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Topic: Psychic Clinical Hypnotism
Message: Posted by: PRESTO66 (Jan 24, 2006 08:41AM)
I am new to stage hypnotism and want to take a class on the subject. There seems to be much debate between the clinical hypnosis camp and the stage hypnotists, with the clinical hypnotists all but calling the stage hypnotists charlatans (on the Magic Café site, most posters have taken a respectful tone, but other sites on the internet slam stage hypnotists.)

That being said, I recently received an e-mail from a well known, state-certified clinical hypnotism school advertising a seminar by a speaker who has “developed the ability to see into the future and to communicate with the dead, but she also learned how to go beyond the physical world to make contact with the higher spiritual realms- where guides and angels reside.”

At first I was of the opinion that getting a clinical hypnotism foundation was the way to go, but given the crystal-hugging nature of this seminar (and several others I’ve researched), I’m thinking of bypassing the clinical training and going right to the stage hypnotism.

My questions are these:

1) Do most clinical hypnosis schools mix hypnotism and “psychic awareness”? Many of those I’ve found do.

2) If the answer is “yes”, why is it that they accuse the stage hypnotists of being charlatans? That charge would seem to better be marshalled against those "psychic hypnotists"; after all, you can’t claim to be a scientist and a psychic at the same time.

3) Is forgoing a clincial hypnotism foundation good practice for stage hypnotist training?
Message: Posted by: coupcoupdaddy (Jan 24, 2006 01:29PM)
I purchased and "studied" Mark Lewis's stage hypnotism course and found this material simultaneously fascinating and sad show business. I've also had eight years of hypnotherapy from a certified practitioner to whom I am grateful. There of course is a world of difference between the two "schools" and their intent. I'm not sure what you mean by "psychic awareness."
Message: Posted by: PRESTO66 (Jan 24, 2006 01:40PM)
Thanks for your input. By “psychic awareness” I'm referring to the kind of approach that incorporates references to psychic phenomena as opposed to clinical psychology. There is a world of difference, and a mountain of evidence which separates the use of hypnosis to modify behavior and hypnosis to find one’s “past life.”

My point is that I would like to learn from a clinician or an entertainer rather than someone purporting to be a psychic.
Message: Posted by: Beauregard (Jan 24, 2006 02:46PM)
Iv'e seen the Mark Lewis course and I concur that it is absolute rubbish.
Any course in Stage Hypnosis which is presented by a magician come Hypnotist will get you in deep trouble if any problems arise on stage.
I'd seek out a certified instructor thru NGH or ABH.

Message: Posted by: silverfire9 (Jan 24, 2006 05:27PM)
I know what you mean, Presto, and I agree with you. There's far too much New Age in many hypnosis/NLP training schools. I don't want to learn Huna, Reiki, or anything other than hypnosis or NLP when I go to a hypnosis training school. Yet many of them incorporate those things.


Here's my reasoning: it sells. They get more students by offering psychic stuff as well as "plain vanilla" hypnosis.

What can you do about it? Well, basically, you'll just have to hunt till you find a school you're comfortable with. Keep in mind that even if they have other things on the menu, that doesn't mean you have to take those courses. If all they offer is a mixed course, that's one thing, but most places I've seen offer the various things in their own courses.

Yeah, there'll likely be some bleed-over from the other courses, but you're intelligent enough to apply a filter to what you learn, aren't you?

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: PRESTO66 (Jan 24, 2006 07:44PM)
Thanks for the benefit of your experience.

As for applying filters, you’re right to point out that we should always be on the look out for the bias of others and filter it out when appropriate. However, filters don’t do the entire job – for instance, they don't correct for “selection bias” – the predisposition to select certain material on the basis of a bias.

As a result, a school which favors and teaches “psychic phenomena” alongside clinical hypnosis, may be less disposed towards selecting for instruction those methodologies which run counter to their bias. Therefore, while I might be able to apply my filters to what I am taught, I am not able to “filter” back in teaching left out as a result of their bias. Consequently, I would like to make my choice of school in such a manner as to minimize “selection bias.”

In other words, apply a selection bias of my own. :)

Which, as you said, all comes down to finding a school which I'm comfortable with.
Message: Posted by: Scotty Mac (Jan 24, 2006 07:50PM)

My training included a discussion on past life regression in the context of "this could happen when doing an age regression." My instructor has done literally thousands of sessions and said he hits a PLR for approximately 4% of the sessions where he uses age regression. He was far from a crystal-hugger and wanted people to draw their own conclusions about what the people were experiencing. It's not difficult to see how the metaphysical things get incorporated into hypnosis training when you learn about some of the experiences that people have had and the various applications for hypnosis.

I do think that hypnotists that have a negative of view stage work do view hypnosis as a very serious healing tool. In their minds, having someone cluck like a chicken or having mock sex with a chair is not a good or ethical use for hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is being used to cure with everything from phobias to cancer and from their perspective those that are using it as entertainment makes it more of a challenge for hypnosis to be accepted as a main stream treatment. Yes, I realize some of the psychic things you're talking about also add to the challenge.

Having said that, I bet if you ask many hypnotherapists where their clients come from, the clients might often say that they saw a stage hypnosis show and that is what got them interested in seeking out treatment for their smoking, weight or whatever problem using hypnosis. I think it's good to have both sides of the story and recommend standard training as part of your package.
Message: Posted by: PRESTO66 (Jan 24, 2006 07:54PM)
Scotty Mac writes: "I think it's good to have both sides of the story and recommend standard training as part of your package."

