People have a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis, often inspired by Hollywood’s ludicrous representations of hypnosis.
In this episode, we take a look at some of these and we explore the realities.
Some of the things we cover in this episode –
- What actually is hypnosis?
- Isn’t it just mind-control with the hypnotist controlling you?
- Doesn’t it only work on the weak-willed?
and a whole lot more!
Note – this is currently a highly automated transcription, so some of the text might not be wholly accurate – we are working on improving this over time!
You’re listening to the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show, helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. Here’s your host, Keith Blakemore Noble…
[00:00:29] Hello, dear listener, welcome back to another episode of the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show. This is another of those solo episodes. It’s just you and me. What are we talking about today? Well, as you may or may not know, I’m a hypnotist. One of the things tools I use to help people transform their deepest fears into their great strengths is hypnosis. And very often I get questions about what is hypnosis. There’s a lot of questions people have about hypnosis. What it is, what it is and what could it do? What can’t I do? And so on. And I thought, you know, that would make for an excellent episode. That’s what we’re going to do today. Today we are looking at hypnosis. What is hypnosis? We had to explore what it is. We’re going to explore what it isn’t. We’re going to look at some common myths around hypnosis.
[00:01:20] That’s what we’re going to spend the next 20, 25 minutes doing, just that.
[00:01:25] You know, one thing we will not do is we will not be demonstrating hypnosis in this episode. Simple reason being, I know people sometimes catch this in their in their cars or whatever. And the last thing I want to do is have somebody in charge of machinery or driving or whatever situation they’re in, falling into a trance because we do some Trump stuff with this.
[00:01:47] That will be dangerous. That’s not going to happen. But we will talk about what hypnosis is, what it is and how it works. Explore some of the myths around it. So that’s what we got for today. So let’s dive in. And I guess the biggest question, biggest concern people tend to have around hypnosis is this is probably or definitely propagated by Hollywood. Hollywood is a massive cause of this this myth that people have this fear. People have around hypnosis.
[00:02:20] And that is that they they think that hypnosis is mind control and it’s not.
[00:02:29] Let’s get that out front right from the outset. In a situation where you’ve got a hypnotist and an app, we’ll call the patient being hypnotized, the person who is the person in control. The person in control is the patient, the person being hypnotized. They are the one in control, not the hypnotist. Hypnosis is not mind control. Hypnotist cannot make you do things against your will. And we’ll explore this a little more depth as we as we go through this episode. But that’s the biggest thing I wanted to to get out there upfront. Hypnosis is not mind control. There is control. Control is in the hands of the person being hypnotized. So what is hypnosis and what we’ll explain. We’ll explore why that is the case as we go through this through this episode. So stick with us. If you’re wondering, well, how does that work? Stay with us. And it all will all will become clear, as I say. So what is hypnosis? Well, hypnosis is best described as an intense state of relaxation. A single minded focus on a single idea. Indeed, back in in the early days, notes of hypnosis. At one point, it wasn’t called hypnosis. It was actually called mono idea ism, which is a bit of a mouthful and probably why I didn’t catch on. But it’s perhaps more accurate than the term hypnosis, which comes from the Greek word for sleep. And people think hypnosis is sleep. Again, it’s not sleep and trance.
[00:04:16] Two very different things.
[00:04:19] So it used to be called at one point it was called mono idealism, which is designed a heck of a mouthful. Probably why the term didn’t really catch on. But it is more accurate. It’s when you’re focusing on a single idea. And hypnosis is all that guiding people into this state of trance. This trance state where you are folks single minded focus on a single idea, a single concept. And it’s a perfectly natural state. It’s a state which all of us go through many times in a day. At the very least, we pass through the trance state as we go from being asleep to being awake and go from being awake to being asleep. We passed through this kind of relaxed trance state. Remember, trance is not the same as sleep. But as you go to sleep, you pass through this kind of trance like state as you go into sleep. So we’re all capable of trance. We all pass through it at least twice a day. We’ll often encounter it many, many other situations. Here’s a couple of examples where you have you have.
