Common Myths About Hypnosis

hypnosis 101

When you think of hypnosis, what's one of the first things that come to mind? Did you visualize something like this? 

Or maybe like this? 

Hypnosis is often misunderstood due to its use within stage hypnosis shows (hypnosis for entertainment), cartoon bits, and Hollywood's misguided portrayals within horror movies. Given some of the myths that are out there surrounding hypnosis, it's no wonder that it can be easily dismissed as a therapeutic practice. It's time to bust these myths so that you can uncover the true potential of how hypnosis can help you. 

  • MYTH: Hypnosis is sleep. 

Fact: Dr. James Braid coined the term hypnosis. "Hypnos" means to sleep. You aren't asleep. Hypnosis can be practiced in an active and passive state. In the simplest terms, hypnosis is a state of focused awareness (or consciousness) that allows you to detach from your immediate environment. There is also a willingness by the participant to bypass the critical factor, just as you naturally do when you watch a movie or daydream so that you can experience the suggestions. 

  • MYTH: You can be hypnotized against your will.

Fact: Hypnosis is a process of consent and cooperation. Your hypnotist is only your guide. 

  • MYTH: You can get stuck in a trance.

Fact: A trance is simply a state of focus. Just as you cannot get stuck in a daydream, you cannot get stuck in hypnosis. Focus is a choice. 

The question is, what are you focusing on today?

  • MYTH: You have to relax to be hypnotized.

Fact: While hypnotherapy aims to calm the client, you do not have to relax to experience hypnosis which is why you've seen it used in stage performances. Additionally, hypnosis happens anytime you narrow your focus and willingly receive information/suggestions. Hypnosis is commonly experienced in advertising, marketing, and politics. 

  • MYTH: You will tell your hypnotist all your deepest secrets.

Fact: Hypnosis allows one to feel less self-conscious, but you won't lose control or reveal personal secrets under hypnosis unless you wish to. You're awake and aware of what's happening as we use metaphors and symbolic imagery to unpack and better understand your values, beliefs, challenges, and desires. 

 As a trusted confidant to my highly successful clients, I will share that it's often the secrets you keep that keep you stuck. Should you choose to share personal details, just know that information stays between you and me.

  • MYTH: Hypnosis is for gullible people. 

Fact: Studies show that people who are highly hypnotizable show more co-activity in their brain between the executive-control network (decision-making function) and the salience network (ability to focus on what's important). People who are less hypnotizable aren't able to activate these parts of the brain as well. 

On a personal note, I find that my best clients are those who are avid readers/writers, creative problem-solvers, visionaries, and experience seekers. 

  • MYTH: You lose consciousness or have amnesia

Fact: You do not sleep or lose consciousness during hypnosis. Some hypnotists (typically stage hypnotists) will suggest amnesia. You can always reject a suggestion that does not align with your values or desires. Within a Hypnotic Journey, I do suggest that you will remember as much as you would in a normal conversation. 
Side note: I honestly think that stage hypnotists suggest " amnesia" because it allows the participant to salvage their dignity if they've just participated in a silly act. 

Both in my experience as a resident healer at the Four Seasons in New York and as The Traveling Hypnotist, I often see clients that are apprehensive about hypnotherapy, and that's ok. There was a time when I remember thinking that it was all B.S. and that I was too intelligent for all that weird woo-woo stuff. But just as hypnotherapy helped me overcome chronic anxiety, gastritis, and childhood trauma, I know that it can help so many others, and this is why I'm on a mission to demystify hypnosis and make it more accessible. 


  • You are in control during a hypnosis/hypnotherapy session. 

  • You must be willing to participate and get curious about yourself to benefit from this modality. 

  • You have an opportunity to try hypnosis and learn more by visiting my Youtube channel. 

Trying something new can be intimidating, scary, and nerve-wracking, but if you take anything from this article, I want to make sure you know that you're not alone. If you're ready to unlock your true potential with a Hypnotic Journey, I'll help you take on the world with clarity and ease. If you’d like to discuss if a Hypnotic Journey is right for you, book a complimentary consultation call here.


With light & love, 


The Traveling Hypnotist