Hypnosis is an incredible tool for accelerated learning and facilitating effective change. When it is used ethically and responsibly it can be extremely helpful in assisting individuals with developing a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and belief systems that may be blocking their personal growth.

As any well trained Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist knows, the safety and security of clients and hypnotic subjects should be the foundation of every hypnotic exchange. Recently Howie Mandel, host of America’s Got Talent, became the unwilling recipient of some of the negative feelings that can be aroused when those ethical understandings are not adhered to.

Chris Jones, a 28 year old stage hypnotist from Chicago, put Howie through his hypnotic paces on Americas Got Talent without telling the host that it was his intention to address the star’s well publicized OCD and Germaphobia.

After a series of suggestibility tests, Jones induced a trance state in Mandel and persuaded him to make skin on skin contact (something Howie abhors) in the form of a simple handshake. The crowd was awestruck as Howie willingly allowed Jones as well as fellow judges to shake his hand.

Howie Manel is hypnotized on stage

After the demonstration it was apparent that Mandel was both confused and irritated. In a Today Show interview following the show, Mandel said that he felt “somewhat betrayed” by the young hypnotist. Perhaps Jones got swept up in the moment and simply forgot that ethical behavior is his first responsibility.

There are any number of less personal demonstrations Jones could have selected that would not have publicly embarrassed the comedian. The demonstration was very entertaining (although at Mandels expense) and Jones displayed exceptional confidence and skill during his performance. Perhaps we can chalk this one up to youthful hubris and hope that time and experience will temper his approach.

View Howie Mandel discussing his hypnosis experience on The Today Show.

Howie Mandel discusses his hypnosis session on America's Got Talent
Courtesy of The Today Show