I never really thought about different types of hypnosis before I took my trip out to Arizona. I mean, everyone knows about stage hypnosis. And I knew that some people would use hypnosis to help people overcome ailments or help sports professionals overcome injuries and such, but I never knew that that had a name and a different set of requirements. And I had never heard of spiritual hypnosis before. It’s a whole new world of terms and ideas.
Almost everyone has seen this one in action. At the fair, at RenFest, at demonstrations and seminars and conferences and on the television. It can be fun, and is usually entertaining if the act is good enough. But stage hypnosis is exactly that: an act. Now, I’m not saying that those people aren’t in an altered state, because most of them actually are. But it’s just a show. It’s all entertainment, and doesn’t help anyone solve anything. Granted, it might help the people in the audience to laugh, but it doesn’t help the people actually under hypnosis. It is completely voluntary, which means the participants know they’re likely going to be laughed at and are OK with that. Despite common perceptions, hypnotism will not make you do something that is against your morals, beliefs, or self-preservation instincts. So if it’s strongly against your beliefs to quack like a duck on a stage before a bunch of people, not even the most skilled hypnotist can make you do it.
This type of hypnotism is used to help people cure ailments and problems. It is often the kind of hypnosis used on athletes to help them perform better. People can go to a clinical hypnotherapist for treatment of depression, suicidal tendencies, sexual tendencies, confusion, anxiety, fear, and a whole host of other ailments. This type of hypnotism is almost always done one-on-one and in the privacy of the home or office. Often the people who practice clinical hypnosis are licensed as therapists or doctors or psychologists because they treat ailments and mental issues. A stage hypnotist likely would never be a clinical hypnotist, and a clinical hypnotist would not be a stage hypnotist.
In my opinion, spiritual hypnosis is by far the most interesting of the three. Raise your hand if you’ve heard of past-life regression . . . that’s a part of spiritual hypnosis. This is the kind of practice that delves into energy work, entity clearing, chakra alignment and clearing, past-life regressions, parallel-life regression, and a lot of other things. This is the stuff that sounds to other people like you belong in Ghostbusters or a fantasy book. People will come to a spiritual hypnotist when they want to do a regression, or discover the reason for an ailment that science can’t resolve for them, or to get rid of the bad energy that may or may not have been hanging around on them. Spiritual hypnosis is also one method for accessing the higher mind and a person’s spirit guides, so that is also something people will go to a spiritual hypnotist for.
Generally, the three types of hypnosis don’t bleed into each other, although if a person is certified and licensed properly, a clinical hypnotist could potentially also be a spiritual hypnotist and vice versa. It’s not very common for either of these two categories to work stage hypnosis, though.