Have you ever driven from point A to point B and on arrival you’ve realised that you didn’t remember turning the corner or driving down the road? When your mind drifts off while you are driving you are in a naturally occurring trance state which is a natural state of hypnosis.
Have you ever been so absorbed in a book that you’ve looked up and cannot believe how much time has gone by? You were in a reading trance. If the author wrote that the girl in the novel saw a grey castle with a red door, did you see a grey castle with a red door? If yes, then you were in hypnosis. There was no actual castle.
Have you ever watched an advert on TV for a portion of food and then you suddenly felt like eating that particular food? You were in a TV trance.
When you are falling asleep at night your brainwaves naturally slow down and pass through the hypnotic trance state. If you can fall asleep you can be hypnotised.
So, the short answer is yes, everyone can be hypnotised.
We are all being hypnotised constantly. We are continually being influenced, directed and manipulated, without knowing that it’s happening whether on purpose or by accident, by others or from the constant chatter within our own heads. We then assume incorrectly that it is just our lack of discipline, personal strength, willpower, character or nature that makes us behave in ways that are detrimental or against how we really want to act.
Hypnosis is simply a tool and people vary in the degree to which they can engage and become absorbed in experiences.
If someone doesn’t want to be hypnotised and they sit there fighting it then they won’t be, you cannot be hypnotised to do something you don’t want to do.
What’s important is the context for change, the motivation, the willingness to engage, the willingness to actually put into place the things you will learn in the session, but hypnosis is not a one-way street. It’s a collaboration between the hypnotherapist and the client.
The therapist will do their part, guide you into relaxation, conduct the therapy and make hypnotic suggestions for you to make the desired changes. You will need to do your part and that’s relax, follow all of the instructions, take on all the suggestions as your own, believe that it’s going to work and continue to support yourself into the future so that you can achieve the full benefit of the hypnosis session.
I’ve heard people say that they don’t think they can be hypnotised because they are very ‘strong minded’ or because they don’t like the idea of someone else taking control of their mind.
Ironically, the stronger their mind, the better they will be at hypnosis. If people are very ‘weak minded’, they will have trouble following instructions and focusing so it is more difficult for them to be guided through the process. Perhaps they can be encouraged to start using that strong mind to work FOR them rather than against them.
Some people comment that they like to always be in control. Ironically, using hypnosis is all about them taking back control of whatever it is they are looking to change. Whether it is reducing anxiety, changing eating habits, smoking, drinking, phobias or any unwanted habit or behaviour. Hypnosis is all about giving them the mindset to take back control of that unwanted behaviour that is no longer serving them.
However, there are some contraindications to Hypnosis such as:
- Pathological personality disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance-induced Psychosis
- Severe heart disorders
If you are free of these contraindications and you commit to the process, believe it’s going to work and then do everything to support your own success you will have a very positive experience with Hypnosis.
But whatever you do, don’t think about a blue elephant.