I think one of the best things a successful hypnotist can do is to develop an approach to his or her show in which people become engaged and want to experience something possibly new and very exciting.

Let’s face it, one of the biggest challenges a hypnotist faces is getting enough volunteers.  There is fear people have they will be “out of control” or be a mindless drone under the control of the hypnotist.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Misconceptions abound about what hypnosis is and is not abound. Hypnosis is suggestion and influence (broadly defined).  When you watch a movie and really get into it, that’s hypnosis.  Whenever we focus on something to the point where it changes how we feel – that’s hypnosis.  A loved says, “I love you” and a warm feeling of affection and belonging washes over your mind and body.  That’s hypnosis.

Let’s look at some of the most common misconceptions:

When you are hypnotized you are under the control of the hypnotist.  

Not true.  Hypnosis is a state of a heightened focus and complete awareness.  If the hypnotist asked you to do something you did not want to do, you could just say “No!”  When you are watching a stage hypnosis show, you are watching volunteers doing simply what they are asked.

When you are hypnotized you are asleep.

Not true. Although the hypnotist may use the word “sleep” when putting volunteers under, they are very much aware and in control (because they are in hypnosis when given the suggestion to sleep – they go into what looks like sleep).  How else would they be able to follow the hypnotist’s suggestions if they were not aware?

You can get stuck in hypnosis.

Not true.  The state of hypnosis is a very natural one.  You go in and out of it several times a day.  In a show, focus must be maintained in order stay in the hypnotic state.  Once focus is lessened, the volunteer simply “wakes up”.  Think of the last show you saw and how some people seemed to wake up and end up being excused from the show?  Even if the hypnotist dropped dead from a heart attack, the volunteers in hypnosis would either fall asleep or wake up.

People who get hypnotized are weak minded.

Not true. People who can easily be hypnotized have many common traits: creative, intelligent and able to easily achieve intense focus. Someone using the term “weak minded” generally are trying to say they think someone is gullible and easily manipulated.  The ability to focus intensely is a quality of someone who knows how to use their mind or conscious faculties and is quite the opposite of “weak minded”.

There are many more of these… I tend to hear these ones the most.  Hope I’ve shed a bit a light on what I love to do.


Questions?  I love to answer them.  james@jrmatthew.com



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