Hypnotized against my will?

by cindi

Can someone hynotize you without knowing? i have been seeing a counselor, and i beleive he has been hypnotizing me. Everything he says, i do. It is all positive. But he has never told me he has; he has not said he is a hypnotist. Why would he not say. Should he tell me? When i come into the office i feel different, in a good way. Why wouldn't i have a choice in this?

Ben's Answer:

It sounds like you have a lot of confused feelings about the therapy. You say you feel hypnotized, like your therapist is doing something to you without telling you about what he's doing. But you say it is positive, that you feel different - in a good way.

We always have some choice in how we feel and connect and respond to the presence of another person. But some of that is not within our conscious control. In the presence of an angry person, you might feel fearful, or irritated or guarded. In the presence of a happy person, you might feel relaxed and optimistic.

A therapist can have a big influence over a person's emotional and mental state simply by being "present" in a focused, non-judgmental manner. A therapist can also either intentionally, or unintentionally "hypnotize" or induce an altered state in a client, whether they are a hypnotist or not. If you feel that you are going into an altered state in your sessions, and this feels beyond your control, you should talk about that with your therapist. What's most important is that you and he are both aware of what you are experiencing and that the process serve your own needs and goals. Usually, just talking about this will help a great deal.

But if you ever really feel controlled against your will in any way, you should really question what is going on. A therapist should follow your lead, more than you following him. It should not be like "mind control." It is a vulnerable position to open up to a therapist, and it's very very important that you trust him. You should not blindly trust anyone, even a therapist, until you feel safe doing so. This is good to discuss with the therapist.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT

Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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