You’re Back in the Room – Television’s Latest Hypnosis Show

Most people would be aware that Channel 9 here in Australia will begin showing a new television comedy game show on 3 April 2016 and this show is titled “You’re Back in the Room”.  The show will be hosted by Darryl Somers and will star Keith Barry as the hypnotist hypnotising volunteers.  The show first aired in Britain in 2015 and has either shown or will be aired in France, Columbia and Slovenia.

As with stage hypnosis shows, I would expect this production to have some very funny skits however and based upon the advertising ‘teasers’ I have seen to date, I would also expect that some of the activities to be less so. One thing is for certain; the show will raise the topic of hypnosis to another level here in Australia.  It is how this is raised that is of interest to me and should be to other hypnotists – especially those operating as hypnotherapists.

It will be interesting to see how the production deals with the topic of hypnosis and I do hope that it does treat hypnosis with the respect that it deserves.  I suspect though that it will attempt to elevate hypnosis to the realm of the mystical and elevate the hypnotist to some ‘all powerful manipulator’. I hope not!!

For a number of years now, ever since I became the President of the Professional Hypnotists of Western Australia, and then the Professional Hypnotherapists of Australia Inc., I have worked to bring hypnosis (and hypnotherapy) in to being accepted as a better-known, credible modality. I have done television news spots, radio slots and continue to do public information session, presentation to medical practice personnel, presentations at libraries and presentations/ infotainment lectures for passengers on cruise ships. The purpose behind all of this has been to remove some of the myth and prejudice that has developed around or about hypnosis; in short; to remove the Hollywood hype! Even now at these presentations I will be asked about a person being ‘stuck’ in hypnosis or a hypnotist implanting a suggestion directing the individual to commit some heinous crime.

While these preconceived notions are easy to address at the time when asked, it is the fact that these ideas have developed at all that concerns me. I have seen movies/shows and read novels that place hypnosis and the hypnotists’ ability to turn people into mindless automatons as the forefront of the storyline but I have also seen movies/shows and read novels that show people travelling at warp-speed or people flying or people stopping bullets! The curious aspect is that people understand that all of these activities are fantasy and entertainment but see hypnosis and believe that it is being presented in documentary fashion.

Anyone that would care to do some research (and that research can consist of a quick Google search) will find that there exists a plethora of articles, commentaries, academic research papers and information on hypnosis. Some of this is aligned with the negative ‘it doesn’t really work’ opinion but the majority is favourable and positive about the ability for hypnosis to impact positively on people achieving change. No where (other than in non-fiction) have a I seen examples of, or suggestions that anyone can be turned into mass-murderer, mindless criminal or someone that can be made to do anything that is fundamentally against their morals, ethics or principals in the blink of an eye.

My sincere hope is that; when the television show “You’re Back in the Room” airs, it will not continually allude to the ‘power’ of the hypnotist and elevate hypnosis to anything beyond the entertainment. I would similarly hope that the host, the hypnotist and the producers treat the people on stage with the respect that they are entitled. After all, as Martin St James used to say, “they are actual stars of the show”.

I do suspect though that one of the perhaps unintended consequences of airing this game show is that the public’s understanding of hypnosis, trust in the modality of hypnosis and hypnotists in general and confidence when engaging hypnosis for therapeutic purposes will be diluted at best and negatively impacted at worst.

As I’ve done in the past and will continue to do in the future, I will persist in taking every avenue available to disband this belief, promote hypnosis and hypnotherapy as excellent stand-alone treatments or valuable adjuncts to other treatment options. I would encourage any and all hypnotists and hypnotherapists to do similar. After all, we all have an ongoing responsibility to the profession.

Michael Werts


Michael Werts
Michael Werts's picture
Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 20:23

"Hypnosis is a form of mind-control" - almost the first words out of Keith Barry's mouth at the start of the show. Sets the tone….

Quite corny but only because of the ‘payment’ that is attached to the performances. I think that there will be a lot of people that maintain scepticism about hypnosis based on this show. After all, the ‘contestants’ stand to win up to $20,000 at the end of the show. This fact even causes me pause as I ask what their real motivation for performing is! Were this a comedy hypnosis show, it would be quite amusing I am sure but it is not - it's a game show masqurading hypnosis as the key to cash in on the term.

Not sure about the continuity on the show - one skit had them painting and one put paint on another’s clothing - subsequent skits, no paint….

My personal assessment - not a show that I will bother watching again.

Tim (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 17:00

It's cr@p plain and simple. It makes a mockery of hypnosis and as a byproduct will dissuade people who may have been able to achieve much needed change from engaging the services from a true hypnotherapist. Even the public have been rubbished the tv show as it is a joke and simply an easy pay check for all invovled

Michael Werts
Michael Werts's picture
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 07:30

A few days after the airing of this game show, media comments are not generally not supportive and critical....

Quick quote from the article above: "You’re Back in the Room rated brilliantly, almost beating Seven’s juggernaut cooking competition My Kitchen Rules. But let’s not forget that Celebrity Splash rated pretty well initially. So did the return of Hey Hey, It’s Saturday; even Ten’s Being Lara Bingle and The Shire weren’t total flops to start with."

And an article addressing the reality of hypnosis and what the game show tries to promote:


Michael Werts
Michael Werts's picture
Monday, April 11, 2016 - 18:36


Earlier on this week and in response to a large number of negative posts on social media, the host of the game show, Daryl Somers was interviewed on radio and made the extraordinary claim that, people that didn't like the show were unhappy in their own lives. Of course, this attracted a number of follow-up comments....

An update on the game show "You're Back in the Room". Second episode aired Sunday 10 Apr 16 evening and from last week, 250,000 people have tuned-out! I wonder if Daryl Somers will continue with the line that all of those people are unhappy with their lives as well? Social media has continued it's overwhelmingly negative review of the show so I am wondering if my initial fear; that people would react negatively to hypnosis based on all of the 'mind control'/hypnotists irresistible power nonsense and hype, may have been an over-reaction. It seems that people are judging this show as being a repetitive, same-old-same-old, unfunny waste of time.

I cannot help but wonder if, the producers of the show had of engaged with the audience and helped educate them on why the hypnotised subjects were doing what they are doing rather than treat the audience like imbeciles while ranting about Keith Barry's 'mind control' powers and the people being unable to refuse, the show would have been better received?

All-in-all though, the sooner that we are able to get back to being unhappy with our lives but happy with what is on TV - the better, don't you think Mr Somers.....?

Michael Werts
Michael Werts's picture
Monday, April 18, 2016 - 09:54

This is the last time I will regale readers with information about this show - it appears that it is becoming increasingly less significant. As predicted, it continues to fall from favour (irrespective of the hype attached to it for featuring ‘the World’s Greatest Hypnotist’ and it being ‘mind control’ etc. etc. etc.).  It has gone from number 2 rating across Australia for the first episode to number 7 ranking in only 3 weeks.  For comparison I have included the ratings for My Kitchen Rules on the same dates - consistently high. Given that Daryl Somers diagnosed that the people that were critical of the show were not happy with their own lives, I imagine he must be starting to think that there is an epidemic of people growing more and more and more dissatisfied with their lives!!!



1 MY KITCHEN RULES – SUN 1,234,000



2 MY KITCHEN RULES – SUN 1,315,000



2 MY KITCHEN RULES – SUN 1,266,000

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Michael Werts

Michael is a qualified hypnotist and, along with his wife, initially operated a busy clinical hypnotherapy practice in Joondalup WA.


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