[00:05:28] Reading a book you’ll be read sat that reading a book and you are so engrossed in the book that you forget where you are. Somebody walks into the room, says, Hello. You can jump right to escape. I want to watch. Oh, yes. Scared the living daylights out of me that she was so engrossed in the book. You completely forgot you were in the room.
[00:05:51] Yeah, that is a state of trance. That is trance.
[00:05:58] Similar examples. If you ever go to the cinema, go to the movies, you watching a film, you’re really captivated by the film. You completely forget you there, don’t you, mates? Taps on the shoulder, you offer you some popcorn or whatever. You work in harsh trance. Sometimes people will get kind of go into a trance like state on putting on a long journey, driving on long motorway journeys or it long interstate journeys. You get in the car start, you drive along, you reach your destination and you realize there’s a whole part where you’re not fully aware, remembering even driving that bit because you’re kind of almost in a trance. You were in a trance like state. Now, if anything happens, snap, you’ll snap out of it instantaneously and your wrath. But you are kind of in a driving trance state. Trance is a very, very natural state. All of this going to it. And what a hypnotist does, it simply guides the person into that state of trance. Now, why do we do that? Why would we guide someone into a state of trance? This are we could spend ages on this particular topic. And basically you can kind of think of the mind as you’ve got your unconscious mind and you’ve got the conscious mind. The conscious mind is that we’ve dealt with this in previous episodes. We’ll cover this again in future episodes. It’s a fundamental part of this whole thing, the base of the conscious mind. That’s the bit you’re aware with the bit you think. That’s the bit that you for want of a better word. But you’re consciously aware of things. You’re thinking a thing that’s a conscious mind. Underneath that, you’ve got the unconscious mind which controls everything that we do and it controls all of our reactions as well.
[00:07:48] And it helps to influence the decisions that we make. Now, in between the conscious and the unconscious mind, we’ve got the thing, a thing called the critical faculty, which kind of kind of starting from about the age of writing about the age of seven. So it’s not like you wake up on your seventh birthday about, oh, I’ve got a critical faculty installed, but round the bar, that sort of age that it develops. And this is the bit which filters out stuff that doesn’t meet our our beliefs, not our perception of the world, which is why you could tell a 3 year old about the tooth fairy, about Father Christmas, about the Easter Bunny brutality, or about 2 or 3 year olds, about all of these things. They were absolutely believe it. But if you take someone who’s never heard of those and tell them at the age of 20. Well, every Christmas Eve, this big fat guy in a reds red suit with a big beard comes down everybody’s chimney and gives them presence cause they’re not going to believe it because it just doesn’t fit in with their experience of the world. The critical faculty will reject it. And that’s a very important point when we try to change things about ourselves, change the way we act to develop ourselves. A critical faculty will not allow things through if they don’t match with our kind of perceived beliefs around the world about the world, which is why it’s very, very difficult for us to change things about ourselves, for example, to lose weight, for example, or to get rid of the fear or to increase our confidence every time we try and change some of that critical faculty kicks and goes.
[00:09:37] Now, so who we are now. That’s not the real. No, that’s not what we do. And no matter how many times we tell ourselves these new things, they don’t go in that. And that’s why affirmations are rubbish. They don’t work affirmations on their own. Useless, because with slat where slamming the unconscious with this with this new thing. But the critical faculty just does not let it get through. So it doesn’t make any difference. And the reason we need to make change at the unconscious level is the unconscious level is we’re all true. Change takes place.
[00:10:14] So how do we how do we help the unconscious to change its mind, as it were? Suspend the critical faculty. How do we suspend the critical faculty? Well, very interestingly, when we are in a state of. Trance, the critical faculty is suspended.
[00:10:33] So if we want to help someone’s unconscious mind change its beliefs, its perceptions change his way of doing things. Guy the person to Trump’s bypasses the critical faculty, which means we can help him to make the changes that they want to make. And that’s the basis behind hypnosis. There are other ways of bypassing the critical faculty. Other modalities do it in different ways. A.P., which is one we look at in a future episode. Does it in a different way, which is even faster. But it’s the same end result. So that’s why we use hypnosis, is to guide the person into a state of trials to bypass the critical faculties so we can make these changes deep at the unconscious level.
