What is the difference between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Lots of people are wary about hypnotherapy because they have seen a stage show involving hypnosis. The hypnotist seems to be able to take control of your mind and make you do silly things like bark like a dog or take your clothes off. It seems scary.

Hypnotherapy is nothing like stage hypnosis. The therapist does not control your mind and there is no need for you to be in  a deep trance like you see in a performance. In fact, if you watch a stage hypnotist carefully you will see they only choose a fraction of the audience members to stay on stage. This is because 10 % of the population are very suggestible and can easily be made to do the entertaining things. The rest of us aren’t but that does not mean that hypnotherapy will not work for us.

During hypnotherapy the therapist gently guides the client  into hypnosis. The process is slow and gradual. There is no need for the deep sleep hypnosis that a stage show uses. The client is still in control and can hear the hypnotist and speak themselves. The aim is to enable the client to relax to the extent they are willing to accept positive suggestions about how to change their life. You cannot be made to accept anything you do not agree with. Those participants in the stage shows secretly want to do all the strange things to show off.

Even if you are not particularly suggestible you can still benefit from hypnotherapy. You may take more than one session to learn to fully relax and let go. You can still accept the suggestions for change when in a light trance or even with your eyes wide open. It will still work even if you don’t feel like you have been in a trance.

The hypnotherapist is trained to get you in and out of trance safely. Nobody ever gets stuck in a trance. Left to your own devices you would just come out of the state yourself and return to your full awareness.

Hypnosis has been used in therapy for a very long time. Originally, Freud used to hypnotise his clients to get them to talk candidly. Later he abandoned the practice and just did talk therapy. However, I think he made a mistake here. By harnessing the power of your unconscious mind you can make connections more quickly and retrieve long forgottten memories that can help you understand yourself better. This is why hypnotherapy can be quicker than talking therapy.

Categories HypnotherapyTags , ,

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