Wednesday 12 December 2018

'The mind splits in two' - Irish hypnotist explains how he convinces people to do bizarre things

Hypnotist Jason O’Callaghan
Hypnotist Jason O’Callaghan

Rebecca Lumley

An Irish hypnotist has been making waves online after sharing the bizarre things he made wedding guests do under hypnosis.

Guests were left stunned after a young man was hypnotised to believe he was meeting the “notorious” Conor McGregor at a recent wedding. Hypnotist Jason O’Callaghan shared the now viral video, which shows the young man’s elation at meeting one of his heroes- or so he thought.

This wedding guest was in for an emotional rollercoaster of an evening, however, as the hypnotism didn’t stop there. Next he was made believe that former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was dead on the floor in front of him.

When he asked who had committed such a crime, Mr O’Callaghan pointed to the young man’s mother.

Outraged, he yells “Ma! Why? Why would you do that?”

Oblivious to the laughter erupting around him, the wedding guest cries:“It’s Alex Ferguson Ma. The greatest manager ever. Ever.”

The guest was under complete hypnosis because of his personality type, according to Mr O'Callaghan, who is both a psychologist and a hypnotist.

He claims that while 80pc of people can be hypnotised in a clinical setting, where they are in a quiet room with no theatrics, just 10-15pc of people are as “highly suggestible” as the young man.

Explaining that hypnotism targets the “unconscious mind”, Mr O’Callaghan told Independent.ie: “It’s just a heightened state of awareness; it talks to the unconscious, it re-programmes the hard-drive and it creates an awareness that stops you doing things or gives you the confidence to do things.”

He continued: “The simple description is that the mind splits into two; there’s a conscious and an unconscious mind.

“There’s only one language the unconscious mind can understand and that’s the language of hypnosis.”

While Mr O’Callaghan spend his nights entertaining wedding guests, he performs the more serious form of “clinical hypnosis” during the day at his Blackrock clinic.

Here he hypnotises clients who want to change something about their lives; be it giving up smoking, getting better at public speaking or losing weight. He believes that 80pc of people who attend his clinic need just one session to reverse their bad habits, though free follow-up sessions are provided for people who are having trouble.

The only requirement for these sessions is the desire to change, as Mr O’Callaghan “can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do.”

Mr O’Callaghan has worked extensively with people who suffer from distorted eating habits and has a no-nonsense approach to weight loss. After the first hypnosis session, he provides clients with educational resources like videos and books, as well as a small blue plate to eat every meal off.

He maintains: “If you eat off a smaller plate you eat less and if you eat off a smaller blue plate you eat even less again. The reason is, evolution wise, there’s no such thing as blue food. Blue is a natural appetite suppressant and researchers know that if people eat off dark coloured plates they eat less food.”

Mr O’Callaghan said that this links back with our evolutionary ideology, as the colour blue on food would have indicated that it was gone off or mouldy.

The ability to perform hypnosis was a hard-earned skill for Mr O’Callaghan, who retired from journalism 11 years ago and re-trained in psychology. Having completed both an undergraduate and Masters degree in Trinity College, he spent five years mastering the art of clinical hypnotism and three years learning stage hypnotism.

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