The mystic of Stage Hypnosis often influences a patients perception and expectations of Hypnotherapy. The secret tool had people are unaware of is the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, we all have a level of Hypnotic Susceptibility and in larger groups, the Scale can be utilised to select the ideal candidates. With Hypnotherapy and in a 1-2-1 setting regardless of where you are on the Scale, your Hypnotherapist will try to utilise hypnosis to help you achieve your desired outcome.
Stage Hypnotists are looking for candidates that exhibit signs of compliance and at the beginning of any show, there will almost always be a selection process. These techniques are also used by Hypnotherapists, but more to help guide the course of therapy and identify the client’s level of susceptibility.
On stage, hypnotists leverage your desire to conform to social pressures and enable people to have a more playful experience with hypnosis. The state of hypnosis is fantastic at breaking down people’s inhibitions and allows people to experience certain behaviours that might have been unthinkable before. The fact that hypnosis helps to break down inhibitions is something that is utilised in both Stage Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy.
Your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between something vividly visualised and an actual reality, example, we know movies are not real, but we still experience a physical response. While in hypnosis the new lack of inhibition can be used to help you experience new patterns of behaviour on a subconscious level and can be reinforced with visualisations to help form new behaviours.
A simple technique that is often used in NLP and Hypnotherapy to create a sense of disassociation is to visualise new behaviours being acted out on a screen in front of you, as if you were watching a cinema screen. This technique has actually saved my life! And I know from experience that some behaviours become apart of our identity and it can be hard to separate. The kind of behaviours that probably link all the way back to our childhoods, that may have been imposed upon us by our parents and perhaps go back even further. Things like “To be a man you must ….”? or “To be a woman you must …”? We’ve often got loads of nonsensical stuff rattling around our brains, that serves no tangible benefits and once you learn a few techniques they can be changed. One Hypnotherapy session won’t change a lifetimes worth of behaviours, but it can be the first step in the right direction and provide the momentum to make other changes. A Hypnotherapy session might have a massive impact on an addiction or a behaviour on day 1, but after that session when you’ve abstained for weeks and months that’s your personal power moving you forward. As humans, we feel better about ourselves when we’re not engaged in self-destructive behaviours and Hypnotherapy can give the initial push in the right direction.
The technique I use personally is slightly different from the traditional NLP technique and you can experiment with it to change behaviours. For me I don’t like the idea of visualising a cinema screen, I feel more comfortable visualising myself in nature, normally by a riverside and I usually do this before falling asleep. For a long time, there were things about my life that I couldn’t even imagine would ever change, I knew I wanted them to change but even to imagine these new behaviours within myself was a struggle. So, every night sitting by that riverside I’d watch someone else downstream as if I was viewing an enlightened deity. A spiritual being beyond any of our common problems and I would try to catch a fleeting moment of how empowered I could be if I found their peace. We sometimes have to be slightly disassociated to keep going and for me visualising someone else acting out my desired behaviours allowed me to slowly move towards and adopt those new behaviours within myself. Changing deeply rooted psychological issues can take time, but when you start to make new goals a reality and your life starts to transform it’s incredible!
Stage Hypnosis is so much more light-hearted and the whole sceptical is designed to be an entertaining show. Because of the way Stage Hypnosis is presented sometime people think Hypnotherapy can solve a lifetimes worth of problems with a single click of the fingers and it might, but depends on where you fall on the scale