Monday, 28 February 2011

Hypno Heretic

I am repeatedly astonished by the degree of scorn and opprobrium I engender from other hypnotherapists when I say that, using hypnotism, I can make people do things against their will. The very mention of the idea leads to all sorts of accusations from being a stage hypnotist to, well, worse.

I was discussing this with a patient recently. She's a consultant: a surgeon. She's also a good hypnotee (top 10%). She invited me to make her do something she didn't want to do. I said that I would ask her to stand up and that when I did she had to want to stay seated and use all her will power to make sure she didn't stand up.  There was no confusion. She knew she wanted to stay sat down and would do everything in her power to stay fixed, firmly, to the couch. "Stand up," I said.

She stood. "How do you do that?" she asked.

It's not difficult.

Why is it, then, that so many hypnotherapists get so agitated when I talk about this stuff. Why do they insist that it was staged, set-up, prepared, acted or entirely fictional? Why are they so threatened by it?

If they have done it themselves, then they know it's true.

If they haven't tried to do it themselves then they are either speculating or regurgitating something they have been taught but never tested.

If they have tested it and couldn't make people do things against their will, then they can't do hypnotism - and no hypnotist or hypnotherapist is going to like the fact that they can't do hypnotism very much.

And therein, I think, rests the hostility. I do not pretend to do things I cannot do. In fact I do not claim to be able to do things I can do. But making people stand when they are trying their very hardest to stay sat down is not controversial.

Try it. If you can do it too, you can do hypnotism and you don't need to be hostile to me. And if you can't do it ...

Here's a video of me doing double arm levitation, and stuck hands, with a running commentary - silently in a blindfold. It wasn't prepared. It wasn't staged. What you see is what it was. Click Blindfold