Is Stage Hypnosis Real

For years before I studied Psychology, I would attend the local state fair. There always seemed to be a stage show featuring a hypnotist. I would attend and watch carefully as people were told they couldn’t move their entwined fingers, get off their chairs, or even act like certain animals.

At the time, I surmised that these were all folks, just playing along with the performer. I would have sworn that there really was no such thing as hypnotism or anything as absurd as folks ACTUALLY acting like chickens.

I started to read several books on the subject as this “odd” science intrigued me. After reading a few books, as interesting as they were, I was still NOT convinced that anything that could make people do crazy things COULD be true.

It wasn’t until I myself decided to undergo the process, did I begin to believe that there really might be something to this. While I was waiting in the patients  waiting room, I spoke to a woman who was there to quit smoking. She told me this was her third session there, and that she used to be a three pack smoker per day.

She told me that after only one session, she was down to only a pack a day. I asked her about the hypnotist and what he did, and she advised me that he had her close her eyes, and focus on herself in an elevator g slowly descending floor by floor. With each floor she reached, (10 in all), she would become more and more relaxed until she fell asleep.

To me, this was an interesting concept because I had already read about this technique. She said that she no longer felt the NEED to smoke, and thus was slowly cutting down. I gotta tell ya, I was impressed.

When I went in for my session, (Couldn’t get to sleep), he took me through the same patter. I too felt as though I fell asleep. After only two sessions, I was sleeping better. The hypnotist taught me a technique to use to SELF hypnotizes myself, and after that, I never felt better. I use this technique even now when I find it difficult to fall asleep.

I must say, after taking all the Psych. courses, and learning HOW to hypnotize people, I have now become a true believer. I still go to the State fair and to the stage shows, but NOW, I have a much better understanding how they work, and now I thoroughly enjoy them.

Until Later…



Just Ask Sooz

Dear Sooz:

I have a disturbing question to ask you. My granddaughter who is 15, had not been sleeping very well at night for quite a while. I’ve asked her several times as to why, and she always replies with “I don’t know”.

Her lack of sleep started to affect her mental stability, as well as her grades in school. I didn’t know where to turn until a friend of mine suggested a psychiatrist friend of hers.

Sooz, I didn’t know what to do as I have never been, nor, have I known anyone around me who has been to one. Finally, I could stand it no longer and decided to take her. After 2 or three sessions, the Dr. suggested Hypnosis, as she suspected my granddaughter had what she called a suppressed memory or memories.

She asked if was OK to put her under, so like an uninformed person, I said yes in hopes it would help her. When she was under, the Dr. regressed her through previous times in her childhood.

I observed as my granddaughter shivered and then shouted out as if she were in pain. I must say, I was very uncomfortable. When the Dr. asked her what was going on, my granddaughter responded that she was being raped by her older brother. I nearly fell off my seat, Sooz.

You see, I have raised her since she was a baby, and she has had no contact with her brother from a different mother. I was flabbergasted.

My question is, how could this be? There is absolutely no way the event she described could have happened. When I asked the Dr., she explained that she “believed” what my granddaughter had seen, and that she would need several, more sessions to get to the bottom of the problem.

Is it possible that these memories could be wrong? Again, I can’t see any substance to them. When I took my granddaughter home, I asked her about her brother. She stated that she has never seen him. That night, she slept like a baby. What is happening here? Can you shed some light?

Confused Grandmother


Dear Confused Grandmother:

I am NOT a DR. but, I do have a masters in Psychology and can tell you what I THINK. Many times recalled memories are a fallacy. As Dr. Stephen Gans says, “While we all experience memory failures from time to time, false memories are unique in that they represent a distinct recollection of something that did not actually happen. It is not about forgetting or mixing up details of things that we experienced; it is about remembering things that we never experienced in the first place.”

A false memory is a mental experience that is mistakenly taken to be a veridical representation of an event from one’s personal past. Memories can be false in relatively minor ways (e.g., believing one last saw the keys in the kitchen when they were in the living room) and in major ways that have profound implications for oneself and others (e.g., mistakenly believing one is the originator of an idea or that one was sexually abused as a child).”

The above is what I believed happened to your granddaughter. These things are tricky, as Psychiatry and Hypnosis are neither EXACT sciences perfected through the test of time.

My take away is that as long as your granddaughter CONTINUES sleeping OK, I would think no more of it, and release this distasteful experience from your mind.

Good Luck…