A Conversation with a Clinical Hypnotist
We received a fan letter from a special person with a special story.
Tadd Huff is a licensed hypnotherapist that recently reached out to the Incredible Hypnotist. After watching our YouTube channel, he was inspired and wrote to Richard Barker:
“Hi Richard, You and your stage shows are absolutely hilarious. I have been watching some of your YouTube videos, they are funny; each and every time I watch them. In fact, you have inspired me to get back into doing hypnosis again. Thank so much for sharing your time and talent with the rest of the world. Have a Wonderful Blessed Day.” – Tadd Huff
After reading such a beautiful message, we wrote back to learn more of the hypnotist’s story. A beautiful conversation about hypnosis and perseverance emerged.
1. How did you first become involved with hypnosis?
In 1979 I was going to college working on a psych degree. As part of the curriculum, I had to attend a stage hypnosis show that a hypnotherapist was putting on. He used the stage show as a medium to teach about the benefits of hypnosis and hypnotism. I was a total skeptic and walked into the auditorium not believing a word of it. Within 20 minutes my mouth was hanging open absolutely blown away. I started learning about the awesome and incredible power the human had in this wonderful beautiful state of consciousness. I never ever forgot that experience that evening. Since that night, I’ve read everything and anything that I could get my hands on talking about this amazing phenomenon.
2. What do you love most about being a hypnotist?
I love to help others. I love helping others learn and discover this absolutely amazing gift inside all of us that resides, hidden, just slightly outside of our own awareness. I love to see them discover how they can tap into unrealized and unrecognized resources and potentials within themselves and turn their greatest frown into the largest of smiles.
3. Why did you stop hypnotizing people?
It was a combination of things. The biggest of all was marketing. I was doing ‘change-work’ and because of so much of the negative stigma that sometimes surrounds hypnosis, it was very difficult for me to get new clients. Also, at that time, I was working as a hypnotic consultant for a family counseling center. The center was moving to a bigger and better location which would more than double my overhead. So with a lack of clientele combined with extra overhead, I was forced to go home. I made an office out of an extra room and tried working out of my home for a while but that did not seem to work much better. So I had to find other means to pay the bills.
4. Why did you decide to start using your hypnosis gift again?
Being a hypnotist is so much of who I am. It was not so much what I did, as it was who and what I am. Every single day hypnosis has been on my mind and in my heart. Occasionally, about every 6 months or so, someone would come to me asking about hypnosis. They would ask if I could help them overcome a difficulty or help them achieve a goal. Which I was glad to help when I could. Even though I was not actively practicing, I still studied and read about new hypnotic techniques, concepts, or reading some old and ancient book on hypnosis, mesmerism, and the power of suggestion.
When I can, I always like to watch hypnosis being done on YouTube and other internet videos. About 2 weeks or so ago, I watched an incredible hypnotist named Richard Barker. Richard absolutely blew me away with his stage comedy shows! It reminded me of all the mystery, awe, and humor of the first hypnotist stage show I saw way back in college. I watched the videos over and over for several days. They were just absolutely hilarious, each and every time I watched them. So I was revitalized and pumped up again. Needless to say, I was hooked all over again. I just didn’t know what I was going to do with it!
Well, the very next day, right out of the blue, I received a phone call asking me if I would be willing to put on a hypnosis demonstration at a local club. I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could, I said a most resounding, “Yes!”
5. How did you first learn about the Incredible Hypnotist, Richard Barker?
My wife religiously watches the Today Show, whether live or recorded. She told me, “Honey, there was a hypnotist that was on the Today Show today. I wished you could have seen it, I think you would have liked it. The hypnotist made ‘Al’ howl like a wolf.” I smiled and nodded, “Yes, that would be funny.”
Well, low and behold, as I was searching for more Richard Barker videos to watch I found the video of that hypnotist and the event… “the hypnotist” was Richard Barker!!! I just shook my head and muttered under my breath something like, “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in men’s philosophies.”
6. What are your impressions of Richard Barker so far?
Richard Barker is a first class, dyed-in-the-wool, true blue artist, comedian, and entertainer in the hypnotic arts. On top of that, Richard is one of the most friendliest, kindest gentleman you would ever want to meet. He spoke with me as if I was one of his oldest, closest and dearest friends. I just can’t say enough good things about him. Richard truly lives up to his title, the “Incredible Hypnotist,” and that is absolutely true. I will also say that Richard’s humble character is just as impressive as his skillful talents.
7. What advice or words of wisdom would you give to others seeking a career as a clinical hypnotist?
First and foremost, get the very best hands on/supervised training you can afford from a reputable Hypnosis School. Secondly, read and never stop studying to be as knowledgeable as you can about hypnosis; the hypnotic process; visual imagery; and language patterns. Thirdly, and I cannot emphasis this strongly enough, you will learn more by practice, practice, practice than you can reading every book in the world on the phenomenon! You can know every hypnotic technique there is, but until you tell your client, “Alright now, take a long deep breath, and as you gently exhale, allow your eyes to close,” or you say to your subject, “Now, look at that point up on the wall just above eye level, let me shake your hand, that’s right. Now take a deep breath annnddd …. SLEEP!”
You won’t ever know what you need to know until you work with a person in the state of hypnosis. You learn hypnosis by hypnotizing people, and you will learn more by your failures than your successes. Fourthly, above everything else, learn to look at running your practice as a business; learn to market your business. If you don’t have a marketing strategy in place, you will do as I did; close up shop and go home. A smart person learns by their mistakes. A wise person learns not only by their mistakes, but also by the mistakes of others. Learn by my mistakes; learn to market and never stop.
8. How has hypnosis changed your life?
The conscious part of our mind is but the tip of an iceberg, sticking out of the water and it’s the only part we see that we’re aware of. The ‘non-conscious’ part, the part of the mind we are totally and completely unaware of, is visible when you learn hypnosis. When you learn hypnosis and the hypnotic process, a whole new world opens up to you. Hypnosis changes your whole perspective on reality. Basically, you can take more control over more parts of your life. That’s how learning hypnosis has changed my life.
9. What are the pros and cons of being a hypnotist?
In my perspective, being a hypnotist can be a two-edged sword. It’s some of the most rewarding work I have ever done. You possess a unique skill set and ability that can alleviate pain and human suffering; that can help people to reach goals they only dreamed of. Being a clinical hypnotist allows you to help people gain control of their lives and move themselves in the direction they wish to go. But with wisdom, it sometimes brings sorrow. Because of the negative stigma that sometimes surrounds this precious art, much of the “unlearned” world needlessly remain in pain and suffering when they don’t have to. To know this, is sometimes a burden to bear and carry.
10. What do you say to people who think hypnosis or hypnotherapy is fake?
My favorite thing to say is, “Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion I suppose. But if you’ll give me three minutes of your time and agree to follow my simple instructions, I think you just might find a reason to change your mind.”
But if that’s not an option, I point out that the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which has always been on the cutting edge of medical science, did a study in 2010 about the validity of hypnosis. Today, not only do they share information about the benefits of hypnosis, but they also offer hypnotherapy by their own staff of hypnotherapists.
We cannot say thank you enough to this insightful clinical hypnotist for sharing his journey with us. His praise is accepted with Richard’s complete gratitude and humility. The Incredible Hypnotist has been on a mission for two decades to spread the truths and benefits of hypnosis work. We’re just happy that we were able to inspire a fellow hypnotist to get back on the saddle and share his gift with the world. Way to go, Tadd! We’ll be keeping our eye on you as you progress back into hypnotherapy.