Tag Archives: hypnosis

The ploys of Stage Hypnosis

In this article I reveal the ploys that are employed in stage hypnosis. You may not want to read this if you prefer the mystery, but by understanding stage hypnosis we may be able to allay confusion, in particular the sterotypical notion of hypnosis being used to control peoples behaviours. Here are the major reasons why stage “hypnosis” appears to magically be able to control people:

1/ People are aware the setting is one of entertainment and performance. Those that volunteer are likely to go with suggestions and socially accept the role of entertainer, rather than spoiling the event or being seen as boring. They may also feel special for being able to be “hypnotised”
2/ A general exhibitionist trait exists in the volunteer who will enact the requirements of the “hypnotist”. Even if performing on stage is not your thing, you may want to try the performance for fun or due to peer pressure. Most people  relate to the idea of doing something they never expected themselves to do, but did it anyway
3/ Preselection of volunteers. A good stage hypnotist will preselect volunteers weeding out those that may want to jeopardise the performance, or those looking for objective proof of hypnotizability e.g. by seeing that they go along with the instructions to clasp hands together as likely volunteers
4/ Use of stooges so that if all else fails the stage hypnotist can demonstrate their magical powers of control

These ploys have been well documented, but nonetheless the ability of good stage hypnotists to carry the crowd and entertain is a highly skilled art. However, it does also demonstrate the source of both skeptical and fearful ideas of the omnipotent hypnotist being able to override peoples thoughts and behaviours. In terms of the skeptics, I would ask what there is to be skeptical about? If I asked you to “take a seat” surely it is you that decides whether you want to go with it or not? That is similar to “going under” in hypnosis, you decide if you want to and follow the process and suggestions offered.

This also goes some way in understanding why hypnosis is perfectly safe and natural state, just like any other psychotherapeutic approach if grounded on ethics, evidence, knowledge and experience.

PathTherapy provides a confidential Counselling and Hypnotherapy services for adults and young people in Bracknell Forest and the surrounding areas of Berkshire including Warfield, Binfield, Wokingham, Twyford, Crowthorne, Ascot & Winkfield. Specialist areas including stress, anxiety, relationships, bereavement, fears, habits, phobias, anger and addiction. Call for free no obligation session.

Why bother with Hypnotherapy? Part 2 – Beyond Relaxation

In this second part of opinions on “why bother with hypnosis?” With so many thereapeutic approaches you may ask what does Hypnotherapy have to offer that is unique either on its own or combined? Depth of relaxation.

It is true that there are many approaches and philosophies to relaxation e.g. meditation, mindfulness, progressive muscular relaxation, tai chi etc. But how does hypnosis enhance the state of relaxation. The typical basis for relaxation is well known – get yourself to reduce stress, anxiousness and declutter your thoughts even to the point of nothingness in the case of particular meditations. These are very important techniques especially in a world of abundant choice and information. Hypnosis offers all this but a depth of relaxation that goes beyond conscious relaxation or going into a calm state of body and mind. In short hypnosis (or self-hypnosis) offers the possibility to go beyond relaxation into a world of the inviduals choosing, almost a dream state and being able to control your dreams, but not asleep as in the case of Lucid dreaming (where you can control your dreams). The feeling of deep relaxation is highly personal (phenomenal) experience, but what most people would explain as “going on the most relaxing holiday ever” where your stresses, tensions and self-talk just dissolve – it is like pulling the plug on your immediate concerns and drifting inwards to another world ( or now if you prefer ) but with the benefit of being able to come out of it when you want (as opposed to being asleep) e.g. if the bell rang. This ability to “deepen” to a state of “turning your plug off” is quiet unique as it offers something beyond relaxation. It also counters the scenario where you dont have time, finding it too time consuming to get there, or worst still not being able to relax because you are “forcing yourself”. Hypnosis offers set processes to achieve depth of relaxation that once learned, could get you there faster! To be able to “switch off” is a skill worth having.

PathTherapy provides a confidential Counselling and Hypnotherapy services for adults and young people in Bracknell Forest and the surrounding areas of Berkshire including Warfield, Binfield, Wokingham, Twyford, Crowthorne, Ascot & Winkfield. Specialist areas including stress, anxiety, relationships, bereavement, fears, habits, phobias, anger and addiction. Call for free no obligation session.

 

Why bother with Hypnotherapy? Part 1 – Exploring the senses

This is first part of a series of opinions on “why bother with Hypnosis?”. With so many approaches to therapy it makes sense to ask what hypnotherapy has to offer that is unique on its own or in conjunction with other approaches.

Typically when we think about experiences and feelings we talk to ourselves or others in terms of say “I’m sad, i’m happy or angy etc.” or “I got angry because someone took my car park space” or “I feel guilty because I could have done better”. These thoughts and emotions form a useful expression of what is going on with us, which can then be used as a basis for solutioning with our inner self or friend and arriving at a state of “harmony”. So for example, we could tell ourselves “that you should not have got angry if someone took your parking space, because it is a waste of time and energy, and there were other spaces available anyway” which is quiet a direct way of trying to resolve a perceived issue or uncomfortable feeling, by talking your way out through reason. But sometimes, especially in dealing with more significant concerns analysis can be paralysis, talking may cause us to excessively spend time coming up with a solution that appears out of reach or even involve recriminations about ourselves and others and as much as we try, we cant seem to find one. When we try to force ourselves to stop we may either carry on regardless, or get frustrated with ourselves that we cant stop thinking, wasting both precious time and energy and just going round in circles.

For me, the senses add an important dimension to talking therapies allowing us, in parallel to thinking to feel senses as well. These senses may be what we physically feel in our body, what we imagine ourselves to be, or the reality of events either directly or metaphorically, and in those scenarios focusing on what the feelings we perceive when we see, hear, smell, taste and touch. These senses can help us understand our intuitive feelings and perceptions and ideal states either in the past, now or the future. It is these felt senses which an be explored within hypnotherapy, typically in a deeply relaxed state. Sometimes if we choose to take on the metaphorical idea of being  bodily light, being on top of a mountain, seeing things from above, visualising success, learning from a past peceived failure we can change how we perceive ourselves, people, situations and the environment. Through senses I have found it is possible for clients to allow themselves to indirectly calm their talking mind and use the felt senses to arrive at a solution, using these sensed feelings as a way of revisiting perception and attitude towards challenges and solutions that “talking” sometimes cannot do on its own. Utilising hypnotherapy, these states are “suggested”, “post suggested” or “autosuggested” which, if taken on as desired state, can take on a whole new personal meaning, lifting the human spirit and stirs the individuals personal drive, motivation, resources or what ever you want to call it.  Do you sense (imagine) or do you think hypnotherapy could be useful to you?