Most peoples’ first impressions of hypnotherapy is of stage hypnotherapists putting on a show which has people doing silly things for entertainment. Therefore, sometimes you need to break through this misconception. By a client understanding what hypnosis is then this can make hypnosis slightly easier as there is less fear of it.
One other misconception is that during hypnosis you need to be in a deep trance like state. This is not necessarily the case (and reaching a very deep trance state such as a third or fourth level trance state can be very difficult for those in the western world). Instead hypnosis is more of a relaxed state and you only need a light mental and physical relaxation (stage 1 trance state). A simple way of explaining this form of trance state as well is that it is like a daydream. People can go in and out of a daydream state multiple times in a day for example when staring out the window or staring off into space. And also can be the same state just before falling asleep at night, or even the effect you get when driving and you drive automatically about thinking where you are going.
In this state the client is relaxed but I would definitely point out and explain that they remain in control. They cannot be forced to do anything they do not want to do. Also you are not asleep when in hypnosis – instead you can hear everything going on around you – its just that this can be compartmentalised and you just choose to remain relaxed.
The other thing to explain is that people cannot get stuck in a hypnotic state – they will come out naturally as after all you might go into a daydream but you come out of this stage naturally.