Darren Marks (Hypnotist) gives expert video advice on: What is hypnosis?; What is the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist?; Can anybody be hypnotised? and more...
What is hypnosis?
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. What I mean by that is what a hynotherapist or hypnotist does is give people instructions to think about things and imagine things in a particular way. If you follow those instructions you will go into what's termed a hynotic trance state. If you don't follow the instructions then nothing happens. It's an odd state of consciousness from a point of view different from the everyday state of mind, yet it's something that most of us experience regularly on a daily basis. For example, if you have ever read a book, watched a film or seen a play and been so carried away with it it's almost like you're there, you're a part of it, that's a hynotic state. If you've ever been so absorbed in a task at work of some kind that you become oblivious to everything around you because you're so focused on that one thing, that again is a hypnotic state. If you've ever driven or walked somewhere and when you get to your destination you said 'How did I get here?', you've forgotten the journey because you've been off in a daydream, highway hypnosis is quite a comon experience. So the point I'm trying to make is that the hypnotic state is a natural state of mind. It's something which we all experience pretty much on a daily basis. What's different here is that that natural ability is harnessed and focused to help people to acheive their goals, whatever they may be.
What is the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist?
A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis for therapeutic purposes, whereas a hypnotist may or may not be using hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. A lot of people associate hypnotism with stage shows. Somebody who uses hypnosis for entertainment would be a stage hypnotist. A hypnotherapist uses the imagination, the state of hypnosis to help people achieve goals.
Can anybody be hypnotised?
Anybody can be hypnotised as long as they have the ability to concentrate but it may not be appropriate for very young children, or very elderly people, or people with certain mental illnesses. The only other thing that could stop a person would be fear. So for one reason or another, you did not trust the person you are working with or the process itself, than you would resist the suggestions. Generally what I find is people get better at it with practice. Getting hypnotised is a skill which improves both with practice and with familiarity.
Is hypnotherapy a recognised medical practise?
More and more orthodox medical practitioners, GPs and so on, are making referrals to hypnotherapists. It's not currently available on the NHS, but hopefully in the future it will be, as hypnotherapy becomes more accepted.
Can hypnotherapy be dangerous for patients?
I don't believe so, I think that people will only open themselves up to hypnotism if they're in a situation that they feel comfortable in. Nobody can be made to do anything against their will in hypnosis, it just doesn't work in that way, which is of course, that's the illusion is portrayed through stage hypnosis which is why sometimes people feel that maybe it could be dangerous, but the people who take part in stage shows are very carefully selected voulunteers, they're there because they want to be hypnotised.
Is hypnotherapy dangerous for children?
Hypnotherapy is certainly not dangerous for children. Children are fantastic at using their imaginations and many children will adapt to hypnotherapy much more quickly than a lot of adults will do. They live in an imaginary world a lot of the time and hypnosis is all about harnessing that power of imagination to help people to achieve goals.
Is hypnotherapy legal for minors?
Hypnotherapy is legal from 16 but when you're selecting a hypnotherapist for a minor, it would be ideal that you find somebody who has had specialist training in dealing with children.
Are there any people who shouldnt be hypnotised?
People with mental illnesses certainly should not be hypnotised if they're not being treated, such as psychotics, schitzophrenics. It's not a good idea for them to go through hypnosis.
Is hypnotherapy a valid alternative to traditional medicine?
In some circumstances I would say it's a valid alternative. Certainly if you can find a natural way to overcome your fears and anxieties, that's got to be better than, say, taking medication on a long-term basis. But as a general rule, I would say that it complements medical practice most of the time. When I first started working I worked a lot with cancer patients who suffered a lot because of, not just because of the illness, but because of the side-effects of the treatments; and hypnosis is a fantastic tool to work alongside medical treatments to make them more comfortable and more effective for patients.