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Hypnosis Training Video Podcast #209: Controversy! Do Stage Hypnotists Harm the Profession? What Is Influence?

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Hypnotist Elronn Ferguson

Controversy! Do Stage Hypnotists Harm the Profession? What Is Influence?

Yikes! We have been stirring things up with these last couple of episodes. Some people like what we are saying and some don’t. Remember, we reserve the right to change our minds if we get new evidence, information or discover a convincing perspective that differs from ours.

Let’s see what you think of this topic on this free hypnosis training video here on Don’t be shy, leave a comment and join in.

Note: On this video, Elronn and I say something like, "We have met some hypnotists and hypnotherapists out there that really suck!" When we say this, we don’t mean that they are bad hypnotherapists or hypnotists. Perhaps, we should have been clearer about this. What we are saying is that most hypnotists and hypnotherapists out there don’t live up to the "Hypno-1%er" level of performance that we are preaching and teaching in these videos. For more on this topic, see my comment that I left in the comments area of the previous podcast. That is enough said about that, now on with the show!

Here are some of the topics we discuss:

  • Is stage hypnosis good or bad for the hypnosis/hypnotherapy profession?

  • What is the difference between hypnosis and influence?

  • If you could ask the son of Dave Elman anything about his father or hypnosis, what would that be? Leave a comment and let me know.

  • And More!

Here are some more links related to the show:

REMEMBER: National Guild of Hypnotist’s Solid Gold Weekend is going to be in Anaheim California, February 26 and 27, 2011!

NGH Solid GoldYou can get more details at (more info coming).

I am going to be presenting on the topic of mastering hypnotic age regression and hypnotherapy.

Use this link to register,

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4 Reader Comments to Hypnosis Training Video Podcast #209: Controversy! Do Stage Hypnotists Harm the Profession? What Is Influence?

  1. Steve R. February 4, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    good podcast! on the subject of stage hypnosis, i think there are some legitimate points that can be made both pro and con. however, i think very often hypnotists will use stage hypnotism as a boogey-man, an excuse for their personal failure to attract clients. it is strange when many hypnotists express frustration about having to constantly deal with fears and misconceptions that result from stage hypnosis and movies. but from my experience that is such a non-factor… i have to think that either these hypnotists are projecting their own fears and insecurities onto the exchange, or are simply spending their time talking to the wrong people.

    anyway, if a hypnotist fails to establish themselves as a credible authority and subject matter expert, to supersede whatever image that results from seeing a show by “Zoltan the Zany Hypno-Toad”… then that is a failure on the part of the hypnotist, not Zoltan!

    ps. one thing that does irritate me about SOME stage hypnotists is that more than one of my clients has described seeing shows where the hypnotist says “most people can’t be hypnotized” or other such misinformed nonsense as part of their stage patter. I wish stage hypnotists well, but also wish that SOME of them be more careful about not increasing public ignorance.

    ps. #2 you briefly mention a possible future podcast subject about the appropriateness of public demonstrations of age regression. i once witnessed a demo of age regression which involved the hypnotee being “guided” into describing an incident where they were a small child and their daddy touched them and made them feel funny, with very ambiguous implications. this regression subject also went into a mode of acting and speaking like a child, a strong indication of play-acting. the whole thing was incredibly careless and unfair.