[00:11:27] Now, I mentioned that hypnosis is not a state of control. A hypnotist is not in charge. Statements just doesn’t control the person in trance. It’s very, very true because here’s the best way to think of what the hypnotist is. Think of the hypnotist as your satnav you program in the destination. You get your car program in the destination. You have to follow the directions the satellite gives you. If you just program the destination, sit there. Right. Why aren’t we moving? When we got there, obviously, you’re not going to get anywhere because you have to do the work. Same with the same with hypnosis. The hypnotist will guide you into trance, but you have to do the work. You have to. You have to do what the hypnotist suggests with the satnav.
[00:12:18] If the sat nav says take the next turning on the left you go. Screw you. I’m going to turn right here. That proves that I’m in charge. Yay!
[00:12:26] Well done. You could indeed turn right. Yeah. You’re not gonna get to your destination, though. The same with hypnosis. If the hypnotist suggests that you relax and suggest that you close your eyes and suggest these things and you resist them, go, no, I’m not going to do that.
[00:12:44] You absolutely can. And you’ll go into trance. You won’t get the results. And that’s the key thing. You are the one in control at all times. The hypnotist cannot make you relax. No hypnotist can make you go into trance. You have to follow the suggestions. Follow the guidance. The hypnotist, like the satnav, will give you the directions, but you have to do the work. And that’s why hypnosis is not mind control. The hypnotist is making you do anything. The hypnotist is offering you the path to enable you to do that.
[00:13:26] Now, another common misconception is OK. Once you’re in Trumps, then you’re under the control of the hypnotist, right? Again, no, because when you’re in trance, the critical faculties bypassed. Your conscious is kind of suspended.
[00:13:43] A hypnotist is speaking directly with your unconscious, now your unconscious is actually the most moral part of you. Your unconscious is the bit where all the rules that you have, all of your values, all your beliefs really take effect.
[00:13:59] So if a hypnotist suggests you do something that’s against your morals, against your principles, something you really do not want to do. What will happen is you will do it even. You’ll just sit there unresponsive or you will pop out of trance. A hypnotist cannot make you do anything you do not want to do.
[00:14:24] Well, that’s all very well. It, Keith, but what about when you see all these people, they go up on stage or the stage hypnotist? It just makes them do very, very silly and embarrassing things. He makes them do that because they wouldn’t do that normally.
[00:14:38] That’s the usual response to that. See, here’s the thing. When you go to a hitman, hypnosis show hypnosis stature and yes, stage hypnosis, clinical hypnosis are exactly the same same thing. You’re using exactly the same tools just for different intended outcome in clinical hypnosis. The intended to comes to help them change their mind to overcome problems in stage hypnosis. The intention is to enable them to do these outrageous things for entertainment, for the entertainment, everyone else, and crucially for the entertainment of the person who is being hypnotized. And when you go to a hypnosis stage show, everyone knows that’s what’s gonna happen. They know that is the expectation when you go on stage, when you volunteer and go on stage. You know, the hypnotist is going to get you to do silly things. If you didn’t want to do them, you’re not going to go up. The fact that people volunteer golf is precisely because they want to do that.
[00:15:45] Now, yes.
[00:15:47] They wouldn’t do those things in their normal waking state, in their normal life meet, but they are more than happy to take part in the. In the general silliness for the show, for the experience, for the entertainment, they want to do it. There will be times when a hypnotist station hypnotist will make suggestions to someone and the person won’t do it. And that is just part of being a stage. It matters. You have to have take all of that into account.
[00:16:18] And here’s an interesting thing. If you watch a stage hypnotist, you’ll notice they don’t just pull people at random from the audience the whole time. They’ll be watching to see who are the people who are responsive, who the people who are suggestive, who the people who are more likely to take part with with full to fully immerse themselves into it and to be good sports and good subjects.
