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Mental Magic, Applied Psychology or Hypnosis?

Before I explain title, allow me to begin with a story. Once upon a time, a young man met a beautiful young woman. They dated, fell in love, married and as so often happens in stories like these their first child was born.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “It’s a common story. We’ve all heard it before. There’s nothing novel here.”

And I’d agree with you, except for two things. First, the child was born with severe medical complications. She survived, against steep odds. (Healthy people aren’t written up in the medical journal Neurosurgery Today. )

The pressure of raising a medically fragile, special needs child caused pressure to reach volcanic intensity. Eventually the young man forgot how to laugh. (As the great philosopher often said, “Shit happens.”) Consequently, when I heard ten years ago that a person could learn how to perform “comedy hypnosis shows” three thoughts occurred simultaneously.

First, I need to laugh more. Second, I was willing to bet that I wasn’t alone. And third, I was brave enough, courageous enough, and audacious enough to believe that I could bring joy, awe and delight to the world…

Alright, now the title. Why mental magic?

First, the British science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke’s third law states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic!”

Also, the YouTube channel Overly Sarcastic Productions has a video titled Trope Talk: Magic. It identifies five forms of magic: enchantments, magic items, potions, prophesies and spells. I use several of these forms in my comedy hypnosis shows.

I am a rapid induction hypnotist. Rapid inductions because they’re dramatic exciting, mysterious. I’m not a hypnotherapist.

Second, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association defines hypnosis as, “A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion”

I prefer this definition, “hypnosis bypasses the limitations of the conscious mind, intentionally accesses the secret/hidden capabilities of the subconscious and super-conscious mind, for one’s own purpose.” Not the hypnotist’s purpose.

I know two psychologists, doctors of psychology, both of whom have continuing education credits from hypnosis courses. Briefly, that’s my argument for hypnosis as a branch of applied psychology.

Finally, on several occasions, family and friends have asked, “So, Kevin, are you still doing magic?” At first, I explained that I performed comedy hypnosis shows, not magic. Eventually, I realized that like Clarke’s third law, my specialized knowledge appeared to be an advanced technology… indistinguishable from magic. So, I decided to own it and changed my performance name from “The Mysterious Kevin J.” to “Mr. Mysterious the Mental Magician.”

Ok, allow me to introduce myself by means of a story. Once upon a time, a young man met a beautiful young woman, they dated, fell in love, married and a so often happens in stories like these their first child was born.

Perhaps you’re thinking, it’s a common story, we’ve all heard it before. And I’d agree with you, except for two things. First, the child was born with severe medical complications. She survived, against steep odds. (You don’t want to be written up in a medical journal. )

The pressure of raising a special needs medically fragile child caused pressure to reach volcanic intensity. Eventually the young man forgot how to laugh. (As the great philosopher Forrest Gump often said, “Shit happens.” He implied but didn’t say, “You got to get over it.”) Consequently, when I hear ten years ago that a person could learn how to perform “comedy hypnosis shows” my eyes got large ad my jaw dropped.

I three thoughts occurred simultaneously. First, I need to laugh more. I really need to laugh more. Second, I was willing to bet that I wasn’t alone. And third, I was brave enough, courageous enough, determined enough that with training I could bring joy, awe and delight to the world even though I had never actually seen a hypnosis show.

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