Recently an author named Nathan interviewed me, in compiling his own book on hypnosis and hypnotism. And I’d like to post the complete interview here as add-on information of myself.
How did you become involved in hypnosis?
It was a step by step process, in which I didn’t know what was ahead of me. As if only by taking that step lying in front of me, was it going to be revealed what was ahead of me. I didn’t decide to be involved in hypnosis for the rest of my life. But because I took those steps, one at a time without knowing where exactly I was heading, I became all involved in hypnosis. So I can use that cliche: Hypnosis found me. That’s the short version.
The long version is that it started with me stumbling upon a book in the library Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Dr. Michael Newton. I was utterly intrigued by the case stories he was telling from his client work. I booked a hypnotherapy session with someone in town for Past Life Regression. The moment I walked into the hypnotherapy room, I heard a voice in me saying, “I can do this.” Next thing I knew, I saw a hypnotherapy school advertisement in a magazine. I called the 1-800 number, spoke with an instructor, and signed up for the part-time hypnotherapy school, not for career transitioning, only to help myself. Just when I was graduating, I was laid off from a full-time job. I was going to find another job but something in me was resisting that idea very strongly. I had to set up a hypnotherapy practice to silence that part of me, even though I didn’t think I could do it, or that I had what it took to attract clients and be successful.
Today I have a steady stream of client flow. What do I really know?
Do you enjoy the work? What is the most and least rewarding aspects of being a hypnotist?
I enjoy the work immensely. The most rewarding aspect is people’s trust. A person walks into my hypnotherapy room, literally a stranger, opens up and shares with me what matters to them the most. I love meeting people on that deeper level. And working with people’s subconscious mind, I get to be creative. It suits me, as I love spontaneous creative work.
People have a fascination of hypnotism. And working with their own fascination on their own mind is also very rewarding.
I don’t find anything less than rewarding. If I did, I wouldn’t do what I do.
What are your interests aside from hypnotism?
Travelling. I keep a lifestyle of seeing clients up to 7 days a week for 6-8 weeks and then travelling to different destinations in the world for 2-4 weeks. I’m a person with one hobby for life.
What are the neurological processes involved? How does it work?
In our brain, there are different areas, different functions. Hypnotherapy is to heighten a certain area and put other areas into “sleep” or inactive. Brain wave changes from Beta, a regular fast moving wave to slower calmer Alpha and Theta brain waves. It creates a more natural level of receptivity, and reaches into a deeper level of memories, inner resources, creativity and wisdom.
What are the most common misconceptions about hypnotherapy?
One would be I’ll go completely unconscious and won’t remember anything. I often jokingly say it’s hard to be a hypnotherapist. You just can’t get it right. After a session, a person can say, “I remembered everything you said, therefore I was not hypnotized.”
If a person doesn’t remember much, they could say, “I don’t remember much during the session. I must have fallen into sleep, therefore I was not hypnotized.”
It’s like dreams. Some people remember their dreams more clearly than others. But dream state doesn’t really care how much you remember, or not. The subconscious process doesn’t need a person to specifically remember or not. Like a driver doesn’t care how much a passenger remembers of the route to get where the car needs to get. In this analogy, the subconscious mind is the driver. It will take us to where we need to go regardless how much you remember or not.
Another misconception would be that hypnotherapy is a magic pill. I had people who gave me a page long list to work with and only wanted one session. Very flattering to this profession.
Can anybody be hypnotized? Do some cultures or ethnicities respond better to it?
It’s my belief that anybody can be hypnotized, at least those who choose to walk into my office. Not everyone responds the same way therefore I don’t have one method fitting all. I tailor myself to my clients and use what they bring to a session to hypnotize them. And of course, a person who can easily be hypnotized may not THINK they are hypnotized.
In my work, I found people with a Latin American background respond to hypnosis the easiest. My observation is that they are very much in touch with their emotions. That’s probably why.
Can anybody learn to be a hypnotist?
Can anybody learn to be a photographer, to be a guitarist? I don’t see any difference in any of those answers.
What can hypnotherapy be used to treat, and what is the success rate?
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat any issues that are created on the level of mind – That’s pretty much everything – as a hypnotherapist has nothing else (no prescription, medication, or potion) but language to work with a person’s inner mind, where most problems originate. It is used to treat mental, emotional, behavioural, physical and spiritual issues.
Probably you’ve heard it, a study cited by American Health Magazine, a survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D, revealed the recovery rates:
- Psychoanalysis 38% recovery after 600 sessions
- Behavior Therapy 72% recovery after 22 sessions
- Hypnotherapy 93% recovery after 6 sessions
Have you ever been hypnotized yourself?
Many times. I can say daily. Apart from trading sessions with a fellow hypnotherapist, I often go to trance myself when I work with my clients. I found when I go first, it’s easier for a person to follow.
Do you have a favorite story from your work?
I have too many to say one favourite story. On my blog, I have written some of my client case work. There are a lot of fascinating stories, many of which I’d say in my mind after the session, “This is my favourite!” Then I discovered that was my favourite for the day, or the week, as another favourite would soon come up.
What is your advice to someone looking into hypnotherapy as a solution to their problems?
Do the research. Ask for recommendations or referrals if you can. Interview the hypnotherapists. Take up the opportunity if a hypnotherapist offers free consultation. Finding someone you are comfortable with is more important than seeing their piled up certificates. Every hypnotherapist has their own personality, style and focus. Ask how they’d treat your presenting issue. Invite them to speak with plain language. Listen to see if it makes sense, and watch their confidence level.