For example, there will always be those who pretend to by hypnotised or who simply want to make a fool of the hypnotist in front of their friends. But a good stage hypnotist will be well aware of this and look for signs that will weed out those problem makers.
He may have a stooge in the audience who will secretly point out to him anyone who is misbehaving behind his back. Or, another possible sign is the audience laughing at something that is happening that the hypnotist does not see
So following the direction where the audience is looking, will tell him who is going to cause him problems and steel the limelight. Those people are quickly asked to return to their seats in the audience.
So on with the show. The hypnotist will then carry out his act appearing to hypnotise at will and getting his subjects to perform funny, but harmless acts in front of the audience.
It should be noted that NOBODY will respond to any form of SUGGESTION that is OBNOXIOUS or against his or her MORAL CONVICTIONS!
No stage hypnotist would risk his reputation by giving a suggestion to anyone knowing that that person would object to carrying it out. For example, it would be very risky to suggest to an attractive woman that she should physically take her clothes off. Ok, there are women who would gladly do that in front of an audience, but the hypnotist would not know that and would, therefore, avoid such a suggestion.
You will also note that religion is NEVER included in a performance by a stage hypnotist.
It should also be noted that in any audience, there are a small number of people who would be happy to go on stage and do silly things to get a laugh. Go to any holiday camp and you will see performers calling up on stage members of an audience and having them do silly things. There are clowns in every audience and the stage is a perfect vehicle for them, with or WITHOUT hypnosis as an excuse.
Genuine Hypnosis or Not! (to be continued – see my next article in this series or contact me)
Genuine Hypnosis or Not!
So are those volunteers on the stage genuinely hypnotised. The answer is a – Yes and No. Some are in such a deep trance that they are genuinely hypnotised. Those people usually cannot remember what they have done immediately after a show, but do remember as time passes by. (Of course, some people who do remember, say they do not because they want to cover their tracks with their friends and family to avoid embarrassment).
Others will NOT be hypnotised, but pretend they are.
I watched a show once and one woman was certainly under hypnosis whereas there was a man who was obviously not. The hypnotist got only a few laughs from the woman and made full use of the man as he was willing to do virtually anything to raise a laugh.
It should be noted that an ethical hypnotist will always establish normality, at the end of his act, in his subjects, regardless of whether he believes it necessary or not.
Ok, enough about stage hypnosis and now to Hypnotherapy.
Now for the boring part of this article.
What does a Hypnotherapist do? He or she helps people to live a normal and happy life. The definition of the word – normal – has to be left up to you for it is how you want to live your life that is normal.
A Hypnotherapist will be educated in both the application and use of hypnosis and also in the application of psychology in the form of psychotherapy.
Good Hypnotherapists have an arsenal of techniques and therapies at his or her disposal. The importance of recognising every client as an individual with his or her own personal characteristics, life experiences and most importantly a way of dealing with problems, cannot be emphasised enough.
Hypnotherapists are there to help and not to make a client feel foolish. An important requirement for any Hypnotherapist is a caring, kind and understanding nature. The need to help others is a bonus.
Also important is the training a Hypnotherapist receives. Any course taken MUST include the psychology aspect of treating clients. The reason simply being that a Hypnotherapist treats psychological problems and he or she must understand human behaviour. It is not necessary to hold a degree in psychology, but knowledge of most forms of psychology is important.
A typical treatment given by a Hypnotherapist would be:
1. A consultation when an overall assessment of a the presenting problem is taken. The consultation must include questions on family background, medication, past illnesses and a host of other things. Near the end of the consultation, the Hypnotherapist may or may not include a short session of hypnosis to boost confidence in the client and in the therapy to be given.
2. On the next session the Hypnotherapist will then use an appropriate therapy. Sometimes it includes hypnosis and sometimes a non-hypnosis technique such as Guided Imagery. If the Hypnotherapist considers it appropriate, he or she may just use this session to talk through the problem.
3. Subsequent sessions are then conducted to bring about a solution to the problem.
At no time would an ethical Hypnotherapist produce a situation where the client becomes reliant on the therapy of therapist. The goal of a Hypnotherapist is to guide the client towards self-reliance when he or she is in full control of the life he or she wants to lead.
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat almost, but not all, psychological ailments.
I hope the above helps you recognise the difference between what is perceived as stage hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. One entertains and is not what it appears to be and the other is used for healing.
Footnote: Please note that in the above article I have used the male gender throughout, but this is for easy reading and does not exclude female hypnotists or hypnotherapists.
Robert Shields teaches Hypnotherapy and his own unique Fear Elimination Therapy (remove phobias in minutes). Teaching Hypnotherapists since 1986 his
30-lesson diploma course costs $197.97 or UKP98.00. Includes a money-back guarantee. Full details at: