Perhaps the most popular misconception of hypnotherapy centres on the belief that hypnosis is a form of sleep in which the all-powerful hypnotist has complete control over the client. The thought of being made to squawk like a chicken on command, typically creates a sense of mistrust and fear, even amongst the most open-minded.

But this bears no resemblance to the way in which hypnosis is used within hypnotherapy. Far removed from the stereotyped hypnotist described above, the hypnotherapist focuses on applying hypnosis to help individuals achieve their desired goals.

Moreover, hypnosis is not a sleep-like state. It is a calm, pleasant feeling, similar to daydreaming, in which the conscious part of the mind is relaxed and the awareness of the unconscious mind heightened. People remain aware of what is happening to them, and retain absolute free will and self-control at all times.

Relaxation of the conscious mind (hypnosis) is actually a naturally occurring state that you will have experienced daily, many times a day. Every night, just before sleep or when daydreaming, absorbed in a good book or film, watching TV or even, on occasions, when driving; these are all examples of natural trance states. So, going into a hypnotic trance is a perfectly normal state of mind to be in.

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