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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review: Nongard's "Learn Hypnosis" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of dmkraig
For several years I have been giving introductory lectures on hypnosis from a hypnotherapeutic point of view. In "Richard Nongard's Learn Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Anyone," Nongard does the same thing, but from a stage hypnosis point of view. Although we cover much of the same material, his focus is different so he covers some other topics.

First, some of the basics about this 90-minute DVD:

Quality of the DVD: Extremely high. It has a nice case. The text on it is clear. Be careful, though, as the label on the DVD is a full-size sticker and might come up and cause problems with your player.

The recording itself is also very high quality. The picture if thankfully very crisp and clear. You can watch the entire video or choose from any of the DVD's 15 chapters (suggestion: include a card in the front of the case that describes what is in each chapter). Unfortunately, this is a static, one-camera affair, so you only get one view throughout. It would have been nice if they changed angles occasionally, but the static, one-position camera is made up for by the crispness of the image and the clarity of the sound.

There is one poor edit (where they don't edit out Nongard telling his assistant that he's almost through with the video!), but that's a minor quibble. The only unprofessional aspect of the production is the use of visuals using text scrawled on a paper flip chart. Respectfully, that's soooo 1980s, especially since computers (this was obviously edited on one with the transitions between chapters) allow excellent typography.

Nongard appears to be an amiable gentleman perfectly suited to the role of teaching stage hypnosis. I have no doubt that he has a great deal of knowledge on the subject. This is clear not only from the extended content on the myths of hypnosis, but also because he is not reading from a prompter or cue cards--he's doing this all from his own knowledge and experience. This lends and immediacy, but is also a problem as there are several instances with lots of "uh-uh-uhs" to take up the silence while his mind catches up to let he say what he wants to. This is a common difficulty many speakers have.

Another problem many speakers have is figuring out what to do with their hands. Just letting them hang by your sides when you're not using them to emphasize a point can be uncomfortable (I learned that in an acting class), so you come up with something for them to do. Mr. Nongard repeatedly separates his hands and puts them together interlinking his fingers. In fact he does this so often it became distracting for me.

The structure of the information and the way it is present is excellent. He spends a lot of time dispelling myths of hypnosis and making people comfortable with what hypnosis is. This is important as he points out that the confidence of the hypnotist is paramount for success. Great advice. He also stresses that hypnosis isn't something the hypnotist does to a person, but rather, it is something you do together. You are the driver and he simply reads the map and lets you know which way to go. That's a good description.

The DVD includes an example of a progressive relaxation induction. He calls it a progressive muscle induction or PMR. Personally, I don't think that's accurate as it does far more than relax the muscles. His example is also relatively (and thankfully!) quick when compared to some of the PR inductions I've seed described (and worse, used!). He also give an example of an instant induction with the person he had used in the PR induction. His assistant describes the experience which is very enlightening.

I would respectfully disagree with Nongard's description of telling someone to close their eyes, count to 5, and then open their eyes as being a "convincer." I would say that a convincer is when, as a result of a suggestion, a hypnotized person chooses not to do something even though they know they could do it. For example, suggesting that a person cannot open their eyes and they discover that they cannot do so (or choose not to do so because of the suggestion) is a convincer.

Nongard points out that one of the difficulties in learning stage hypnosis is that you have to have confidence that you'll do a great job on your first show. In reality, what he means is that one of the difficulties in learn stage hypnosis via video is that you have nobody to practice with. That's why I encourage people to get in-person training. There, you do have people to practice with.

Similarly, Nongard (who sells lots of CDs and DVDs) says that it's a myth that hypnosis CDs aren't "real" hypnosis. He says that since all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis, CDs and DVDs are just as real as an in-person session. However, later in this DVD he points out that he changed the induction for his assistant because of what he observed. I would add that an in-person hypnotherapy session also individualizes the suggestions, something that no mass-market CD could ever do. Nongard focuses on just the hypnosis on such CDs, not the suggestions. Indeed, such CDs and DVDs may succeed very well in hypnotizing someone, although if the induction needs to be changed there's no way to do it. So in reality, it would be more appropriate to say that CDs may give effective hypnotherapy, but it's also likely that they may not be as effective as a single session with a trained and experienced hypnotherapist. It's no wonder that people often say they tried this or that CD and it didn't work for them.

The last 15 minutes gives a brief overview of some common skits to use in shows, as well as the advice to remove the show's suggestions at the end of the show, give positive suggestions, and then bring the hypnotized "actors" out of hypnosis while telling them to stretch their muscles and be alert.

Although the advertising is such that this is everything you would need to know to "hypnotize anyone" for a stage show, on the DVD itself, Nongard makes clear that this is very basic and introductory. For that he presents things very well.

If you are not really looking to be a stage hypnotist, but want to know what stage hypnosis is all about, and see the technique of hypnotic induction, this is a pretty good DVD. I especially like the fact that on the DVD Nongard give the location of his website so you can download, for free, copies of his inductions and his ideas for skits, etc. I see that as very positive. He also gives his phone number so if you have any questions or problems you can call him. I like that very much, too.

All in all, on a scale of 1-10, I would give this a solid 7.5.
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Profile of Nongard1
A pretty fair review... It must have been an oddball day to get a paper sticker for a label, must have been one of the first run DVD's (and I have used paper labels on RARE occasion), since I use a Bravo Autoprinter and paint the labels directly on the DVD.... Unless of course it was actually a knockoff....
Glad you enjoyed, and thank you for the many postive comments...
Dr. Richard Nongard, Professional Hypnosis Training
Learn how to master the art of SpeedTrance, Clinical and Stage Hypnosis
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Northern Nevada
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Profile of MagicSanta
SO, does he make anyone act like a chicken?
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