Not all hypnosis is the same

By Sarah RaparoliLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Hypnotherapy belongs in qualified hands. All the more surprising that the legal framework is lacking in Luxembourg. The Lëtzebuerger Journal talked to patients, experts and hypnotherapists.

"There is no legal framework as far as hypnosis is concerned, " is how Dr Marco Klop sums it up. He is an anaesthetist, intensive care physician and president of the Institut Milton H. Erickson de Luxembourg, IMHEL for short (offering training and further education in hypnosis, short-term therapies and strategic communication since 2007) and knows that this circumstance can attract many dishonest people. He comes to talk about the so-called show hypnosis and criticises such practices. "It's a whole show with a lot of lights, music and ultimately manipulation." He says it is primarily for the entertainment and amusement of the audience. There are cases where people are placed in the audience and only fake the hypnosis, i.e. they are part of the hypnotist's team. Nevertheless, the trance state can very well be induced, he said. "At the beginning, hypnotisability exercises are done. For example, the audience is suggested to squeeze their hands tightly together, so tightly that they can't take them apart. This allows the hypnotist to see which people are easier to hypnotise."

Big criticism of show hypnosis

These people are then easier to influence and are called on stage to be hypnotised. "The hypnotist shows off these persons, he humiliates them." In the worst case, those chosen or even those present in the audience could be traumatised and suffer psychological damage. In countries like Austria, Great Britain or even Sweden, show hypnosis is forbidden, but in Luxembourg, as Dr Klop's criticism at the beginning indicated, it is not. "So what I would welcome would be a clear ban on show hypnosis, " the IMHEL president demands. "The training doesn't have to be done here at IMHEL either. There are many great institutes all over Europe." He names institutes that belong to the Confédération Francophone d'Hypnose et Thérapies Brèves (CFHTB), which includes IMHEL, like the German Society for Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy (DGH), among others. The IMHEL is also a member of the European and International Society. IMHEL is also committed to a high level of professionalism and ethics. Dr Klop puts it in a nutshell: "We don't do show hypnosis."

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