YOURE BACK IN THE ROOM - ITV
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN STAGE HYPNOSIS & HYPNOTHERAPY
There has been a lot of debate since the first programme in the series Youre back in the room. Many think that the hypnosis is not real and that the programme is fixed. Others enjoy it for its entertainment value.
As a practicing Cognitive Hypnotherapist, the one thing that does concern me is that Hypnotherapy has been linked to Stage hypnosis. I would like to clarify the distinctions between the two.
The primary distinction between the two is that Stage hypnosis is all about entertainment, whereas Hypnotherapy is all about helping individuals with psychological problems. These range from anxiety and stress, to phobias, OCD and unwanted habits (e.g. smoking), as well as from depression and performance enhancement to pain and weight management.
Stage Hypnotists require their subjects to be in a deep level of trance. This is why they hold auditions; to identify so called somnambulists, i.e. who are prone to this and respond well to suggestion. These people can be manipulated to do the crazy things, as seen on the show. Nobody puts them self forward for such a show unless they are aware of what they are likely to be doing; so, in reality, they are not being forced to do something against their will.
Hypnotherapists use hypnosis as a tool, one of many in their armoury and only require their clients to go into a very light trance; unless certain treatments e.g. for pain control, require otherwise. Also, as technically, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, clients are in control and can reject suggestions or treatment. Thus, it is essential that the therapist forms rapport with the client.
There is a belief that we are all in hypnotic states many times during the day. The prime example I use is that of driving. I m sure that most of you will have experienced driving a car and not remembering parts of the journey. Also, an hour journey may have seemed more like 30 minutes. This situation exhibits 2 of the trance phenomena used in formal hypnosis; namely amnesia and time distortion. Sportsmen and women often can cut out pain when in the flow (sensory distortion). Almost without exception, my clients describe the experience of trance as being very relaxing and enjoyable. Many choose to learn self-hypnosis, so that they can use the experience over and over again.
Most Hypnotherapists belong to a professional body, such as The National Council for Hypnotherapy, which have a code of ethics which precludes its members from providing entertainment from their clients.
Many people have an innate fear of hypnosis, based on what they see in shows like this one and possibly preconceptions about hypnosis itself. Sadly, it often prevents them from seeking treatment which can usually quickly and effectively resolve the types of psychological issues described above. I have personally dealt with over 700 clients in my 10 years of practice. For many, their lives have been dramatically changed for the better. Much as I enjoy stage hypnosis, I would like people to understand the differences between the two and feel confident to talk to me about how you can be helped.