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kid iowa
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I have a couple of questions about hypnotists.

1)Do you have to have any type of credentials to do show?

2)Do you generally learn your craft through classes or books.

3)What is the average time to complete a course in hypnotism?

I've always been interested in hypnotism and have seen books on them, but am wondering if you have to go to seminars/classes to become certified, or do you even need certification?
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
Stuart Cumberland
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Quote:
On 2003-05-12 14:07, kid iowa wrote:
I have a couple of questions about hypnotists.

1)Do you have to have any type of credentials to do show?


This question can't be easily answered. It varies from State to State and Country to Country.

Generally speaking, no you don't. Unfortunately! More comments in a moment...

Quote:
2)Do you generally learn your craft through classes or books.


You CAN learn from books and classes. One on one instruction is the absolute best.

Quote:
3)What is the average time to complete a course in hypnotism?


Again, difficult to answer! I suppose it is relative to your ability to learn/master the craft.

Quote:
I've always been interested in hypnotism and have seen books on them, but am wondering if you have to go to seminars/classes to become certified, or do you even need certification?


The best and most comprehensive book on the topic is Ormond McGill's Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis.

The problem with books and these weekend courses is this: because you don't need to be certified to do it, many of these trainers themselves haven't got a clue as to how to do it properly!

It always amuses me to see the advertising boasting you can learn how to make $1400 for a show... come to my three day training class for $500.

It usually goes on to say how "booked up" the performer is.... IF the performer was that booked up making that kind of money, what the heck are they doing teaching classes for so cheap for?

Seriously, here is the problem: abreaction.

THAT is where the problem lies. What do you do WHEN a person on your stage has an abreaction?

If you don't have the proper training, and don't handle it properly, you can be in trouble.

Several years ago a High School Advisor called me because they had a "cheaper" hypnotist do a show and several students didn't feel well afterwards. I coached him through how to handle it effectively.

I'm not trying to scare anyone. Forget the lawsuits that can happen. It damages the industry.

Guess how many hypnotists this high school has had since that fool last performed?

Right.

None. Not even me, and I helped them out successfully!! They are scared stiff of ALL hypnotists now.

Done properly, and done well, stage hypnosis is the greatest entertainment ever. Done poorly, it damages us all.

I hope this helps, and puts a bit of reality into it for you.

Cheers.

Blair

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shrink
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When I was really busy doing shows I would never have run classes seminars on how to do stage hypnosis. I was earning far to much money doing shows. You have to ask yourself who is running these courses and why?

Having said that I initially did one on one with an experienced stage hypnotist who taught me the very basics. I had to learn the real stuff by studying many stage hypnotists.

I have to agree that many of the "cheaper" hypnotists have damaged the art.
Bambaladam
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I don't want to start an old argument again, but I would like to stress a point. There are views on hypnosis differing from those expressed by Blair and Shrink, well supported by parts of the psychology and science communities, that would argue there is very little (if not no) risk involved. It is my opinion that these views are the more correct, although I do not have the experience in performing hypnotic acts that the gentlemen above do.

I would suggest you look into both sides of the argument and decide what to believe for yourself.

As far as study goes, I am sure tutoring is excellent (I have an "online mentor" of sorts), and I would suggest you feel prepared for any situation you believe can occur. Whether or not abreactions are the problem I cannot say although I believe the likelihood of "abreactions" in the Freudian sense being a psychological reality to be virtually nil.

However, the points made about harming the industry I fully agree with. Basically, don't rush into situations you aren't in control of.

/bamba
Dr Omni
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In choosing which hypnosis seminars or courses to attend, the general rule of thumb is to attend those taught by real originators in the field rather than people who have merely attended courses taught by the originators. "Word of mouth" is also a good guide - you might want to ask a number of hypnotherapists and stage hypnotists which are the good courses to attend.

It's true, as Shrink says, that often courses are taught by people who are not working that much in hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis. But that's not necessarily a bad thing if the teachers have knowledge and experience. Some of them are taught by semi-retired people who have vast amounts of both. (Also, there's generally more money to be made out of organising seminars than there is in doing one-to-one hypnotherapy.)