Do you think it is better to have a hypnotherapy foundation prior to taking a stage hypnotism course?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 24, 2006 07:58PM)
Ok lets clarify why people may have a bad impression of the stage hypnotist.

first off we kind of deserve it. We as stage guys may have set back the cause of hypnotherapy years by our actions. (not me personally mind you BUT I am primarily a stage hypnotist so I lump me in there)

Worse yet the "magicians come hypnotists" who never bother to learn the "hypnosis" part that well really make life tough for those of us who do.

That all being said it is easy to make a lot more money doing stage hyp than clinical hyp. You can be horrifyingly bad and make money if you do it right. This causes jealousy plain and simple.

I really wish it was regulated a LOT better than it is. I can't think of a way to do it that dosn't hurt everyone, but it needs to be done.
Message: Posted by: Scotty Mac (Jan 24, 2006 09:26PM)

I went through this forum and heeded the advice of those much more knowledgeable than I am. My main goal when I attended the training was to ensure I would be safe when I did a stage show and to answer the question "Is hypnosis real?" As I went through the course I was surprised by things that I saw (someone in a hypnotic coma as one example) and the number of applications that are possible with hypnosis. I felt like I generally came away from it a better person and have been enthusiastic about learning all aspects of hypnosis.

Danny had recommended studying with a working stage hypnotist in my area. Unfortunately that wasn't an option for me. However, I think it could serve equally as well or better than hypnotherapy training if you could find someone willing and competent enough to train you.

Keep in mind your mileage will vary from instructor to instructor if you take the hypnotherapy training approach. I talked to people in my class who had taken training from several diffrent teachers and learned that some instructors only teach theory in their courses and provide no hands-on for the students. My instructor had us out doing instant inductions on complete strangers for part of the training.

You might want to PM some of the more experienced folks on this forum or ask in the Yahoo groups about quality instructors in your area/country. Also, as I have previously mentioned, you might want to see if there's a Sleepwalkers group in your area. You can see if hypnosis is something you really want to invest your time and money in and the meetings are generally free.
Message: Posted by: Godel (Jan 26, 2006 01:29AM)
What books would you guys recommend on hypnosis without any of the New Age,non-scientific mumbo jumbos? I have the Ormond McGill Stage Hypnosis book but is dated.
Message: Posted by: silverfire9 (Jan 26, 2006 08:09AM)
On 2006-01-24 20:44, PRESTO66 wrote:
< SNIP >

In other words, apply a selection bias of my own. :)

Which, as you said, all comes down to finding a school which I'm comfortable with.

That's a good point, and it is more or less what I meant by finding a school you're comfortable with. However, I think that it's entirely possible to accomplish what you want by filtering the other stuff out, as well. It just takes more work.

For example: a given school may teach parts therapy as their main method, which you disagree with. If you go out and do your research, you can counter that bias by deliberately including in your extra-curricular, um, curriculum what they leave out. You can read books that discuss different paradigms, watch DVDs, listen to CDs, read websites, etc.

Or you can go the route someone else suggested and find a mentor, as opposed to going through a school. You'll still have the same issues (finding a mentor that's aligned with your philosophies, etc.), but it might be more workable for you.

Who knows?
Message: Posted by: PRESTO66 (Jan 26, 2006 10:12AM)
Thanks silverfire9 -

I was reading McGill's Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism last night -- even that was a bit "Psychic" for my tase. Ormond spends a whole chapters talking about how you can build up psychic energy which will shoot out of your fingers like rays of light. That's fine if your trying to paint a mental picture to help induce someone, but McGill claims that the energy is real AND visible, not merely a suggested image.

I suppose I have a bit more research ahead of me before I can make my selection of coruses/teachers.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 27, 2006 03:58AM)
When people dump on stage hypnotists, especially the clinicians, they tend to forget that over 90% of the people who come to THEM for therapy come to them BECAUSE they FIRST saw a stage hypnotist - source the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis - the very people who are trying to outlaw stage hypnosis, yet could not pass legislation in their own home state, Illinois, that accomplished that fact!

Also, they tend to overlook the fact that their guiding lights in the field, people like Erickson, Kubie, Rossi, the Hilgards, Watzlwick and others all worked VERY hard to prove that hypnosis was NOT dangerous, and then turned around and spread all of the publicity about how stage hypnosis was such a big threat to the public health and safety and that it should only be used by licensed medical practitioners!

Well, where I come from, Illinois, that's called a double standard. And the attitudes espoused by that organization, which, I might add is viewed more than a little askance by the REST of the APA as being a bit on the fringe in their views on hypnosis being "unsafe for non-professionals," is NOT the view of the AMA, or even that of most of the mainstream APA!

If it were, I would not have been allowed to lecture and demonstrate or PERFORM at several AMA regional conferences, two conventions of the International Transpersonal Psychology Association, the First World Congress on NeuroLinguistic Programminf, the national convention for the American College of Physicians and Surgeons or two national conventions of the Association of Gastroenterological Nurses and Associates, just to mention a few.

The whole "clinicians versus stage hypnotists" thing is a tempest in a teapot in most places as existing state laws allow us to ply our trade just about everywhere, except possibly Indiana (test case has not happened with regard to their law yet), but even Kansas repealed THEIR law that banned stage hypnosis UNANIMOUSLY over a year ago!

So really, people, why are we even bothering with this?

The next time you get confronted with some shrink who decides that you are a threat to someone's mental health, point out Erickosn's work on the safety of hypnosis to him, point out that Erickson then flip-flopped on the issue, which started this whole shootin' match and ask him (or her) if they really want to throw in with a bunch of flip-floppers who IGNORE scientific proof that their OWN people put forward in the first place and then consciously ignored in their efforts to "legitimize" the field when it's been us - the stage hypnotists - that have been bringing in the clients to THEM for all of these years in the first place?

Talk about a bunch of people looking to shot themselves in the feet!

Sheesh! And I do mean SHEESH!

Thus endeth the rant. ;)

Lee Darrow, C.H.