All hypnosis is not self hypnosis

By | May 23, 2012

There’s an article on the ShreveportTimes website, Hypnosis works but it’s a natural process, not magic. In this article, the author reiterates a statement that many hypnotists state, that “all hypnosis is self hypnosis”.  He states this for the same reason that most hypnotists do, to counter the image of hypnosis if popular TV shows.

Popular movies and TV shows portray hypnosis as a way for villains to gain complete control over someone. For some people that’s sexy, for others its frightening. But therapeutic hypnosis is a cooperative effort between the hypnotist and subject. The author goes on to say that,

The hypnotherapist simply acts as a “coach” to help you access the unconscious mind and the place of healing residing there. Hypnosis is not mind control; there’s never been a documented case that I’m aware of where that’s happened, outside of the movies. Even the stage hypnotists understand this. If you’ve ever been to one of those shows, you’ll note that the hypnotist asks for volunteers, knowing that the act of raising the hand is really saying, “let me help you entertain this crowd.”

Although I agree with the ‘coach’ statement,  I disagree that this ‘self hypnosis’. And this is really a disagreement over the definition of the term ‘self hypnosis’. Self hypnosis [in my definition] is when you guide yourself into a trance and reprogram your own subconscious mind. If I hypnotize someone, I am guiding them into a trance, offering suggestions for change. Certainly it’s up to the subject to accept or reject my suggestions. But it’s a cooperative effort, not self hypnosis.