How Hypnosis Works for YOU

There are a lot of different opinions about hypnosis and how it works. I’ve even heard people say they “don’t believe” in hypnosis or they think hypnosis is somehow evil or forbidden by God. That really is a shame. Because hypnosis is really just working together with your mind to be more successful and happy in life. If God made your brain then I’m sure he or she wants you to use it to the best of your ability. Especially, if that means self control, a clear moral code and making the world a better place. Moreover, there is a good bit of evidence that the deep Unconscious in all of us actually taps into the Mind of God, or Universal Consciousness….where the best decisions are made. So how can that be bad?

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With 20+ years of experience and certifications from four different schools of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, including NLP, personal coaching, and counseling, as well as psychology and neurosciences, I think I can be considered something of an expert. I’d like to dispel some of the myths and explain how hypnosis really works. After-all, its NOT me, the hypnotherapist, getting control of your mind. (Believe me, I have trouble controlling my OWN mind, just like everyone else!!) The hypnotherapist is just the guide and interpreter. What its really about is YOU getting control of YOU. Or more precisely, its about YOU working together with your subconscious and unconscious minds. Forming a real TEAM (I call it Team YOU) with the parts of yourself. By clearing up communication and misunderstandings with the other-than-conscious parts of Team You, life gets easier, more fun, and more successful. If you go through life white-knuckling the ball instead of passing to your team mates, life can get more and more stressful and you feel more and more out of control. But by meeting and working with your Team, passing that ball and letting your team help you solve problems, life is good! And its getting better and better every day!!

Hypnosis is a bit mysterious to most people (even some hypnotherapists!) but I find that folks get their best results when they understand the process a bit and can work with me. 
For all that the results of hypnotherapy feel pretty magical, it is NOT magic, it is actually applied psychology. And the amazing effects are not due to ME controlling your mind, but due to the amazing power of YOUR own subconscious and unconscious mind.  So let me start there.

We have three minds but only one brain.
1) Conscious Mind – this is the part we all call “Me”.  And when you’re focused or paying attention that is conscious you.  Conscious you is the captain of Team You.  As such conscious you does the big heavy duty decision making, managing emotions, learning cultural norms and understanding values and differences.

2) Subconscious Mind – this is like your personal assistant or your best friend who always has your back and helps you out with routine tasks, practiced patterns and behaviors, multitasking and other details so that conscious YOU can relax and enjoy life more.  Your subconscious can be trained and re-trained to be more efficient and more helpful using hypnosis. 

Best Example: Of subconscious you working for conscious you is driving a car.  When we first learned to drive it was very taxing and confusing because we had to do 10-12 different tasks at once and stay alert tom many signs and signals.  It was so much at once we all felt like the hair on the back of our necks was standing up, our eyes were wide open and if someone tried to talk too much we just wanted to yell, “Shut up! I’m driving here!”  Then about 1-2 years later we found we were getting in the car, still doing 10-12 things at once, but now we were bored….so we turn on the radio…we drink a coffee or coke…talk to a passenger….god forbid we use the cell phone! 
But if you stop to think for a moment, you could sit there right where you are, listen to some music, enjoy a drink, and talk on the phone….and you’d be BUSY!  Sitting still in your chair!  So…..someone else is driving your car now.  And that someone else is Your Subconscious!

Now, the nice thing is your subconscious drives much better than you do, because your Subconscious can multitask much better.  It can handle many more tasks at once than conscious YOU.  But your Subconscious doesn’t do the value judgments and real-time decision making.  So, if something requires that kind of decision, Subconscious passes the whole ball game back to Conscious YOU.

    That’s what happens even today if a car suddenly pulls out in front of you unexpected.  Suddenly, the hair stands up on the back of your neck, your eyes go wide, you throw your coffee in the air and yell, “Shut up! I’m driving here!” …..all over again you have that feeling you had back in high school when you were first learning to drive.  The noise from the radio is just too much and you want silence.
As it turns out, that’s the way it always feels when you drive using your conscious mind.  When you drive with your Subconscious you feel like you’re “in the zone” relaxed, easy going, enjoying life.

3) Unconscious Mind – This is the part that’s well below the radar.  By definition, we are UNCONSCIOUS of most of its activities.  The Unconscious controls the beating of your heart, the rythmic action of breathing, healing and renewing every cell, system, and organ of your body.  Clearly, conscious YOU can interact with the Unconscious, by say, holding your breath.  But mostly your unconscious is like a benevolent Big Brother or Sister who takes care of the basics of living for you. 

Work WITH your Team!

Work WITH your Team!

The unconscious is also keeps all the memories.  Things you think you didn’t learn in school, past lives, details you think you’ve forgotten, its all there in the Unconscious memory stores.  And Unconscious memory is vast and unlimited.
By contrast, conscious memory is very limited.  Conscious memory is like a little table by the door.  You come home each day and you put your keys and your mail there, maybe some pocket change.  That’s what its for, conscious memory is for holding those thoughts and ideas that are most useful and relevant to NOW.  But…if you go 50-60 years without ever cleaning and sorting those things, some items are going to fall off the table and be “lost” or “forgotten”.  This is why folks think they lose their memory as they grow older.  Or have a “senior moment”.  But nothing is ever really lost or forgotten, it simply drops into the Unconscious memory stores.  So, conscious memory improves when we sort it out and choose to “forget” somethings.  The best technique is to forget all bad experiences and negative thoughts and beliefs.  By choosing to forget the negative we make more and more room for the positive.

So, when we first begin the hypnosis, I’m going to start by helping you to dump some memories and problems from your conscious mind by turning them over to the subconscious to sort.  Your subconscious will also find and create solutions for you that it will simply hand to you at a moment you least expect.  The solutions will be simpler than you ever thought possible and ready made and available at a moment’s notice, like the name of an old friend that suddenly pops into your head unexpectedly.

Before we get to that, though, I’ll ask you a series of random sounding questions.  There is no right or wrong to these questions.  This is just my way of listening to the language of your Subconscious and Unconscious.  Each person’s mind is wired a bit differently, and each person’s Other-Than-Conscious mind speaks a slightly different language.  These are like the language of dreams.  My job as guide and interpreter is to translate your instructions, goals, and needs into the language YOUR Subconscious understands best.  So just say whatever comes to mind when I ask the questions, it all helps me understand YOUR subconscious language.

