Interview with Peter Wolf on Stage and Forensic Hypnosis
by Val Tobin
Originally published July 7, 2010 on Suite101
Republished on SNGS November 11, 2013
"In Interview with Peter Wolf on Clinical and Stage Hypnosis," Peter Wolf, counselor and consulting hypnotist, described how he found hypnosis while following the shamanic path, and his experiences with hypnosis in clinical and stage settings.
In this discussion, Wolf tells readers what people experience when they participate in stage hypnosis, and explains forensic hypnosis.
What Do People Experience During Stage Hypnosis?
Val Tobin: With stage hypnosis, people really look like they believe what is going on. Are they hallucinating?
Peter Wolf: "There is a version of hypnosis which is hallucinating. The most truthful answer I can give you is that some people will actually hallucinate. Some people will just have a version of belief. Even if they don't see an image, their mind is going to accept it as though there is something there.
"They'll respond as though it is there because the brain told them it is there. The best example I can give you is once I hypnotized a lady on a radio station. The DJ that she was with was bald. One of the jokes we were having is that he was going to have long hair.
"Her belief system said that there's no way that he's going to have hair. So she created a hallucination of one of those carnival cutouts that you stick your head through. The cutout was an image of this Adonis with long hair and the DJ had his head stuck through it. That's the only way her brain could reconcile what was real and what was suggested."
Forensic Hypnosis According to Hypnotist Peter Wolf
Val Tobin: Please explain forensic hypnosis. Does it work?
Peter Wolf: "Forensic hypnosis is going back to past details that somebody doesn't remember. You're going through the memory to find out what is there. It's not admissible in court, simply because it hasn't proven to be reliable. One of the reasons why is that we can alter our memory. Somebody can remember something that wasn't there.
"With forensic hypnosis, you have to get people immediately after the incident. If you get them with nothing in between, then you can get something accurate. If they've had people ask them any form of a leading question, their memories will now be altered trying to fill in the blanks with what they think they remember.
"When they are asked a question, the brain has to come up with an answer. With leading in any way, the brain will start to go in those directions. Eventually, they may come up with their own perceptions based on those questions. This can become their reality, because, remember, they want to find out those details. Based on beliefs, values, morality, the level of acceptance of whatever is there, the brain will fabricate the most acceptable thing. What you dig up may not be completely factual."
Hypnotist Peter Wolf on Past Life Regression
Val Tobin: In that case, wouldn't past life regression be unreliable?
Peter Wolf: "I believe past life regression can be unreliable or difficult to prove or disprove based on facts, but it is helpful in certain cases."
Val Tobin: Isn't there a risk as well? Shouldn't anyone who does past life regression also be a certified hypnotist?
Peter Wolf: "I think anyone doing even stage hypnosis should be a licensed hypnotist. You don't have to be a licensed hypnotist to do stage hypnosis; you just have to know what works. I prefer when there is some good level of hypnosis training, even some therapeutic training to a degree, just in case. Past life regression? My God, yes. If there is something else to deal with, you want to be equipped to deal with it. Most of the time, as you take somebody back, you hit something somewhere. There's a reason why they want to go there and it's not always warm and fuzzy."
Val Tobin: Have you ever regressed anyone who has come up with things that are verifiable?
Peter Wolf: "Yes, people have come up with verifiable information. When you do past life [hypnosis], you really need to be intricate. You have to test the person, because if the person is not 'there' enough, they're not going to get anything, and you do it without leading questions. But they really have to be there in first person, and knowing things — not just thinking and making it up, but knowing things."
Wolf draws on years of training, experience, knowledge and intuition to create a safe environment for people, whether they meet him on the stage or in a coaching or counseling setting. He has a strong belief in hypnosis as a tool for personal growth and development. His many clients attest to how well that tool works.
In "Interview with Peter Wolf on Hypnosis for Personal Development," Wolf explains how hypnosis helps people with their personal issues.
Wolf, Peter Feeling Different
Image: Courtesy of Peter Wolf
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