Fear of Hypnosis

We’ve all seen television shows or live demonstrations of hypnosis. While typically explained as a tool for amusement purposes there are therapists that seek to use hypnosis as a means of learning about a past their patients simply can’t remember. There are times when that information is useful in developing a plan of action for recovery from either fear or emotional trauma. While caution would be considered normal when discussing the idea of being hypnotized there is an unnatural fear that can develop from the potential of hypnosis. This fear is known as Hypnophobia.

The role of hypnosis has been considered by many to be a helpful therapy in determining root causes for emotional pain, but not everyone agrees – certainly the hypnophobe would be in the latter group.

What Causes Hypnophobia?

Some of the most profound fear of being hypnotized may actually come from watching an incidence where someone else is hypnotized for entertainment purposes. It may be amusing to watch an individual performing unusual behaviors at a trigger command offered by the hypnotist. However, for the hypnophobe there can be a sense of unease simply because they are concerned that a hypnotist could make them do things they would not be willing to do under normal circumstances. This concern can quickly move to a full blown phobia even with a hypnotists assurance that you will not do anything under hypnosis that would be against your will.

A trusted family member or friend could also be the source for your fear. If a family member considered a hypnotist evil then it would seem natural for you to also believe this is true. This would then become something not only to avoid, but fear.

Symptoms of Hypnophobia

A person with this fear will not allow themselves to be hypnotized nor will they willingly agree to watch a demonstration of hypnosis. This is more than avoidance, this is refusal. Hypnosis for this individual will not be an acceptable solution for any problem. In their minds hypnosis is the problem.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Nausea
  • Feelings of oppression and evil
  • Trembling
  • Air hunger
  • Weeping
  • Screaming
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Fainting
  • Temporary elevation in body temperature

It may sound odd, but to some individuals who have this fear if you were to ask them if they would consider being hypnotized they would likely equate the question to, “Would you like to meet Satan?”

How to Overcome Hypnophobia

While hypnosis is an accepted therapy for phobia relief most therapists would not view this as an acceptable solution to this relief of this fear. In many cases the solution may be to help logically explain what hypnosis does and what it can and can’t do.

A therapist may work on the place of trust in the life of the individual and seek to determine the source of the original fear that caused so much concern about being hypnotized. Most therapists would agree there is nothing wrong with being cautious, but when fear takes over it will not stop with just one fear.

The fear of hypnosis is also referred to as:

  • Hypnosis fear
  • Hypnophobia
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