No Question is a Stupid Question

June 16, 2014 — Recently, I received an email from a client with some specific questions about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy — the process and what to expect, etc. Because these things may be things YOU also wonder, I decided to post my response in my blog for others to read. Names and issues have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Remember. . . no question is EVER a stupid question. You are entitled to know what you are getting into. Plus, questions are just another opportunity for a qualified Hypnotherapist to demonstrate the depth and thoroughness of what they know and the resources they have access to. So “let ’em rip” and discover the true caliber, quality and character of the person in whom you will entrust your deepest fears and wildest dreams. Enjoy and then write me with YOUR questions!

1. I would need to know how many total sessions you think I would require for this? I would need to present that figure to my husband to budget for this expense.

So, people seek hypnosis when they are trying to create some kind of change and running into some kind of internal conflict in creating that change on their own. They have some kind of limiting belief and / or negative emotion getting in the way of creating the change. And a single issue can have many aspects that need clearing. I often liken removing limiting beliefs and clearing negative emotions to playing the game Jenga. If the entire tower is the issue, sometimes clearing one block, brings down a series of other blocks and clears the issue. Sometimes it just brings down that one block and the issue persists. In this situation, we are trying to remove blocks related to the issue called “WEIGHT.” Without having met, or done our intake, without knowing anything about the aspects of your issue, what you are struggling with and why you are running into trouble creating this change on your own in the conscious space, I couldn’t begin to tell you how many sessions it would take to remove the blocks to resolve this issue. More important, if you have a history of body image issues, food and eating issues, mental or emotional issues, physical or emotional abuse, trauma or a diagnosis of any kind related to these issues, that changes things as well. The approach is more complex and Florida Law requires that I have a referral from a licensed practitioner of the healing arts (Doctor, Psychologist, Mental Health Counselor etc) to even touch these issues and certainly prior to beginning this work.

I tend to avoid pre-ordaining the resolution of an issue in a specific number of sessions. That sets an expectation that may not be appropriate for your situation. I have seen people transform an issue after a single session. I have seen others who resolve an aspect only to find that it was the mask for a deeper, more painful aspect. The point is this, if you want to create change that is lasting, then that is where we put our focus in the subconscious space, and your put YOUR focus in your CONSCIOUS space. You have to do some work. You will make the necessary adjustments in your conscious space to ensure your success. If you want to create lasting change that is QUICK, the same holds true.

The bottom line is, I will help you remove weeds and plant seeds in you subconscious soil and you will tend to the garden with focused energy and effort. I can reassure you that you will feel better after our first visit. You will have perspective, insight, hope and new resources. Your deep inner mind is so powerful that I don’t have to commit to how quickly this transformation will take place, only you do. You set the pace and I will follow your lead.

2. In doing some research on hypnotherapy, I was curious what kind of induction you used? It seems like there is a slower gentle relaxation process and something called a rapid induction? I was curious which one you used and if you could sort of explain what would happen?

The induction is one’s introduction into the hypnotic state and it usually consists of a short eye fixation and breathing exercise. It involves setting the intention for the session and getting prepared to go into hypnosis. Sometimes I have a client focus on a spot on the ceiling or sometimes on my hand as it descends toward her eyes. Sometimes I ask a client to close their eyes and remember a previous hypnotic state. It depends on the client, their mood at the time, how often we have worked together etc. There IS a rapid induction that is designed to move the client into a deep hypnotic state very quickly but I typically use that induction to take the client to a deeper state, after the initial induction. I am more interested in the slow and gentle approach. The induction is a short process that depending on the client, can take 1 to 3 minutes. Then this is followed by a relaxation exercise. Again, depending on the client, where they are coming from that particular day, I may use any number of relaxation techniques.

3. Would you need to touch me while I am hypnotized? It’s not a problem if you do, just curious…

No. I make a point of NOT touching clients before, during or after. With the exception of a nudge on the leg when they are coming out of hypnosis and an occasional hug when we say goodbye (if the client wants this), there is really no need to touch a client.

4. What kind of clothes should I wear to be hypnotized?

Comfortable clothing is best. You really dont want to be wearing anything restrictive because it may distract you from relaxing. I have worked with people in business suits as well as folks in shorts and t-shirts.

