Yes, hypnosis can be dangerous – in the wrong hands!
A trained hypnotherapist will have good therapy skills and have your best interests at heart. They will use hypnosis therapeutically such as help you to relax deeply and process difficult emotions and memories from your past.
They’ll also use hypnosis to help you anticipate a better future by mentally rehearsing things going well. This is a typical use of hypnosis for improving sports performance.
But hypnosis also has a dark side.
Hitler hypnotised a whole nation with his rhetoric. Many politicians to this day use similar tactics, ramping up sentiment and arousing emotions, both of which serve to narrow our focus of attention.
So called spiritual gurus hypnotise mass audiences with their speeches that are littered with nominalisations – vague words that force us to go inwards to try to make sense of what they are saying. And going inwards is another definition of hypnosis.
Think of words like ‘nirvana’ and ‘enlightenment’. And what of the Lord’s Prayer? It’s full of hypnotic language. You have to go within to try to make sense of what it all means.
This, of course, is more a failure of the English language. There are no better words to describe certain states of consciousness such as the mystical state of oneness.
Suffice to say that hypnosis in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s all about how it is used. It has the potential to be dangerous in the wrong hands.
But used by a competent therapist, hypnosis is safe and speeds up the process of change because you’re tapping into the REM state – nature’s optimal learning state.