To many people, hypnosis seems like a mystery.
You might have seen a stage hypnotist get people to do weird and even wonderful things in front of an audience, for example, acting like a chicken. As an audience member, you probably cringed at the thought of doing some of those things publically. You don’t realize that the hypnotist could never get you to do those things. The hypnotist deliberately chooses people who are naturally outgoing and receptive to his instructions.
The famous psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson would demonstrate the limits of hypnosis to his students. He would instruct a subject, who he had placed in trance, to take off his or her clothes. The subject always refused.
A hypnotist cannot get you to do something that is against your will. You would just pop straight out of the trance. The hypnotist has to be in rapport with you (i.e. aligned with your will) to be able to hypnotise you in the first place and to be able to keep you in the trance.
We have noticed this in our hypnotherapy practice. If we make a suggestion to a client that does not accord with his views even slightly, he will begin emerging from the trance. When using hypnotherapy, we always talk with the client beforehand to make sure the intervention that we are accomplishing is in alignment with exactly what the client wants.
Of course there are often blocks to the client getting what they want. For example, they might want to give up smoking but enjoy it too much. We remove those blocks in a way that is still in alignment with the clients will. This is part of the great skill in hypnotherapy. The ability to make the desired changes but in a way that does not offend the client’s world view or operating system.
To put someone in a deep trance like we do in a regression takes a lot of skill. We have to convince the client’s conscious mind to step back so the deeper super-consciousness can be accessed. The conscious mind is responsible for all our day-to-day thinking. It is the part of us that keeps us safe in this physical world.
To be regressed, you need to feel safe and secure in the environment where the regression is happening, and you need to feel especially safe and secure with the hypnotherapist. You need to be able to trust that the hypnotherapist will be a caring, loving and skilled guide.