful side effects of hypnosis? 

The vast majority of people report their experience of hypnosis in a very

positive way.  Remember that a 'hypnotised person' is merely willingly

focusing their attention on a particular idea, taking suggestions from the therapist that have been fully discussed and agreed beforehand in order to create positive behaviour change.  The only contra-indication for hypnosis is that it may not be advisable for those experiencing severe mental illness such as psychosis or schizophrenia. 

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