High School Prom and Grad Hypnosis Concerns
Jan 17, 2019
I got a message the other day from a parent who said some other parents were concerned about having a hypnotist at their high school post prom.
I've done hundreds of shows at high school events, and I know hypnotists who have done hundreds more than I have. A lot of these substance-free nights feature a hypnotist, bounce games, a photo booth, caricature artists (one had a butt artist!), and poker or other casino games.
Most of the time, however, parents only have concerns with the hypnosis show, even though inflatable activities can and do cause injuries and gambling can lead to devastating addiction. (Caricatures and photo booths can just make you look silly. And butt artists can make you ask, "Does this drawing make my butt look fat?)
The question becomes, though, considering the potential dangers of some of the other activities; why is the hypnosis show usually singled out as the "dangerous" activity? I believe it's a lack of familiarity and understanding.
Most people have seen and been in a bounce house or inflatable slide. Other people, especially adults, (like the chaperones at these late night/early morning events) have played casino games. They may even know someone who's a gambling addict. But most have never been hypnotized for any reason, be it for entertainment or therapy. They may not even know anyone who's been hypnotized. So, is hypnosis dangerous?
“Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis,” experts at the Mayo Clinic write. “You generally remain aware of and remember what happens under hypnosis.”
Probably not. Just like cars, by themselves are not dangerous, an unskilled operator can make that benign car dangerous. I tell my clients to choose their hypnotist carefully, an unskilled hypnotist, or one who doesn't practice common-sense safety, can make a tame activity potentially harmful. Just like the inflatables that harm an average of 30 people per day in the United States, it's not the bouncy thing itself that's dangerous, it's improper use.
Casino games are quite another story. You may not see the seedlings of an addiction sowed until they show up, in full bloom, later in life. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against gambling games, but shouldn't parents approach them with the same caution they approach the hypnosis show?
Choosing to have a hypnotist at your high school event, and subsequently hiring a hypnotist for that event is like any other major decision, and you'll do best by dong your homework and making well-researched and informed decisions.
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