When Should a Person NOT Be Hypnotized?

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

With this quick blog post, we’ll share some cases and situations where it’s best to refrain from hypnotizing someone.

When we’re learning hypnosis, we obviously want to hypnotize as many people as possible to get the kind of experience that will lead to better skills. But especially as a beginner, you ought to know what are those times when you should NOT hypnotize someone.

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Let's start with public demonstration of hypnotic powers.

Stage Hypnosis Shows - When To Send Them Back

When Mike Mandel was a stage performer, he would always limit the people who could come up on stage in his pre-talk. With a joke to take the edge off of it, Mike would dismiss all the pregnant women in the crowd.

“Please don’t volunteer if you’re pregnant,” he’d say, “or if you think you’re pregnant … or if someone else thinks you’re pregnant.” And just like that, a bit of laughter would relieve the stress of this mildly uncomfortable moment of the show. 

People with spinal problems or suffering from any kind of injury would stay off the stage because if they happened to get hurt during the show, that would have been bad for business. 

For a similar reason, Mike would dismiss people with epilepsy. Hypnosis cannot cause an epileptic episode, but if they happened to have one on stage, that’s the first thing people would think. Imagine how that would be a real issue for a stage hypnotist’s career.

You might want to dismiss people who are currently going through psychological or psychiatric treatment for various reasons, especially if they’re presently taking mood-altering drugs. This is a stage show, far from the right place for therapy.

Speaking of therapy ...

Clinical Hypnotherapy - Clients To Avoid

Most of these precautions apply in a clinical hypnotherapy setting as well. It’s crucial for you to be concerned about not selling yourself as a physical or mental health professional if you’re not one. Don’t think you can treat a person suffering from clinical depression if you don’t have the required qualifications for it where you live. You should care to stay well within what is legal for you.

(Read: What Can I Treat as a Hypnotherapist? (Or Why We Don’t Care About Labels) + Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Certification: The Truth You Must Know)

Oddly, you should also not work with a client who gives you bad vibes. If you’re not able to have an honest and empathetic connection with that person, just send them away. You won’t be able to get anywhere with them.

Most experienced hypnotists have had would-be clients to who they’ve absolutely said “no” simply because something about them felt off. Trust your gut. If there’s something seriously weird about them, don’t attempt to hypnotize them.

Social Setting - When Hypnotizing Your Friends

Many hypnotists hypnotize their friends and families at parties or other social gathering situations in an attempt to gain practice. That’s totally fine, of course. Just remember to pick the right subject. If a family member or friend is notorious for never taking anybody seriously, we’d suggest picking somebody else.

(Read: Should You Practice Hypnosis With Friends and Family?)

It’s not uncommon when you’re starting out as a hypnotist for people to attempt to get a laugh at your expense. They’ll pretend to go with it just to cause an embarrassing situation for you. Don’t give into that trap. They have no right to waste your time. 

In Conclusion

Realize there are complex problems you cannot hope to deal with, for they are way beyond your skillset. Most of all, realize you mustn’t hypnotize anyone when you are blamed if something weird happens. You can easily use your common sense to figure out these situations. If not, we just gave you a bunch of examples.

The bottom line is ecology first! Basically, cover your butt (and your subject’s). Look out for their safety and your own, and get rid of those cases where you know something could go horrendously wrong (and you could be blamed for it).

Please contact us via our Facebook page or email if you have any more questions. While you do, check out the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy for high-quality hypnosis training and our blog for more free content on hypnosis, NLP and personal development.