“Is hypnosis safe?” Hypnosis is safer than most things. Drugs carry the risk of side effects, surgery carries the risk of complications and infection, while hypnosis doesn’t.
The most common issue with hypnosis is when the hypnotist goes solely for the symptom itself. Sometimes the symptom is just a nuisance and it will go away forever if the unconscious mind is asked to do this in a way it understands. Sometimes the symptom serves a purpose, and removing it can cause trouble.
For example, what happens when a smoker who has forgotten how to relax without lighting up goes to see a bad hypnotist? His real problem is that his unconscious mind has built up a false belief that “relaxation is impossible without smoking.” The smoker likely doesn’t realize this consciously. He needs to replace this belief with something more helpful: that’s the key to solving his problem. But a bad hypnotist will ignore the belief and work only on the smoking itself. In this situation, three outcomes are possible: