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What Is Hypnosis? Essay

  • Submitted by: fenella
  • on January 13, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,999 words

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Below is an essay on "What Is Hypnosis?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

There are many misconceptions and myths about hypnosis such as hypnosis being the dominance and manipulation of gullible people by the hypnotist who can then make them do amusing things like believe they are a chicken.   Many such modern day misconceptions come from stage hypnotists whose main aim is to entertain the audience and characters from popular culture, such as Kenny Craig the character from the comedy show Little Britain who manipulates people for his own personal benefit through the use of hypnosis.   Although modern hypnotists like Paul McKenna, who has a successful career with self help books and seminars on hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Derren Brown, who explains mind control techniques and the power of suggestion in his popular TV programmes, have gone some way to reduce such misconceptions it still remains controversial and is considered a paranormal phenomena by many.

Whilst Hypnosis has always been a controversial subject Hadley and Staudacher (1996: 11) state that “hypnosis isn’t the least bit mysterious or supernatural.   In fact, you have been in a hypnotic state literally thousands of times.   You didn’t notice it because it seemed such a natural state of mind.” It is suggested that when people are daydreaming or undertaking an automatic activity that they don’t need to focus on such as driving on a regular route it is possible to be in a state of hypnotic trance.   In order to fully understand modern hypnosis, it is necessary to trace its origins and learn more about the historical development of hypnosis.   This will then enable me to describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy.

Throughout history there has been a considerable amount of evidence of rituals and practises that, from a modern perspective, look like hypnosis.   Waterfield (2004) identifies a number of these, such as the ‘healing passes’ of the Hindu Vedas and the texts and sleeping temples from...

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