Interview about Hypnosis

1. Why did you choose to get into hypnotism?

If hypnotism was as powerful as I'd been led to believe, it certainly seemed worth investigating.

2. How does someone learn to become a hypnotist?
3. Where do you go to learn hypnotism?

There are hypnotism courses, books and plenty of information on the internet.
The best hypnotists have the best training, plenty of experience and the best intentions.

4. Why does someone usually choose to be hypnotised?

Many reasons. One is the same reason as in answer 1. Another is that people often want avoid thinking about their problem, so they'd rather be "asleep" as it is dealt with. With stage hypnosis, a significant number want to entertain their friends.

5. What are post-hypnotic suggestions and how long will they last after being given while in hypnosis?

PHS are simply any suggestion you might be given. There is no real distinction between those given in a trance-like state and those in your everyday life.
How long they last is variable. Could be a split-second or could be the rest of your life. Depends on how appropriate they are for you and how receptive you were to them.

6. Can anyone be hypnotised?

Yes, though people will respond better to some inductions and/or hypnotists.

7. What can self-hypnosis be used for?

Anything hypnosis is used for.

8. Does someone have to believe in hypnosis for it to work?

No, but the hypnotist must take that into account. Hypnotists often use "convincers" to get you to believe you are capable of responding. These are things like having your arm float up spontaneously. If you don't believe in hypnosis then you cannot resist it, thereby making it more likely to work in some cases.

9. What is the difference between hypnosis and self-hypnosis?

Self-hypnosis only involves one person.

10. Is hypnosis approved by the American Medical Association?

No idea. I do know that in certain states you have to be licensed to hypnotise people. This is crazy because it's quite easy to hypnotise people accidentally.
I'm British. Here the government neither approves nor disapproves.

11. Are people aware of what happens during hypnosis ?

Depends. Nearly all naturally occurring hypnosis happens without anyone's awareness. With both stage hypnosis and most hypnotherapy, the trance subject is capable of being aware of far more than they would otherwise be aware of.

12. What is Naturally Occurring Hypnosis?

One definition of hypnosis is that all communication is hypnosis. All the time we are influencing others, we are hypnotising them. It's impossible to define where communication ends and hypnosis starts.

13. What are the qualities of a hypnotisable person -- Who can and who can not be hypnotised?

Everyone can be hypnotised, though the best subjects are usually those who've been trained and want to be hypnotised.

14. How does the hypnosis process work? / What do you have to do to hypnotise someone?

According to the definition in 12, you can't not hypnotise people. Even if you are not speaking to them, your presence will affect them in some slight way.

One way to think about hypnosis is that people respond mainly to their own thoughts. If you think something is scary, your heart rate and perspiration rate increases etc.

To hypnotise someone, you can simply influence what they're thinking about.

Movies do it all the time.

15. Can you hypnotize someone without them knowing it?

Yes, though deliberate intentions (eg making someone buy something) can be more difficult to achieve. It is usually a more passive affair and often safer.

16. What does it feel like to be hypnotised?

Varies for different people and the kind of trance state. Other naturally occurring trance states are motorway driving, reading a book, waiting for an elevator, queuing etc
Usually, being hypnotised feels wonderful.

17. Can a person be left in a hypnotic trance?

Not really. You might tell someone to stay in trance until they've solved their problem, and they might stay in trance for 6 hours. But apart from that, people wake up when they want to.

18. Why do people do strange things on stage when hypnotised?

Mostly because they either want to or they believe they have to.

19. Can a person be made to do something that they don't want to do?

If you scream suddenly at someone, you might scare them, even though they don't want to be.

Unless you think the hypnotist controls you, you are likely to have MORE control over what you do in a trance-like state than an every day state of mind. This is half the reason hypnotherapy is so powerful.

There is an important note here though, we often say that people have 2 minds, a conscious mind and an unconscious one. If there is a conflict between them, then you might do something your unconscious mind wants you to do even if your conscious mind doesn't want to do it. Some people often complain of "shooting themselves in the foot" or "getting in their own way". With such a person, you might aim for them being consciously unaware of the suggestions they are given, or to subsequently to forget them consciously. Subjectively, this can feel like you are asleep, or being distracted for a length of time.

20. Do doctors use hypnosis?

Yes, though mostly without knowing about it. This is an example of naturally occurring hypnosis.
When people see their doctor, they are likely to be in a very altered state of mind. The doctor is an authority figure. Anything the doctor says can be acted on as a post-hypnotic suggestion.
If the doctor convinces you that a pill is going to cure you, placebo research shows that, on average, the pill is likely to work 30-50% better. If the doctor convinces you that you have 6 months to live,
that's a potentially fatal post-hypnotic suggestion.

21. Is hypnosis dangerous?

Can be, as above, but people who are trained in hypnosis know how to use it safely. As such, the number of people seriously hurt by trained hypnotists is as low as for aromatherapy and Reiki for example, much lower than physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic, and hugely much lower than traditional medicine.

22. Is someone asleep or unconscious while under hypnosis?

You might be able to hypnotise someone to go into any state of mind using hypnosis. And many hospitals now give patients under general anaesthetic earplugs as this can be a very suggestible state of mind. But the states of mind hypnotists usually aim for are very different for this or being asleep.

23. What problems can be solved using hypnosis?

Hypnosis is not a panacea, but with the help of one of the best hypnotists in the world, pretty much anything can be achieved. We will never know the limits.

24. What is the relationship between hypnosis and meditation?

There are many types of meditation. But the most usual method for beginners is similar to self-hypnosis in many ways.

Meditation usually involves deep relaxation, which can be important with self-hypnosis. Both involve sitting quietly and influencing one's mind.

But meditation is usually intended to empty the mind and problems can be solved by neutralising any bad emotions and allowing the mind to find its own solutions. And self-hypnosis usually entrains the mind in a particular direction.

25. What is the secret of stage hypnosis?

The main one is to get everyone to believe you have power. In stage hypnosis, people often carry out suggestions because they believe they have to. In hypnotherapy, many people don't respond particularly well to this so a co-operative approach is usually aimed at.