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Stage Hypnosis Versus Hypnotherapy

Stage hypnosis has certainly established its place in the world of entertainment. For the most part, this does nothing to negate, deny, or belittle the success or the reputation of clinic hypnotherapy.

Without question, the two procedures are very different. Stage hypnosis is done in a very spectacular way, and is meant to achieve impact. Grandiosity and exaggerated gestured are used for maximum effect, and the entire process is conducted in a very loud and imposing way. This is necessary in this arena because the stage hypnotist is expected to put on a show for a large audience.

Stage hypnotists will often have their participants do very bizarre things on stage, also for impact. This can range from barking like a dog, to thinking they're Elvis Presley. By contrast, hypnotherapy uses a very different, very subtle approach in achieving the state of hypnosis, and hypnotherapy is used for a very different purpose.

The extravagance that is applied in stage hypnosis is not in any way indicative of what hypnotherapy is or can do for someone. Unfortunately there is sometimes an uncomfortable relationship between stage hypnotists and hypnotherapists. There are some therapists that believe stage hypnotism gives hypnotherapy a bad image. Stage hypnotists would retort that it is they who demonstrate the powers of hypnosis to the masses, and that therapists should be grateful for this.

Of course if a person's perception of hypnosis is based solely on their exposure to stage hypnosis, then they obviously will have a very inaccurate or incomplete perception. However I believe that most people today understand that there is a difference between using hypnosis as a means of entertainment, and using it as an effective treatment.

When mature adults make a conscious choice to seek the entertainment value of a stage hypnosis performance, and choose to participate to whatever extent they are comfortable with, I don't see a problem. At best, people will understand and embrace the difference between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy. At worst, stage hypnosis will provide a form of proof that hypnosis works, which isn't all bad for the hypnotherapy industry. Some stage hypnotists will offer a clause in their introduction or conclusion and refer to the benefits of hypnotherapy.

It's not surprising that there remains some degree of conflict between stage hypnotists and hypnotherapists, but it's like anything else, if an expert in any field utilizes his talent in an ethical and professional way, there is no cause for judgment or alarm. I think that stage hypnosis has its place, but it has to be done responsibly. However it should be pointed out that the popularity of stage hypnosis is now at an all time low.

It should also be noted that there are a number of highly successful hypnotherapists who started out or still perform as stage hypnotists. The names Paul McKenna and Ormond McGill spring to mind. There is no reason why one cannot be successful stage hypnotists as well as highly respected hypnotherapists. Paul McKenna is a good example. He made his name in the UK as a stage hypnotist, and is still known today for being a stage hypnotist. However he has also been hugely successful as a therapist and is now involved heavily with NLP training and other activities.

In any profession, you will have those who use and those who abuse. Can stage hypnotists give hypnotherapy a bad name? Sure. But it doesn't necessarily have to have that result every time.
About Author Barrie St John :

Barrie St John is a leading figure in the field of hypnotherapy. He is the author behind the best selling self hypnosis CDs and downloads at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Monday, September 10, 2007
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