A Hypnotist Looks at the Mentalist
by Lee Pelletier, CH

The Nielsen TOP 5 hit television show, The Mentalist explored some
fascinating issues during the “Russet Potatoes” episode broadcast on March
31. It did a great job of making it clear that a person cannot be hypnotized to
do something that violates their moral code. It also did a good job of illustrating
the possibilities for hypnotically induced hallucinations. It seems almost
impossible to imagine that someone could hallucinate seeing a dead human
body as a bag of potatoes. They suggested that the number of hypnotists who
could produce such an effect is limited. Perhaps, but there would be way more
than three in that area of California and there are a few in the capital District
who could do that as well.  Pelletier said "I particularly enjoyed it when Patrick
Jane casually and simply said that virtually everyone can be hypnotized." He
went on to say "you would be amazed at how many people think they cannot
be hypnotized. The truth is, nearly anyone of average intelligence or better
can be hypnotized."

As a master Neurolinguistic Programming practitioner I was disappointed in the
presentation of NLP. The show made NLP appeared to be a lightweight
manipulative system that they called something of a scam. The truth is that
everybody practices NLP every day. It is simply a question of whether we
practice self talk in a way that is destructive or constructive. It does matter what
we say to ourselves, whether we program ourselves for success or failure, for
misery or enjoyment. Certain language patterns lead to pain while others lead
to success. It is a wise person who learns the best techniques of talking to
himself or herself.

It was, at best amusing, to see the clumsy attempts of Rigsby, one of the
California Bureau of Investigation detectives, trying to establish rapport with his
boss by modeling her behavior. A skillful NLP practitioner would know how to
model behavior without being so obvious or clumsy, and all the other person
would notice is that it felt good to be around that person.  Some people wonder
if the salesperson has an unfair advantage when using NLP as a part of the
selling process. When asked about this, Pelletier said "Imagine how great it
would be if a salesperson would actually look at things from your perspective
and really tried to comprehend your needs as a part of the sales process.
While any capability can be misused, it has been my experience that anyone
who would put in the time and effort necessary for training and developing skill
at NLP simply wants to be an outstanding professional salesperson. This is not
a skill that can easily be learned by a quick buck artist. Indeed, the
"representation" or image of yourself and the client tremendously influences
the sales process.

NLP is actually an innovative approach to an issue that has been a problem for
humans from ancient times," Pelletier said. He went on to note: "The Christian
Scriptures, in Philippians 4:8 provide a list of eight positive things that a
Christian believer would do well to focus on. Norman Vincent Peale created a
franchise around the idea of "The Power of Positive Thinking." NLP simply
provides a model for developing positive patterns of thinking and speaking."

Pelletier went on to say: "There is a simple test that verifies the importance of
training the mind to be positive.  I regularly do this demonstration with my
hypnosis clients. With another person, simply hold your strong or dominant
arm out to the side and bring to your mind a negative, sad, frustrating or
disappointing image. While holding that image in your mind ask your partner to
push down on your arm while you resist to the best of your ability. Notice how
much strength you have to resist. Then shake off the negative image and
shake your arm to loosen your muscles. Put your arm out again and bring a
very positive and happy image to mind. It can be a picture of yourself winning a
victory, accomplishing a task, hearing your favorite song or something else
thoroughly enjoyable. Again, while holding that positive and happy image in
your mind, invite your partner to push your arm down while you resist with full
force. Notice the difference in your strength to resist the downward pressure
when holding a positive image compared to holding and negative image in
your mind." Pelletier says: "Almost everyone experiences way more strength
when holding the positive image. Learning to find and appreciate the positive
is a very important way of taking care of yourself."  It is not a stretch to imagine
that developing positive ways of thinking would strengthen the immune system
as well.

Pelletier points out: "Those who practice hypnosis and NLP understand that
the mind is constantly being trained. While most people let the training happen
without conscious thought, those who use hypnosis and NLP are deciding how
to train their minds."

“It has been fascinating to watch the Mentalist this season,” Pelletier said.  “I
have been pleased at the overall accuracy of the presentation of hypnosis, yet
occasionally disappointed at the dramatic license taken.  This is probably the
experience of every professional who sees his or her field of expertise in
television programs.  I want everyone to know that hypnosis is both safe and
effective when practiced by a certified professional.”

Lee Pelletier is a certified hypnotist and hypnotism instructor practicing in
Amsterdam. He holds many certifications including status as an NLP Master
practitioner. You may contact Lee Pelletier by calling 518-684-0148.

Confidential footnote to media professionals:  To arrange an interview or
program appearance you may also reach Pelletier on his cell phone (518-209-
3300) or by e-mail: Lee@thebestyoucanbe.net .
Hypnosis - Albany New York area Hypnotists