|Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis conjures up a performer onstage inducing a state of trance in which the hypnotized
person is so suggestible that they will bark like a dog or strut like a chicken. The hypnotized
person is at the complete whim of the hypnotizer, involuntarily obeying everything the
hypnotizer suggests. After returning to normal every day consciousness, the hypnotized
person has no recollection of what happened in trance.
This popular notion has led to the misconception that someone can be hypnotized against
their will. In fact, while under hypnosis, also called "in trance", you are completely aware of
everything going on. You have access to your subconscious, intuitive self, the self that
knows what is best for you. This intuitive self will agree with suggestions that are positive,
and will refute suggestions that do not resonate with the intuitive self. You are always
communicating and collaborating with your hypnotherapist, first to discover the origins of the
unwanted behavior or dynamic, and then to change the unwanted behavior/dynamic. Once
you return to normal every day consciousness, you will recall, often with vivid accuracy, what
you experienced while in trance.
Hypnotherapy is especially helpful for problematic behaviors that have been resistant to talk
An obvious arena is substance use and abuse. For clients who have had difficulty quitting
smoking, drinking, using mind altering substances, or with over or under eating,
hypnotherapy allows access to the unconscious origins of the addictive behavior. Often the
addictive behavior is used to numb out overwhelming emotions such as shame, grief, rage,
disgust or fear. The overwhelming emotion provides the fuel for the addictive behavior.
Once the origin of the addictive behavior has been identified, the emotion can be
discharged. At that point, the fuel has been eliminated, and the client can choose new
Other arenas are post traumatic stress and anxiety. Post traumatic stress is the body
responding to trauma as if it were happening now. Anxiety manifests as agitation and fear
around situations, real, perceived or imagined. Coping mechanisms and symptoms such as
dissociation, numbing out, avoidance, procrastination, emotional paralysis or overactivity
are overlaid to create an interactive mind body loop that prohibits the person's ability to stay
present to their environment. Hypnotherapy can facilitate the client's regression to an earlier
stage of life when the addictive behavior has its origin.
What does hypnotherapy look like?
Trance is induced with music and the sound of my voice. Once trance is induced, I will ask
you to go back to the most recent time you experienced the problem. When there, you and I
explore together the environment, people and events associated with the problem. I
encourage you to discharge overwhelming emotions through words and actions. Once you
return to a calmer state, we can look at the unworkable conclusion that informed that
behavior. Often, another emotion or body sensation will emerge. Though one or more
regressions, you will discharge overwhelming emotions, rework the unworkable conclusions
to new empowered conclusions, and choose new positive, functional behaviors.
This process, in my experience is best done in 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
About my training and experience
I was trained at the Wellness Institute in Issaquah in Washington State, and received my
hypnotherapy certification in 2016. I have facilitated over two hundred hypnotherapy
sessions and continue my training through quarterly intensive retreats where I receive and
implement hypnotherapy to improve and deepen my hypnotherapeutic skills.
For more information on Heart-centered Hypnotherapy, visit www.wellness-institute.org