Hypnotherapy is still a mystery to most people. Some people are still scared to go and see a hypnotherapist/hypnotist. Well, I remember a long time ago, my colleagues and I used to smoke and had tried several different methods to quit smoking to no avail. One of my colleague mentioned seeing a brochure about a hypnotist helping people quit smoking for good.
Prior to this, I had heard a friend mentioning that he had seen a hypnotist and managed to quit smoking for months before he started to smoke again. It worked for him because he wanted to save money for his wedding.
I remember making the call and the lady giving me figures of how much I was spending on cigarettes and all the health issues that I would be facing in the future if carried on smoking. Once my colleagues and I decided to give up our habit, I arranged our appointment in a couple of weeks. Only a couple of days before our appointment, my colleague who came up with the idea, told us that they had heard that someone had gone to see a hypnotist and was sexually assaulted (wasn’t proven yet). This was a good enough reason for us to not go down that route.
Along with stories like these and the misinformation given through films, cult groups and television adverts using hypnosis to make fun out of people and entertainment programmes, there is little wonder the general public is apprehensive.
It is a general belief that the hypnotherapist takes control of the mind and makes people do things which are normally unnatural, these are False claims. Following are some of the processes stage hypnotist and/or NLP entertainer uses:
- People going to shows like these have a general idea and understanding of hypnosis through the above means so most people are easily suggestible and/or curious enough to go with it
- Entertainer normally picks people who are easy to hypnotise (using their knowledge of verbal and non verbal communication skills) and suggestibility of strange behaviour(s)
- Their volunteers are given some sort of suggestion(s) in advance about what to expect, so participants fall for these tricks and follow cues embedded in their subconscious
- Before or while in hypnosis, volunteers are instructed that they will not remember the experience so the brain does not register the experience
Some media news:
Here are some of the examples of recent news exposure about the wrong use of hypnosis.
Back in March, 2008, most of us heard the news about an Italian man stealing £600 from the till. He is believed to have hypnotised the till operator. Police believed that the man was working with the supermarket till operator.
Though I agree with polices’ belief that both of them were involved, the other explanation can be that the man in question had observed or known the till operator prior to stealing. Gave her suggestions (anchors and trigger words), before seeing her on the day. Once he used the trigger word, he was able to make her give him the money and then forget about it afterwards.
Recently there was news about a man hypnotising women to work as his slaves and some of them believed him to be the Messiah. He hypnotised a female private investigator by holding her face and asking her to look into his eyes.
I am in no position to comment on women being enslaved by this man but what I did find interesting is the private investigator having been hypnotised by this man. I believe that the private investigator was given some ideas about the way he worked so suggestions were already there. A previous knowledge of hypnosis and nervousness would be good enough reasons for her to be hypnotised by this man.
The moral issues I have with the above practises are that these practises are unethical and against human rights law. Believing that the practise of hypnosis was used in the above cases, they have used their knowledge and skills for their personal gain which is unacceptable behaviour by any law, religious beliefs and ethics. The client’s consent is essential and a clinical hypnotherapist will only help the client with her/his issue in hand or other issues that might be related to the issue the client wishes to face.
Fruit for thought:
If hypnotists/hypnotherapists were able to have this power, we should all be rich, not paying for shopping or steal money from banks and never get caught!
How is a clinical hypnotherapist different from others?
A clinical hypnotherapist would be trained by a registered and qualified trainer. The trainer would have previous experience in the field of practising these skills. The clinical therapist should have the following qualifications/affiliations:
- A qualified clinical hypnotherapist will have qualification(s) from a recognised organisation. In the UK, GHR (General Hypnotherapy Register) would register a hypnotherapist who has qualifications from their recognised training institute. GHR is a largest recognised non profit organisation who provides Code of Ethics, with a professional frame work and investigates any complaints against registered hypnotherapists.
- A qualified clinical hypnotherapist should have insurance to work as a therapist.
- A therapist will only ask the questions which are related to the issue and will help the client with the issue(s) in hand.
- The processes which the therapist will use to help the client achieve her/his desired outcome will be explained to the client in advance.
- The client will be advised what to do if and when s/he is uncomfortable while in a hypnotic state.