To learn stage hypnosis in the States, I recommend two excellent courses that I've attended: the one taught by Jerry Valley and Ormond McGill, usually in Las Vegas (advertised regularly in Genii and Magic), and the one taught by Geoff and Wendy Ronning in Seattle - their website is http://www.stagehypnosiscenter.com
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shrink
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I've had some real potentially bad situations. I once had a diabetic go into a coma like state. Nothing to do with the hypnosis but didn't look very good. Lucky her friends knew what was wrong and made sure she was ok.

I once during a big show had a girl come on stage, go into trance and just lay there. (known as a sleeper). After the show I couldn't awaken her. She had two hearing aids one in each ear and was completely deaf! We had to sit on stage in the theatre for about an hour waiting for her to awaken. When she did she was disorientated and didn't recognise her boyfriend!

At the very begining when I was starting out I once told some one that their bum was on fire and they rushed out of the function sprinting like an olympic athlete.

When I got outside there was about a mile long harbour about 30 feet in front of the hotel and no sign of the sprinter! I had to go back in and carry on as if nothing happened... my friends found him a little bit up the road.

Anyone who says there are no risks or dangers with hypnosis is inaccurate. Especially at the start when you are learning. Which is why I personally would not recommend learning stage hypnosis out of a book alone.
Stuart Cumberland
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Bamba makes some good points.

There's two theories with stage hypnosis.

1. It's completely fake and utter b.s. The folks are just playing along.

2. It's real, and if you aren't careful, you CAN do damage.

Let me play Devil's Advocate here, alright? Thanks.

If I come to your show and claim to be damaged by what you did, the theories and fakeness won't hold water in court.

At least, they will be hard to hold up.

It is much better to be safe than sorry, regardless of what you believe. And you must be able to handle this stuff.

Stage hypnosis, unfortunately, is played up as very easy to do. No props. Just stand on stage, get people to do stupid stuff and make a ton of money.

Well, that's the pitch. The reality is that there is a lot of responsibility that goes with it.

You have NO idea who is going to volunteer, and you have NO idea of their mental state.

I'm NOT trying to be funny here: but please realize that there are people out there that would love to sue you to make a quick buck!

It's simple, go on stage and get "stuck" in a trance. Bingo. Say hello to the cash-cow.

You must carefully and responsibly make sure that doesn't happen, and help those who DO (and will) have abreaction quickly and effectively.

Shrink has already shared a couple of good examples. (Thanks Shrink). I won't bore you with more.

I can tell you, in almost every single case, the persons who have had "problems" at my shows have either had existing psychological problems OR an unreasonable need for attention. Thankfully I have the skills to be able to help them out of their situations quickly and effectively.

BTW, I highly recommend Geoff Ronning's Personal Mentoring program. He's a true pro, knows his stuff and teaches very well. It's not cheap, but the rewards are tremendous.

Cheers.

Blair

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mentalists & psychics! www.Mental-List.com
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Dr Omni
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Blair makes some good points. As far as I'm aware, there has never been a successful lawsuit in the US against a stage hypnotist for psychological damage, but there *has* been one in Britain, which has resulted in it being impossible to get public liability insurance in the UK for a stage hypnosis show, which has almost ended stage hypnosis as a form of entertainment in the UK.

Having got a lot out of Geoff and Wendy Ronning's course, I'm sure Geoff's mentoring is excellent, and certainly if I was in the States I'd take it up.
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shrink
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I originally trained with a stage hypnotist Bently Evans was about 15 years ago. He said that there was a case in America where the hypnotist was sued by performing the "human plank" Standing on a subject rendered cataleptic. It damaged his back. According to Bently (got his name because he had a few Bently's!) he lost his house over it. Wish I remembered his name?

I just laugh at the so called experts that say hypnosis is Bs. How can someone have complete amnesia for a two hour show and claim its Bs or social compliance etc...
Bambaladam
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Shrink,

Once again, without getting into the old argument, I think you have misunderstood their argument. They don't claim hypnosis is bull%$^&. They just claim it can't be meaningfully separated from relaxation and suggestion and compliance.

I.e. that no "special" explanation is needed for hypnosis.

I'd love to discuss this privately if you wish.

