Almost everyone! All Hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It is the strongest minded people that will actually be able to be hypnotised far deeper, using the power of the mind and imagination. Any speculation as to hypnotic effects, amnesia in hypnosis, people doing what they would not normally do, etc., whilst actually in the state of Hypnosis, must not overlook a very important point, and that is that we only have the hypnotised individuals word for what they do or do not feel. There is nothing magical about Hypnosis.
Some people can achieve an apparently coma-like condition in minutes, some only the lightest of trances after an induction (the method by which the state of Hypnosis is achieved) of an hour or more. But the ability for depth of trance lies very definitely within the person being hypnotised, not with the Hypnotist. The ability to accept hypnosis rests upon the ability of the individual to focus his mind clearly. Whatever else it may be, hypnosis is also a state of mentally focused concentration. Most people do not recognize that they are being hypnotised, because there is truly no such thing as a hypnotised feeling. The individual in Hypnosis, even deep Hypnosis, may feel very relaxed – though not necessarily so. He might feel as if his arms and legs are very heavy, or maybe even light, or maybe arranged differently from how he left them; he might lay motionless for half-an-hour or more, and appear to be sound asleep. But he will actually be fully conscious, his senses often more alert than usual, and he will infrequently say afterwards: No sorry. It didn’t work for me. I didn’t go under. EVERYBODY will definitely go under as long as they are prepared to do so. It is also true to say, though, that they can decide for themselves, if they change their mind, that they no longer wish to participate. They can leave the state of their own accord.
Don’t believe all you see. You are probably wondering now how what I have just told you ties in with Stage Hypnosis. After all you have seen those people with your own eyes, not knowing what they were doing and not remembering anything about it afterwards, right? WRONG! Stage Hypnosis can have you believing all sorts of silly things, as can films where somebody is hypnotised for one reason or another. The Stage Hypnotist is a clever psychologist, quickly sorting out, from the volunteers, those who are most likely to be easily hypnotised and who will be happy to go along with the act. Hypnosis tends to make people feel relaxed and more confident within themselves, less inhibited, so those selected will cheerfully perform the small tasks that they are asked to do. A stage hypnotist will pick people that are of a more showy personality and give them the confidence to show off. Stage Hypnosis is not a con but is showmanship.
There is a world of difference between the stage Hypnotist and the Clinical Hypnotherapist, besides their job title. The stage Hypnotist is a skilled user of razzmatazz and relies heavily on the confidence of his approach, showmanship, and the willingness of his subjects to perform tasks. The Clinical Hypnotherapist relies on his/her knowledge of the human psyche, a caring and compassionate manner, an understanding of the phenomena surrounding hypnosis, and a client who is prepared to accept help with change. Too many people believe that Hypnotists and Hypnotherapists have some sort of control over their subjects, some sort of special and magical power, along with the ability to make them do things they would not normally do.
But you simply cannot know whether or not an individual would like to be able to perform a particular act in a normal waking state shyness, introversion and inhibition will cover a multitude of secret wishes and desires, in both the male and the female. The bespectacled and spotty youth may harbor a fantasy of being a raunchy rock and roller, while an Exhibitionist, would-be public striptease dancer may well lurk within the psyche of a respectable and distinctly middle-aged mother of two. Hypnosis helps to lower the natural inhibitions of an individual so that individual may then feel able to behave in some extrovert or outrageous way that she would normally find impossible. But they are not being MADE to do anything they are being ALLOWED to do something.