Hypnosis is not mind control

hypnosis mind controlRecently someone left a “review” on my Google page that suggested (though he had not come to me for hypnosis) I hypnotize my clients to write good reviews. I asked Google to remove it for reasons that will become clear below, but I did think it made for a good blog post. Can you achieve mind control with hypnosis?

The short answer is no. I live in a modest house in Houston, Texas. I have had some wealthy clients. If hypnotic mind control were possible I might be living on a private island by now. I use the word “might” above because it is, at its core, a matter of ethics. It is unethical to suggest that a client do something that benefits you at their expense. Every full-time hypnotist I know (and I know a fair number) is highly ethical and makes it a high priority not to take advantage of his or her clients.

I am no exception. I actually tell my clients my goal is to help them in the fewest number of sessions possible. I don’t want to string them along just to make more money off them. I figure that if I help them to conquer a problem they’ve had for months or years in just a few weeks, that they will then go tell other people about me, and I will reap the monetary benefits of those referrals. The fact that I can help most clients succeed in three to five sessions is the main reason I have numerous five-star reviews on Yelp and Google. I don’t need mind control for that. I have a lot of very happy clients.

Also, and this is important: people usually remember what was said to them under hypnosis. This is where the idea of hypnosis as mind control falls apart.  If an unscrupulous hypnotist takes advantage of a female client (this is exceedingly rare but does happen once in a while), she will remember that she was taken advantage of and then seek the assistance of the police. She may revisit the hypnotist wearing a wire and then it’s jail time for that crooked hypnotist. Professional hypnotists know this, but some casual hypnotists sometimes do not, and think they can get away with unethical practices with impunity. Note: Like many hypnotists, I also audio-record my sessions with female clients for an added measure of safety and comfort.

Plus, as the saying goes, “a high tide floats all boats.” Unethical practices hurt all professional hypnotists (we already struggle with fear-inducing and inaccurate media depictions of hypnosis) and can damage our ability to make a living. Creating and maintaining trust with the public makes all our jobs easier.

So no, Google-“review” troublemaker, I don’t hypnotize my clients to leave good reviews. They happily do it because I am a skilled, highly ethical hypnotist and I get them the results they are looking for.

Find out how hypnosis can help you succeed by visiting my website at www.danperezhypno.com or calling 800-481-5949 today for a free 20-minute phone consultation.

All the world’s a stage…hypnosis!

Stage hypnosis performance
Dan performs at the 2010 Houston Fringe Festival.

One of the questions I am asked the most is “What is the difference between stage hypnosis and clinical (therapeutic) hypnosis?” I am well-qualified to discuss this because I’ve done it all. My original training was as a “street hypnotist,” which is someone who does impromptu hypnosis in bars, coffee shops and the like.  I’ve also done a number of stage hypnosis shows in various venues, as well as an original performance for the 2010 Houston Fringe Festival called “Forbidden Hypnosis: Demonstrations From the Edge of the Mind.”

These days, of course, I am at work in my office, helping people with clinical hypnosis. I’ve had friends and clients suggest that stage hypnosis is truly staged, with paid performers pretending to go into hypnosis and engaging in humorous  antics. Well, the reality of that is that it’s cheaper to actually hypnotize people and give them suggestions to act silly.  So yeah, what you are seeing on stage is real hypnosis. And it’s silly and fun. And the hypnosis is not designed to last much longer than the performance itself. It’s designed to entertain.

On the flip side, clinical hypnosis is designed to help. Some of the methods are the same (for re-inducing clients I use a variation on my old stage hypnosis rapid induction), but therapeutic hypnosis is aimed at discovering and/or creating lasting solutions to the difficulties our clients are struggling with. You needn’t ever worry that a clinical hypnotist will make you do something silly (unless that is your goal!).  I do use a hand-stick bit from my street hypnosis days to help convince my clients that they were indeed in hypnosis but that is more of an interesting demonstration of the power of hypnosis to create a rapid change.

Some clinical hypnotists dislike our brethren who perform on the street and stage, but not me. Even though the difference between stage and clinical hypnosis is significant, stage and street performers create a curiosity about hypnosis that can lead potential clients to my office. And I am just fine with that.



Hypnotism: the Last Resort

HypnotismEvery professional hypnotist has heard this phrase multiple times from clients: “I’ve tried everything else…this is pretty much my last resort.” It’s unfortunate, because in the hands of a skilled practitioner, hypnotism works so well for so many different problems, it should be the first first choice.

This is usually because of fears and misconceptions about hypnosis and hypnotists, promulgated by the media (as evidenced by the image to the right). Hypnotism is almost never portrayed in movies and television shows as being something beneficial. News outlets leap on sensational stories  about rare abuses of hypnosis (like recent stories linking the suicides of teenagers to hypnosis by their principal*) but rarely cover the thousands of full-time hypnotists in the U.S. who are quietly helping their clients lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Some hypnotherapists complain that stage hypnotists add to the misconception that hypnotists only make people do silly and embarrassing things (most hypnotists have heard “I don’t want to quack like a duck” innumerable times). I’ve been a stage hypnotist in the past, so I think there is a valid role for hypnosis to entertain, so I don’t sweat it if I need to explain to my clients that I only want to help them. I’ve adapted a few stage techniques to help my clients, in fact!

hypnotism-with-clientThe reason hypnosis is almost always sensationalized is that in a clinical setting, there’s usually nothing exciting to be seen. The image at left accurately depicts what it looks like when a client is hypnotized. Not terribly dramatic!

It’s my hope that hypnosis will become more widely accepted and trusted as a practical methodology to help people feel better.  Numerous scientific studies show that it actually works more effectively than some other potential solutions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and so-called “talk therapy.” Maybe one day a lucky hypnotist will hear the magic phrase “You are the first person I’ve seen for this.”

Make hypnosis your first choice by visiting my website at www.danperezhypno.com or calling 800-481-5949 today for a free 20-minute phone consultation.

*Careful examination of this particular case indicates that the relationship between the principal’s hypnosis and the suicides is only coincidental. but nearly every news story makes it sound like hypnosis was the direct cause.