For more information about the below post, click here.
View from the far side of the recliner
I attended a hypnosis conference, HypnoThoughts Live in Las Vegas from last Friday through Sunday. The first thing I noticed while walking through the slot machine area of the smoke filled first floor that even early in the morning there were a lot of mainly older people, many appearing physically disabled, sitting in front of the blinking machines with glassy eyed, blank expressions. Wow. What a sad display of hypnosis and not even to the second floor conference center yet.
The conference itself was great. (Probably not the best food I’ve had at a conference but I wasn’t there for the food.) The interaction with other attendees and the presentations/lectures were excellent. I learned a technique that I included in the session with a client less than an hour after driving into town. That is the mark of a great seminar.
I was definitely in a trance in the exhibit room. I spent way more than I had planned including 15 copies of what seems a really good book about hypnotherapy. Now I have to figure out who to give them to that would actually read them. It would be nice if they were to become a client and/or refer someone.
This conference itself was interesting in that the world of hypnosis is so different from my home world of physical therapy. Physical therapy is a body of knowledge and a defined practice. In physical therapy everything is about treating patients or researching or teaching about treating patients. The education is rigorous, there are board exams and licensure in every state. There is typically a state board to insure that PTs are following the rules. There is one national organization under which each state is one chapter and under the national organization there are sections for specialties such as orthopedics, pediatrics or neurology.
Hypnosis is a tool. Anyone can use the tool. I can hold a power saw but I am NOT a carpenter. It is the Wild West, even on the East coast. Anyone can call themselves a hypnotherapist and charge whatever they can get. It doesn’t matter if they watched U tube, read a book, took a weekend course or went to a seven week intensive program like I did. (Just to brag, I’ve gone to two additional hypnotherapy courses of two weeks each, done some continuing education and read extensively on hypnotherapy related material.) There is no licensure, board exams or state boards. There appear to be many organizations. I belong to the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners ACHE) which seems to be mainly a western state organization and certified the school that I attended which has since started its own organization. I have attended one ACHE conference which was pretty interesting.
When it comes to being an entertainment hypnotist, it seems there is not even a pretense of being regulated. Just put “The Great” in front of your name, get a rabbit and a hat and you are good to go. Just kidding, not everyone uses a rabbit. Really there is no reason for stage hypnotists to be regulated, the market does that. If you are not entertaining you are gone faster than a bag pipe player out of tune (how would you know?).
What was really special about this conference is that everyone was invited, hypnotherapists, entertainers, people who just were curious and some folks looking for craps tables. Several different organizations were represented. It was all love and peace. Kind of like Woodstock for Hypnosis, think hot and dry instead of wet and muddy. Elevator music vs. amazing. Naturally induced trance (no ODs) vs. chemically induced trance (there were ODs). The price was very reasonable and despite the food, I’m looking forward to being there next year.
Next post I’ll rattle on about the difference and similarities between hypnosis and meditation. I’ll describe the technique I learned at the conference that I used with my client. It’s a way to make meditation easier/more user friendly for most people. The Dali Lama is already cringing, while smiling peacefully.