Home Articles Store Ask Del About Hypnosis About Del Testimonials For Therapists Links Contact
hypnotherapy books

Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Bad Hypnosis Experience

Colleagues: Although this was written to me by someone not in our business, I feel it is suited to your reading and learning.  You may have, or may in the future, experience someone who has had a bad hypnotic experience and wonder how to deal with it.  Of course there are other methods, I’m sure, than I indicate in my answer, but it does reveal an unusual experience not generally taught about in our basic training.

Hello Del

I have a question that has bothered me for 12 years. I went to a stop smoking through hypnosis at a hotel. There were probably a hundred or more people there in a group session, led by a husband & wife team. I went with a very positive attitude. After it got started i was sort of listening to him but could not take his voice - it bothered me for some reason, in fact, it really irritated me. He must have spoke for 25 minutes in the beginning.

Suddenly, this black hole opened up and I was falling into it, I thought that I would get up and leave the room and couldn't. I tried to roll off the chair and couldn't and I was trying to move my hands but couldn't. I was fully conscious but there was nothing I could do. I was still falling into this black spiraling hole and my heart was pounding a hundred miles an hour. I really thought that I was going to die. His voice was amplified and distorted it was the worst feeling that I have ever had. His wife took over and I calmed down immediately. I waited patiently as she spoke, as I could still not move. I prayed that the man not speak again and he did only at the very end, at which time panic set in until he released us.

I spoke to him up front about what had happened. All he said was don't buy my tape and walked off. Another person that was listening said, “Can't you answer him?” He stopped turned around and said, “I have only heard of that happening once before, call me at my office.” I called several times but he never returned my call.

I think I smoked a whole package of cigarettes the next couple of hours. For years after I had panic attacks after that. After 16 years I still have the odd attack, but not like I use to. Do you have any idea what happened? I think he knew something, but why did he not want to talk about it.


You did indeed have a most unusual experience unlike most people who experience hypnosis – normally very benign.

First of all, don’t assume the guy actually knew anything.  If he did,  he would have answered you, or, at the least, set a time to talk to you.  His response has all the markings of someone who was avoiding having to deal with something foreign to him, and didn’t want to admit his ignorance.

If I were to hazard a guess as to your responses during the session, the male hypnotist’s voice may well have triggered, within you, some unconscious memory – perhaps of some unpleasant person in the past, or even WAY, WAY past.  Whatever it might be, his voice created a hypnotic spell and, because it was so unpleasant, it placed that unpleasant imprint on your deeper mind which still bothers you. Combined with whatever imprint might have, way in the past, originally caused your response to his voice, extra power and longevity added to the experience.

Don’t give up on hypnosis.  It is truly beneficial not just for helping you quit smoking, but for many other issues, including this one. I don’t know where you live, but find someone who is good at getting rid of, or changing, the past.

A good hypnotherapist should be able to do one or more of several things – (1) take you back to that occasion, or to the part of you that is fearful because of it, and tell that part of you that you no longer need that experience – that you are a different person now; (2) ask the wise part of your mind, or the higher consciousness, to remove the imprints that caused such discomfort or change them into something more helpful to you now; or (3) take you back to that time and recreate the entire scene as a totally pleasant and successful one for you. Following whatever method is used, the therapist should give suggestions that that hypnotic spell is now broken and assure you of your safety and confidence.     






Ask Del

About Hypnosis

About Del


For Therapists