I had a call today from someone who watched the recording of Derren Brown’s brilliant Showman set on Channel 4 last night. He is indeed superb at what he does and this triggered someone to call me to ask if I could do what he does! TRhe answer is yes and no! Yes I can hypnotise people rapidly and it is a wonderfully powerful altered state….and no, I am not an entertainer or illusionist – I am a hypnotherapist!
As I explained to this enquirer, Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique used by trained hypnotherapists like me to help individuals overcome various mental and physical health issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, phobias and chronic pain. The goal of hypnotherapy is to help individuals access the subconscious mind and use it to achieve positive change in their lives.
On the other hand, stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment where a hypnotist (and Derren Brown is a master hypnotist) performs on stage to entertain an audience. Stage hypnosis is not a therapeutic intervention, as the focus is on entertainment rather than therapeutic outcomes. The hypnotist’s goal is to get volunteers from the audience to perform amazing comical or bizarre acts under hypnosis.
The main difference between hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis is the purpose and intention behind each practice. Hypnotherapy is a serious therapeutic treatment that requires extensive training and experience, while stage hypnosis is primarily for entertainment purposes only although it does also demonstrate the power of hypnosis.