The concept of a TV show that involves members of the public being laughed at in public has existed in some form or other for decades. So what about the new game show "Back in the Room"? Is it harmless, fun entertainment? Is it quick and cheap TV? Will it damage the hypnotherapy profession that has worked hard to legitimise itself and leave the parlour trick stage hypnosis image in the past?
Well there has certainly been strong feeling amongst both hypnotherapists and also the public who have watched this show. Hypnotherapists have been outraged, claiming that it is a misrepresentation of what hypnosis is and that it is potentially damaging to the profession. Quotes include:
"I call upon all my fellow professionals to take to social media to voice your disquiet about this extremely tasteless and damaging form of entertainment."
"this type of TV show sets us back. It misinforms. It portrays hypnosis incorrectly."
And what do the viewers think? Well, certainly the feedback from the viewers seems to show it is not as entertaining as they had hoped. Some of the comments on Twitter have been:
"British TV couldn't get any worse"
"#BackInTheRoom Scraping the bottom of the game-show barrel. Disastrous TV."
"Back in the room... Is this meant to be on the tv!!??? It's like an outdated 1980's game show awful!!! Why would Philip schofield do this?"
Of course, there are some positive comments too, although they are just not as much fun to quote!
In reality there are two types of hypnosis - stage hypnosis and clinical hypnotherapy. Rarely would you ever see a hypnotist practicing both. You are pretty much in one camp or another and the reason for this is that the outcomes, the end results are quite different. Stage hypnosis is for entertainment and designed to make people laugh. Clinical hypnotherapy is for helping everyday people with genuine issues that they want to change for the better.
You would be forgiven if, knowing nothing of singing, you settled down on your sofa to watch X-Factor and, 90% of the way through, thought to yourself "well, it's pretty entertaining watching people who clearly believe they have a talent actually hopelessly failing to prove anything other than they are willing to put themselves through that." It would be understandable if you decided that singing wasn't for you and this is something you could happily live without. But then, right at the end, just as you are about to switch off, the most marvellous amazing voice resonates from your TV. Wow, that is something completely different - suddenly you understand why people love singing so much.
If you were to take two groups of people, one who have an evening of televised stage hypnosis and one who have an evening of clinical hypnotherapy their description of the experience would probably be something like this:
Stage hypnosis - "I had my 15 minutes of fame and all my friends finally got to see me on TV. I thought the clay smelled of dog poo and it felt good to get everyone laughing!"
"I acted like I was in love with the presenter on stage and had a real schoolgirl crush! I loved being the centre of attention for few minutes, meeting famous people, having my make up done etc. The whole experience was really fun.
Clinical Hypnotherapy - "I felt relaxed and peaceful. I couldn't believe how quickly the time passed and how good I felt afterwards. I performed really well in my interview, for the first time ever, and I finally got that promotion!"
"The whole experience was both calming and energising. I felt like I was really in the zone and could achieve anything I set my mind to. I got on that plane for the first time in 20 years and arrived in the USA for the birth of my amazing grandson! The world has opened up to me again."
Each scenario is quite different but is important and valid in its own way. Members of the public don't need to be told what to believe or not believe, what is for entertainment and what stirs a deeper, emotional response. I help people unlock their potential for change using hypnotherapy. This means both believing that people know what they need at any particular time in their lives and also dedicating myself to helping people make these powerful life-changes.