The Importance of Ethics In Hypnosis (***TRIGGER WARNING***)

***trigger warning: this blog contains details relating to inappropriate triggers used on a minor***

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Those of you who know me know how I pride myself on my ethics, especially when it comes to hypnosis. It is very important to me that my clients know and feel safe with me. That they understand that their well-being is my priority.

Recently someone added a comment to a blog I wrote. I didn’t feel that the comment was appropriate to allow in response to the blog itself due to potentially triggering content, but I have included it below as an illustration of why ethics are so, so important in hypnosis (I should add that the story below is essentially “hearsay” as I have no way to independently verify what the original author has claimed occurred):

At a stage show a couple of years ago at the Hypnothoughts Live conference in Las Vegas, a 15-year old girl was among the participants. She was implanted with a trigger that when her shoulder was touched, she would orgasm. After the show, people (men) kept coming up to her and touching her shoulder – it was VERY distressing to both the girl and her mother, who was present.

This should have been a NO-NO! It was highly improper and unethical, on the part of the hypnotist, especially with a minor and not to have removed the suggestion!”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the above behaviour is incredibly inappropriate and that in itself makes the alleged event even more dismaying. It is so obviously, blatantly unethical and downright predatory – not only of the hypnotist but the men who chose subsequently to take advantage. The fact that the individual in question was also a minor makes what transpired even more heinous.

I simply cannot emphasize enough how important ethics is in hypnosis. Your hypnotist should make you feel safe and confident in their abilities as well as satisfied that they are placing a significant emphasis on your well-being. Trust your gut. If something feels “off”, even if you can’t put that feeling into words, you do not need to proceed. If you are in trance and the hypnotist suggests something that you are not comfortable with, you are not obliged to follow through. What will most likely happen is that you will snap out of trance at which point you can verbally object to the hypnotists suggestion. If the suggestion you were uncomfortable with wasn’t a deliberate ploy on the hypnotists part then they should be able to calmly talk through with you what happened and why, take this in to account and be mindful moving forward. They shouldn’t ask or encourage you to trance again until you feel comfortable and confident to do so. If the suggestion was deliberate (sadly bad, unethical hypnotists do exist as the above story illustrates) then you have the option to walk away altogether.

I think part of the problem is that people feel that once they are in trance they lose all control and feel as if they have to follow through with triggers and commands, even if they are not comfortable with them. This is simply not true. You always have a choice. It doesn’t matter how deeply you are tranced. If this is an area of concern for you then I would recommend listening to a free mp3s I have – “Art of Control”. If it makes it easier for you, listen through the first time without trancing to make sure you’re comfortable with the content.  Doing this won’t prevent you from being able to achieve and enjoy trancing to this recording when you are ready to.

If you are a hypnotist reading this – please be mindful of ethics and ethical implications of what you’re doing and/or want to do. Your subject is placing their trust in you. Please don’t abuse it. Your subjects physical and mental well-being should be your top priority.

 

Thoughts? Comments? Please share below.

Samhain – Celtic Halloween

Samhain/Halloween is upon us and I thought I would celebrate by recording and sharing with you an incredible poem by Annie Finch. All copyright of the poem belongs to Annie – I take no credit for it. I’ve simply recorded the poem as I love how it flows and how the words slip off my tongue. Hope you do also 😉

 

Be sure and leave a comment to let me know what you think, and if you have enjoyed this and my other blog posts, please consider acknowledging by leaving a tribute.

 

Why Stage Hypnosis Is Like Porn

We’ve all seen those stage hypnosis shows where people seem to be tranced instantly and deeply with just a single word and made to do all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Looks impressive, doesn’t it?

Of course, what they don’t tell you is that the subjects are either faking it or have been carefully selected by the hypnotist because they are naturally highly susceptible to suggestion. Stage hypnosis is like the porn of the hypnosis world – showy and overhyped. Yes it *could* happen in normal day to day life but the odds are astronomical. hypnosis can be “real” but that doesn’t necessarily make it realistic.

Full disclosure – I am not a big fan of stage hypnosis (I know, surprising, right? Haha). I find it’s often exploitative and the potential lack of consent makes me uncomfortable (for those rare somnambulists who are exceptionally susceptible to trance they may not be able to consciously consent to the request to go up on stage, for example).

Stage hypnosis, like porn, has its place. It’s showy and entertaining. It can be exciting to watch, sure, but it can also give unrealistic expectations of what to expect, which can be very unhelpful when trying to achieve your goal.

Just as there are arguments to be made that porn leaves open the door for unrealistic expectations of how men and women should behave and what sex should look/feel like, stage hypnosis does the same. It makes it look as if everyone should be able to trance instantly, that hypnosis is big and showy and dramatic.

More negatively, it can also scare people. They may be worried that they would/could be made to embarrass themselves and/or be forced to do something that they are not comfortable with. This is not true, but if you don’t understand hypnosis and how it works and stage hypnosis is your only experience then it is easy for incorrect inferences to be made.

To use a porn parallel, I’ve heard it said that porn gives women an unrealistic expectation of how quickly a plumber will attend a call out and come to their house. Likewise if watching porn is your only experience of sex you’re going to have a pretty warped view of how things should play out.

Porn and stage hypnosis are entertainment. They can be fun and enjoyable but they don’t accurately reflect the depth of potential and possibilities that exist, nor the richness of the actual reality.

If not appreciated for the entertainment they are then both can also lead to unrealistic expectations which can have negative impacts and knock-on effects.

Having said all that, this doesn’t mean that what you see in stage hypnosis isn’t achievable. Given time and a hypnotist you trust many of the triggers, etc, you see played out on stage can be recreated and enjoyed. What’s important is to realise that this doesn’t happen instantly. You need to learn to run before you can walk, so enjoy the journey and enjoy the entertainment for what it is.

September Goals

So…this blog post references my personal goals for September (And to some extent beyond) but feel free to take the idea and run with it yourselves – consider what goals you have and how you plan to implement them.

As for me…I’ve been musing over my goals for a few months now. Thinking about what I want to achieve and how I will do it. What the logistics are, what’s realistic, etc.

So – I decided to create a list and here it is:

1. I want to take a trip back to UK for 10 days/2 weeks in either September or early October to catch up with my best friend and my great aunt (who turned 101 a few months ago) and who I am very close to. Flights will cost around $500-$700, plus car rental (another$300-$400) plus potentially Airbnb and spending money.

2. I want to visit friends in the USA. This is more vague location and date wise as I have friends all over but it’s something I want to achieve in next 12 months.

3. Go out with friends to celebrate the fact I have been in Canada for an entire year!!!

4. Make a bigger deal out of my birthday (which is September 8th). For the last decade or so I’ve never really acknowledged or celebrated my birthday in any real way. I would like to change that this year.

5. This one is still only a possibility, but I am considering getting a second cat. Those of you who know me know my cat Moose is a bit of a weirdo (to put it mildly) and is not the meek and mild cat I was told he was by the place I rescued him from. His behaviour is making me think he may benefit from a feline companion so it’s something I am looking into. Adoption costs will be in the $200 range, plus cost of extra food, accessories, money to put away for vets bills.

So yeah…those are the main goals I have, especially the UK trip.

If you feel like supporting me in these endeavours, all contributions either through tributes or Skype, mp3 and/or video , purchases are *much* appreciated.