This is the final comment in the Radio Times’s description of a new ITV “game show”, starting on Saturday 14 March, called You’re Back in the Room. The synopsis is “A comedy game show based on hypnosis: five members of the public take on straightforward tasks, made harder by the hurdles that hypnotist Keith Barry plants in their minds.”
I rarely watch anything on ITV, and I never watch game shows, but this one – based on the descriptions and trailers I’ve seen – reaches new depths. Although I don’t perform as a hypnotist, only as a magician, I’m not opposed to stage hypnosis in general as long as it’s reasonably tasteful. This new TV show looks and sounds about as tasteless as it’s possible to get.
It’s emphasised in the FAQs on my website, but I want it to be made very clear again, that no responsible hypnotherapist, myself included, would make any suggestions to clients that would make them act in a foolish way. Hypnotherapy is just that: therapy employing hypnosis. Hypnotherapists use their skills (not “powers”!) for therapeutic purposes only, not for entertainment – their own or anyone else’s. We help clients to remove “hurdles” – we don’t plant them.