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How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?

How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?

Transcript 

How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?

For a lot of people their own experience of hypnosis is what they have seen on TV, stage shows, people clucking like chickens and that kind of thing. I will explain to you a little bit about how that works, as opposed to what happens in a hypnotherapy session. Now, no stage hypnotist would do a show unless there is approximately a minimum of about seventy-five people present. Because they know that statistically out of seventy-five, they are going to get three or four people who are very quick at going into a trial state and are prepared to be the stars of the show; which generally means making a fool out of yourself. Usually the people who take part in shows like that are extroverts or the people who want to be extroverts. It is a great way to behave outrageously and not take any responsibility for it. One of the skills of a stage hypnotist is picking out the right people. So often, what they do is they ask for volunteers. You might get twenty or thirty people going up on the stage and then they go through a series of tests, which double up as a hypnotic induction. Now a typical test is this one, and you can try it now if you like. You clasp your hands together very tightly and I want you to imagine very vividly that your hands are glued together with superglue. No matter how hard you try, you cannot pull your hands apart. Now try pulling your hands apart. Now I would guess that one of maybe three or four things happened. What I see most commonly in my practice, when I do this test, is that people get the feeling of them being locked, and then kind of think whoa that is a bit weird, and kind of unclasp their hands, take back control. Other people, there will be a few people who really, you know, really get it and they will be thinking oh my god I cannot pull my hands apart. There will be another group of people who will be going, actually, no mate you cannot do that to me. I am in complete control here, which of course they are. But so is the person that is going along with it. It is just that they are choosing to go along with it, because they want to be the star of the show. Now, having said that, there is a pressure when you are on the stage to do what you are told. There is something about the energy, the power of a theatrical performance, which does push people to do things which maybe they would not normally do. You think the pressure is on the hypnotist, but that is not what it feels like if you are in the hot seat, as it were. So there is all that kind of psychological pressure going on at the same time. When you see someone clucking like a chicken, or eating an onion and pretending it is an apple, or whatever it is that they are doing, it is exactly the same process as a child playing. I have a little boy who is six and in a blink of an eye can transform himself into a power ranger or he can be eating imaginary food in the back of the garden, or digging dinosaur bones. And when children play games like that, it is very real to them. We are all born with a natural ability to fantasize very vividly and it is in this realm of fantasy that everything that we create comes from all inventions. All designs start in the realm of imagination. The great sports people of this world imagine themselves as winners. If you do not believe that, if you cannot see that, than you do not even bother to train. Part of the process of hypnotherapy is about imagining yourself as you really want yourself to be, because that is the first step towards achieving those goals. The illusion of stage hypnosis is that people are being made to do things against their will. That is the illusion. If it did not look like that, it would not make for a very good show. But they are actually very carefully selected volunteers. They are there because they want to be there. It is a real experience that those people are having. But it is a bit like an actor or an actress or a child playing who becomes so immersed in their part they have become the character, which is of course when you see the best acting. Hypnotherapy uses that same realm of imagination, but it uses it to empower people and to help people achieve their goals.


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