The LAST thing I’ll mention is the hypnotic trance itself.  Turns out the hypnotic trance is a normal natural state that we all go into and out of throughout our day.  The most common time we enter a hypnotic trance is on the verge of deep sleep.  So if you’ve ever fallen asleep on the sofa when there are other people around, and you get to that point where your eyes are closed, you’re very relaxed, BUT you can still hear every word in the room around you?  Maybe someone talks to you or asks a question.  You can hear them perfectly, you may even have an answer ready….but you just feel like you can’t quite break out of that comfortable state to respond. 

We enter the Hypnotic Trance all the time.

We enter the Hypnotic Trance all the time.

THAT is a hypnotic trance.  Sometimes it may feel as if you’re floating or sinking deeply into the furniture.  Sometimes there’s a tingling sensation.  So that is how the hypnosis is going to feel today.  You may hear every word I say.  At times you may completely lose track of my words.  It doesn’t really matter if you stop listening, because once you reach that trance state your Subconscious and Unconscious are listening too, and that’s really who I’m talking with.  So its find to drift off, to lose track of my words, or to stop paying attention entirely.  You may even drift into a dream-like state or dip into deep sleep.  The only thing I ask you to avoid is TRYING.  Funny as it may sound, TRY is a conscious activity, and Conscious you needs to get out of the way for the hypnosis to work best.  Its kind of like when you wake up in the middle of the night and you want to go back to sleep…if you TRY really hard to sleep…why, you’ll be up all night.  But if you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and let your mind wander to some pleasant thoughts…you simply drift away.  This is how its done in hypnosis as well.  So, if you have the urge to TRY or WORK at it, just take a few deep breaths instead and listen to your breathing…or your heart beating.


Four Types of ‘Fear’

There are different kinds of feelings and experiences that most people (because they lack the true definitions) clump together into one big pot and call: FEAR.  This is a disservice to those folks who have experienced Phobias and PTSD and paranoia.  Because plain old fear is kind of fun and easy compared to the other biggies I’ve named.  Plain old fear can be mastered, confronted and handled in a variety of ways that make us feel good.  But when a friend or family member goes through some of the other more intense forms, it LOOKS like plain old fear – except that it can’t be handled or mastered the same way and then that person ends up looking and feeling kind of like a big wimpy baby.

So let me define some of the more intense and much less manageable experiences that the uninformed among us still like to group under the label “fear”.   Please learn from these explanations and stop making yourself or others feel wimpy or inadequate or cowardly.  Understand that what looks like fear can actually be something much much bigger.

1. True Fear

True fear is a sensation caused by chemical messages in your body when your subconscious has noticed something that you need to be aware of and prepared for.  The message says, “Look around! Get prepared!” Its not always a snake that we’re about to step on.  Sometimes its a test or a presentation.  But the solution is the same: pay attention and get prepared.

True fear is helpful and reasonable.

True fear is helpful and reasonable.

This is the GOOD healthy kind of fear that keeps us alive and improving!  We perk up.  We look around.  We see whats coming.  We prepare.  Then we feel something called “relief” as the fear chemical goes away.  We may even feel pride as we see what we’ve accomplished and we hit the endorphin high.  We feel a wave of calm and we feel victorious!  True Fear is the kind of real-time experience that cool people like to have for breakfast.  Makes you KNOW you’re alive!


2. Phobia

This is a nasty trick that people mistake for fear because the symptoms are so similar.  The hair stands up on the back of your neck, mouth goes dry, pupils constrict, heart pounds, hands tremble and so on.  It FEELS an awful lot like True Fear, but its NOT.  Because NO amount of alertness, preparation, or reason brings relief.  It makes us feel stupid.

The cause of a phobia is something really bad that happened in the past that either killed you (in which case the phobia comes from a past life) or nearly killed you when you were young and vulnerable.  So now there’s some small broken off piece of your soul hunkered down inside you screaming its head off, “DO NOT GO IN THE WATER! YOU WILL DIE!” Only this broken piece of you is stuck in the past.  The water will only wet you.  And all the loud warnings in your head just make you feel like a baby or a coward.

Phobia is NOT fear.

Phobia is NOT actually fear.


3. Paranoia

This is the real ball-breaker.  Paranoia is caused by damage to the amygdala – the fear and horror center of the brain. It has NO external cause whatsoever.  Which is a problem, because we’ve trained ourselves to look for real causes to fear sensations and there are absolutely NONE.

Amygdala is the fear center of the brain.

Amygdala is the fear center of the brain.

The cause of paranoia is basically brain damage.  The brain may be damaged by powerful drugs, by a blow to the head, or by brain growth.  Graduate students and other people who push themselves past the brain’s limits often experience a breakdown during which neurons of the brain are literally broken down and rebuilt.  A bout of paranoia can accompany the breaking down.  Teens, whose brains are undergoing dramatic changes as they move from children to adults may also experience bouts of paranoia. Brain growth is an excellent thing.  But few in our society are educated in how the (often painful) process happens.  Ignorance of this process continues to hurt many people and to limit or even stop their recovery.

So as we go through paranoia we may find ourselves curled up in fetal position, shaking uncontrollably, seeing and hearing things that may or may not be real.  Ordinary events take on massively dangerous overtones.  People frequently have periods of black out during which they forget hours or even days at a time.

I have experienced paranoia myself during periods of rapid brain growth.  Once, I actually noticed that sinister music would play in my head randomly at odd times.  I would hear that drop to a minor chord that you just KNOW means that you are the last teenager in camp and you’ve wandered away from the group and there’s a maniac psycho killer in the shadows about to pop out and make you die in humiliating, undignified ways, right?  THAT kind of music!



Still, there are actual advantages to having experienced genuine paranoia.  Paranoia is so random, causeless, and absurd that when you’ve gone through it a few times you can actually begin to separate yourself from the emotion of fear.  You notice that its just a random set of physical sensations without any real cause.  You can step outside the emotional experience of fear and say, “How odd that my hands are shaking.  Funny how rapidly my heart is beating for no reason.  Why does this sweat feel cold to me, yet my face feels hot and flushed?”

