Hypnosis for entertainment or therapy?

Hypnosis for entertainment or therapy: What’s the difference?

Although hypnotherapy has become more acceptable now as a recognised treatment for many ailments and issues, normally the first thing that springs to most people’s minds is stage hypnosis. They visualise people doing silly, embarrassing acts like eating onions and prancing around on stage like a ballet dancer against their better judgement but unable to control themselves.
Although hypnotherapy as a treatment and hypnosis for entertainment both utilise the unconscious mind’s ability to introduce suggestions to the person, the two are worlds apart. Unfortunately, hypnosis for entertainment can often give clinical hypnotherapy a bad name so please let me explain the difference to you.

You’re Back in the Room: Entertainment for the masses

Hypnosis for entertainmentA new television series was recently screened called ‘You’re Back in the Room’. The principle idea of the show involved a hypnotist getting willing participants on the stage and hypnotising them to perform a variety of silly tasks in order to win a prize. Once again, the subject has been debated as to whether hypnosis should be presented in this fashion.

These ‘entertainers’ are in it for the fame and fortune and choose their subjects carefully. The participants themselves want their ’15 minutes of fame’ and are usually extrovert characters who will do anything for a laugh. The resulting act can be very funny and entertaining, however, this is not what hypnotherapy is about and it is important that a person seeking therapy realises that his therapist will be professional and treat them with the utmost respect and confidentiality.

Hypnotherapy to help treat people

The words hypnosis and hypnotherapy are interchangeable however, whilst a therapist may call himself a hypnotist, a stage hypnotist will not say they are a hypnotherapist as they are only using hypnosis for entertainment and not therapy.

A certified hypnotherapist will use his expertise to help his patient overcome any challenges he is facing.hypnosis for entertainment This could be for a whole range of issues from stopping smoking to losing weight or overcoming a phobia to raising his self-esteem. Hypnotherapy can be used as a stand-alone intervention or in conjunction with other treatments.
Hypnosis doesn’t involve some kind of magic or hocus pocus that turns you into a zombie who will be at the hypnotist’s beck and call. You are not ‘sleeping’ only deeply relaxed where the therapist uses certain tools and techniques to address any issue of concern. The patient will then be taught these valuable methods to practice himself in the comfort of his own home thus reducing the visits to the hypnotherapist until he feels his issue has been resolved.

Hypnotherapy takes time to take effect

Stage hypnosis appears to make changes in people instantly however, to make real, deep seated changes takes time and commitment. There is no click of the fingers and voilà! You are a different person. You are not going to close your eyes and wake up slim for example. Therapy takes time to address an issue that the person may have had for a very long time. The aim is to offer therapy over a period of time as many challenges cannot be fixed in one sitting. Eventually the hypnotherapist will have given the patient the tools and techniques to continue to use to help himself when necessary to ensure the initial problem does not reoccur and to ensure he is not reliant on continuous therapy.

This long-term support is important in the healing process as it not only helps with the issue at hand but also aids self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and so much more.
There is a similarity between the two

So are there any similarities between hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis?


Despite there being many hypnosis for entertainment differences in their workings, there is one similarity – they both work by connecting to your subconscious. Our subconscious mind is the part that affects our feelings and emotions and also our memories and we are not aware when it is working – it just does. Communicating with this part of the mind can be used in a positive or a negative way. Although stage hypnosis will never do anything to harm you, it is solely for entertainment value so the person may be left feeling a bit negative as they may have been made a fool of. Hypnotherapy is used to help people in a positive way to enrich their lives and make them ultimately feel better about themselves. This could be by helping them remember events in the past and understanding the reasons behind resulting behaviours.
Hypnotherapy is designed to help people overcome their problems and is all about changing someone’s state in a positive manner and making them feel good in the long term. Stage hypnosis is just entertainment for short term comedy value and should be treated as such.

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