/bamba
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Bamba: You are right this is an old argument and will never be resolved. I don't feel it needs a "special" explanation either I just accept that it does exist. It is a natural process that goes on all the time except a good stage hypnotist will take advantage of that process and create something that is exaggerated from "everyday trance". Just as politicians church leaders will use the process covertly and over a period of time.

Stage context is a great example as to how we can all be manipulated to a certain extent, and phenomena like complete amnesia for me is a powerful demonstration.

I think many arguments come out of semantics rather than genuine disagreements.
Bambaladam
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Well, I would argue the difference is of little interest to us, but of great interest to researchers. Even if it in their case seems to be mostly about semantics.

But both beliefs open up different possibilities in performance terms, and are useful to us in their own ways.

There are interesting implications that would merit further discussion although I am not sure it should happen here.

Regards,
bamba
FWilliams
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kid iowa,

Go to university or college. If you pay for training from anyone who does not have a credited degree, a degree that would allow the teacher to stand up in court as a recognized professional/practitioner, you have wasted your dime.

Take care,
FW
Dr Omni
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I disagree with what F. Williams has just posted. Those academics who study and teach about hypnosis in universities and other academic institutions know about hypnosis from a very different perspective from either stage hypnotists or hypnotherapists. The university context is all about psychological and scientific studies in a lab of such questions as what happens in the brain during trance, statistics about "hypnotisability" and so on. There's absolutely nothing wrong with such studies, of course, but these courses don't teach the ordinary person how to use hypnosis effectively either for therapy or entertainment. These are taught outside the official university system either in seminars or in training colleges (UK) or vocational schools (US). The teachers in these colleges may or may not have pyschology degrees and the like, but what they teach is what is useful for people wanted to use hypnsois in the real world. Certainly in the UK, and I assume the US also, a person can be accepted as as expert witness on a subject based on his years of experience in a field, not necessarily because of paper degrees and letters after his name.
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mesmer
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So guys, what is the conclusions? Smile
how to do it safely then?
FWilliams
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Dr Omni,

I would hope you would disagree. My post was from the point of view of a fictitious person who has spent a small fortune in money and time on textbook learning.

Although I submitted the post with tongue-in-cheek I have a point to make. My good friend BlackSalt was approached after a performance by a young man who was only two years out of high school. This young gentleman proudly introduced himself as a “Master Hypnotist”!

Excuse me … BlackSalt has been performing as a full time entertainer since the mid 1980s. I aspire to gain a fraction of the performance skill and knowledge of the craft that my friend has. Yet this young man is a “Master Hypnotist” because he is certified after passing a one-week coarse. Tell me … would it actually be possible not to pass a course like that?

Some guys teaching stage hypnosis to other guys, who then teach other guys, earns a profit but does not make for CREDIBLE certification.

I have never met the young man in question. However, I recently saw a poster of his promoting an upcoming performance at a night club. Here is a picture of a very nice looking, but undeniably young person with the words “Master Hypnotist” emblazoned above his head. Non of the four friends (none of whom are performers) that I was with took the poster seriously. If the people who sold him his certification had recommended that he use the term “Master” in his promo, I think he should get his money back.

Take care,
FW
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Academics study hypnosis from an academic point of view. It doesn't mean they will be good hypnotists (or even understand hypnosis).

Hypnosis is much an art as anything else. Academia tries to fit it into their way of thinking.

Certifications are useful. IMO you will cut your learning curve and reduce your chances of having a serious accident by learning from someone who is an experienced stage hypnotist.

Additional training such as hypnotherapy and even NLP has got me out of one or two potentially dangerous and frightening situations. I could never have been prepared if I had just read books.

I would strongly advise anyone to seek appropriate training before jumping in front of a live audience more can go wrong than you think. And potentialy you could end up very very embarressed or much worse!

Many jumped into the hypnosis market without proper training here in the UK and that had a part to play in its downfall.

Someone being young or old doesn't mean to say they are skilled or not.

I don't know of any college or University that teaches hypnosis. I have a University Degree in multimedia and Network computing. Most of it is absolutely useless. Anything worthwhile I've learned on this subject was learned outside the University.

It is true that in the UK a qualified hHypnotherapist can be called as an expert witness. However if they don't have psychology Degree they will not be paid for their time!!! which I think is ridiculous.