When you reach that point simple fear starts to feel like a joke!  Phobias are like a walk in the park.  Even the next bout of paranoia becomes like a great roller-coaster ride.  You feel it coming and you buckle down the safety bar.  You keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times.  On the first big hill you shout, “Woo-Hoo!” After a few turns you think, “How long is this stupid ride??” As you round the last few twists and turns you tighten your sphincter and try hard not to puke.  Then as it jerks into the station and slows to a stop you start to laugh like a maniac, slap some friends on the back and go check your shorts.  That is paranoia.

Paranoia roller-coaster.

Paranoia roller-coaster.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a special case that very few therapist even know how to sort out.  It can be debilitating but it doesn’t have to be permanent or incurable.  PTSD is similar to phobias in that it has a cause in the past (this life) and as with phobia the individual has suffered a painful emotional trauma that has broken off a piece of the soul.  However, PTSD is different in that the individual is forced to go back into the same situation that broke them over and over again.  Maybe its part of your job.  Maybe its someone in your home.  Maybe you live in a bad part of town.

Shattered spirit can be healed.

Shattered spirit can be healed.

Whatever it is you have to pull your broken parts together and face the risk of more trauma again and again.  So what happens is that broken part of you gets walled off in a room with no windows or doors.  Shut inside that small room that part of your spirit has no chance to heal or recover and now it cannot even be found.  The spirit does this because if its your job to face trauma, you cannot afford to have a phobic reaction that causes you to freeze and go fetal outside your workplace each morning. So the part gets isolated so that you can’t hear it screaming.

Our broken spirit gets locked down in PTSD.

Our broken spirit gets locked down in PTSD.

Instead of the typical phobic reaction, people with PTSD may simply experience gaps.  They often cannot remember the painful details of the traumatic event(s) because the memories are locked up with the broken shards of spirit.  They may quite simply be UNABLE to perform certain tasks or face certain situations.  Whenever they go into any situation that subconsciously reminds them of their trauma, they may experience an energy drain.  They may need time alone in a quiet familiar place after such experiences.  Because the traumatized part cannot heal, they may need quiet time after any sort of social or emotional stimulation.

PTSD can be healed and people can recover from any trauma no matter how deep.

PTSD can be healed and people can recover from any trauma no matter how deep.

What most folks, including many well-meaning therapists do NOT realize is that PTSD cannot be healed by force.   Traditional therapy says that talking about emotional trauma helps us to heal.  But this is the opposite of healing in cases of  PTSD.  Talking about the trauma actually introduces a new threat of trauma that can force the broken piece deeper into hiding.

Healing PTSD requires a gentle process of finding and opening locked rooms and then nurturing, and rehabilitating the broken shards.  In my practice, this happens quickly and almost unconsciously. Once the part has recovered then the person will spontaneously remember and want to talk about the damaging events…once.  From there, the memories can finally be put to rest, far at the back of the mind where the lessons are extracted but the experience itself becomes drained of its ability to cause pain ever again.  If a person continues to want to talk about their suffering, something has not been healed.

Remarkably, people who are able to recover from PTSD (or phobia, or paranoia) actually become stronger emotionally than the average.  Healing and rehabilitating their broken spirit creates a stability, a nobel depth of character and often a deep and resourceful cache of courage that unbroken people cannot attain.  Those who have been so harshly tested by life, with proper healing, become some of the strongest and most compassionate leaders among us.

If you know someone who has suffered trauma resulting in any of the more lasting forms of “fear” know that I am a therapist who can kindly and gently help them get their lives, and their spirits, back – whole and better than ever before.

2015 FTW!!

Here we are starting a brand new year!   And here I am ready to help YOU make it a great one!  You may have made resolutions in past years that didn’t stick, but not this time!  Let me break it down for you:

Studies have shown that only about 8-10% of people who make resolutions are successful.  (  Why is that?  Well, do the math!  The conscious mind makes up only 10% of the brain’s amazing power and ability.  That’s right!  That is the SAME 10% that led to the myth that humans are only using 10% of their brain.  And when the task measuring brain use involves concentration and focus (both Conscious activities) the myth is TRUE!  Well, friends, WILLPOWER is also a function of the Conscious mind.  So no matter how strong willed you are, its still only a 10% effort.

BUT, all is not lost!  Because your Subconscious mind makes up around 50-60% of your brain’s own WOW factor.  And your Unconscious taps into the remainder for a full 100% of  your amazing abilities!!!  (


So yes, the “we only use 10% of our brain” is a myth.  But not for the reasons this naysayer gives:  (really? would it hurt you to use some actual FACTS instead of just your arrogance?)   Scientists measured people’s brain impulses while they were doing challenging tasks & the brain only lit up (showing use) in regions making up 10%.  It was, of course, that same 10% that your conscious mind uses when doing new tasks.  With the help of this hypnotherapist the scientists could set up new studies with tasks that use the subconscious and they would show what that ‘other 90%’ is used for.  But I digress…

My MAIN POINT is that you, my friend, can make your New Years resolutions a reality by tapping into the powerful Subconscious and Unconscious mind!  It works like this: your Conscious mind is the part you identify as YOU.  So when you focus, try hard, or use will power, that’s all Conscious YOU.  But you have 2 powerful co-captains!  Subconscious YOU is just below the radar.  Its helping you out all the time by taking over detailed but routine tasks and doing them for you.  Subconscious YOU is what you might call your Auto-pilot.   So when you “zone out” while doing things, that is when your amazing Subconscious takes over.  Just think how much easier it would be if you could exercise on auto-pilot!  (click on the pic below for more!)

NY Weight Loss

Unconscious YOU is much deeper. Generally, it is well below the conscious radar.  Unconscious You controls the beating of your heart, the digesting of your food, the healing and rebuilding of every cell and system in your body.  If you can work with Unconscious YOU, you could even find out why you’ve been gaining weight and fix it, heal disease better and faster, or access the unlimited memory stores to solve problems at the speed of thought.  When the Unconscious takes over and helps you out, it can often FEEL like someone else has gotten control of your mind.  If you freak out and grapple for control – then you end up right back to using only 10% of the mighty, mighty YOU.  If you stay relaxed and go with the flow, it can feel like MAGIC!  Success is fun and easy all of a sudden!

