Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Question: Can a Christian practice hypnosis or study hypnotherapy and make it a profession?
Answer: "Can a christian...?" Rachel and I often hear this type of question which, while being a good question that reveals a desire to please God, it also reveals a fear of the unknown.
Hypnosis, like other sciences before it, is scary.
First, because of its use in TV shows and films where it is shown to be practiced by a hypnotist-charlatan or a con-artist, whose sole purpose is to harm, steal, abuse or ridicule his victims.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is an altered state of human consciousness, achieved through the practice of techniques that create this psychological position. It is also about all the methods used for these purposes.
Since the beginning of time and medicine, men have tried to understand the importance of the psyche in its relationship to behavior, but also to sickness in humans.
As often happens, the first doctors to be able to develop their knowledge and techniques on new medical practices had to face all kinds of customary and religious prohibitions.
For example, surgery and the study of the human body long had to be practiced in secret, because of the prohibitions that condemned them.
Hypnosis, which would take too long to share it's history here, also had to be studied in secret.
This practice involves the psyche and the human brain which is borderline between the medical and religious world. This remark is also true with regard to psychology, which has also long been criticized by the religious world.
Because of this, people interested in hypnosis were unfortunately not all taught through a rigorous scientific process.
Ignorance has caused all kinds of rumors and fears to develop around, what is today, a set of extremely widespread techniques used in all countries where medicine is developed and taught.
Can a believer study hypnosis and make it a profession? (I am not speaking here of hypnotists found on fairgrounds, practiced without any professional education to back it).
In most countries, to study hypnosis, you must first have a doctorate in medicine, psychology, or other therapeutic disciplines, which ensures that the practitioner's approach will be serious and professional. The degree is then given after several years and validated by a diploma. Nothing folkloric is going on here.
So the answer is yes.
It may be reassuring for some believers to know that their therapist is also a Christian (although this fact does not guarantee results) and it should be noted, that contrary to what we can see on TV shows, the patient in hypnotic therapy does not lose consciousness during the sessions.
Hypnosis is used successfully to treat people facing situations of significant psychological or physical suffering. There is no magic going on here.
It is just one tool among many, but its effectiveness is well established in the medical world. Of course, you have to check the practitioner's qualifications and find out if you feel safe with him or her, just as you would when choosing any other health specialist.
A Response to Your Comments...
I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all those who took the time to leave a comment on what I say here about the practice of hypnosis, and I want to especially thank those who responded to say that they did not agree.
Am I being sarcastic? Not at all!
I fully know that speaking out on a taboo subject, such as hypnosis, in the Christian world would draw opposing opinions. But I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality and tone of these opposing comments. The opinions received, positive or negative, were all written in a brotherly, peaceful and respectful tone. In the past, we were regularly accustomed to receiving insults (especially Rachel!), but here the debate has risen to a higher standard and it is very much appreciated.
Obviously, the ability to have differing opinions on the essential doctrines of salvation in Jesus Christ is not tolerable. However, on such questions as that of hypnosis, everyone can think differently, and the differing opinions have enriched this debate with respectable arguments.
I will, therefore, continue to regularly address topics dealing with “taboos” or differing opinions, hoping that this will allow us to have a rich, abundant, balanced and informative discussion space addressing Christian topics.
Thank you all for blessing us by reading our material and taking the time to share your opinions with us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Rachel, our team, and I, thank you for your loyalty and your undying affection!