When It Doesn't Work

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Can hypnotism make people recall repressed memories?

When It Doesn't Work

You may be wondering if there's anything hypnosis cannot do. There is. Don't try to use it to cure disease. It won't enable you to control or influence another person without their knowledge. It won't magically give you knowledge or skills you haven't studied for.

It is controversial whether hypnotism can be used to recall repressed or forgotten memories. I find this unlikely. As you will see, the brain often cannot distinguish between real and imagined events, so that we can't be certain that a given "memory" is a real one. Hypnotism is not generally accepted as a way to find the truth in court cases.

So it's worth trying self-hypnosis when you want to remember where you put your diamond ring. It may help by clearing your mind so you remember, but it probably won't help re-enact the time when you hid it.

Some people think that hypnotism can help them to recall their past lives, or the moment of their own birth. I am skeptical about that, but you can make your own decision on that.

Self-hypnosis is an everyday way to handle everyday problems.

The mysterious and exotic stories are interesting, but not of practical help for most of us.



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