Today I am preparing for the final weekend’s tuition for my current monthly hypnotherapy practitioner diploma. I have been signing some certificates and to top it all off we are having a firewalk and a bit of a knees up afterwards for some end of course fun and shenanigans.

That was my excuse for not writing a blog entry today… Until I saw that there were a couple of stories making headlines that I thought I’d flag for you today.

There has been an ongoing story in the US, cited here in the Sarasota Tribune about a school principal who has been hypnotising his students and there have been 3 student deaths (suspected suicides) at the same school in recent months. Aside from the issue that in that particular US state it is illegal to practice hypnosis without medical supervision and qualification, the entire story seems to make out and allude to hypnosis being used with sinister effect;

North Port High School Principal George Kenney defied three separate orders to stop hypnotizing students in individual sessions, and later lied when questioned by a school administrator about his use of hypnosis, according to a school district investigation into his activities.

Those revelations and others are contained in the report that shows Kenney hypnotized up to 75 people at the school, including students and their parents, as well as staff members and their children.

The extent of Kenney’s hypnosis first came to light weeks after the April 8 suicide of Wesley McKinley, 16, when his parents raised questions about the sessions in which Kenney hypnotized the boy. There is no indication Kenney’s hypnosis of Wesley led to the boy’s suicide.

But the report also notes that Kenney had hypnotized Brittany Palumbo five months before her May 4 suicide, and had hypnosis sessions with 16-year-old Marcus Freeman in February and again six days before he died in a car wreck on March 15.

The hypnosis is not being suggested as in any way linked to the deaths and there is no evidence for it, but because the teacher used hypnosis (albeit illegally) the story is getting a lot of coverage and seems to be sensationalised as a result.

However, also in the UK news at the same time there is some further great exposure of the hypnotic Gastric Band process working to great effect with a mother and daughter as featured here in the Daily Mirror. The article states:

When Kerry Down had a heart attack at 51 she and daughter Amy knew they had to lose weight quickly.

Fifteen stone Kerry and 17 stone Amy had tried countless diets before but always failed – until a hypnotherapist convinced them they had been fitted with gastric bands.

The pair had five sessions with Paul Alland who put them in a hypnotic trance and talked in great detail about the surgery.

He was able to persuade the pair the bands had been fitted and their stomachs were now the size of golf balls.

Amy, 29, said: “It’s amazing. I’ve always struggled with my weight, but this is the first diet that showing real results.

“Even though you are aware that the surgery didn’t actually happen, you believe that your stomach is smaller.

“I haven’t touched crisps or garlic bread since, and I know it’s down to hypnotherapy. It’s given me a new outlook on food.”

She said Paul also trained them to think problem foods such as deep-fried battered fish and chips would taste disgusting.

Amy said: “I loved crisps and chocolate, but ever since then I don’t crave them at all. We still have a sweetie box for the kids, and I feel no desire to go near it at all.”

So why on earth have I used a picture containing a measuring tape and bananas? Because it incorporates the previous story with the final story I am mentioning today.

Over at the Mail Online here, they have run a story about a lady who feared bananas for 20 years and overcame her irrational fear using hypnotherapy. I have no idea how on earth someone gets an irrational fear of bananas, but Paula Ross reacted very badly to being forced them and then it got compounded as it became part of her identity over the years. The article states:

When Paula Ross was a toddler she was forced to eat fruit like every other child – but it drove her bananas for more than 20 years.

Now aged 23 and after years of enduring a phobia to bananas she has finally conquered a childhood fear that saw her nauseous at the sight of one.

Her fear became so bad that she couldn’t bear to be in the same room as the fruit and felt sick if she smelled one.

Paula said: ‘It is a ridiculous fear, but it is something I have had since I can remember.

‘People used to chase me round the playground at school with banana peels and everyone used to laugh at me. They thought it was hilarious.

‘I couldn’t even stand to be in the same room as a banana but this therapy has changed my life. It is absolutely fantastic.’

Marvellous stuff, eh?

There you have it, hypnosis in the news. I’ll be back next week, enjoy the weekend and know this… There’ll be more qualified hypnotherapists in the world as of on Monday morning.