Contrary to popular misconceptions, hypnosis is not something that is done to you, rather it is something you do to yourself. Indeed all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis - a skill you will learn during therapy. The job of the "hypnotist" is merely to guide the client into that particular state of awareness that is a trance state.
Sometimes people ask if they've really been hypnotised, just because it feels so normal and they were maybe expecting something very strange. The zombie like states seen in movies and on TV shows are pure fantasy. Unfortunately much of this popular perception of hypnosis is reinforced by what appears to happen in stage hypnosis shows, but the reality is far less dramatic than Hollywood likes to portray it!
Stage hypnotism is a totally different scenario, an entertainment setting where the vast majority of people in the audience have already "bought into" the idea that silly things are going to happen. Stage hypnotists pick their "victims" with great care. They have no interest in the shy, quiet types, they want the extroverts, and they also want people who are quite convinced of their "magic" powers, using so-called "suggestibility tests" to reinforce the belief. Curiously, people are still willing to believe in this even if the performer, like Derren Brown, is open enough to admit that his "mind control" power doesn't exist and that he is only using a combination of illusion, misdirection and showmanship!
Mind control by stage hypnotists is no more real than a magician "sawing a woman in half".
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