In this article, Hypnosis and Weight Loss, What Dr. Oz and Others Say, (Which also says that McKenna’s “presentation was unconvincing”… unconvincing to who?), the author displays a common misunderstanding of hypnosis. I’m not going to comment on the portions referring to a lack of scientific studies showing that hypnosis for weight loss works, because all the hypnotists that I’m familiar with are too busy working with clients to take part in studies.
What I am going to comment on is the line in the article which reads:
Perhaps there is a placebo effect: if people truly believe hypnosis will work, then perhaps it will, and that may be sufficien for some people. (sic)
There’s no “perhaps” about it. Hypnosis takes advantage of the placebo effect. That’s what it is. It gets the conscious mind out of the way, and convinces the subconscious (or unconscious, if you prefer) that something that may not be objectively true, is subjectively true. To get rid of cognitive dissonance, the subconscious does whatever it can to make the “truth” that it believes, true in fact.
I just get annoyed when people say things like, “Hypnosis doesn’t really work, it’s just the placebo effect.” as if that’s a bad thing.