Stage Hypnosis vs Hypnotherapy: Understanding the Differences

written by: Adreanna Santos     |     July 17, 2023

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Everyone has heard of stage hypnosis, whether they’ve seen it on television or experienced it at a live show. But few people know that there is an important distinction between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy, with dramatically different applications. While one is used to entertain audiences, the other is a powerful therapeutic tool designed to address deep-rooted psychological issues.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two techniques, and discuss why understanding the difference between stage hypnosis vs hypnotherapy is crucial for anyone interested in harnessing the power of hypnosis.

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What are Stage Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Stage Hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment designed to showcase the power of hypnosis to an audience. During a stage hypnosis show, participants are usually asked to perform humorous tasks and activities under the direction of the stage hypnotist. These can include anything from singing strange songs or impersonating animals, all while appearing in a trancelike state. While participants may feel a heightened sense of awareness and relaxation during this experience, the focus is more on providing entertainment than therapeutic benefit.


In contrast to stage hypnosis, hypnotherapy is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses hypnosis as one tool for helping patients address their psychological issues. The goal is not just to relax the patient but also uncover deeply -held mental blocks that are preventing them from reaching their full potential. During hypnotherapy sessions, a therapist will guide the patient into a deep trance and then provide tailored suggestions to help the patient reprogram their thought processes and behaviors.

Related: What is Hypnotherapy and How Does It Work

The differences between stage hypnosis vs hypnotherapy


The primary difference between stage hypnosis vs hypnotherapy lies in the purpose of each practice. As mentioned previously, stage hypnosis is designed primarily for entertainment purposes. The focus is on showcasing the power of suggestion and creating an entertaining experience for spectators. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, focuses more on therapy and healing; its goal is to help patients uncover and address deep-seated psychological issues.

Depth of Trance

Another difference between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy lies in the depth of trance achieved during each practice. During stage hypnosis, participants usually enter a light to medium trance state, allowing them to be more responsive to the suggestions provided by the hypnotist. This is often considered a “safe” trance as participants can usually easily regain their composure.

Meanwhile, hypnotherapy utilizes a much deeper level of trance, allowing the patient to access more unconscious levels of their mind and more deeply held beliefs. This state is often referred to as “therapeutic trance” and it is this intense hypnotic state that allows for the most profound changes to occur.

Related: What Does It Feel Like to be Hypnotized?

Skill Level

The level of skill required for successful stage hypnosis is quite different from what is needed for successful hypnotherapy. Stage hypnotists must be able to quickly assess the personalities and suggestibility levels of their participants in order to encourage them to take part in entertaining activities. Hypnotherapists, on the other hand, need a deeper understanding of psychology and the unconscious mind in order to be able to effectively treat their clients.

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Techniques used

The techniques used in each practice are also quite different. Stage hypnotism relies heavily on the use of direct suggestion, with the goal being to get participants to behave in a certain way. Hypnotherapy, however, is more focused on indirect suggestion and metaphor, which allows patients to explore their own thoughts and beliefs without direct influence from the therapist.

Effects produced

Finally, the effects of stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy are quite different. As mentioned earlier, stage hypnotism is used to entertain an audience and create a fun experience for participants. However, the effects of this type of hypnosis are usually short-lived - once the show ends, participants may no longer feel any noticeable changes.

On the other hand, when done correctly, hypnotherapy can produce long-lasting and even life-changing results. Patients may find themselves feeling more confident, energized, and in control of their lives - all thanks to the power of hypnosis.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy

The Benefits of Stage Hypnosis vs Hypnotherapy

Benefits of Stage Hypnosis

Stage hypnosis can be a powerful and entertaining form of entertainment. It can help to break the ice in social gatherings, provide an enjoyable experience for audiences, and foster a sense of connection between hypnotist and participants. The effects are usually short-lived, but it can also give people the opportunity to explore their own mental boundaries in a fun and lighthearted way.

Stage hypnosis can be a great way to experience the power of hypnosis in a safe, entertaining environment. It allows participants to temporarily let go of inhibitions and enter into an altered state of consciousness where they are more responsive to suggestion. People attending stage hypnosis shows often report feeling relaxed and energized afterwards - a testament to how powerful the experience can be.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can provide lasting and powerful psychological benefits that often go beyond what is achievable with traditional talk therapy. It can help people to uncover and address deeply held mental blocks, providing them with a sense of control over their thoughts and feelings. The hypnotic state also allows patients to access parts of the mind not easily accessed through conscious thought, allowing for more profound changes to occur.

The benefits that can be achieved with hypnotherapy include:

  • Increased self-awareness and insight
  • Improved ability to relax and control anxiety
  • Greater clarity of thought
  • Reducing or eliminating negative habits and behaviors
  • Making positive changes in mood and outlook
  • Helping to enhance focus, creativity, and motivation
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased ability to manage pain.

Overall, hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool for releasing deeply held mental blocks and allowing people to reach their full potential. The hypnotic state can help to uncover unconscious thought patterns that are preventing positive growth in a safe and controlled environment. With the right guidance and support, hypnotherapy can be an incredibly effective way to make meaningful changes in a person’s life.

Related: 149 Powerful Things Hypnosis Can Help With to Improve Your Life

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Stage Hypnosis vs Hypnotherapy quote

Who should consider using either practice

While stage hypnosis is primarily used for entertainment purposes, it can also be a great way to get a taste of the power of hypnosis. People who are curious about the potential benefits of using hypnosis or have never experienced it before may find stage hypnosis to be an enjoyable way to explore the effects of suggestion and uncover what they’re capable of achieving .

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is best suited for those looking to make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives. It can be a powerful tool for addressing deep-seated psychological issues or unlocking potential that may have been previously unexplored. People who are dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, chronic pain, or any other form of mental suffering can benefit greatly from the power of hypnotherapy.

Ultimately, both stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy are powerful tools that offer immense potential for positive change. Depending on what an individual is looking to achieve, either practice could be a great option - it just depends on their personal goals and needs. No matter which one you choose, there’s bound to be a transformative experience waiting for you.

The bottom line is that stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy can both be incredibly powerful tools for personal growth, offering the potential to unlock new ways of thinking and being. No matter what your goals may be, it’s important to remember that no two people are the same - so it’s important to speak with a certified practitioner before embarking on any kind of hypnotic journey. Then, you can decide which practice is best suited for you and start the process of self-discovery.

Ready to take control of your mental and emotional wellbeing? Take a step toward self-discovery with Peace Maximizer - our powerful, safe, and reliable approach to hypnotherapy.

Unlock your hidden potential and embark on an exploration of the mind that will result in lasting positive change. Start your journey to betterment today!

I’m an expert at subconscious reprogramming, a nerd when it comes to human behavior, and my obsession is teaching others how to be their best selves (without all of the resistance and self-sabotage).

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I'm Adreanna.

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