On Mentalism…

To mark the forthcoming Hypno-Tricks and Mentalism workshop, I thought it would be good to share my perspective on the ‘dark art’ 😀 of Mentalism as it relates to hypnosis (particularly the development of hypnosis and influential communication skills) and/or NLP.

Anyone who has seen Derren Brown perform will have some familiarity (although they may not know it) with the art of Mentalism, as it is the performance art that he so deftly demonstrates through his television and live shows.  Whilst Derren rarely uses the term ‘mentalism’ he does a nice job of summing it up and framing it in saying that what he does fuses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship.”

(Continued below video…)

httpv://youtu.be/kPfGytlXeQA

For me, hypnosis and mentalism are allied arts for a number of reasons. Firstly (and most obviously) hypnosis and hypnotic communication are powerful tools in the arsenal of the mentalist – good mentalists are adept at directing attention, leading cognition and seeding ideas… which is exactly what we are doing when we do hypnosis.

Secondly, mentalism and hypnosis are both about  leading people into altered perceptions of reality. They may differ in the tools and techniques they deploy, but essentially with both you are looking to create, and have people buy into, new realities.

Thirdly, many of the skills that are required to perform effective and impactful mentalism are the same skills required by effective hypnotists and professional influencers – frame setting, directing attention, building responsiveness, reading non-verbals, managing rapport and status dynamics etc. For this reason, studying and practising mentalism generates an excellent context for the development of some highly functional life skills! And for me, this is the reason that I continue to be drawn back to playing and experimenting with mentalism (just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in :-D)

And you can find out more about Mentalism on the Hypno-Tricks and Mentalism information page!

All the very best

James

About The Author

James Tripp

Hypnotist and Transformative Facilitator. Creator of Hypnosis Without Trance.

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21 Comments

  • Mark

    February 8, 2013

    James your old routine with ID looks much more impressive, afterall the subtleties are the best
    Respectfully
    Marc

  • gustav

    February 8, 2013

    Subtitles please!

  • Peter

    February 8, 2013

    Nice example of leading, I don’t see anything being “hidden” as it seems pretty obvious what’s going on. I like the set up a lot and how instead of the deck there’s just a single card in your wallet. What would Be better would be if you got her to reach in her pocket and find the card there 😉

    • admin

      February 8, 2013

      That would be a nice idea indeed! 😀

      All the very best

      James

  • Adis

    February 8, 2013

    a godfather fan I see, its a great video, I know its probablly pointless to ask but how did you let her know the value of the card? (got to try)

    • admin

      February 8, 2013

      And try you might! 😀 That’s one sneaky secret I am going to hold back for the training (that whole ‘mentalism etiquette’ thang – I’d be kicked out of the fraternity).

      J 😀

  • Elad

    February 8, 2013

    Hi James!
    Great piece! i can’t be attending the workshop seeing as i don’t live in the UK, but i was wondering- will there be an option to buy the video of that workshop?
    i really like that whole hypnosis stuff, especially mentalism!
    cheers for the great blog and mastery programme 🙂
    Elad

    • admin

      February 8, 2013

      Hi Elad.

      There may be – I am still making a decision on this.

      All the very best

      James

      • Eulice

        February 10, 2013

        Do it james!!! do it!!!

        I’ll buy it for a great price:)

  • Eulice

    February 8, 2013

    Hi james, is your hypnotricks and mentalism workshop going to be recorded and sold after? Because that would be amazing! I live in Arizona and I’m pretty busy to attend the live workshop.

    • admin

      February 8, 2013

      I’m still making my mind up on that one Eulice. I would like to put something out, but am thinking of going out and about and recording the stuff happening in the ‘real world’ then recording separate explanation segments. On the other hand, this is more work and I may not get round to doing it, so I might be better of just recording the workshop. So, still to decide on the way to go with it all.

  • John

    February 8, 2013

    Hi,

    When will the covert hypnosis thing be out?