I used perform regularly at a theatre. In this theatre there were at least three of four degree qualified psychologists who worked there in management/trainee management jobs. The hated me I earned over two months of their wages in two hours!
BlackSalt
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I have been asked to add my two cents by my friend FW.

Shrink, you advise seeking appropriate training. Yes. Indeed yes. But now tell me, what exactly is “appropriate” training.

Anyone desiring to be recognized as a professional entertainer should naturally take lessons in theatre skills; vocal training, public speaking, general knowledge of staging, script writing, sound and lighting production, accounting, promotions etc. So … how many of you have bothered???

But wait … you wanna be a hypnotist … hmmmm. Do we take it from statements above that academic training in psychology is a waste of time. What about those surprises that Shrink mentioned. Why in the name of entertainment have people been sued in England for performing hypnosis if you can simply learn everything you need to know by watching some other entertainer?

Is being certified by another entertainer good enough? Tutor, yes. Workshop, yes. Certification after one week? That’s pretty lame.

So lets turn our backs on academics. Apparently they don’t understand us “professional entertainers” anyways.

BUT THINK ON THIS:

Here is something that occurred a few years ago in Western Canada. A man beat a drinking and driving charge because he claimed that he did not know he was driving. He had participated in a hypnosis show at the local bar earlier that evening and claimed that he must have still been under the a hypnotic trance. The judge accepted his argument. This is not an urban legend. It is a matter of precedent in the Canadian justice system. Who will our dearly loved “certified” performers turn to when a drunk drive kills somebody and blaims it on the show?

I await your thoughts on this rambling.

Best regards,
BlackSalt
Michael BlackSalt
A Vacation For The Mind!
www.blacksalt.ca
shrink
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I think first of all there are different responsibilities that come with stage hypnosis than do with other forms of entertainment.

Being certified even after one week by someone who has years experience performing stage hypnosis will prepare you for what can happen on stage more than any academic course. I'm not saying it will prepare you completely but will cut your learning curve and risks.

Further training is never a waste of time. However, I've never come across an academic that knows much about stage hypnosis and I've met a few. There are many "professional certifications" that psychcologists may use that can be as little as a weekend. If you believe Kenton Knepper and co. then apparently "academics" have requested to be certified in SAR, a phoney system!

I once was asked to appear on TV on a news program as a balanced opinion. One such academic "expert" on hypnosis (he was also an MD and anti stagehypnosis)claimed one of his patients had lost his job and girlfriend because he couldn't stop eating onions after being on stage.

Some of the claims he made were just ridiculous. After watching how he interviews his patients (he was putting together a paper on the effects of stage hypnosis) it was clear he was coaching them.

It doesn't suprise me about the driving incident in Canada, there is so much prejudice and anti feelings along with misinformation about hypnosis that it's inevitable these situations will arise. Just like the onion story what a convenient way to alleviate yourself from responsibility eh?

Having said that there will be good stage hypnotists as well as bad. Just like any other field including those highly thought of academics.

Sometimes it seems more like the hypnotist needs protection from the general public...
Stuart Cumberland
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Sadly, Blacksalt's story of the drunk beating the ticket by blaming the hypnotist is true.

But the law is just as stupid here as it is anywhere else in the world. We Canadian's aren't as sue-happy as you Americans are, but we ARE catching up! (I'm embarrassed to say).

Like the lady who burned her lap with hot coffee... *driving the car with the coffee between her thighs*! It's stupid, stupid, stupid... but it does happen!

My best advice for would-be hypnotists is to excercise due diligence. Talk to your lawyer and get all the advice applicable to you. And take the advice.

Unfortunately, Blacksalt, your hypothetical question
Quote:
Who will our dearly loved “certified” performers turn to when a drunk drive kills somebody and blaims it on the show?
, is simply a matter of time. I'm not a lawyer, nor am I prepared or willing to even hint at advice, BUT there are ways to at least "cover" yourself. Sadly, there's no guarantee that even the best legal advice and protection will protect YOU.

And before any of you decide to smack me for my legal comments, I have two words for the "justice system". O.J.

:-)

"The law is an ass" Mr. Opradek, my highschool "Intro to Law" teacher.

Blair


Stage Hypnosis Secrets Revealed:
www.Mental-List.com/masterhypnosis.htm
Stuart Cumberland
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