So here’s one last point.  You don’t get to the 100% by being a control freak.  Or by trying real hard. Or by willpower.  YOU get there by relaxing, by trusting the other parts of YOU – Subconscious & Unconscious.  You get there by realizing these other parts of your mind ARE YOU, with your happiness & your best interest at heart.  You get there by kicking back, zoning out, and riding the mighty wave of you own whole brain power.  That’s right!  YOU are far greater than you’ve been lead to believe!  Far greater than you’ve even yet allowed yourself to become!

With a relaxed mind and body YOU, my friend, can tap into a 100% WIN this year and I can help you!!!   In this article and on links are several great MONEY SAVING offers to help you get started on the way to a GREAT NEW YEAR & an even greater NEW YOU!  Cash in!!

Click on the pic for more!

+ Click on the pic for more!

You can print out the certificate, or just mention the special when you call to book your appointment at:   Clear Mirror Healing in Newport News, VA.


Intuitive Healing Classes

If you’re thinking about applying for the class NOW is the time.  I still have openings and it promises to be a great, FUN, and challenging learning experience!  Below are the application questions. You can copy and paste them into an email to:

(The secret to the application is to realize I am not looking for ‘top achievers’ in the form of society’s view of successful.  I am looking for people like YOU, people who are willing and able to self reflect, to consider facts no matter how ‘different’ they seem and to absolutely ACCEPT the TRUTH that success in this world means we NEVER STOP LEARNING and we NEVER KNOW IT ALL.

So answer the questions with YOUR truth, your thoughts, your observations and musings and hypotheses.  You cannot be wrong if you can challenge yourself to do that.

P.S. Be sure and let me know what TIMES, DAYS and LOCATIONS work best for you. I run things by team vote so I will set the classes to accommodate students as well as myself.

For more info on Intuitive Healing and what it has cured see my website:  & look under Services and Testimonials.  There’s also information on my Facebook page:

See you soon!


Intuitive Healing CURES!

Intuitive Healing CURES!




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  5. List or describe any other skills, interests, experiences, or abilities that you bring to this course.

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Jealousy and Relationships

Some people I’ve known seem to think that jealousy is a healthy and normal part of a relationship.  I disagree.  I think jealousy is poison to any relationship.   The dictionary says jealousy is mental uneasiness that arises from suspicion and fear.   Suspicion and fear have no place in a good relationship.  Still, most of us have seen relationships that tolerate and sometimes even seem to promote jealousy in partners.  I have personally been in relationships with persons who were cross with me because I did not feel jealous of their attention.  And, of course, I ended the relationship with anyone who was successful in triggering my jealousy.

Jealousy, the green eyed monster raises its ugly head.

Jealousy, the green eyed monster raises its ugly head.

Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker and personal power guru extraordinaire, says that jealousy is  the signal that we have identified something we want AND believe we cannot have.  The problem, clearly, lies in the idea that we CANNOT HAVE what we desire. The solution just as clearly lies in changing that limited belief system.  We are limited by our beliefs, friends, not by reality.

One of my favorite authors, Steven Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People & The Eighth Habit to name two of his best known books) explains the value and virtue of the Win-Win approach.  This approach is really the only successful and profitable approach to business as well as personal relationships.  In a love relationship is is absolutely critical.  If you love your partner YOU will personally suffer if s/he loses and s/he will suffer if you lose.  A Win-Win approach requires that both partners feel safe, loved, and trusted.  Fear and its resulting jealousy cannot exist in a safe, loving, trustworthy environment.

So how can you deal with your own jealousy in a relationship?

I’m starting with you personally because it is the easier problem to solve.  You can stop feeling jealous in relationships by accepting the FACT that you deserve and can have the relationship you truly desire.  You are good enough, attractive enough, and moreover any little problems you may have can be changed.  I’m going to share two simple ways to prove to yourself that you can have whatever your little heart desires.

The first is described in “The Law of Attraction” and “The Secret” and it is just the way your inner mind works.  Your unconscious mind does a great many things for you.  One of the things it does is create your heart’s desires into reality.  Its doing this all the time without your conscious awareness but it gets confused when you dwell on what you DON’T want.  See, this part of your mind works a bit like a computer.  You program it by focusing on what you most desire.  Your unconscious mind responds automatically by finding a way to make it happen for you.  If you take the time to write down what you want, repeat it to yourself, or better yet create a mental vision of the day when you have exactly what you want.  Think of how it will feel, how it will look, how it will sound, etc.  Then revisit that daydream as often as possible.  Your inner mind will find it so irresistible that it will figure out a way to get you there.  Even without your conscious understanding you will be moving down the path to success.

This is the same process I use in hypnotherapy most of the time.  I get my clients to define for themselves what success will look, feel, sound, and smell like.  Then I walk them through a fun process of dreaming that success into reality.  Their unconscious does the rest.

Only keep in mind that every time you focus on your fear or ‘worst case scenario’ you send your inner mind working to make that reality come to fruition.  You don’t have to guard every thought.  You simply have to recognize a cycle of worst case thoughts and cut it off by thinking instead of the outcome you WOULD enjoy.  I use Google images and Pinterest boards to create my visuals since I’m more of an auditory person.  Then I can look at my dream on my phone app whenever my slippery mind spirals into that worst-case fear fixation.

The second technique is even simpler.  First you make a list of your goals.  Then you chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo a few minutes every day while reading your list and thinking about your goals.  As you go along you will think of new goals and more specific definitions of your goals.  Write them down and keep chanting no matter what.  This process is based on the reality of how your heart, mind, and soul are set up.

Using either technique you will find that the technique changes you.  Changing you changes everyone around you and even your environment.  You can read more about how it works in the books I’ve mentioned and at the website  Neither of these methods are easy to fully understand but both are very easy to use.  And the results will speak for themselves.

Dreams become reality

Dream something good!

So how can you deal with your partners jealousy?

The short answer is that the above techniques will work to change your partner as well.  They will change you in the process and your changes will change your lover.  So the process is a bit longer and less direct and you may need some things you can do while you wait.  Here are a few.