    John

    • admin

      February 8, 2013

      Not sure John. I have the big self-hypnosis project to complete first, then I’ll be into the Covert. My guess would be around September time!

      J

  • Mark

    February 9, 2013

    James I was referring to set up you made before doing an actual effect and its peace of beauty
    Regarding ID vs wallet it’s happened I was watching two videos of yours with company of lay people , with the first one they went nuts they have no idea how you did it
    The second one they all shoot wallet( although it may not be the case)
    Still it’s very good effect James
    All the best,
    Marc

    • admin

      February 9, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback Mark.

      I agree the ‘reversed card in the deck’ is a stylistically nicer presentation. The reason I mostly used my wallet to hold the card these days is simply that my wallet is always with me (unlike a deck of cards, which I would have to carry especially).

      So I’m curious… could you explain what you mean by “they all shoot wallet”? (If you’d prefer not to say publicly, then please feel free to PM me on james@hypnosiswithouttrance.com) Many thanks!

      James

  • Dave

    February 9, 2013

    Hey James,

    EXCELLENT! stuff.. Always impressed with your use (and teachings) of Hypnotic Language, especially when themed with Mentalism.. Even thou I am aware of the “method” and realize that, with it, you ALWAYS have a “way out” which is why I love using Mentalism to PRACTICE making my skills of Hypnotic Influence for many other “contexts” that much easier, but what really inspires me is your “control” of the frame and implementing your “techniques” to make it that much more enjoyable to watch… As Derrn Brown says, “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and SHOWMANSHIP.” Which, to me, showmanship being one of the most IMPORTANT, if not THE most important “principle”, cause whats the use of knowing all the TECHNIQUES if you can’t create a FRAME in any CONTEXT that “absorbs” peoples ATTENTION, long enough to ACHIEVE your “OUTCOME”…???

    I, being a huge fan of Mentalism, have also recently re-introduced myself into the wonderful art of what makes Mentalism a truly amazing thing to practice (and USE), not just for it’s simplicity & awe inspiring results, but more for introducing Hypnosis/NLP “techniques” that not only compliment and help make the Mentalism effects greater appreciated but more for the fact that Mentalism gives me a “medium” to help master & perfect my Hypnosis skills…

    Anyways, like I said, ALWAYS love watching ya work your “magic”, especially when you EXPLAIN how (and why) you achieve your OUTCOMES, which to me, is one of the most important reasons I love learning from YOU, cause not only are you very thorough when it comes to TEACHING, but mostly your “open mindedness” & courage to “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” ..and to let no CURRENT definition, be it’s LAST definition, that so many others fear to CHALLENGE….

    Thank you James, for everything …and keep them coming ..lol..

    Dave S.

    PS: your such a gentlemen helping the lady by supporting her back and making sure the pressure is off her knee… 😉

  • Mindurself

    February 9, 2013

    I don’t know if the word HATE is too strong a choice. But what really bothers me to no extreme is THE word hypnosis itself. There are other words i dislike but the word represents way too much. Now i understand this can be a good tool in itself but such a WORD frames what we ourselves beileve we “do”. I’m very new to this game but also very intrigued and wonder if this is the right CONTEXT to introduce my frustrations. By labeling what some of us do as “hypnosis” are we really doing ourselves and others any favors?

    • admin

      February 9, 2013

      That resonates with me, Mindurself.

      Personally I think that ‘hypnosis’ is somewhat of an archaic term, and carries with it a whole load of semantic baggage that is in some contexts not useful… and in other contexts it is!

      As I have said many times before, I consider myself (and all hypnotists) to be more ‘facilitators of experience’ rather than ‘mind control artists’, and often refer to what I do as ‘psychoactive facilitation’ rather than hypnosis.

      However, the term ‘hypnosis’ has a place in popular consciousness, and as such serves as a better ‘doorway in’ than a term like ‘psychoactive facilitation’.

      All the very best

      James

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