[00:16:41] They will we call them down, put them down until they have a few people who are really responsive, really good subjects, really good at following the guidance and who are up for it, who are game for a laugh, who a good sport. I’m prepared to do this. So even stage hypnotists do not control people. And if a state shaped to suggest something as against that person’s morals, they will not do it. Simple as that. So no hipness, no hypnotist can control you. Excuse me? No hypnotist can control you.
[00:17:19] You are always the one who is in control.
[00:17:24] So how does hypnosis work then?
[00:17:29] Well, what happens is the person, the hypnotist guide you into a trance. So we would bypass the critical faculties. We can speak directly with your unconscious now, your unconscious. You can kind of think of your unconscious as like a 7 year old sibling who loves you dearly, wants to do everything it can to help you.
[00:17:51] But it’s only about 7 years old, so it kind of hasn’t got everything necessarily figured out. It has to follow its set of rules, which are the rules that you learn and build up over time. You don’t consciously learn these things. You unconsciously, consciously learn. And the majority of these things you’ve learned before the age of 7.
[00:18:15] You learn them doing the best you can with the resources you have at the time.
[00:18:21] And it kind of writes its own rulebook based on that. So you enter a situation, looks up the list, the rules. This is how we behave in this situation. But the thing is, some of those things that you learn when you’re younger and we learn them through experience and through observing others and all of these things. Some of those lessons that we learn aren’t actually the best for us. They’re not actually the best way to do these things. They were the best, best that we could learn at the time with what we had. But there are better ways. And with hypnosis, what we’re doing is guiding the person into trance, bypassing the critical faculty so that we can speak directly with the unconscious and actually help it to rewrite the rulebook, change the way in which you behave.
[00:19:09] Basically presenting your unconscious with additional options that it was of which it was not previously aware that he is presenting options. So it now has more choice of ways in which to behave.
[00:19:26] And one of the things your unconscious does about the prime function of the unconscious is to keep you alive, keep you safe.
[00:19:33] Everything else is derived from that. It’s always going to be looking to do what’s what’s best for you.
[00:19:40] But when you give more options, it now has more ways of choosing what outcomes it can choose, more ways behaving.
[00:19:49] It can then choose ones which it knows better for you, which is why, for example, stopping smoking is a great use for hypnosis, because it gives the unconscious mind the ability to see different ways to get the other benefits that you’re getting from smoking. But without having all of the harmful effects. So having gone from not seeing any other way to seeing other options that you can do your unconscious get those will take those other options, which is why you stop smoking, for example. And the same I help people with fears. It’s all about giving, giving them different ways of behaving or changing the lessons that we got from that particular event, event that taught us to be scared.
[00:20:37] Changing what we get from that, re-examining it with the benefit of hindsight and putting in context and realizing, you know what? Spiders aren’t actually that scary at all. They’re not going to harm us. Now I get it at the unconscious level.
[00:20:56] I can get rid of all the emotion around it.
[00:20:58] I can just live with it.
[00:21:03] That’s kind of what we’re doing with hypnosis is we’re helping your unconscious mind to change its its way of behaving, rewriting in neurology, rewriting the rulebook. It’s kind of like upgrading a software on your computer saves. Same sort of sense of a deal. That’s what he notices. So it’s kind of a quick recap here. The biggest myths about hypnosis are that it’s mind control, which as we’ve seen is absolutely not the case. You are in control, not the hypnotist. The hypnotist is like a satnav. You programming the director, you tell it where you want to go.
[00:21:44] It gives you the directions. You still have to follow them. If you do nothing, you won’t get there.
[00:21:50] If it suggests you take a direction, you’re not comfortable with your sight. Now says take the next turning on the left and you realize I can’t do that because it’s a one way street pointing the wrong way and be the bridge there is broken. You know what?
