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    Feature image for Does Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ tell the truth about hypnosis in London?

    April 18, 2013

    Does Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ tell the truth about hypnosis in London?

    As a hypnotherapist in London, the most often asked questions I’ve had in the last few weeks are; ‘have you seen Trance’ & ‘is hypnosis really like that’..?

    For those who’ve not seen or heard about it, Trance is a classic heist movie by Danny Boyle starring James McAvoy & Rosario Dawson. The plot involves a multi-million pound painting that gets stolen by James McAvoy, who promptly forgets where he’s hidden it. Under fear for his own life, he chooses a glamorous hypnotherapist in London to help him recover where the painting is hidden.

    After that, all manner of twists and turns take place. Some dramatic, some realistic and some super-crazy! So, how do you separate fact from fiction? To help (and without giving the plot away), here are some answers to questions that the film brings up:

    1. Can you remember things you’ve forgotten with hypnotherapy?  It’s possible, yes. We all experience this, all of the time when trying to remember the details of something that happened and then it ‘popping’ into our head hours later.  Well that’s your unconscious mind taking its time to retrieve the memory. A fancy name for this is ‘incubation’. As a hotline to the unconscious, hypnosis allows that memory, event or set of keys to be accessed incredibly quickly.

    2. Can you forget things with hypnosis?  No.  The only way to forget a memory is if it’s something you consciously want to forget. This can be a memory or behaviour. From a practical perspective, we all do this every day e.g. you were forgetting the feeling of your bum on the seat you’re on until you read this and now perhaps not. Deletion (its technical name), is an everyday experience of us making sense of our world. Therapeutically, a hypnotherapist in London can potentially help a client forget they are a smoker with stop smoking hypnotherapy, or potentially forget their phobia with a phobia hypnotherapy treatment*.

    3. Can you be made to do things you don’t want to do? Quite simply no, in any way, shape or form.  And for this there are two very simple reasons.  The first is to understand that one of your unconscious mind’s many roles is to protect you.  Therefore, just in the same way as you automatically swerve to avoid an accident when driving, that same unconscious part of you would also protect you in hypnosis.

    The second reason is ethics. A qualified and registered (always, always check) hypnotherapist is simply not going to do this in the same way as a GP or Dentist wouldn’t make you do something you didn’t want to.  And should your unconscious mind detect anything untoward, you would simply awaken from your trance, be totally aware of everything that you were unhappy with and leave.

    Now you may think, ‘what about those people who turn into barking dogs on stage’? Well, they are going to a show and have volunteered to go on stage. Stage hypnosis bears very little relation to therapy – it is a show, an act and people who attend for entertainment are quite happy and perfectly safe doing so.

    As with all films there is a lot of poetic licence involved, focusing on extremes and that makes for good entertainment. And if you’ve seen it and want to know the answer to the questions I’ve not had the time to cover my answers are:

    • Yes you can find them
    • No that would never happen between them
    • And no the Frenchman was never hypnotised

    And if you would like to know more about hypnotherapy in London may be able to help you, here at Fix My Mind we are specialists with over 20 years of experience. If you would like a free 20 minute consultation to discover how we can help you, give us a call for free on 0800 122 3073.

    Enjoy the film

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