Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Interestingly enough, I posted a question to a paranormal/reincarnation group on Google and found that a gentleman answering my question has posted it all over. Interesting.

I had not intended for this blog to get very paranormal, metaphysical, or New Age, but alas, it seems like a avalanche descending.

I used to say I was a clinical hypnotist, but what a confining category it seems to be. I have always been fairly open-minded and discovered a joy in working with those who have the more unusual issues. These seems to include a variety of others wanting to enhance psychic ability, see ghosts, to control one's ability to be a medium, understand the meaning of life, and of course re-experience past lives. I do admit these people are probably most fascinating to me where as the classic smokers and weight loss clients are those of whom I empathize.

A while ago, I went to a local NGH meeting and the leader of this particular group was very much against doing anything but clinical hypnosis, arguing (against whom I was never sure - himself maybe?) that anything else defames the noble profession. I see his point though it seems driven out of fear or an urge to control. Hypnosis has a lot to come up against. This person is also against stage hypnosis shows, but as a wise hypnotist once told me:

We need hypnosis shows because it provides an opportunity for the public to try it, be seduced by its magic, and eventually be less afraid of it and actually utilize it as a tool in making life better.

So, I'm fairly sure, at least in my own practice, that just providing clinical hypnosis services is limiting and perhaps close minded. Rather, it's all about how one presents one self and hypnosis. If it is done in a way that is respectful to profession, self and client, well then maybe one can really accomplish something, including pushing the boundaries of mind.


Paul said...

I believe that stage hypnosis has a place in all this; to flat out discount it and try to ignore it only serves to do hypnosis in and of itself a disservice.

My opinion is and always will be that hypnosis is more than likely the single most powerful tool we'll ever have access to when it comes to helping people, but if they're so scared of it, so wrapped up in the myths about it that TV shows, movies, comics, etc keep shoving down the collective public's throat, it'll never get out of "the dark ages" which I still consider us to be in.

Erickson took it farther than any other single individual in history by basically showing "it's not about a watch, it's not about a candle, it's not authoritarian" and pretty much proving hypnosis isn't and wasn't what it was believed to be - and for that I myself will be forever grateful for every contribution he ever made.

Anyone that "holds the line" and only practices by the book is only doing themselve's an injustice since as we all know the sky's the limit, but in this case it's the imagination's the limit. Have fun with it, enjoy it, teach people it's not what they've read or seen it's supposed to be, and roll with it.

Only then will hypnosis get out of the dark ages. We've still got a very long way to go, unfortunately.

Have fun, always...

Anonymous said...

I've come across numerous therapists (both hypno- and others) who describe stage hypnotism as unethical without actually saying exactly what's unethical about it. I think what they really mean is that they feel it demeans their profession, and I think they should lighten up.

I agree with you that stage hypnotism helps to keep hypnosis in the limelight. My own interest in hypnosis was sparked by seeing a stage hypnotist - and yet now I find myself using it therapeutically. It's a powerful thing and in a sense, the more people know about it, the safer it is. If (responsible) stage hypnotists can help demystify it and entertain at the same time, I think that's a good thing.

Lee Darrow said...

To those who say that stage hypnosis is "unethical," or somehow "immoral," I reply:

NONSENSE! (I was going to use stronger language, but this is a page that belongs to a lady and manners do count, after all!)

Without the stage hypnotist, the therapeutic hypnotist would have gone the way of the dodo bird back in the 1920's.

It has been and will be for the forseeable future, the stage hypnotists who keep the concept and interest in hypnosis alive in the minds of the public.

How many clinical hypnotists has anyone ever seen on national television? How many clinical hypnotists has one ever heard on national radio?

And how many of them have gotten air time because some stage hypnotist got there FIRST?

With regard to the ethics issue, how many stage hypnotists have even been charged with violations of ethics or morals laws in the past fifty years? Answer: fewer than 4. Convictions? NONE

Compare that to the number of Doctors who use hypnosis in their practices and the numbers change, considerably. The people on the medical side compare poorly, indeed, next to the stage hypnotists, when it comes to ethical charges filed.

Stage hypnotists are the ones who developed literally all of the rapid and instantaneous inductions that one see these days (sorry, Erickson fans, his handshake induction was something that Arnold Furst was doing back in the 30's and 40's, as was Flynt, even earlier). Stage hypnotists are the ones who created the idea of actually using symptom substitution to clinical advantage as Erickson later espoused in the 50's!

So, without the stage hypnotist, the "clinical" hypnotherapist would not, in all probability, even exist. After all, how many universities actually teach hypnotherapy?

Answer - very, very few ...and all of those only teach on a graduate level. Some only on a post-doctoral level.

And that's enough to kill any discipline.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

I was wondering when you would weigh in Lee:) I do appreciate the gentlemanly approach to your answer. Amen.