This summer reminds me of 24 years ago, after I completed my training and work with Dr. Irene Hickman. In April 1993 Irene and I had gone to a conference in Edison, N.J., where I met Raymond Moody, M.D. and Dannion Brinkley, and then to Fort Lauderdale for the conference of the Association for Past-Life Therapies, where I had met Brian Weiss, M.D. Shortly after returning to Kirksville, Mo., it was time for my vagabonding life to resume, and I packed up and headed east.
For six months I traveled, trading hypnotherapy services for room-and-board. I stayed in a hotel only three nights, and that was at a conference in Detroit. I’d visit someone I had met during the previous months, conduct a few sessions for that person and friends, and then head on down the road. Stops included Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.
I remember one woman who identified four-five issues she wanted to work on – big issues. Some therapists would have been licking their chops at the billable hours ahead. When she asked me how many sessions I thought it would take, my answer was, “Is it supposed to take more than one?”
It’s seldom that I see a client more than once. Occasionally, someone will want to set up weekly appointments. I discourage that. It would be great for me (financially), but it’s not the right thing for them. This kind of work (regression hypnotherapy) gets to the heart of the matter, quickly, and frequent sessions are not necessary.
I do recall one nurse who wanted additional sessions. In the first session, she was looking for the reason she was always cold. Her experience was in a past life, when she was about four years old and waiting at the entrance to the lane for her father to come back from town in a horse-drawn sleigh. She was wearing a light velvet coat and was very cold.
A month later she wanted to know more about that coat, because it hadn’t fit the environment. She regressed to Age 2, in another city, and with her mother, who was dying. Her mother had made the coat a little too large, so that the girl would have the coat and remember her later on. She was comforting her mother, telling her that everything would be all right. (In this lifetime, she had just started a grassroots hospice organization.)
A month after that, she wanted to know more about that family home, which she said was in England. She could describe the house and the interior, as if she were standing in the rooms right then. In her experience, she was! After she described the first floor, she went up the narrow staircase to the rooms on the second floor. After she had gone into the bedrooms, I said, “Go down the hall to the bathroom.”
She said, “There’s no bathroom! There’s a pot under each bed that Father has to empty.”
She taught me a lesson that day! One I’ve long remembered.
Popular TV-show host Dr. Phil had an interesting show on January 5, 2017, about an Ohio lawyer, Michael Fine, who mis-used hypnosis to sexually abuse a number of women clients. Two women appeared on Dr. Phil’s show, along with the lawyer for one of them, and a judge whom Fine had attempted to influence with subtle hypnosis.
Can this happen? Certainly, and it did. Should it have happened? Absolutely not. Could it have been prevented? Absolutely!
All the women had to do was smarten up and cease contact with Fine. Dr. Phil had his own opinion about the “power” of Michael Fine, but what Fine had found were a few women who were highly susceptible to suggestion and he took advantage of that.
One of the women on the show said Fine had called her at home in the middle of the night. Yet she continued as his client. There were solid warning signs that any woman should have recognized.
What Dr. Phil failed to inform his studio audience and his world-wide television audience of is the proper, ethical, responsible use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. As a result of that Dr. Phil Show, thousands of women will fear hypnosis and hypnotherapy – and unnecessarily so.
The two women guests were still in obvious emotional pain over something that happened two-three years ago; perhaps longer ago. What Dr. Phil did not tell them is that they might find incredible relief after just one regression hypnotherapy session.
Now, I fully realize the possible unreasonableness of my suggestion. But, if those women, or any women, are suspicious or skeptical of the power of responsible use of hypnosis or hypnotherapy, all they have to do is bring along a trusted friend and a video-camera. They will “wake up” after the session and exclaim, “Wow! I feel so much better. It’s like a great weight has been lifted from me.” One session! (The term “wake up” is really a misnomer, because you aren’t asleep during hypnosis or hypnotherapy.)
Dr. Phil very kindly is sending both guests to expensive treatment centers.
I don’t do “hypnosis”. Hypnosis would be my doing all the talking; you do all the listening. Either you accept my suggestions or you don’t. When the session is over, open your eyes, stand up, pay me and leave. I don’t do it that way.
Here’s how I do hypnotherapy: Hypnosis helps you relaxed. Then we have a conversation. Regression means you go back to the cause of your scheduling the session in the first place. When we are done, open your eyes, stand up, pay me what it’s worth to you (I don’t have a “set” fee; you can pay just as much as you want to), and leave. I provide a digital recording of the entire session. Bring your own recorder or video-camera, if you want. Bring a friend. No problem.
