Hypnosis, reality or fiction?

The hypnosis is a technique that arouses controversy, to what extent is a myth or is it a reality? Through different means we have known hypnosis shows in which a person lost his will and acted following the guidelines of a hypnotist. With some skepticism we have questioned to what extent the truth of hypnosis arrives ?, on the one hand, with disbelief and on the other, with fear of losing our will.

Currently, we also associate the term hypnosis with psychology, since many methods are announced, for example, to quit smoking with hypnosis, treat obesity and even internal traumas. What is true about all this hypnosis? Is it a myth or is it something else? What is it for? To what extent do we lose our will?

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a practice that often generates rejection. The use of strategies misnamed hypnosis from non-specialized areas with purposes that are far from the therapeutic objectives, has led to the creation of a myth around hypnosis and the existence of a set of exoteric beliefs. We begin by clarifying the term hypnosis.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines hypnosis as "a procedure by which a health professional sugestiona his patient, which causes him to experience changes in the sensations, perceptions, thoughts or behaviors."

There are numerous researches and scientific evidences that support the usefulness of clinical hypnosis as a therapeutic procedure. The procedure consists of inducing the patient to a state that distances him from his conscious experience (similar to the dream state), in order to access, in a certain way, his unconscious, and make a direct intervention on it by means of indications or freeing of its content. That is, hypnosis is a type of procedure to reach the unconscious and act on it in a therapeutic way. Its usefulness and effectiveness is undermined by numerous scientific investigations.

False myths about hypnosis

Hypnosis is a scientifically based therapeutic procedure. It is not about any supernatural ability or exoteric force that controls us. The use of hypnosis outside the clinical setting for profit has fostered the creation of an authentic myth, which sometimes generates fear or rejection. It is important to dismantle the myths and clarify everything that is not hypnosis:

1. The hypnotized loses the will and is at the mercy of whatever the hypnotist wants to do. This belief is false, reaching the unconscious and being able to intervene on it, does not imply the loss of the will of the person. You can never get a person to perform an act against their will.

2. If you do not get out of the hypnotic state, you can be hypnotized forever. This is another false belief, the hypnotized can leave the trance in a similar way to the one that comes out of the dream state. That the entrance and exit of the state of semiconscience is guided by the hypnotist, is to prepare the person and guide the process, but it is not necessary.

3. Hypnosis can aggravate a person's disorders, It can even make a healthy person sick. This is another of the false beliefs of hypnosis, hypnosis is a state similar to sleep and poses no danger.

4. Hypnosis is a fast, effective and useful therapy. This is another false belief, hypnosis is a therapy that has proven effective, but like other types of therapy, it takes time for the process of relevant psychic readjustment to be completed. That is, clinical hypnosis is effective in therapy, but the results take time.

What is hypnosis for?

1. Hypnosis has shown efficacy used as part of therapy of cognitive behavioral or psychotherapeutic type.

2. In particular it is effective to stop smoking, overcome traumas and lose weight, as well as for anxiety disorders.

3. For hypnosis to be effective, it must be carried out by an expert, as well as that the person who is going to be hypnotized is suggestible.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Learn. Author of the collection Stimulate Reading and Writing Processes.

Video: Does Hypnosis Actually Work?

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