The person you love is afraid.  S/he most likely has had experiences in the past that have triggered this fear.  Take the time to listen to your friend and partner as they explain why they are afraid and when they had such fears realized.  Deal with the fear in real TEAM fashion.  Be caring, compassionate and constructive.  Advice never helps in the face of fear, so don’t go there.  Accept that this person you love and chose is intelligent and reasonable and that his/her fear is valid given past experiences.

Find ways to reassure and build trust.  This kind of trust is built over time and based on honest communication.  You may have to be judicious in your honest communication.  If your partner is operating from a fear/jealousy state it may not be the best time to share honestly that you found some other person physically attractive that day, for example.   That is not helpful at such a time.  But let me make this easier for you.

Sexual attraction to your life partner will thrive, not suffer, from your attraction to others.  (Finally, the sex! I hear you mutter.)  This is how it works.  We all get turned on when we look at (but don’t touch!) other attractive people (and even things like flowers and sunsets.)  Then when we are good, honest, true, and trustworthy, we bring that liveliness home and make mad passionate love to our partner.  The same happens when others find us attractive.  We feel our own sexiness stir and we bring it on home to our partner.  In fact we all NEED to feel sexy to initiate sex or even to respond well to our partner’s overtures.

Once you and your love are on board with how this works FOR your relationship, you can begin to share a bit more.  The best way is to sight see attractive people TOGETHER.  You sit at the mall or corner cafe and say, “Oh look at the attractive set of legs on that person!  Honey, do you find his/her legs sexy?”  and “Oh, looky, that man has YOUR back! See how sexy that is?”  Really, start small and safe, say expressing interest in sexy flowers and sunsets.  Then when that goes well, expand to pretty dresses or handsome suits or cute puppies and children.  When you are both ready for full grown people start by drawing your lover’s attention to someone of YOUR SAME gender.  Resist the urge to EVER question whether the person in your sight is more or less sexy than yourself.  That is going back to the fear.

Sexy Sunset

Sexy Sunset

But when you can do this well together and then run home to make out, you will be on the path to happily-ever-after.  The bottom line here is jea-lousy is lousy!  Find its source, soothe it out, turn it around, and bring it on home!  You can do it!  And the rewards (*ahem*) are worth the efforts.

Power of Hypnosis in Action

Todays’ blog was written by one of my clients.  Her testimonial is so eloquent that I have only changed names to protect the guilty and left everything else just as she wrote it.

If you are a victim of propaganda such as “scientifically/medically proven,” “guaranteed or your money back” or “30 day trial” – KEEP READING. I am a non-smoker because of Tolley’s hypnotherapy. I have never felt better…allow me to take you on my journey.

These are notes from my journal:

My sessions…

  • First: So the only skepticism that I had was that I was going to screw this up…That I was not going to follow the guidelines or that I wasn’t going to “go under” and this whole thing was going to waste Tolley’s time and mine. I got there and we did a personal inventory of my smoking history…All I wanted was a cigarette…I kept thinking in the back of my head “as soon as we’re done, I’m going to have a cigarette” and “I wonder if she would be offended if I ask to smoke before we start.” Well fast forward to the hypnosis…I was aware of her, my comfort, my surroundings…but I didn’t seem to care…I was completely in control of my body, Tolley let me know that this would be the case – so I felt even more comfortable. After this incredible journey, I woke up smiling and happy…I was calm yet energetic (so calm of the mind and energetic of the body) I was just damn happy! I had a family situation to deal with that day (what isn’t a better reason to smoke) and I felt like my objectives were clear, my decisions and all of my actions…it was the best drug. The only side effect was that I was thirsty…
    • For the week, I smoked maybe 5 or so cigarettes, I felt totally gross after each and every one…Like I had a headache and felt just blah, I also felt dirty.
  • Second: The next session I was so excited to see Tolley. After the session, I was thirsty again and oh so happy…I skipped around and did chores, all with a smile on my face…I wanted to help people and was able to deal with the woes of a pre-teen step daughter, an elderly grandmother, three jobs, and the world…WITHOUT cigarettes.
    • That week I smoked a drag off of one cigarette – it was kind of strange – I just pulled out a cigarette (I still had three or so left over from the first session) and lit it. The second I realized what I did, I threw out the cigarette.
  • The third session I was completely smoke free. I didn’t have the urge to smoke, but I felt like I still needed someone to make sure that I didn’t fall off of a ledge that could potentially show up…Like I didn’t need to smoke, but I was so scared that there would be a day in the near future that would make me want to say “oh to hell with it, it’s just one.” After that relaxing session where I was deeper than ever before, I was better than ever. I saw a movie with a smoking friend and while she smoked, I stood by and it felt like I had never started: like I had been a non-smoker for years instead of just weeks…or like I had never picked up the habit and had no curiosity about it…Free
    • It’s funny, I remember all of the memories where I had a cigarette, but I have to really think in order to remember the cigarettes. The motions that were once like second nature, seem so alien to me…it’s strange to find lighters in my bag, get coupons in the mail or realize that I had a brand that I smoked…it just doesn’t seem like it ever happened.
  • The last session that I saw Tolley, I felt like I could completely let go and give it all up to her…when I left her last session, I have not reverted back to any part of my bad habit. I have had coffee and beer and not a once felt the need to smoke…even after a huge meal or anything, ANYTHING that would have spiked my craving in the past.

I am in the process of buying a house, I have three jobs, I have a step-daughter who is 12 who struggles with anxiety and in school, I have an elderly, forgetful and stubborn grandmother that I care for – my life isn’t easy – with all of this, I still haven’t smoked, when things get tough, I take my deep breaths, drink a cool glass of water and my strength refills.

stay happy

I will add only one thing to Melonie’s journey – when I suggested hypnosis to be smoke free she was interested in freeing herself from the habit but she didn’t want to quit.  That is an important point because many people think you have to want to quit or be motivated to quit for hypnosis to work.  In fact, hypnosis and your unconscious mind can provide the desire and motivation for you.  Don’t worry, be happy!

Let’s Talk About Exercise

When clients start my hypnosis for Weight Loss program – a 6 week program including hypnotherapy, education, supplements and recordings to use at home, most of them tell me they know all about exercise. They have a type of exercise they want to do, they know when they need to do it and how, they know all about that. They know, know, know. When I ask if they are exercising daily the answer is also no.