Read Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss, MD, who is a psychiatrist.
Read The Healing Power of Hypnotherapy. Brian’s book is good; mine is better. I wrote it. Get it on Amazon as a Kindle-only edition. It’s lower-priced, too.
Want more information? Call me at (847) 971-7083 (USA, E.T.) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you are experiencing a problem, what avenues do you have for solving it?
They are many, and I would urge you to consider that perhaps hypnotherapy should not be last on your list. I was recently asked why more people don’t explore or use hypnosis or hypnotherapy as a possibility for resolving a problem in life.
There is some mystery or caution or suspicion that seems to cause some people to hesitate when it comes to this tool. For one, it is an unknown. And like many unknowns, some people may not be open to it or may even be afraid of it.
For another reason, some will say that their religion doesn’t approve of hypnosis or hypnotherapy. They may not know just why and might rely on “just because”.
Another reason may be that they have seen a stage hypnotist perform and “make” people from the audience “quack like ducks.” Or at least that’s what it looks like to them.
What is most likely happening on stage is the result of the hypnotist’s conditioning the subjects off-stage, and they are ready and willing to follow the suggestions of the hypnotist. And they are having fun doing it. An ethical stage hypnotist will not ask any subject to do something which would cause them embarrassment.
I love introducing people to hypnosis and hypnotherapy in a way that they learn that they can trust the process. I suggest that they will be in control and that they will be free to accept any suggestions I give – or not. The “or not” is very important. And once a person new to the hypnosis experience learns that he can allow as much of the experience as he wishes, then he can learn just how much help hypnosis and hypnotherapy can really be.
Do you have questions? Drop me a line at email@example.com
Regression hypnotherapy is an incredibly powerful tool through which a person can make major breakthroughs in solving problems. When it is properly conducted, the person (client) re-lives experiences that are generally unknown to him or her in the fully-conscious state.
It’s not “thinking” about it and trying to figure it out. Basically, it is quite simple, even easy. But people make it complicated. And not only the people wanting help, but often others, such as therapists, doctors, psychologists, preachers. They get “in the way” because they often assume that they already know how to “fix” the person.
Hypnosis is a state of relaxation. Hypnotherapy is similar, but different. Hypnotherapy is a conversation that takes place while the person is hypnotized.
People see stage shows and think that is what hypnosis is. It’s not. They think the hypnotist has “taken over” the person’s mind; he hasn’t.
Dr. Brian Weiss tells a fascinating story about his first client who experienced a past life during treatment. In his talks and in his book (Many Lives, Many Masters) he reveals how his patient reached a past life and quickly began to improve from her state of depression. I’m not going to spoil his story; read his book. I heard him tell the story in 1993 at a conference of the Association of Past-life Regression Therapies in Fort Lauderdale.
Use care in selecting a hypnotherapist. And don’t let a session turn your retirement plan into his retirement plan or his kids’ college funds.
Spirit-releasement work is a natural component to past-life regression hypnotherapy. If you can’t get past a “block”, it could be one or spirits in the way, and they must be cleared out first. Again, it doesn’t take long.
I recall a client in New Jersey who told me she wanted to work on four issues. Then she asked how many sessions it would take? I asked, “Is it supposed to take more than one?” (It didn’t.)
Curious? Interested? Send me an email.
South Carolina seems to have a peculiar prohibition against “hypnotherapy”, having challenged at least one practitioner on the use of the word “hypnotherapy” on his website. The State may have accused him of the unlicensed practice of psychology.
The Code defines the “Practice of professional counseling” as the “functioning as a psychotherapist and may include, but is not limited to, providing … hypnotherapy.”.
The Code could certainly be challenged as overly broad and vague, as this same definition includes “school counseling”. Could a parent who admonishes his child to study harder conceivably be charged by the State with the unlicensed practice of psychology?
I’m confident that my practice does not violate South Carolina law. At the same time, I do not wish to incur the wrath of the Great State of South Carolina, so I shall conduct hypnosis sessions, including past-life regressions and spirit releasement work. I have always explained to clients and potential clients that I am not a therapist, psychotherapist, counselor, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist. “Hypnotherapy” will be conducted only in locations where it is not prohibited by law.
