Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hypnosis is not Mind Control

It is nothing but rush, rush, rush, this morning. So, my attention is somewhat out of focus for the moment.

So, I thought I would quickly sum up why hypnosis alone is not brain washing for those who may be thinking it is the ends to the means. There seems to be a lot of teenagers (at least they sound like teenage boys on the phone) who are fascinated by the concept of being able to force others to do their bidding. I admit in high school it would have been very pleasant to have snapped my fingers and make my Calculus professor believe all my wrong answers were correct. But alas, had I perfected my hypnotism skills back then, I still would have struggled with the subject.

The key to hypnosis is suggestibility - the acceptance of suggestions given during a hypnotic session. It is a person's free will to accept or decline such suggestions. For there even to begin to be the semblance of mind control, there has to be a lot more manipulation than just suggestions. If I suggest that you become my slave and you do so, you have chosen to do this.

This is the challenge for the modern clinical hypnotist. It is finding a route for the suggestions to be accepted by the client. This is why there is not a 100% sucess rate to the profession. Sometimes it is hard to find the right way to input a suggestion that the client's subconcious mind will accept.

So, if you are in a trance and someone suggest that you do something totally against your free will or that you do not accept, you simply will not do it. A good resource for this is the Mythbusters' TV show. In season five, they put this concept to test - can hypnosis make you do something against your will - and they busted the myth.

Hence with all this in mind, another person cannot control your mind. Hypnosis is not the same thing as mind control.


Anonymous said...

This is part of my pre-talk with every client. So many of them start out, even before the appointment, asking, "Can you make me (lose weight, stop smoking, etc.) ?"

And my answer is almost invariably, "No, I can't make you; but if you want to, I can help you to be successful at it." Which probably costs me a lot of appointments, but at least I know I've been honest with them.

The Mythbusters experiment was good TV but, in my opinion, very bad hypnosis investigation. I question the
ethics of their approach ("Here, let this hypnotist help you with that habit you have..." and then try to sneak in an unrelated suggestion); I knew it wouldn't work but that doesn't make it okay to try.

-Michael Raugh, C.H.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

I see your point. It definitely would be unethical to do that, but for the shows sake, I think it was okay because it approached a general fear of hypnosis, that one would act against one's free will, and showed that one would not, hence busting the myth.

Do you think they should have approached it differently and if so, how?