I suppose you, dear reader you are reading this article attracted by its title will take your mind full of stereotypes and beliefs about the subject, like everyone else. However, not only will not find in this text arguments of the “hypnosis show” but you’re exactly the opposite. The aim of this paper is none other than just uncheck what clinical hypnosis is hypnosis circus, not to mislead many people who believe that “being hypnotized” put an end to their problems. Someone summed it up quite well when he said: “The TV hypnosis is a caricature of the real thing.” Not only do not expect to disappoint with the clarification of these misunderstandings, but on the contrary … help you learn scientifically and correctly what’s true and what is false in everything related to hypnosis. So, here we go.


Although etymologically, the word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypnos” meaning sleep, the actual meaning of the word has little or nothing to do with it.

Today most of the profession who make use of this technique seems to agree with the definition proposed by the APA (American Psychological Association) who defined it as “a procedure in which health professionals or researchers suggest the patient, or subject experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts or behaviors. ” That is, hypnosis is a type of therapy is a technique that can be used as a facilitator or catalyst for certain therapies. Therefore, a first aspect it should be clear is that nobody can call themselves “mesmerizing,” hypnotist “or things like that because it is not a discipline in itself, much less, if not just a therapeutic technique most located in the same plane as relaxation techniques, the clinical interview or self-reports.


Having already made it clear that the type of hypnosis to which this article refers is the clinical hypnosis and taking it and bounded as a catalyst for different therapies technique “is to say that the induction of a state of deep relaxation to try to persuade the patient or subject of experience to make changes in different aspects of their behavior. For example, an individual with problems of smoking or bulimia can be subjected to this technique to create an unpleasant association with snuff or ingested food after hours. In this way, you can get a “brake point” when the individual light a cigarette or the cooler early morning assault. While it should be clear that if the individual wants to smoke that cigarette or eat those calories will be completely normal. Is not unlike clinical use of hypnosis use has, for example, in elite sport. We’ve all seen television coverage of athletes and high jumper started a protocol prior to the jump with hands on temples, displaying all movements of execution, etc … which is nothing more to be aware of any previous training in imagination that athletes performed when preparing this type of competition. Obviously this does come to the jump successfully, but it serves to gain self-confidence at the moment of maximum tension sport. Of course, ultimately overcoming the jump or not will depend on many other factors. Operatively to effect a clinical hypnosis session would go through several phases:

Phase 1

The art therapist provides the patient or subject of experience clarifying concepts and expelling myths about it. At this stage, is very useful to achieve a good level of therapist-patient trust in order to banish suspicions or fears that might arise for the proper conduct of the meeting. When you start the procedure aims to achieve a high degree of concentration and the physical sensation of heaviness. Is the scene has to be appropriate, that is, the person must be sitting or lying comfortably with eyes closed, with a low ambient noise level and optimum temperature and light conditions.

Stage 2

With the patient or subject of experience relaxed in the process is advanced hypnotic suggestions by the therapist, his voice soft and uniform, prompting deeper even then relax. At this stage the individual may not experience the sensation of movement, ie, if you wanted to move would have the sense of not being able to do so even in a few seconds, as soon as minimal activity, you might look perfectly normal.

Stage 3

In this third phase, the relaxation has to be total and is the moment that is done the work to achieve the therapeutic goal. For example, in the case of smoking or bulimia, they try to create unpleasant associations with smoking or food after hours or over. Suggestions such as “Imagine that each puff of a cigarette is like inhaling the smoke from the exhaust pipe of a vehicle” or “imagine that late night snack you intend to eat is bad, or emits a foul odor” is the kind of hypnotic instructions supplied to the individual in this phase. The repetition of enriching themselves with as many details as possible (color, texture, smell, sound, etc …) and increased the intensity of the associations are what will increase the possibility that this “point of brake “to be effective in a state of full wakefulness. Reaching the eigenstates of the 1 st and 2 nd phase is relatively short. Almost everyone reaches this state after 10 or 20 minutes. But a deep relaxation, not everyone can get, costing this much longer. It is therefore appropriate to make what are called “tests of susceptibility to hypnosis” which is a fast and reliable way to determine with whom and who can not be useful to apply this technique. These “susceptibility testing” usually consist induce relaxation urging him to raise his arm “like a feather in the wind rocked it were” or “interlocking the fingers of both hands so that imagine they are united in a solid like a block of marble in question. ” Individuals who after a few minutes report that they have reached one or the other would feel capable of being hypnotized individuals clinically. Moreover, not only the romantic and literary pendulum has been confirmed as largely ineffective, but mainly it is done with eyes closed and if you prefer to perform with her eyes open is better to induce relaxation by concentrating the gaze on a fixed static, not dynamic.


Without discussing the usefulness of hypnosis circus or television show has a level of entertainment that would be similar to the value of magic shows, the fact is that enough harm has come to good clinical use of this technique to be necessary to devote a time in consultation before taking her out to clarify the patient what he has seen on television is not real or what is hypnosis. The show itself is also mixed different factors. The assembly itself with the collaboration of some subjects of the public who fail efficient operation of the simulated number normally have reached comical hypnotic trances. It is also true that it is this desire to believe this many people have and who are capable of anything for exposure. With all this running without doubt the result would entertain the best of us.

My respects to those working in the field of illusion but at the same time, we should not confuse one thing with another.


Circulate all sorts of statements about the use of hypnotic technique although there is scientific experimental evidence and many of them. In fact, provide a list of problems that has ever used hypnosis can not make much sense, since it is a technique.

Must guard against the fascination or devotion to the art. A few days ago a person I posed the following question via email: “I would like to report the treatment of anxiety with hypnosis” to what I had to answer that is a wrong starting point for a patient to try to suggest the therapeutic techniques the psychologist. On another occasion, a reader of the magazine contacted me by phone asking to be hypnotized to overcome an anxiety attack. On this occasion, too, is relevant to make him understand the person who decides to use one or another therapeutic technique must always be the health professional trained to do so. And besides, that in no case to undergo hypnosis involves solving this or that problem.

No doubt in both examples is a clear influence of the media about the use of hypnosis. Media influence that unscrupulous self-inaugurated as mentalists, hypnotists or hypnotists (remember the reader that, as such, this title is absurd in itself) take advantage of that raging river to get share of the economic.

In these cases where hypnosis if you can involve some risk to the emotional stability of the subject who undergoes this experience more of the beliefs with which she consults and no training for the “opportunistic” than the risk of technique.

From here you urge to flee that kind of circuits and attend accredited professional and serious.


There may be disappointed to only one putting on the table that hypnosis is not real circus just as the rabbit coming out of the hat was there when the magician shows the inside empty. Why should not detract from the entertainer. In fact, it does. The more surprising the trick and more difficult it is to find a more worthwhile work behind the magician. But on the other hand, when this illusion can be misleading about psychotherapeutic techniques such as the one in question, I modestly believe that it is worth to dot the i’s.

Rafael Rodriguez

Psicologo Online
Online Hypnosis