5. As I would be reporting my progress to my husband, would it be possible for him to sit in on my sessions?

It would be important to define what “progress” means to you and your husband. If progress is weight loss, there is really no need for him to sit in on the sessions as this would not be a natural outcome out our sessions. Rather, you would get this information from the doctor visit where you complete a check up or when you weight in at home. Progress as defined by your willingness to do the things to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle (to work with a trainer, to eat a dietitian’s recommended dietary plan) is all he could really get out of sitting in on your sessions. Whether or not he sits in on your session is up to you. The model we are working with here involves looking at the roots of our limiting beliefs and negative feelings, so sometimes we can get into some difficult details and uncomfortable memories. There may be things you don’t want to reveal in his presence and this may inhibit progress. On the other hand, if you are completely open to sharing your past traumas or events, and owning what may come up about HIM in the session, then there may be no issue. It’s just up to you. Your safety and comfort is paramount and confidentiality is a priority to me so that you can have true resolution of your issue.

6. Do you have any photos of the waiting area as well as where I will sit to be hypnotized? I want to see what the office looks like, hoping a visual aspect will dispel any trepidation I may have!

I am in a beautiful building on the 3rd floor in an executive suite. There is a photo of the building and my office on the following link.

There is also a video on this link that shows you the inside, waiting room, my office, me and my space. I hope this gives you a good idea for what you can expect about the surroundings.

7. How much of the session do I spend in hypnosis?

Again, this depends on the client and the issue. My sessions are typically 2 hours. We may spend about 1 hour talking and then 1 hour in hypnosis. Depending on the issue and the technique, we could spend the entire time in hypnosis. Because I am also a life coach and trained in EFT and NLP, it is also not uncommon to spend an entire session talking. I really work with whatever the client needs and presents at the time of the session.

8. I read something about how I will “go under” faster every time I am hypnotized by you? Can you explain how that works?

Great question. The success of hypnosis hinges on the client’s agreement to accept suggestions. The acceptance of one suggestion paves the way for the acceptance of the next. . . and the next. . . and the next. This starts at the induction and carries through all the way until I bring you out of hypnosis. As you get better at listening to me, following my suggestions. . .getting into that space, working within that space, the faster you will go into hypnosis, and the better you will get at the process.

It’s like this. . . . .the first time you saw Harry Potter, you suspended your disbelief that Harry could fly on a broom. By the time the second movie came around, you already accepted this and went into the movie with suspended disbelief. As such, when other extraordinary things happened, ie Ron Weasley’s car flying, it didn’t surprise you. . . you just went with it. By the time the third movie came around, you had an agreement in your mind before the movie even started that these things could happen in this context and it would not surprise you when you saw it again. You got better better and faster at suspending disbelief. Same idea with going into Hypnosis and working in the space.

9. Can one become addicted to being hypnotized?

LOL. . .No. . . no more than you can become addicted to meditating. I have many clients who truly enjoy the hypnotic state but they don’t live there full time. LOL It feels good, its a wonderful place to go to get clarity, but your subconscious also looks forward to going back into the conscious space to observe, express, test and operate on your environment to see how change is really taking place.

10. Do you audio/video your sessions?

No. Not unless specifically requested by the client. Then again, that’s still a dicey proposition. Sometimes a client reveals some difficult and painful information that they may not want floating around on audio / video. Also, because this work is about releasing and transforming aspects of an issue, it may not be the most effective thing for progress to sit and revisit on audio or video, the difficult things brought up. That actually keeps it fresh and alive — and this is counter-intuitive to releasing them and living in the now. I give suggestions during the sessions to remember everything we talk about so the client will have access to what we did. Plus, we do talk about the session immediately after. So there really isn’t a need for a recording. I will on occasion, write custom scripts for clients to suit their specific needs to reinforce the work we do in session. I record those in a recording studio with state of the art equipment with a background music track and forward them to the client after along with a transcript.