Dr. Hickman said she did therapy on dead folks and demons. I wonder how South Carolina would have controlled that.
In April 2014 I moved to Columbia, S.C. and will be serving clients in the Southeastern U.S. From Columbia, it’s easy to get anywhere in South Carolina for sessions. North Carolina and Georgia are also easy locations. When you contact me for a session, please just pick a nice day for a motorcycle ride …. (heh-heh).
I’ve often thought that my ideal home would be 38′ long and have six wheels under it. And a spare-tire cover with “Honk if you want to be hypnotized” on it. A Rest Area along an Interstate would be perfect for a session, wouldn’t it?
I’ll always remember a session I did in Columbia about 20 years ago. My client turned out to be a great hypnosis subject, as many are. After the “regular” (if there is such a thing as “regular”) hypnotherapy session was complete, I knew that her friend and she were anxious to step out onto the patio for a smoke. Before they could do that, I asked if we could have some fun, and she agreed.
I re-hypnotized her, using a post-hypnotic suggestion that I always include. I told her that, when she returned to a full state of alertness, she would not be able to say her first name. Then “3-2-1-wake up”, after which I explained that I was really bad with names and, although I’d been at her home for 1½ hours, I could not remember her name. Then I asked if she would tell me her first name.
“Sure,” she said. “It’s S – – . It’s S —. I can’t say my name!”
I re-hypnotized her, and then I told her she’d be unable to count to “10” when she opened her eyes. “3-2-1-wake up.”
When I asked her to count to “10”, she couldn’t. And then I re-hypnotized her (it only took seconds), and I told her she couldn’t say the alphabet. Sure enough, she couldn’t.
“One more time?” I asked.
She agreed and, after she was quickly hypnotized again, I told her that, if she were holding a cigarette, her arms would be so short she couldn’t reach her mouth. “3-2-1-wake up.”
Her friend and she grabbed their cigarettes and went to the patio. Her friend lit right up, but my client was holding her cigarette just under her chin and trying to get it to her mouth.
“Anything wrong?” I asked.
“No,” she replied.
After a couple of minutes, I asked her again. “Anything wrong.”
“No, everything’s okay.” But she couldn’t get the cigarette to her mouth.
And then she said, “Darn you, put my arms back like they were. I want a cigarette.” And I did.
This illustrates the power of one’s own mind. She had accepted the suggestion that her arms were so short that she couldn’t reach her mouth.
What could you do with the power of your own mind?
Today I learned that my first hypnosis teacher passed away this past week.
I met Dr. A.M. (Al) Krasner in October 1991 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His wife, Arlene, and he were on the road, conducting week-end hypnosis trainings.
My girlfriend, JoAnne, had seen his local ad and we went to the preview. In the course materials I spotted a photo of Dr. Irene Hickman, a retired osteopath I had met in Fort Collins, Colo. in 1988. Dr. Hickman had started using hypnotherapy in her medical practice in 1950! I knew Al had to be on the up-and-up, if Irene was associated with his school.
We could not afford the course, so we left without registering. The following day JoAnne ran into Al and Arlene on the square in Santa Fe and he asked why we hadn’t signed up. He told her that she’d be good and “that guy you were with would be great”. He offered her a handshake deal of $50.00/month, and we went to Albuquerque the next week-end and did the 2½-day training. It was a “How To” course, with basic scripts for various topics, such as stop smoking, lose weight and relaxation hypnosis.
I found that I did not enjoy “directive” hypnosis; i.e., using scripts. In September 1992 I started my study and work with Dr. Hickman in Kirksville, Mo., and she and I went to the American Board of Hypnotherapy conference in Orange County, Calif. in February 1993. Irene’s method was non-directive, regression hypnotherapy.
As soon as we entered the hotel lobby, I heard, “Oh, there’s the fool!” Again I heard a loud voice, “There’s the fool.” I looked around and saw Dr. Krasner and his wife coming our way. He repeated, “There’s the fool” as he approached. I didn’t know what to think and asked “What do you mean?”
He said, “Why did you do it? You paid me! You are the only one I offered the monthly payment plan to who paid me!” He said every month on the 15th, his wife would say, “It must be the 15th. Here is Gus’s check!”
Although my study and interest in hypnosis and hypnotherapy went in a direction that was different from his training, I am deeply indebted to him. R.I.P., Dr. Krasner.