So what’s happening there? I can tell you what. Knowing is something we do with our conscious mind. We need to get our of our heads and into our unconscious to make this work FOR YOU. The bottom line is you should NOT be working at exercise; it should be working FOR YOU.

Imagine you’re sleeping deeply in your bunk. Suddenly the air is pierced by a shrill whistle. The drill sergeant begins shouting. Its time for P.T. You are on your feet and in your uniform in seconds. Your boots and pack are on and you are running. Are you running because its good for maintaining your weight? Are you doing it because you want to keep fit and avoid heart attacks and degenerative diseases? Are you thinking of how to get to your optimum heart rate for your age and body mass? Are you breathing correctly, timing your run, hydrating before you need it? NO! You are on auto-drive. Your eyes are hardly even open and who knows how you managed to get your boots on right because you are not fully awake yet.

Best Warrior 2-mile run

Best Warrior 2-mile run

Imagine you are on the plains in Africa. You are stalking your prey with your friends. Out of nowhere a sabre tooth tiger leaps from the underbrush. You take off! You run full out like the wind. You duck, you dive, you climb, you scamper. Are you calculating your average speed? Are you thinking about how good the endorphin release will make you feel? Are you pacing yourself, watching your heart rate, monitoring your blood pressure? No, No, No! You are NOT thinking! You are running for all you’re worth. If you notice anything at all it is on a subconscious level.

That’s what I’m talking about: Unconscious automatic exercise! What if you could wake each day craving exercise the way you crave a cup of coffee or a trip to the toilet? What if the drill sergeant or the sabre tooth tiger were in your own mind driving you and all you had to do was ACT, move, get it in gear and get outta here?

Well, ok, what if it wasn’t quite that demanding? What if it was just automatic upon awakening, you woke up, got out of bed and did a few crunches? What if you did a pull up every time you passed a certain doorway? What if every morning, rain or shine you skipped rope for 10 minutes? What if you took a brisk walk everyday on your lunch hour? And maybe that walk helped you rev up your appetite so you enjoyed your food more? Or what if you craved a quick trip to the gym everyday to unwind and you didn’t let anything get in your way?

See, what if you didn’t have to think about it or know what you were doing? What if you didn’t have to try, you just did it? Then if knowing and thinking didn’t matter you might be eager to hear about exercising any chance you get. In fact, you might be interested to know that exercise you do first thing in the morning burns more fat because you’ve used up all the carbs from your last meal. Your body has to dip into the fat storage to fuel your activity. Or that 10 minutes of exercise a few times per day is actually better at keeping you trim and fit and its less stressful for your body.

You may also be interested to hear that a little daily exercise is essential for keeping your mind sharp in your later years. The mind and the body are made to work together. So using your mind to get your body in shape just makes sense. But its not an intellectual thing. Its automatic, unconscious. Your unconscious mind controls most of your body’s activities anyway, like digesting, breathing, healing. Doesn’t it make sense that your unconscious would be your body’s best personal trainer?

I once read that when asked how he managed to write so many books, Stephen King said he had a deep gravely voice in his head that comes up behind him when he’s fiddling around and shouts, “GET TO WORK!!!” Something about what he said stuck with me and now every Monday morning King’s monster voice wakes me up and drives me relentlessly till Wednesday with that same statement. I can’t get it out of my head. I’m productive from morning to night.



Why don’t we get your old drill sergeant, or your gym coach in your head to wake you up each morning to the tune of reveille? You don’t have to worry your pretty little head about when, where, how, or how much at all. You’d just have to…GET YOUR LAZY BUTT OUT OF BED, MAGGOT! YOU’VE GOT 5 SECONDS TO HIT THE FLOOR AND GIVE ME TEN. YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD! PAIN IS JUST WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY! IN YOUR SHOES AND OUT THE DOOR AND GO, GO, GO, GO!!

personal motivation

personal motivation

Hypnosis and Parenting

I am a parent. I’ve spent 13 years teaching school, which is also a form of parenting. I also have parents and some of my best friends are parents. When I was pregnant with my first daughter I read and studied every book in the library and most of those in the book stores on parenting. The qualifications to be a parent are pretty minimal, yet the impact of a job well done is immeasurably huge and profound. The one thing that I can definitively say that I have learned about parenting is that it is an on-the-job-training position. Essentially, no one actually doing the job knows what they are doing. We all learn as we go.

In short, the parents most likely to do the job right are the ones eager, anxious and even desperate to do their best while confident that they will fail and fall short of that mark. I might also add that anyone who thinks they know how to parent is probably doing a poor job at best, or providing job security for therapists, social workers, and prison guards at worst. So if you are a parent and are presently feeling fretful, worried, or uneasy, give yourself a pat on the back! You’re doing everything just right!

Living In Their Subconscious

Of everything I read and studied on parenting I would say the most helpful information came from my studies of hypnosis and understanding the subconscious/unconscious mind*. This is primarily because children live in a hypnotic trance until about the age of 6 or 7 years (and only leave this trance-like state gradually). You see, the barrier between the conscious and unconscious mind does not form until about that age. Up until then you can think of your kids as being in a walking trance and everything you say literally or symbolically is getting buried deep in their unconscious to haunt them for the rest of their lives. (If you weren’t a worried and fretful parent before, that information should make you one now. So, go ahead and give yourself a pat. You’re doing it right now!)

This is actually a good thing because that mental structure allows kids to absorb massive amounts of information at amazing rates. Then most of that learning becomes unconscious “software” that runs automatically for the rest of their lives. For example, kids have to learn all the norms of their particular culture and then never think about it but automatically behave accordingly. They learn the structure and subtleties of their home language(s) and then it becomes easy. If you’ve ever tried to learn a second or third language in high school (or older) you don’t need me to tell you how hard it can be. But mere babies do all that and make it look easy!

They learn to walk, talk, behave, and clean. Kids are not born knowing what a “clean” room or house looks like. They have to see the example many times to know what is “clean” and what is “dirty” in the adult eyes. Just think, there are kids born every day in places where they have dirt floors. How could that kid know when the floor is clean? That’s right. We need to show them over and over till its hard wired into their minds. (By my reckoning, and that of my friends with teen kids this happens somewhere in the 30’s)

That same mechanism for learning rapidly and well can be a bad thing if say, a person learns as a kid to clean his plate. That same person becomes an adult and sits down to restaurant meals that have portions 4x bigger than what an adult needs – but that plate still gets cleaned. (And that backside get’s bigger!) That mechanism take a tragic turn when a kid is raised by parents who inflict violence on him when the parent is stressed out instead of venting his anger appropriately. Then violence against others, rather than self control can become a way of life for even the best intentioned adult.

