Here are some common questions about Hypnosis.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is not sleep. A person in hypnosis is awake and aware of everything going on around them. They will most likely remember everything that is said to them and everything that they do under hypnosis. (Spontaneous amnesia can occur occasionally in people who naturally enter a very deep level of hypnosis.)

Hypnosis is actually a natural state of mind, which you have probably already experienced. For example, if you drive the same way often, to work or school or a friend's house, you've probably experienced the feeling of suddenly arriving there without remembering the last part of your drive. What kind of car were you following? How many lights did you have to stop at? You probably couldn't say. You may also have had the experience of driving to another destination, when suddenly you realize you've accidentally driven halfway to work. If you can identify with any of this, congratulations, you've experienced HIGHWAY HYPNOSIS!

You can also reach this state of mind anytime you wish by learning self-hypnosis or by having a professional hypnotize you. Hypnosis creates a state of heightened suggestibility, which can be used for many purposes. Stage hypnotists use this heightened suggestibility to give entertaining suggestions that will bring out the natural creativity and imagination in their volunteers. Hypnotherapists use this heightened suggestibility to give positive suggestions to help their clients reach their goals. You can also do this yourself through self hypnosis.

Can I be hypnotized against my will?

No. All hypnosis is basically self-hypnosis. A hypnotist really only acts as a guide to show you how to put yourself into hypnosis. The hypnotist appeals to your imagination through images and suggestions in order to assist you in reaching a state of hypnosis, but it can only work if you cooperate and allow the suggestions to work.

This means that if you don't want to be hypnotized, you won't be. (Yes, you can look a hypnotist in the eyes without fear.) That also means that if you challenge a hypnotist to hypnotize you with the attitude "I bet you can't," then you've already won. You have all the control in hypnosis, and we as hypnotists can do nothing unless you believe it can happen, want it to happen, and allow it to happen.

Can I be made to do something in hypnosis that I don't want to do?

No. You are aware of everything the entire time you are hypnotized, and can reject any suggestions you don't want to follow. Just like you can't be hypnotized against your will, you can't do anything you don't want to while in hypnosis.

Will I reveal any secrets while under hypnosis?

No. You can't do anything in hypnosis that you don't want to do. This includes telling secrets. In fact, people can lie when in hypnosis.