Before we begin this review, let me preface by saying that this is our first documentary that we have reviewed. While we normally don’t review documentaries, we thought that this would be an interesting topic to discuss. When someone talks about dealing with an addiction or unhealthy lifestyle, they often look towards trends spawned by crappy advertisements. However, few consider hypnotherapy as a viable option. Hypnotherapy is a rather unconventional method of healing, but is it a proven method?
Healing with Hypnotherapy follows Ray Bull, an acclaimed hypnotherapist who’s been helping people since 2005. According to Ray, we only operate with about 20% of our conscious mind, whereas 80% of our subconscious is locked away. However, during hypnotherapy, the person’s subconsciousness becomes more active, no longer being restricted by the conscious. To illustrate this, Ray uses the example of a person’s hand placement in a certain position when they’re asleep. Throughout the documentary, Ray uses examples of clients he’s helped lose weight and overcome their addiction to cigarettes as testimonials to the wonders of hypnotherapy. Ray claims that while hypnotherapy is a tool for lifestyle change, it’s only as powerful as the person’s willpower to improve. The stronger the will, the more effective the hypnotherapy session.
I do have to say, when I first started watching this documentary, I felt the subject matter was a bit reminiscent of Get Out, specifically the scene where Mrs. Armitage used hypnosis to help Chris get rid of his cigarette addiction. However, what I liked about this documentary is how real it portrayed hypnotherapy. In movies, hypnosis is often performed on non-consenting people in order for them to perform tasks they normally wouldn’t. However, in reality, you have to consent to being hypnotized in order for any effect of hypnosis to work on you.
On the subject of hypnotherapy, I have never been successfully hypnotized so I can’t speak on whether hypnotherapy is beneficial. However, according to the various subjects that Ray has worked with, I think that hypnotherapy could be worth a shot as a method of healing and overcoming addiction. I also enjoy Ray’s passion for helping people, and empathizing with his clients and their struggles. Not many people do this, and it is refreshing to see people who care about those they are helping.
Despite Ray’s passion, I did feel that the production value was a bit lackluster. While the shot composition and editing were done well, the visual representation for the onscreen topics were mostly comprised of stock footage. Additionally, I felt that the music had a very “stock” feel to it and was mostly there for filler. Don’t expect a score from Koyaanisqatsi in this, but then again, most films don’t have such a score.
The main issue I had with the documentary is the lack of interview subjects. While this isn’t a deal breaker for a documentary, in the case of Healing with Hypnotherapy, only two subjects were interviewed. While Ray had a lot of stories about his line of work, it would have strengthened his points if more people had spoken. It also would have given more visual and audio variety in its presentation. Although the run time is standard for most films, due to the lack of interviewees, the film’s main points feel drummed in by the forty minute mark, despite only being halfway done.
Healing with Hypnotherapy shows that hypnotherapy is a viable method for treating addiction and improving one’s lifestyle. I enjoyed Ray’s passion and listening in on his knowledge on the subject of hypnotherapy. Despite some rather lackluster bits of the documentary’s production, which I can imagine could have been due to budget or time constraints, the message of hypnotherapy still made its way through.
Co-Written by: Owen Gonzalez