No No

No No

What is it about “No” that you don’t understand?

To use this information about kids you need to understand a bit about how the unconscious responds. One of the most important things to know is that the unconscious does not register the word “no” or “don’t” or “not”. Its as if all negatives and negators are like the null set. You can see this fact at work when you tell a toddler “Don’t touch the glass vase!” Only his brain hears, “Touch the glass vase!” and he goes to it like a magnet. He’s not trying to be difficult. His brain just doesn’t hear what you’re saying.

Say what you mean, mean what you say

To get the action you want from kids you need to change the words you use. You need to say exactly what action you want and stop wasting time telling them what you don’t want. That’s not an easy change for for adults to make. It is a whole lot easier to change your words than to change a child’s behavior with words he cannot understand, though! Here’s a few examples: Instead of saying, “Don’t run in the halls!” try, “Walk quietly in the halls.” Instead of “No fighting!” try, “Use you’re words to negotiate.”

Its especially difficult to weed out common but nonsensical “parent-isms like, “How many times have I told you..blah blah blah.” Because, what are you trying to say? You’re asking a kid to count up the number of times you’ve made a statement that is inaudible to his brain. You know the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Come on, my friend, let’s step out of the “coo-coo parent” role for a minute. I know its fun. I know its a role you enjoyed seeing the parent figures in your life occupy. And its comfortable and familiar because they said that same thing countless times, right? Right? But unless you really ARE crazy, why would you keep saying something that doesn’t get results?

That was a rhetorical question; don’t answer it. There is no good reason. You were simply conditioned to do it. So let’s now resolve to avoid repeating ANYTHING that didn’t produce results the first time it was said. They cannot hear you, that’s why. If our statements to kids don’t get results lets rephrase the statement. Let’s make sure the statement has no null sets, no negatives to confuse the developing brain. Let’s frame a clear concise statement that directs that brain to action!

(Ever wonder why toddlers get hold of the word “NO!” and won’t let it go? Its because its a hilarious joke! Its totally ironic. A word that means absolutely nothing, and yet rarely fails to get a reaction from adults. NO!” You jump, startled! “NO!” “Don’t you say that to me!””NO!” A furrowed brow. “NO!” “Stop that right now!” <Another hilarious word! Stop> “NO!” And a merry chase begins.)

I’m laughing and you’re not. Oh, I see, I’ve confused you by telling you too much about what NOT to do without giving you clear directed statements about the proper action to take. I’m going to teach by example, that’s always more effective anyway. So, on the left are some common but confusing “parent-isms” on the right are examples of clear, action-getting statements that capture the average parent’s real meaning.

“Stop screaming!” = Play quietly.

“Don’t play ball in the house!” = Play ball outside.

“What did I say?”=  I need you to obey me.

“Did you break this lamp?” = I think you broke this lamp.

“Don’t jump on the bed; you’ll fall off and break your neck.” =  I’m afraid you’ll get hurt doing that.  Jump rope instead.

“You’ll put your eye out with that thing!” = That’s too dangerous to play with.  Find something blunt.

You'll put your eye out!

You’ll put your eye out!

“What are you doing?!” = Please don’t do that. Do this…

“What do you think you’re doing?!” = Please don’t do that. Do this…

“Stop all that racket!” = Play quietly

“I’m not made of money!” = We’ll have to save up for that. How much money do you have?

“I am going to kill you!” = That makes me really angry.

“Don’t walk on the floor I just mopped it.” = Walk on the ceiling.

on the celing

There, you get the idea now. Say what you mean. The best test of whether you have said it right is if you get the action you wanted. Its not easy. Its especially difficult in the adult world where direct questions and commands are often seen as rude. But we’re talking to children here. With good training, a few more years and a bit of luck they will be just as convoluted, passive-aggressive and confusing as we are. So there’s that to look forward to!

baby proof nice things

baby proof nice things

Baby elephant Training

Now, let’s get back to that glass vase. How are you ever going to keep your nice things from breaking if you can’t tell your kid NOT to touch it? The answer is what I like to call “Baby Elephant training”. In India when they domesticate baby elephants, they begin by attaching one of its legs to a tent stake with a rope. The baby elephant tries and tries to pull the stake out and run but it cannot. Eventually the little elephant learns that stakes cannot be pulled out of the ground. Then when the elephant is full grown and several tons of muscle and force it no longer tries to pull the stake out. It knows that the stake will not come out!

After much experimentation, I recommend the “Baby Elephant” method of child rearing. Let’s face it, you have a small window of opportunity during which you are stronger, faster, and more clever than your child. Very small. I say take advantage of that window and the rest of your 17-30 years of parenting will be much easier.

While your child is very small and mostly non-ambulatory tell her, “Don’t touch!” a few times. Immediately after the words leave your mouth remove the object completely from the child’s reach. Put that glass vase high up on a shelf in the back of the closet. If you do that a few times with the baby she will learn that when YOU say mysterious meaningless words it does mean something! Everything YOU tell her always sticks!

I recommend taking the baby or toddler to the home of a friend or relative who won’t bother to “baby-proof” her house when you say you are coming. That way you will have lots and lots of opportunities to repeat your “magic words” and reproduce the instant disappearance of the forbidden object. You will also decrease your personal loss when you occasionally miss an opportunity to reinforce the lesson!

If you can practice this consistently, say, once a week for the first 6-36 months of life (or until your run out of friends, relatives, and unsuspecting strangers willing to have you over) you will have produced a child who believes you are a powerful magician who can make things happen with just a few words of magical meaningless mumbo-jumbo. From then on teachers, friends (the new ones you make after your kids 3rd birthday), and random strangers will be amazed that such an obedient child was born to such a lazy do-nothing parent as you. More importantly, your child will love, honor and adore you because you will never have to spank, shame, or scold the child for misbehaving. You will simply say your magic words. Right up until the child enters high school.

