In the world of hypnosis, there has always been a difference of opinion about stage hypnosis (and street hypnosis). Some people are in favour of stage hypnosis and absolutely love it, whereas others are dead against it. Strangely, the latter can be especially true with some hypnotherapists. Unfortunately, there are some hypnotherapy trainers out there who teach their students that stage hypnosis is something to be avoided, or even that it ‘damages’ the good name of hypnotherapy, as (they say) it is an ‘unprofessional’ use of hypnosis. However, this could not be further from the truth.
When performed properly, both stage and street hypnosis are fantastic forms of entertainment, are perfectly safe, and rather than discouraging people from seeking out hypnotherapy, they actually do the opposite, inspiring people to learn more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy in general!
As you may have guessed, this is not a blog about that debate. So, if you’d like to learn more about the differences between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy, check out my other blog instead.
The 5 benefits of a hypnotherapist learning stage hypnosis
THIS blog is about the benefits that hypnotherapists can get from learning stage and street hypnosis skills. Now, I’m not saying that all hypnotherapists should become professional stage hypnotists, and perform stage hypnosis shows alongside their hypnotherapy practices. Far from it! In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that to the majority of hypnotherapists, because performing stage hypnosis shows is definitely not for everyone. However, learning the skills of the stage hypnotist WILL benefit the majority of hypnotherapists in a number of different ways.
Here are 5 solid reasons that therapists should at least ‘dip their toes in the water’ of stage hypnosis skills.
1. Mastery of hypnotic phenomena
Firstly, something that stage hypnotists are taught, which is often left out of many hypnotherapy training courses, is the use of hypnotic phenomena. Sure, most hypnotherapists know about the different types of hypnotic phenomena on a theoretical level, but few are given the opportunity to practice using hypnotic phenomena directly with a hypnotised participant.
This, in my opinion (as someone who teaches hypnotherapy as well as stage hypnosis), is a real shame, because hypnotic phenomena can be very useful to the professional hypnotherapist.
Hypnotic phenomena used in stage hypnosis can include; sensory alteration, muscle catalepsy, amnesia, hallucinations, dissociation, ideo-motor responses, and more. Interestingly all types of hypnotic phenomena can be effectively utilised during a hypnotherapy session too! (For more info on that, check out this blog).
By understanding how to create hypnotic phenomena using direct suggestions, a hypnotherapist gains much more flexibility, as well as a range of powerful tools to use as standalone therapy approaches, or to combine with pre-existing techniques and scripts.
Now, talking of scripts…
2. Freedom from scripts
Have you ever seen a stage hypnotist using a script?
I sure haven’t!
Unlike hypnotherapists, stage hypnotists are constantly under public scrutiny whilst performing hypnosis. A hypnosis show will usually have an audience, so the stage hypnotist can’t be seen to be using a hypnosis script, or the audience and volunteers would likely lose faith in them as a hypnotist. It would be like going to watch a stand-up comedian who reads all their jokes from a book – not something that audiences would likely appreciate!
By learning stage hypnosis skills, and practicing hypnotising people without scripts, a hypnotherapist will quickly learn that even though using scripts can feel more comfortable, they actually are able to hypnotise with no prompts necessary. This is a hugely freeing experience and can change the way that you work with hypnotherapy clients for good!
So, if you are a hypnotherapist who relies on scripts, a stage hypnosis training course may be just what you need in order to expand your comfort zone, and become a script-free master hypnotherapist!
3. Demonstrating your hypnosis skills
As a hypnotherapist, it is not uncommon to be asked to demonstrate your hypnosis skills. For example, you might be talking to a random person out in the big wide world, and upon hearing that you are a hypnotherapist they may ask you to ‘show them something’! Now, this simple request can often leave many hypnotherapists (especially those who rely on hypnosis scripts) floundering and making excuses as to why they are currently unable to demonstrate their hypnosis skills.
Not ideal, I’m sure you’ll agree…
By not being able to demonstrate any hypnosis skills to people, you are potentially, at best, missing out on new client opportunities, and at worst, fostering an unhelpful or negative public image for yourself as a hypnotherapist. You don’t want your prospective clients thinking you can’t do hypnosis, after all!
In this age of online video content, many people have already seen that there are hypnotherapists out there who use and demonstrate hypnosis in public. If they have already seen such videos, they may then wonder why you are unable or unwilling to do the same kind of thing. Unfortunately, this has the potential to make you appear unprofessional or unskilled, because in their minds, surely a professional hypnotherapist should be able to demonstrate something, right?
This is where learning stage hypnosis skills can reap huge rewards! It goes without saying that you don’t need to put on a full hypnosis show to demonstrate your skills, but by showing them something… anything… you are more likely to gain a better reputation and a bunch more clients.
4. Flexibility to hypnotise anywhere
As with the point above, flexibility is important. Not just flexibility in what you’re doing, but also in where you are able to do it! Many hypnotherapists do not use hypnosis in any unfamiliar setting, and will only hypnotise people whilst they are in their office. However, hypnosis and even hypnotherapy can be performed in pretty much any situation. Simply look at stage and street hypnosis and you will see that this is true.
Stage hypnosis shows are primarily held in venues with stages, but also in other places such as; pubs/bars, cruise ships, house parties and even outdoor events. Beyond that, street hypnotists frequently hypnotise their volunteers anywhere; on the street, at the airport, in a club, on a train, etc. because hypnosis truly can be performed in any situation, so long as the person you are hypnotising can hear you and respond safely.
You may wonder how this can benefit you as a hypnotherapist? Well, firstly I will refer you back to the previous point about demonstrating your hypnosis skills. You need to be able to do this in any location/situation where the need arises. But that’s not all, because there is nothing stopping you from doing full hypnotherapy sessions in other locations than an office. One of my past students used to take his hypnotherapy clients for a walk around the park, and hypnotise them whilst sat down underneath a tree. Another of my colleagues sometimes goes on holiday, and picks up new therapy clients who he hypnotises at the beach or the hotel, earning himself some extra spending money for his holiday activities!
The key take-home point here is, the more flexible you are as a hypnotherapist, and in your abilities to showcase your hypnotic abilities in any situation, the more rewards you will reap.
5. Confidence in your hypnosis abilities
The final and probably most important benefit that a hypnotherapist will get from learning stage and street hypnosis skills, is a huge boost in confidence in your own hypnotic abilities. By being able to use hypnosis and hypnotic phenomena, without scripts, in any given situation, you will naturally become a more confident and competent hypnotherapist overall.
Confidence in your own abilities is really important as a professional hypnotherapist, and hypnotherapists who are unconfident (or less confident than they could be) will often have a more difficult time attracting and working with clients. So, if you’d like a confidence boost, to take your hypnotherapy practice to the next level, you know what to do…
Stage and street hypnosis training for hypnotherapists
I run a number of stage and street hypnosis courses throughout the year, and I frequently have hypnotherapists in attendance. In fact, the majority of people who join the course tend to be hypnotherapists! The reason being, they want to benefit from all of the things that were mentioned above in this blog – and so they do!
Join me on an upcoming stage and street hypnosis skills course. Not only will you learn (and practice) various hypnosis techniques, suggestibility tests and rapid inductions, but you also get an opportunity to expand your comfort zone, build confidence and have a great, fun weekend practicing hypnosis and phenomena with a bunch of different people in a supportive and friendly environment! Click the button below for more information: