Perhaps it doesn't matter what the real cause is; we just shouldn't be
in awe of hypnosis or a hypnotist.
My main criticism of one person hypnotizing another person is that
the hypnotist tends to become a superior-feeling, controlling "master"
while the subject becomes a helpless, unthinking, submissive "slave."
That doesn't seem healthy. Many people are intrigued with hypnosis;
they want to use it with friends and at parties. I suspect they want to
be seen as a comedian, a great healer, or a powerful controller. If you
are not a trained professional (and qualified to treat the problem with
other methods), you should not be using hypnotism for helping
another person. You shouldn't remove a symptom that still serves a
psychological purpose. And, you should certainly avoid using age-
regression and probing for traumatic experiences; that could possibly
cause panic and lead to a serious situation (MacHovec, 1988).
Likewise, hypnosis should never be used as a form of party
entertainment. You are dealing with a human life; don't demean a
person by making him/her look foolish or by arrogantly playing
publicly with his/her private, intimate concerns.
Self-hypnosis is easy to learn, it lets you be your own master, and
it can be used whenever you need it with many self-improvement
projects. It is interesting to most people; that helps us maintain our
motivation to make difficult changes. Most experienced practitioners
say self-hypnosis is not dangerous as long as it is used for these
simple purposes and with the cautions mentioned above.
Stopping Bad Memories and Thoughts
It is obvious that some people repeat over and over very
unpleasant memories that continue to upset them for years. They
become preoccupied with a bad experience. All kinds of distressing
events are remembered--how they were abused, mistreated or
unloved as a child; how someone insulted, assaulted, criticized or
dumped them; how they themselves did something very wrong; how
meaningless, useless and shameful they are; how life has screwed
them over; how they hate someone, some event, or some group, and
so on. For a few unfortunate people, the tenor of their entire life is
determined by a seemingly uncontrollable obsession with these awful
memories or thoughts. Yet, other people have had equally horrible
experiences--war, abuse, deaths, sins--and put the memories behind
them; the bad memories are not forgotten but they are avoided or
seldom remembered and apparently can remain harmless.