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Is Hypnotherapy Like The 'Get Out' Movie?

Let me first start by saying that I actually enjoyed the 'Get Out' movie. Why you may ask? Simply put, because it was entertaining. I loved the thought provoking undertones, the unspoken biases and the twists and turns of the plot. However, it was fiction and fiction is fake!

There is nothing fake about hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a real client-centered practice that serves to empower people like you to access your own internal skills. Its often used as an adjunct or complementary therapeutic healing tool used with other modalities.

Hypnosis is a natural but altered state of mind that we all experience everyday like when we drive down a familiar highway or road and find ourselves entranced my the swaying motion of our vehicle or the painted lines on the street.

Hypnotherapy is a process of inner focus which facilitates communication between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is the part of the self that holds information outside of our awareness, yet still influences our behaviors.

Hypnosis helps you to see the potential resources you hold within yourself


Myth #1 "It's Mind Control". Myth Buster: Hypnotherapy is not mind control. If anyone can control your mind, it's you! Hypnotherapy does not control your mind or put you under a spell; it only relaxes you to be more open and receptive to positive suggestions and imagery to reach your personal goals. The hypnotherapist is always checking in with you and doesn't do or say anything that doesn't feel right to you. Myth #2 "I can get 'stuck' in hypnosis." Myth Buster: No one has ever gotten stuck in hypnosis. You can stop at any time you like. Even if left alone, your natural response will be to awaken. In hypnosis clients tend to be hyper-aware as your senses are sharpened. Myth #3 "I will be made a fool of myself!" Myth Buster: Your ego is always intact and so although you will be in deeply relaxed hypnotic state, you are aware and can choose what you will or will not do. Hypnotherapy is a method used to help you heal, grow and accomplish your goals, it's not to make you feel foolish or out of control. Myth #4 "Hypnosis is a truth serum." Myth Buster: Even in hypnosis, you have a choice of what you share or not share. You cannot be 'made' to say or share what you don't want to. Myth #5 "I'm too strong willed, in control of my mind to be hypnotized." Myth Buster: The truth is , if you are willing and motivate to change, you can experience hypnosis.


Self HypnosisStage hypnotists and the media (especially Hollywood) have exploited our general fears and misconceptions for their own entertainment value, which has in turn perpetuated its misunderstanding (Lynn et al., 2000). These exploited images of hypnosis appear to be ingrained in the collective psyche of American culture, and may be a contributing factor in the misconceptions and underutilization of hypnosis for healing.

The movie, ’Get Out’ further perpetuates the depiction of false stereotypes of hypnotherapists taking control of one's mind. While entertaining for sure, it is inaccurate. The actor Daniel Kaluuya who played the leading role as Chris Washington in the horror film Get Out was an unwilling participant in his hypnosis experience. This is far from what actually happens when you are with a skilled hypnotherapist. As a clinical social worker and trained hypnotherapist, one of my professional ethical principles is to Do No Harm. The client must want to be hypnotized. The client should never be forced to enter this altered state against his/her will. Hypnosis is a voluntary experience.

It is also important to note that all hypnosis is Self Hypnosis , which means that you are ultimately responsible for allowing yourself to enter into hypnosis even if there is a trained hypnotherapist at your side guiding and providing therapeutic suggestions along the way.


Hypnotherapy is mostly used to alleviate:

  • Anxiety (social, driving, speaking, test taking, etc)

  • Trauma

  • Smoking cessation

  • Healthy weight balance (weight management, etc)

  • Pain management (dental, etc)

  • Sports Performance

  • Stress Management

  • Increased Relaxation and Calming states

  • Improve Sleep (Insomnia, hypersomnia, etc)

  • Digestive conditions (irritable bowel syndrome, etc)

  • Confidence Building

  • Reduce dental fears

  • Childbirth and Labor

  • Bad habits (nail biting, skin picking, etc)

ARE YOU A GOOD CANDIDATE for hypnotherapy?

  • 2-5 % of population don’t respond well

  • 25% go into a light trance

  • 45% go into a medium trance

  • 25% go into a deep trance

  • Some people are more hypnotizable than others- individuals can easily enter into trance, and are very suggestible, meaning they respond to the practitioner’s direct or indirect suggestions

  • Children are thought to be high in hypnotizability until they reach adolescence when this ability may decline, but then stabilizes in adulthood.

  • Your trust and rapport with the practitioner

  • Your level of interest and expectations

  • Your positivism and motivation towards the efficacy of hypnosis is more likely to benefit from the process.

PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT A GOOD FIT for hypnotherapy?

  • Severe mental health concerns such psychotic symptoms

  • Borderline Personality Disorders

  • Dissociative Identity Disorders

  • People with a intellectual disabilities

  • People forced or coerced by someone else to be hypnotized

  • People with severe fear of losing control

  • People seeking memory retrieval


  • Your commitment to the process

  • Amount of sessions required

  • Training and experience of the hypnotherapist

  • The cost (ie, will insurance pay or not?)

  • Ask about availability

  • Does hypnotherapist specialize or has experience in your area of concern

  • Be cautious of someone promising to fix your problem in one session or other quick fixes

  • Is the hypnotherapist also a mental health professional


  • Willingness and readiness for change

  • Motivated by an emotionalized desire

  • Have an open mind


Hypnosis certification is a voluntary process. Some states do require registration, others have certain guidelines, and some restrict certain usage of terms. (Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Consulting Hypnotist, etc). Look for someone who has both a certification in hypnosis/hypnotherapy and a Master's Degree in Mental Health (Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, etc)

List of Boards:

  • International Board of Hypnotherapy

  • American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

  • The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners,

  • National Guild of Hypnotist

  • The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists

  • American Council of Hypnotist Examiners

I also have a list of 23 Questions to ask a Hypnotherapist before scheduling our first appointment https://www.innercoachhypnotherapy.com/questionsyoushouldask(not a board) Division 30: Society of Psychological Hypnosis

You can also check out my video on 'What to expect for your first hypnotherapy session' (my youtube video)


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