by Hendrik Baird
Hypnosis is arguably one of the most misunderstood of the healing professions. The main reason for this is that people have so many misconceptions about it. The reasons for these misconceptions?
An audience member is called up onto the stage where the mysterious looking hypnotist with the pointed little beard and penetrating eyes quickly puts her into a trance. She almost falls over, but as he keeps whispering into her ear, the hypnotist stabilizes her and soon she opens her eyes and takes her place among the three other people already seated on stage. The show is about to begin.
It does not take long for the lady to start walking around the stage, clucking like a chicken and laying eggs, to the great amusement of the curious audience who has packed out the theatre. She soon becomes a washing machine, speaks like an alien and ends up kissing a broom sincerely believing it is the love of her life. The audience falls about laughing, in stitches as the hypnotist controls his victims to the point where they do the simply ridiculous.
No wonder thegeneralpublic is scared when considering using hypnosis to solve problems! Popular culture has portrayed hypnosis in a very negative light and characters like Svengali have become firmly entrenched in the collective unconscious. Svengali is a fictional character in George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby. He is a hypnotist who makes the title character into a famous singer.
It is important to understand that a Hypnotherapist has no supernatural power, cannot control or force you to do things you don’t want to do and most certainly has no wish to manipulate you in any way. His or her only aim is to use the power of your own subconscious mind to find solutions to those problems that you may have.
Yes indeed, stage performances demonstrate to some level the power of hypnosis, but it is important to remember that nobody will do something they don’t want to do. The lady on our stage really wants to be there, is extremely suggestible and most certainly knows what she is doing. Is she being controlled or is she simply doing what she is asked to do? Does she feel compelled to do it?
During the hypnotic process one of the main things that need to happen is the bypass of the critical factor. This means that a point is reached where the conscious mind will no longer “judge” the suggestions that are given but will simply and without question do what is asked. Our stage hypnotist is very skilled in applying what is known as the “spiral of belief”. In other words, he will start by asking the victim to do something very simple and gradually work up to the more ridiculous skits.
Do the people on the stage know what they are doing? Of course they are! Are they being forced to do something against their will? Of course not! They choose to do it, spurred on by the applause and laughter from the appreciative audience.
So many people entering a therapy room, where hypnosis is used as a method to facilitate change, are scared that they will lose control and end up clucking like chickens. It is important to know and understand that the Hypnotherapist and the stage hypnotist have two very different aims. The one wants to entertain an audience, while the other is there to help the client overcome problems and improve their lives.
So the next time you are thinking of solving those issues that have been bothering you for a long time, whether they be anxiety and stress, concentration and memory or anger issues, remember that the Hypnotherapist is trained to assist you through the power of hypnosis and will never ask you to do things you do not want to do. Instead the therapist will be your guide and using relaxation techniques will assist you in finding a speedy resolution, changing your life for the better.
If you want to cluck like a chicken, that’s entirely up to you!