Am I being manipulated during hypnosis?
Manipulation during hypnosis?
Hypnosis therapists hear this question very often, usually hiding behind it uncertainty, which is quite justified. Hypnosis still has to fight with the image that it makes people will-less, can elicit deepest secrets from them and even tempts them to do things that would otherwise be unthinkable. The moral sense is switched off and the client is manipulated, with this image hypnosis still fights. This is supported by various films as well as possible performances of so-called show hypnotists, which are sometimes really degrading and show people during hypnosis. However, such performances have nothing to do with the actual hypnosis, but only serve to entertain the audience in the short term and to bring amazement.
Scary reputation of hypnosis
Another reason for the sometimes frightening reputation of hypnosis is that various hypnosuggestive techniques were and still are used by secret services or sects. They are also used in political and religious fundamentalist systems to manipulate people. It is known that ethically unacceptable goals can be achieved in this way and people are to be confused in a harmful way. Hypnosis or hypnosuggestive communication is therefore in principle, a technique that can produce healing, but also cause harm. Hypnosis also works with so-called dissociative techniques, which are aimed at the client's consciousness being completely or partially switched off. Thus, in a certain way, manipulation also takes place. But this must not be misunderstood, the term manipulation has a predominantly negative connotation, especially in psychotherapy.
Gentle influence and guidance with hypnosis
However, manipulation can also be used to a person's advantage and not only to their disadvantage. To manipulate a client in a harmful way would absolutely contradict the psychotherapeutic and medical professional ethics and is therefore strictly forbidden. Thus, you need not have any concerns here with regard to hypnosis. However, psychotherapy and hypnosis require a gentle influence on the client in order to help the patient. But this happens only under cooperation with the client and on the basis of agreement and permanent reflection. This process is subject to the dignity of the person or client and the client's freedom of choice. Hypnosis is aimed at healing and growth and has nothing to do with harmful manipulation. The hypnotist is obliged to reflect critically on himself again and again, whether he acts in the sense of the client and is guided by the client's objectives. This is important because when the client is in trance, the hypnotherapist cannot always obtain the client's consent. It is hardly possible after each intervention to bring the client back to the waking state. If the client asks existential questions under hypnosis, such as whether he should quit his job or get a divorce, the therapist will not answer those. Here, hypnosuggestive influence is not an option, but there is more of a goal-oriented guidance of the client that he can find his answers himself in the trance.