Updated: Jul 5, 2020
1. Hypnosis is mind control
Contrary to popular belief, hypnotists cannot actually "control" your mind in the way that is depicted in popular media. You do not all of a sudden enter a zombie-like state after a couple swings of the pocket watch. And you do not lose free will.
In real hypnosis, the client enters a deep trance-like state where the mind is less resistant, however they are still conscious and can exercise free will whenever they want to.
In clinical application, the client and hypnotherapist discuss and agree on the hypnotic procedure before the induction. During the induction, the client allows the hypnotherapist to give them suggestions, but their mind can reject the suggestion if they want to. Essentially the control is with the client and is never lost at any point in the hypnosis session.
2. Hypnosis is dark magic
Hypnosis is a natural state of the mind which has been the subject of numerous scientific research studies. It is not mystical by any means. You do not have to be "psychic" or part of the "occult" to possess any special powers to be a hypnotist.
Modern hypnosis actually has its origin in medicine, the first physician reported to have used hypnosis was Dr. Franz Mesmer in the 18th century. More notably, it has been used in psychotherapy by Dr. Sigmund Freud, Dr. Carl Jung and Dr. Milton Erickson. Hypnosis requires a good degree of knowledge in cognitive, behavioral and social psychology.
3. Hypnosis is an instant cure
Although major transformations can happen in one hypnotherapy session and many smokers (for example) reportedly quit smoking after just one session, hypnosis is by no means passive.
Hypnotherapy requires the client to take an active role in their healing and a conscious commitment to overcome their problems. Clinical hypnosis is evidence-based and uses therapeutic methods which are positive and solution-based. This can be why it is perhaps more effective in some cases.
4. You can get stuck in hypnosis
Hypnosis is essentially focused attention directed inwards. And as mentioned earlier in myth #1, the client always has complete control. So no you cannot get stuck in hypnosis.
Just like how the hypnotherapist directs the client to bring their attention inwards at the beginning of the induction, the hypnotherapist redirects their attention outwards to adjust them to their usual external state of awareness.
5. You can't hypnotize me...
If you think you are too strong-willed to get hypnotized, think again. We have established in myth #1 that hypnosis is not mind control. So no one can force you into hypnosis. You have the choice of being hypnotized.
Also mentioned above in #3 and #4, hypnosis requires the ability to focus and it also requires a great deal of commitment. These are both strengths. The willingness to discover personal resources and be open to new ideas takes a certain maturity of the mind. So you are in fact strong minded if you respond well to hypnosis.