I cannot pretend anymore. I am often embarrassed to call myself a hypnotherapist. When socialising, for example at parties, business network meetings and so forth, I dread that question, “So, what you do?” It was great when I worked in brain surgery and accident and emergency because the conversations used to go something like this:
“What do you do then?
“I work in brain surgery.”
“Ha! Funny, so what do you really do then?”
“No really, I work in brain surgery. I’m a nurse, I work on the neurosurgical unit.”
“ohh…really…ahhh…wow, that is amazing!”
And people usually were amazed too. I’m not sure if they were amazed because I didn’t seem the “type” (many of my former colleagues would probably agree that I wasn’t) or because normal people don’t think that other normal people do that kind of thing. When I was a child, I lived opposite a man who was a Concord pilot. I always used to imagine that conversations at school would go the same way for his son,
“What does your dad do?”
“He flies Concord.”
“Ha! What does he do really?”
“He flies Concord, really, he does.”
“John, listen to this, Michael here reckons his dad flies Concord! Hahahaha!”
“Yes I know, that is because he does.”
I think it might also be the rarity factor. Not many people actually piloted Concord, not many people work in brain surgery. Actually, from experience, not enough people work in brain surgery, but that is a different story. Hypnotherapy meanwhile, well that is also a different story. It was quite fashionable to be a hypnotherapist one time and it seems that you cannot go anywhere without bumping into one, or, for me at least, being introduced to one. “Oh, you must come and meet Sylvie, she’s a hypnotherapist too!” Inwardly, I must confess, I groan. I just know that me and Sylvie will have about as much in common as my pet rat, Minky, and Laura’s Siamese Cat, Nai Ling. Both are pets, right?
Hypnotherapists are bleedin’ everywhere.
A quick experiment here – think the word “hypnotherapist” – what image springs to mind? Chances are I don’t fit it, but people may think I do.
Here are the most common types of responses I get from people:
– someone who knows about the mind and knows how to help people.
– someone who can put people into a trance and tell them to do things.
– the stage hypnotist making people think that they are Elvis or chickens or wotnot.
– someone with evil powers to control the mind of other people, so you better not look them in the eyes.
– someone who helps people stop smoking and increase confidence.
– well, they read scripts and try to get people to stop smoking.
– well, I saw one once, nice enough guy, but I don’t think I was really hypnotised, it was expensive and didn’t work.
– I saw one once, never touched a cigarette since.
One effect with so many hypnotherapists being around these days is that a lot of demystification has occurred, which for some may be a good thing. Hypnosis isn’t seen so much to be a mysterious force owned by an elite minority. Ahh, how I miss those days, but as they say, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Now I need to find another way of being “special.” Maybe I should tap.
So, this week, I begin a tour of some of the more strange aspects of what passes for “hypnotherapy”. This might be fun, because whilst tappers cannot agree on what constitutes proper “tapping” I find that hypnotherapists cannot really agree on what constitutes hypnotherapy.
I know this about tappers because I received more than just a few calls and emails from “professional” tappers saying that the examples I posted on earlier blog entries were not representative of what “professional therapeutic tapping” actually is. Which is strange, because all the examples I posted came from people claiming to be representative of professional therapeutic tapping!
The following are all things that can be classified as hypnosis:
– past life regression
– future life progression
– deep trance identification
– 6 step reframing
– abreaction therapy
– missing time exploration and regression for alien abduction
– plenary trance
– direct hypnosis/indirect hypnosis
– stage hypnosis
– street hypnosis
– hypnosis without trance
And within each of these, there are of course different schools of thought, an unbelievable number of “registration” and “accreditation” bodies and groups all claiming to be doing that all-too-important action of “promoting professional standards” and other such bullshit (few actually are doing anything like promoting standards, of course, most are just there to make money and claim status for their boards and panels and members).
Those who feel compelled to call me in anger need to know that I am in India at the moment, so you will need to wait until I get back. If this proves to be a problem, email me and I’ll connect you to some very good, upstanding and professional tappers who will know what to do.