I watched an episode of Elementary (not a great show, watch Sherlock instead) where someone claimed to not remember committing a crime that the evidence shows was committed. I’m sitting there thinking, “Oh please, don’t try to say someone hypnotized that person into committing this crime. That is too stupid and cliché.” Sure enough, this erroneous and overused plot line followed leaving me yelling at the TV about how stupid and wrong this is while my husband laughed.
Hollywood loves to paint hypnosis as nefarious because it makes for an interesting plot twist, while standard talk it out therapy is always painted in a helpful, almost angelic light. What you don’t see is that talk it out therapy, even though it does work, takes quite a bit of time, whereas hypnotherapy tends to work much faster.
Even one of my favorite shows, True Blood, had vampires using some kind of hypnosis to make people do things. I kept waiting for one of those vampires to open an office with a big sign saying, “Quit smoking today,” but it never happened. I have seen so many stupid movies where they showed hypnotized people doing things they normally wouldn’t do. Usually the character does something really bad or just ridiculous as in the case of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (a seriously bad movie) where a whole audience was hypnotized and then moved to a new location. Even Office Space, though funny as heck, had the main character doing some crazy things after seeing a hypnotherapist and getting stuck in a hypnotic state (not possible by the way).
The only movie I’ve seen get it right was Dead Again. This movie actually portrays hypnosis processes the most accurately, and the characters received information that could really come up in session even if a bit exaggerated. (Good movie by the way – Netflix it)
I’m thinking the psychotherapy community has better spokespeople than we do. I find this interesting because psychotherapy has only been around about 100 years or so, whereas modern hypnotherapy has been around about 55 years, not a huge difference. As a side note, there is evidence that hypnosis was used in ancient Egypt, but modern hypnosis, the way it’s done now, has only been around about 55 or so years.
This bothers me because it keeps people who need help from seeking it; they fear someone will implant some crazy idea into their head, and they will kill their mother and not remember it. With hypnosis, you can’t make someone do anything they don’t want to do. In fact, sometimes you can’t even make them do something they want to do. They do it for themselves. Sometimes a person is more open to change than others, and that will determine their success.
Don’t believe what you see on TV about hypnosis. Remember that even the news has become “entertainment,” and most of the time, the truth is not really that entertaining without a little bit of help from a good writer. If you are sitting in the movie theater where someone on screen is using hypnosis in a ridiculous way, and you hear a woman yell, “What the f…” loudly, that’s me, annoyed again.
Jill Thomas CHT
Soul Connect Hypnotherapy
Author of the book “Feed Your Real Hunger” & “30 day weight loss Jumpstart” Hypnosis CD