11. Will I want to sleep/nap after my session with you?

You will definitely feel relaxed because you are releasing old emotion and memory, so your body will respond to that release. Depending on what we explore, you may expend so much emotional energy that you want to go home and take a nap. Other times, you may come out feeling upbeat, light and refreshed. Either way, I give suggestions to come out feeling relaxed and refreshed. I can say from personal experience. . . it feels similar to the way I feel when I come out of Yoga. I feel somewhat exhausted but also revitalized and alert. I feel light and clear headed. That’s just me, it’s different for everyone. The good news is, you can’t do this wrong. :)

I hope your husband gets the chance to experience it for himself so he can get a feel for what it is like for you. It will be great for your to have someone else around who understands the nature of this work.

Great questions! I look forward to the opportunity to introduce you to this dynamic technique and to seeing where we grow!

Positively Yours!


Little Girl . . . Big Dreams

Wish I knew what was on my mind when my dad snapped this photo of me back in 1974ish. I look back at it now and I can give you explicit details about the room, my dress. . .that hat. But I can’t remember a thing about how I perceived my place in the world or what I envisioned for my future. Now in my 40s, having run into several iterations of “her,” I’m certain this little girl knew more about where SHE was going than I know about where I’M going today.

Children dream big. That’s what they do. They don’t know how to dream small until we – culture, society, media, people – show them how to pare back their dreams into subdivided chunks of low risk activities with a high probability of success. We reward them for this. Then we confuse them by encouraging them with statements like “Reach For The Stars” and “The Sky’s The Limit.” Still, for every “No You Can’t,” there persists some crazy electric frenzy in the mind and heart of a child that shouts “YES YOU CAN.” And when one dream falls off the radar, it’s quickly replaced by another, and another, and another. And it’s only a matter of time before the dreamer, becomes a believer. . . and makes something incredible happen.

For years the stock answer was “I want to be a Solid Gold Dancer.” Flashy costumes, cool staging. . . . Andy Gibb. It doesn’t get better than that! Too bad the show was cancelled before I could grace the stage with my two left feet. No problem. . .Plan B . . Olivia Newton John’s Back-up Singer. Why not. . .I was a shoe-in. I had seen the movie “Grease” over 100 times by the time I was 9 which made me an expert on her every nuance. Plus I knew all of the dialog and lyrics (even the guy’s parts.) She lived right down the street from my step-father’s cousin which made us practically family. Still, we all know how that one worked out. . . I settled for naming my daughter after her and cultivating my adolescent obsession with her as a vocalist in my mind. . .in my car. . . and in the shower. . . anywhere with decent acoustics.

Plan C for an artist with a solid head for business? Disney, where else? Now THAT was a Big Hairy Audacious Dream (BHAD) totally realized. I remember many a “pinch me” moment in the booth at Fantasmic. The arena filled with thousands of guests, waiting to start the show I had labored over (literally) for months with a team of the most talented managers, technicians, actors and staff on the property. I still get goosebumps thinking of those moments. People wait their whole lives for opportunities like that and I am so incredibly fortunate to have been a part of something so Magical. It was truly a “Field of Dreams” moment. . . I believed, built it and it became a reality.

Some incredible things you experience in your life are really dreams come true, but they don’t always start out that way. God simply blesses you with events, circumstances and people and over time, you learn to see what He knew when he blessed you in the first place. You learn to see how these things . . .these people ARE the deepest desires of your heart, they are the most special dreams of all. I never dreamed of being a mom, per se. Truthfully, being a mom was positioned well behind Solid Gold, singing for Olivia and pretty much every other BHAD I had. I’ve never really explored why I didn’t want to be a mom, I’m too busy thanking God every day that I am. Being a mother, seeing the world through my daughter’s eyes. . . fostering HER dreams is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s changed my life. She’s changed my life. I’m a better person and every day I feel more and more confident that my greatest purpose on this earth, my greatest gift, my biggest dream is that of being Olivia’s mom. It surely doesn’t get better than this.

At 41, having accomplished some amazing things, I have a peaceful resolution about my dreams for the future. The small measure of sadness for dreams undreamed at this point, is easily replaced by the joy of creating fertile ground for my daughter’s dreams. It’s time to encourage HER dreams and celebrate HER dreams now, right? And yet, that little girl in the picture. . . she sparkles as she twirls around the room in that blue checkered gingham dress. She gives me this little wink and cheeky grin. She tugs at my pant leg and says “Hey lady. . .what do you want to be when you grow up?”

My answer simply. . . “a big girl, with a big dream.”

“The Sky’s The Limit,” she says.

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