  2. michael colucci February 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    I just watched your pod cast Cal on your web site.  I must say I am really disappointed in the video and now I understand why you have so many hypnotherapist every year I might add start bashing and making up misconceptions about stage hypnosis. It looks like to me it all starts right here. First and foremost just in case you did not know I have at all my shows dispelled the misconception of hypnosis and emphasized the difference between entertainment and hypnotherapy. You could not have a bigger advocate out there in what you all do on hypnotherapy side. I see hundreds of people much are fans every year.  You said at one point there is like less than 1 percent out there that may be a bad apple or not trained or certified, I think number is more like closer to 10 percent at least in our industry and most of them picked up a book or 2 and watched a couple of people put it on you tube or a website showing instant inductions or any inductions and they not yet know a thing about what they are doing. You forgot to mention yes there is a couple of bad apple on the entertainment side but what about the hypnotherapist out east that was accused of taking advantage of their client in hypnosis.  Did it happen for sure who knows I sure it has been an accusation more than once.  Here is another problem you said we are in it for the money get in get out who cares so to speak. Well your wrong again, I and I know of a few others care very much so of our fans of the shows yes there are a few out there that do only high schools for 2 months and there done for the year. Well not all of us our like that especially me.  Yes Hollywood makes everyone look bad it don’t matter you are practicing.  When I was in your class back in 2001 you made it very clear then you did not like stage hypnotist but all hypnotherapist I will say your welcome for people like me sending you the business.  I can flip this in a heart beat instead of promoting hypnotherapy I could also shoot it down at every show I do and again I do hundreds of people every year and promote you all.  So you guys decide what you want to do, I sent many of people to Tim Dickson and Kali Matsihashi in the past both great friends in the business and yet they do not think the way this video was portrayed.   Keep in mind who started the guild if it was not for stage hypnotist it would not of existed today. So with your guest being on the fence I am not sure why he needs to be, the same rule that applies to hypnotherapist about misconceptions also apply to us they are no different.

  3. Lonnie February 4, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    I love this series of shows! It’s a shame they don’t run longer. The points brought forward by both of you are really getting to the heart of the issues. I agree that Stage Hypnotists should have the right to put on their shows, and without them I might have never seen hypnosis. However, I also agree that they reinforce many of the misconceptions that we overcome with potential clients. Just as Cal said, there are many of them putting on ethical shows. I got my NGH Certification with William Mitchell, and I would count him among those ethically entertaining audiences.

    Elronn, I’m glad to know I’m not the only huge fan of Derren Brown in the states! You should read his book, Tricks of the Mind. And to anyone who hasn’t seen his special – The Heist = do yourself a favor and watch it!1 It will easily sum up some of the points of social influence techniques and hypnosis.

    I’ve noticed a theme from Elronn in this series that appears to be a problem with the wackier side of our profession. I absolutely agree. I find it difficult to keep myself quiet around them.

    Here’s a taboo topic …Alien abductions and past life regression. I consider them both on the quack side. Your thoughts in an upcoming episode?

    Thank you for an awesome resource in these shows!

    Lonnie Scott

  4. Richard Smith February 5, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    Off the top of my head with the people that have experienced stage hypnosis a number of preconceived notions the public feeds back to me.

    • What happens on the stage is permanent. i.e. All hypnosis is immediately permanent. Hypnosis is a one-shot experience.
    • The person is made to do what the hypnotist wants. Make me!
    • The public focuses on what went wrong with a stage show or what they did not like.

    One of the most powerful experiences I had with a group of clients was showing the difference between meditation and hypnosis using a simple self esteem script. Everyone had the option of experiencing or observing both. This happened to be done at a pilot project done at a high school where the subject was opening up your creativity. This program has progressed over the past 4 years. It is restricted to 18 year old students even though I am certified in pediatric hypnosis. Boundaries are set and held within the constraints of the environment.

    There was a huge interest, and the results were powerful and I have consistently been asked to come back at least one each year to work with a new group of seniors on opening their creativity. I had to present the material as if I was a stage hypnotist (Sell It!). This leads to the question of why we aren’t coming up with something that educates the audience while entertaining them. The most powerful experience I give the students is patting their favorite animal, even if in the first instance it turns out to be a Unicorn while standing on the moon. I also have them communicating with that animal in some form that is acceptable to the individual. This created a huge interest in the individuals. Understand I have 40 years experience in meditation and understand the metaphors this all represents, and presented this to them. This is a powerful demonstration without the outlandish stage hypnosis effects, yet extremely effective. Maybe the focus needs to be changed to what the public can see as useful to them in some way, and less “flash”. Maybe some growing up needs to be done with shage hypnosis and less slapstick. But the bottom line must be educating the public on the *positive* uses of hypnosis.

    >> I agree that if the individual does not want to do what is suggested they will not do it. <<

    Elman Question: Why are there so few inductions using light as a transitional sensory effect to induce hypnosis when rolling the eyes are the only sensory effect commonly used?

    Richard Smith CH

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