This weekend I went to see a stage hypnosis show. I always enjoy these. They take me out of my comfort zone. It forces me to think about how I hypnotize people, and what I could be doing differently.
The show got off to a bad start because it started twenty minutes late but by the end everyone had a good time.
Chooseing volunteers for the stage hypnosis show
He started the audience participation with an NLP type point-and-turn- and-then-see-if -you-can-turn-further-by-imagining-you-can demo. Then a hand clasp suggestion test. Oddly enough he did not select the most hypnotizable from among these - he sat everyone down and asked for volunteers. And there were plenty. The seats on stage filled up very quickly. He then did a progressive relaxation on the volunteers. I tried to go along with the induction to see if I would go into trance but I found the music he used too loud and distracting.
But it clearly worked on the volunteers. Many were obviously zonked, but a few I had my doubts about. What was interesting to me is that like all the stage hypnotists I have seen, he did not do any testing or confirmation.
He ran a very loud show and the stunts were very vigorous. So vigorous that I observed that many of the volunteers shook themselves right out of trace. He kept them working away at various things although it was obvious to me that some were clearly not in trance. And yet, when they sat down and he counted 3-2-1 and told them they were back in trace, they all seemed to be so. So, do I need to do just that with my clients? I am still puzzling about how some of the volunteers were doing really out there stuff but still unquestionably in trance.
What you can learn from a stage hypnosis show
Maybe I should have a go at running a show of my own sometime. It certainly doesn't look particularly difficult. I know one well known stage hypnotist who started off in a band, but wasn't too good at it so changed from playing guitar to booking other acts and made a living at that. Later he branched out to booking other types of act, including hypnosis shows. He used to watch the hypnotist he booked because he enjoyed it. And then, one night the hypnotist did not show up. Instead of cancelling the show, my friend took to the stage himself and did what he remembered of the routines. He had never hypnotized anybody up to then, and now he was hypnotizing a whole room! He never looked back and built a new career for himself.
A lot people think that stage hypnosis is bad for the hypnotherapy industry and put the wrong idea into people's heads. I disagree. When it done well it lets the public see a real hypnotist and experience hypnosis for themselves. I think it mostly gives a positive image of hypnosis.
Overall it was a fun night and very professionally done. My wife loves these things. And, to top it off, we won first prize in the raffle! Over $400 worth of services from local businesses. I love hypnosis!
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.