In the movies, hypnosis is creepy.  It is something which is done TO innocent people, so that, willing or not, they become victims of the very bad and very scary hypnotist who possesses all the imaginary powers of a pretend black magician.  Hypnosis in these films is used for manipulation and control over people’s minds.  In other words, as represented in the history of cinema, hypnosis is a fiction.

‘Ah,’ you say, ‘But I saw someone take off their trousers during a stage show.  And I saw someone else cluck like a chicken.’  Yes, you did.  But the hypnotist did not ‘make’ them do it; he suggested it.  Stage hypnosis is a performance designed to entertain.  Audience members who participate have subconsciously, or consciously, committed to comply with the hypnotist and the hilarity of the evening.  The hypnotist picks his (visibly or not) enthusiastic subjects according to their suggestibility (of which he is an expert).  I emphatically assure you that no one in a stage show does anything they do not wish to do!  They are not manipulated.  They are given suggestions to which they may comply or not.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis!

Therapeutic hypnosis, which we call hypnotherapy, is a horse of another color.  It is not glamorous, or wild and crazy.  It is not flashy and mysterious.  There is no performance involved.  Scientific technique is combined with the insight, education, and skill of the hypnotherapist to create a calm, positive process of healing and growth for the client.  The conscious mind is by-passed while the subconscious mind is engaged in order to change deep-seated negative thought patterns so that she can create a healthier and happier life.  Our thoughts create our lives.