I recently took a call from someone enquiring on behalf of another to find out the price of a session. They didn’t want to know about hypnosis, but went straight to the question: “how much does it cost for this so-called hypnosis?”.
The caller repeated back the price, confirmed our business name and location, and then hung up after saying “We will get back to you if we wish to proceed”. They were clearly ringing around comparing prices, not interested in much more beyond the fee for “this so-called hypnosis”.
This person was not intentionally being rude. They seemed to be sceptical of what we offered, and likely fear was at the heart of it. Perhaps fear of what (little) they know about hypnosis, possibly from media portrayals, movies, fiction.
Fear often masquerades as scepticism, but these days it’s rare to have these kinds of discussions. The people I do have these conversations with assume we’re a sort of fringe profession. At best, they might think hypnosis is a last resort for people who have ‘tried everything else’.
The sceptical usually assume people who use hypnosis are in the minority. They don’t realise that it is their attitude of scepticism that is the marginal attitude these days.
Scepticism is fine, it can be a very helpful place to begin when you don’t understand something. We really don’t mind when people are sceptical. (We might mind when people are antagonistic but that’s not the same thing!)
All sorts of people use hypnosis for all sorts of reasons
The use of hypnosis for helping with emotional, mental and physical wellness is common. Health Practitioners of all stripe refer patients to hypnotherapists. It’s commonly recommended by GPs, by psychiatrists, by psychologists and counsellors. It is recommended by gastroenterologists, dermatologists, cardiologists.
All of these mentioned professionals are not just referring their patients to us. Some of them are themselves our clients.
It is true to say that people don’t always like talking about their hypnosis sessions, often because it is deeply personal work, and often because of those old misconceptions that arise from entertainment hypnosis.
It is not true to say, or assume, that hypnosis is not a mainstream modality of therapeutic help. That’s the real misconception.
To find out how the media and modern research is catching up with what many of us already know about the uses of hypnosis, this article on BuzzFeed News is well worth a read.