10-day DIY hypnosis course to solve problems

IN the relentless search for New Age solutions, some Singaporeans are paying up to S$2,600 (RM5,668) for a 10-day course to fix their inadequacies. 

There is no promise that it will be permanent. 

But these Singaporeans, mainly professionals in their 30s and 40s and often women, seem undeterred by what seems like nothing more than disciplining or talking yourself into changing a bad habit. 

The relative quick fix is called hypnotherapy, in which hypnosis is the core method used. 

Just like the hypnotist at the carnival who can hypnotise you into embracing a snake, its converts claim it can help them overcome inhibitions, emotional problems or plain bad habits.  

Said housewife Jasmin Kaur, 37,: “I feel less angry and stressed. It’s like deprogramming whatever negative thoughts you have.” 

Like many, she paid S$2,600 to attend a 100-hour, 10-day course conducted by Dr Calvin Banyan, 47, a hypnotherapist and trainer from the United States. 

He was in Singapore last month to train 12 to 17 people on how to use, say, sonorous words and phrases repeatedly to hypnotise, after which their minds can be made to do what does not come naturally.  

However, Dr Francis Ngui, psychiatrist and medical director of Adam Road Hospital, has his reservations. 

He said: “A very motivated person can resolve certain psychological problems with self-hypnotherapy, but the effect is usually short-lived because you might not solve the root cause. For example, you might know you are bad-tempered but not know what causes it.” 

Still, it is a popular therapy for addictions and mood disorders in Europe and the US.  

The most recent sensation was Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Not content to just hug a teddy bear to relieve stress, she purportedly adopted some unusual practices, such as taking part in a “rebirthing” ceremony in Mexico in which she and her husband shouted and smeared mud and ripe food pulp on each other. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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