Disadvantages of Hypnosis
- Chris Harrison
- 2nd October 2012 - updated 14th October 2013
Can someone really be hypnotized to think their chair is electrified and have a heart attack? Can you hypnotise someone to think they're madonna but not 'clean up' properly and send them home to live the rest of their life as the queen of pop?
While these kinds of stories turn up in the newspapers every now and then, I can't remember any of them ever being true. The second of these two examples was reported in the UK press, and was totally made up.
Going on the (lack of) evidence, I think it's fair to say that no one has ever found any health risks related to hypnosis.
Of course that doesn't mean we don't need to take a degree of care.
There is no truer proverb than "if the only tool you have is a is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail", and this certainly applies to Hypnosis.
This problem comes up time and time again in many 'alternative' therapies and is also a problem in areas such as faith healing where people with real tangible illnesses do not get the treatment they need because they go to the person with the wrong hammer (or in many cases no hammer at all!).
Not that I'm comparing the faith healing 'hammer' to hypnosis but the point is the same. It's important that the practitioner or therapist is good (and ethical) enough to recognize that the issue is a medical one and outside of their skillset. If you have cancer then it's probably best to see a doctor before you see a homeopath. Hypnosis may help with your confidence, but it's going going to fix a diseased liver.
Another issue that could be seen as a disadvantage of hypnosis is that some people enjoy the process too much and become hypnosis junkies. This kind of thing is seen time and time again on NLP courses where people turn up to course after course simply because they want a bit more of those happy juices that the good trainers can release in them. It's not quite as sordid as it sounds, but the way some people writhe around during a full-on session with someone like John LaValle is a truly freakish thing to behold. It may not be as addictive as cocaine, but there are definitely a few addicts out there.
Hypnosis is something that should be used as a tool, and not as a way to escape reality.
It's very easy (especially with self-hypnosis) to have a hypnosis session every day and eventually your mind turns to mush. The brain needs a break to reconnect and integrate hypnotic learnings.
Hypnosis CDs shouldn't really be used for more than five or so days in a row without at least one night off.
But aside from this issues, hypnosis is incredibly safe especially if you keep away from any stage hypnotists with a scary glint in their eye!