Hypnosis Therapy

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Hypnosis Therapy – What are some beliefs about hypnosis?
Hypnosis therapy is like aspirin -- it is a “technique” which many people believe in, but a technique that is not fully understood. Many people view hypnosis therapy with suspicion and distrust.

One hundred years ago, hypnosis was seen as a state that was imposed upon individuals by a charlatan or “Svengali” type seeking to harm or control the subject. It was believed that the hypnotist could force a subject to do something against his or her will, to be exploited. Fifty years ago hypnosis was re-defined by the general public as a performance, magic to be enacted on a stage. The hypnotist might cause a member of the audience to laugh hysterically or quack like a duck. People have reported that once a hypnotist has established a rapport with an individual, that individual may be induced to see clairvoyantly or possess and demonstrate other “supernatural” abilities. The person might be able to read the past, take “spiritual” excursions to distant places or make a correct medical diagnosis without examining a patient.

Many modern “help” programs are linked to hypnosis, though they may not be billed that way. Some speed reading techniques and other super-learning programs use hypnosis theories. Hypnosis therapies are often used to control bedwetting, in hypnosurgery, to enhance weight loss, reduce addictions, and control behavior. Contemporary techniques also include Relaxation Response, meditation, acupuncture, bio-feedback, “faith healing,” EST, visualization methods, and suggestology are sometimes associated with hypnosis therapy.

Hypnosis Therapy – Can anyone be hypnotized?
Hypnosis therapy, also called hypnotherapy has been shown to be more successfully experienced by people with a particular personality type. Dr. Herbert Spiegel, Psychiatrist and leading expert in the field of hypnosis, has grouped the population into three categories according to their “hypnotizability” and ranked them with a numeric score to indicate their susceptibility. Those scoring lowest (scoring 0 to 1) are termed “Apollonians.” Apollonians are generally not responsive to hypnosis or make very poor subjects. They are rational, guarded, and inhibited; they will not suspend critical judgment and are not trusting.

At the other extreme are the “Dionysians.” Dionysians will score 4 on the hypnotizability scale. These persons are trusting, imaginative, and creative. They are ruled by the heart and make the best hypnosis candidates. Dionysians may also score a 5, which is the highest rating; these individuals have been known to slip spontaneously into a “trance” state. In the middle are the “Odysseans,” who score a 2 or 3. They make fair hypnosis subjects. In personality, they tend to vacillate between head and heart.

Dr. Spiegel has also associated one’s ability to roll his eyes upward as another indicator of hypnotizability. Those scoring 0 to 1 have a very low eye roll; those scoring 4 and 5 can roll their eyes upward quickly until only whites will show. Those in the mid-category, scoring 2 to 3 have a moderate ability to roll their eyes. Spiegel has asserted that one’s hypnotizability cannot be improved; people are born with the tendency to one of the three levels and will remain so for life.

Hypnosis Therapy – Can hypnosis be dangerous?
Hypnosis therapy can be abused and misused. Individuals who submit themselves to the control of another for therapy or medical help most certainly run the risk of being exploited. If the clinician or hypnotist is unscrupulous or perhaps careless, he or she may take advantage of an unsuspecting subject. The hypnotized individual is in a state of high trust and suggestibility, which makes him/her quite vulnerable.

Beyond the clinical possibilities for misuse and danger, lies the question of the advisability of using hypnosis as a therapeutic or self-help tool. Whether a person believes in other-induced hypnosis or self-hypnosis, concern should be focused on the future implications of employing hypnosis for current problems. Will a person become nonfunctional without the continued use of hypnosis therapy to aid them in their troubles? Will a person unnecessarily seek to exist in this “unnatural” state of consciousness? Does hypnotherapy become an escape? Is it a lasting cure or a temporary fix? Before an individual submits to a course of hypnosis treatment, he or she should be able to supply themselves with honest answers to these questions.

Hypnosis Therapy – Is it right for me?
Hypnosis Therapy leads to an altered state of consciousness in which your mind will be very susceptible to outside suggestion. That susceptibility is what the hypnotist needs in order to modify your behavior. Consider these questions:

  • Am I willing to give up control of my mind to another individual?
  • Am I willing to submit the control of my actions to the hypnotist?
  • Am I willing to run the risk of being exploited? If under hypnosis, I commit a crime like murder or rape, am I willing to suffer the consequences?
  • Will the therapy provide long-term results or just short-term improvement?
  • Will I become addicted to the therapy in order to get the desired results?
  • Can I find lasting help through other means, like counseling or medical help?
Hypnosis involves the transfer of control, away from yourself to another person. Many people believe that self-control is one of the greatest qualities you can have. Why give it away? The Bible even values self-control, stating that God gives a person this quality.

Through God’s help, we can find lasting hope and healing. The answers to your recovery do not lie in hypnosis therapy.

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