The Human Behaviour

Hypnosis I A dangerous charm

When we say “Hypnosis,” many readers will think of a state often described in books and movies, where a person under the influence of hypnotism does as instructed and can’t think, feel, or decide for themselves. More precisely, they are no longer themselves but turn to much like robots. Is hypnotism actually what is shown in movies and described in books? Yes and No.

Hypnotism is a subconscious state in which a person focuses on their inner self, including but not limited to their feelings, emotions, cognition, and imagination. Waking of the subconscious mind while the person is sleeping is called hypnosis. They are indeed detached from the environment. It has been practiced for centuries for different reasons, but it primarily aims to induce desirable traits and eliminate negative habits. Sometimes, it’s a helpful therapy to help the receiver recover from traumas, which is impossible otherwise.

There are various techniques to practice it that we will be discuss in this article.


Hypnosis has a history as old as sorcery, magic, and medicine; in fact, it has been used as a method in all three. Its scientific history began in the late 1800s with Franz Mesmer, a German physician who used hypnosis to treat patients in Vienna and Paris. Mesmer’s method—named mesmerism after its creator—continued to attract the interest of medical practitioners despite his mistaken belief that it had been used as an occult force (which he termed “animal magnetism”) that flowed through the hypnotist into the subject.

Several physicians used it without knowing its nature until the English physician James Braid investigated the practice and coined the terms hypnotism and hypnosis, after the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, in the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1880s, it sparked widespread scientific interest. Hippolyte Bernheim, a professor of medicine at Strasbourg, backed Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault, an obscure French country physician who used mesmeric techniques.

They had both written independently that hypnosis involved no physical forces or physiological processes but was instead a combination of psychologically mediated responses to suggestions. He practiced it for neurotic patients and helped them recover. But then he noticed the technique was ineffective for some patients, so he discarded it with an assumption that it involves free will. But then, it was adopted worldwide by different physicians and psychologists. Even today, it is a pretty effective therapy.


The concept of hypnosis is simple, yet it is complex. There are different techniques to perform this act, each serving another goal. Here are a few of them:


Guided Hypnosis Via Medium:  As the name suggests, guided hypnosis requires some medium, such as sound or instrument. It can include recorded as well as in-person sessions by the therapist where they induce the act via these mediums. Mobile apps and marketing agencies also use this type of hypnosis.


Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is part of psychotherapy and is usually utilized in psychoanalysis sessions to help the patient recall past traumas that are bothering them. It involves inducing a sleep state in the patient and activating their subconscious mind using different instructions. Then, taking the patient mind back to the past or future. This technique helps them gain willpower and recover from mental illnesses, traumas, and bad habits.


Self-Hypnosis: Here is the twist: by now, you would be assuming that a therapist is required to induce the state of hypnotism in a patient, but you can perform it yourself, too. Inducing a semi-sleep state and repeating the desired outcomes can take a person to a state where they could induce themselves. Individuals with strong willpower and self-control can practice this technique. It helps them manage stress and eliminate bad habits such as smoking or lack of focus.



Let us help you understand the uses with the help of case studies.

  • Assume John needs to get dental procedures done, but he has a phobia, and he is scared of tools and pain related to dental procedures. He can either self-hypnotize himself to understand this is important and not as painful as he assumes, or a therapist can perform hypnosis and help him get rid of the fear. But please note that his willingness to get it is essential as the condition cannot be achieved otherwise. Similar are the cases with other types of surgeries and childbirth.


  • Alina started drugs and smoking during her early college days, and due to this, her health, studies, and finances are greatly affected, but she cannot quit no matter what. She can get help from a therapist along with a rehabilitation course to get rid of drugs. Hypnosis will induce in her mind that she doesn’t like drugs and that they are harmful.


  • Kate is a child abuse victim. She didn’t discuss it with anyone because she was firstly too young, and secondly, she was threatened that if she told anything to an adult abuser, it would harm her. But as time passed, it turned to PTSD, leading to symptoms like nightmares, social anxiety, and depression. Her parents took her to different psychologists, and various courses and therapies were given to reveal the signs, but she didn’t tell anyone about the root cause. Now, when they switched the psychologist again, he decided to perform a hypnosis technique to bring out the root cause. After knowing the reason, she was treated accordingly and soon recovered.


  • Similarly, in forensics, the criminals who are reluctant to answer the questions or the investigating officer feels that they are lying may undergo hypnosis to help the investigating team reach the truth.

Potential Risks:

A trained healthcare provider’s hypnosis is a safe, complementary, and alternative medical treatment. However, be aware that hypnosis may not be suitable for some people who have severe mental illness.

Harmful hypnotic reactions are uncommon, but they can include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety or discomfort.
  • Sleep issues.


When someone suggests using hypnosis to work through stressful events from your past, be wary. This could elicit a strong emotional response.

Hypnosis is a simple yet strong psychological technique practiced for centuries to get desirable results. It involves focusing your subconscious mind on your inner self, such as memories, emotions, and cognitive abilities. The technique is utilized to help the receiver get rid of unwanted habits, recover from traumas, or recall past events.

Therapy is usually helpful, but the willingness of the receiver and expectations after the treatment should be made clear beforehand to get optimal results. Further, it often works best with people with strong imagination and willpower.

Although side effects and risks with hypnosis are rarely reported, and it is considered safe, some people have reported dizziness, headache, strong emotional response, anxiety, and discomfort.

You are also required to visit an authentic practitioner to get hypnosis, as in the other case, your symptoms may get worse. Hypnosis is one of the most beneficial therapies to help you recover if you adhere to all precautionary measures.



F and Q’s:

What is an example of hypnosis in psychology?

There are various examples. Some of the most common ones include the following:

  • You watched an ad on the TV, and the commercial had some embedded hypnosis medium such as music or illusions, and you instantly want to buy the product.
  • Similarly, daydreaming is also considered a kind of hypnosis. You were taking a lecture or doing the dishes, and you got so immersed in the thoughts that you lost track of time. This is a type of self-hypnosis.
  • A person XYZ wants to get rid of smoking habits during the process of rehabilitation; the therapist utilized hypnosis to induce the thought that he does not like smoking and that it is harmful. He slowly left smoking. This is just another example of it.

What is psychological hypnosis?

When a health professional or researcher suggests to a patient that they experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior while being treated. While some hypnosis is used to increase alertness, most kinds include suggestions for relaxation, calmness, and well-being. Instructions to picture or think about positive emotions are also standard during hypnotism. People react differently to hypnosis. Some people describe hypnosis as a focused attention state in which they feel calm and at ease. The majority of people express their encounter as comfortable.


Does hypnosis work in real life?

Hypnosis can help assist people cope with pain, stress, and anxiety. However, remember that healthcare providers typically recommend other treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, before or in addition to hypnosis for those conditions. As part of a larger treatment plan for quitting smoking or losing weight, hypnosis may be effective.

How it works?

The exact mechanism of hypnosis is unknown. However, it is widely assumed that in the deep state of focus and relaxation achieved by it:

  • Your conscious mind has become quiet.
  • You can access the part of your brain that generates your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, sensations, emotions, memory, and behaviors.
  • You’re more open to gentle guidance from your hypnotherapist in this state, which can help you modify or replace the unconscious thoughts that are driving your current behavior.


Also read : Unmasking Dark Psychology I A Closer look at the John and Jane Doe Relationship


When we say “Hypnosis,” many readers will think of a