[00:22:03] I’m not going to take that turning and you carry on. So it is with with hypnosis. When the hypnotist department I suggest you do something that you just read you don’t want to do. You won’t do it. You are in control now. There’s one other myth about hypnosis, and that is that only weak willed people can be hypnotized. That’s a really common one. Another big question is, can anybody be hypnotized? And here’s the reality. Anybody who’s capable of imagining and capable of following directions can be hypnotized. If you don’t want to be hypnotized, you won’t be. But if you want to be hypnotized and you’re capable of following that direction, it just gives you you absolutely can be hypnotized if you want to be. It’s not that people who are good at being hypnotized a week will live or or lacking intelligence. It tends to be the opposite, actually, because a lot of. Hypnosis is based around imagination, imagining situations, creating things in your head. Are you going to be creepy? Pretty pretty good at doing that, right? The more intelligent you are, the better you are at creating situations and imagining things, the easier you will find it to go into trance. So no trance.
[00:23:35] Hypnosis isn’t something that is done, only done to the weak willed and strong willed people are immune.
[00:23:41] Now, anybody can be hypnotized if you want to. If you do want to be hypnotized, you won’t be hypnotized. If you’re prepared to be hypnotized, you absolutely can. Anybody can. I mean, absolutely. Anybody who is able to respond to the outside world to follow directions, any of us can be hypnotized if we want to be.
[00:24:06] Some people do find it easier to go into trance and others.
[00:24:08] And certainly the more all the more often you’re hypnotized, the easier you find these to go into chance. But absolutely anybody wants to be at times can be hypnotized.
[00:24:21] And that kind of brings us to an end for this episode. That’s kind of what I wanted to touch on just to cover the main myths. Myth 1 Hypnosis is mind control is not the person being hypnotized is the one who’s in control. No hypnotist can make you do anything you don’t want to do. You can’t be hypnotized against your will. And once you’re hypnotized, you can’t be made to do anything against your will. Hypnosis isn’t some unnatural state. It’s purely trance states that we enter many times every day. Oh, one other important thing.
[00:24:55] People sometimes say, oh, what happens if I get stuck in trance? What happens if the hypnotist forgets to bring me out or if the hypnotist were to have a heart attack while I was in trance?
[00:25:04] Would I be stuck there forever? The answer again is no. You will not be stuck in trance. Sooner or later you will naturally come back out of trance again. It is a thing. The trance state. Buddhist Buddhist monks. There are Buddhist monks who devote their entire lives to attaining that state and trying to remain in that state for as long as they can. They can’t get stuck in that state if they can’t do it. You’re certainly not going to do it.
[00:25:32] The worst that will happen is you might drift off to sleep, but either way, you will then wake up and you will become fully aware again sooner or later. Either your mind will go on hypnosis being very quiet for a while.
[00:25:48] What’s going on in your pop back up to full consciousness or your mind will just relax and after longer. Right now it’s let’s wake up so you can’t be stuck in trance. You can’t be may forced into trance against your will. You can be forced to do anything against you while you’re in trance. And yes, anybody can be hypnotized if they wish to be. That’s the main things I wanted to cover about trance. That’s about hypnosis. That’s it for this episode. Did you find it interesting? Did you find it useful? Did I answer your question? If you’ve got any other questions, please. Post a comment below. Remember to like and subscribe shares with your friends. Pop comment below. Let me know if you get any other questions. More than happy to revisit this topic in a future episode. And until we meet again. Take care. Look after yourself. And remember that change is always possible when you change your mind. You change your life by for the.
You’ve been listening to the Keith Blakemore Noble radio show Helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. To find out more, please visit KeithBakemoreNoble.com
Keith Blakemore-Noble – Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes this Show!
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.
Award-winning coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and writer of this post, Keith spent his first 40 years suffering from several phobias including being terrified of speaking with strangers. After one incident too many, he started studying and training in NLP & hypnosis to conquer his own issues, found he was rather good at it, and changed careers (aided by redundancy at just the right moment after 20 years in IT). He helps people transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths, and having helped over 5,000 people across 5 continents, he is the UK’s #1 Fear Strategist.