Never argue with a Kid

Which brings me to the the final piece of really useful parenting advice from hypnotherapy: never argue with a kid. In fact, its a good idea never to argue with anyone. This is because taking one side of an argument compels any listener to take an opposing view, and to defend it! Not only that but most people know that starting an argument is an excellent way to keep from getting work done and it has the added advantage of keeping your opponent from working either! Try it with a spouse who is threatening divorce. Some people I know have stayed married for years just to avoid letting their spouse have the last word.

No one EVER wins an argument

No one EVER wins an argument

So if you let yourself get drawn into an argument with your kid – the kid has ALREADY won! That’s right! Parenting is a game you play with your kids, but it is a game you must win for the sake of the kid’s happiness. They want their parents to be winners! This is a real challenge because no one can can argue as well as a kid. Do not argue with any child. You will lose and the kid will hate you for being a loser.

There are several hypnosis techniques to keep arguments from happening. They are grouped under a heading I call “slight of mouth”. Its like slight of hand only you do it with words. Done right, slight of mouth allows you to say inflammatory things without being opposed. One type of “slight of mouth” is the switch back. Let’s say you believe in socialized medicine. You start in one direction, “Now I certainly don’t agree with Obamacare, “ Then end up in the other direction, “But don’t they have a great health care system in the UK?” No one argues with you because they hardly know what you’ve said.

Another “slight of mouth” technique is to put words in your opponent’s mouth. Sometimes I use this when I want my guests to leave. I say to my co-host, “Honey, these good people need their sleep. Don’t start another long story now.” Or if I’m uncomfortable asking for money I might say, “Oh, goodness! I haven’t given you the chance to pay me, have I?” Or when cutting a conversation short I avoid leaving my friend feeling rushed or rejected by saying, “Well, I better let you go. I know how busy you are.”

One other technique is to “close off the path to “no”. Salesmen are great at this. Rather than ask a question to which “no” is the obvious answer a good salesman will ask, “Would you like me to bag that or wrap it for you?” or “Will you be using your Visa or our convenient payment plan?” You can modify this for your home use by asking, “Would you prefer green beans or broccoli with your supper?” “Would you like to clean the toilets or the sinks?” “Do you want me to help you with your homework now or would you rather I just let you do it?” It’s important that kids have choices so they feel a sense of control over their own lives and also get practice making good decisions for themselves.

Here are a few other handy uses of slight of mouth for kids:

1.“I know you want your hair cut in one of the new styles, but honestly I like the natural look you have.” (a.k.a.: Get a haircut)

2. “I think teens should devote their summers to enrichment classes. This idea of working and having spending money is just too much freedom for a kid.” (a.k.a. Get a job)

3. “Really? Well, I’d better meet your friends’ parents then and find out what they know that I don’t.” (In response to “All my friends parents said ‘Yes’.”)

4. “How’s that working out for you?” (In response to any declaration of personal policy from not doing homework to staying up on a school night to dating a jerk.)

5. “Oh, wonderful! I’ve always wanted to have a live-in maid and cook. I’m sure if I pay the taxes on your room, board, and laundry privileges that will be equal to minimum wage.” (In response to a kid who decides he’s not going to college or moving out and getting a job.)

6. A great way to get your kid to move away to a boarding college is to suggest. “If you enroll in a local college you can live at home and save us money on room and board!”   another is to lovingly pet his hair and say, “Oh, I hope you will never move away from home, I would miss your company so!”

Moving on is good for kids

Moving on is good for kids

Avoiding Arguments Kids Start

Of course kids are excellent at starting arguments without you. You can still avoid the argument and win if your skills of empathy are sharp. The kid says, “I hate going to family functions!” and you respond, “Oh, I know just how you feel. Here’s your coat.” Kid says, “My teacher is stupid, that’s why she failed me.” You say, “Boy, that must be frustrating. Let’s see if I can help.” Kid says, “I hate you!” you say, “You have that right. But since we’re living in the same house we may as well get along.”

One of my favorite ways to avoid argument is to act frustrated and say, “Ok, ok, you’re right and I’m wrong!” No one can argue with that, especially when its true. When all else fails I engage something I call “Fighting with my Back”. I always do my best fighting with my back. I give myself a time out.

Whoever invented the “time out” was brilliant! Only somehow we thought the practice was to apply this privilege to naughty kids. The best use of the “time out” is to allow a frazzled parent a little break to recover his/her sanity. After all, how could you ever get a kid to sit quietly in a corner if you cannot get him to behave in the first place? Whereas the parent will willingly and gratefully take a few moments break.

So as soon as your children are old enough to be left on their own for 1-5 minutes (experts recommend using the number of minutes corresponding to the child’s age) you should begin using the “time out” discipline technique. Whenever you are nearing a breaking point and before you have to raise your voice, simply declare, “That’s enough! Mommy needs a time out. I’m going to my room for 2 full minutes and no one is to bother me till I come out.” And then off you go immediately. Lie down, close your eyes, play soft music, and imagine a happy place far, far away.

As your children get older you can use this technique to get 5-10 minutes of precious reprieve. Then you can text or email a friend (one who will empathize when you tell her how awful your 5-10year old kids are), thumb through a magazine, jog around the block, or nibble on your secret child-proof stash of chocolate. This is your time, make the most of it.

The “time out” works wonders as a discipline technique primarily because your children will miss your attention and want you back. See, children are born pre-programed to love and prefer their parent’s attention. Even the poor children of horrible abusive parents desperately want their parents’ love and attention. Bad children are “bad” precisely because negative attention from parents is better than no attention at all. So when you disengage and take your attention away, your children will feel punished. (So long as you are not negligent on a regular basis) They will reflect on their own behavior and learn new ways to act that do not drive you away.

Of course, Time Out also works because you, the parent get to de-stress and regain control of yourself. In any event, once you know how to invoke the Time Out, your children need never win again. As soon as you find yourself being drawn into an argument and your slight-of-mouth techniques are not distracting your child from his goal, you can simply declare, “Look, I’ve had enough of this.” You walk away and keep to yourself until you’ve thought of new creative ways to keep from arguing with a kid.  I find these techniques work wonders with child like adults as well!

Time Out

Time Out

*Unconscious vs Subconscious – though I am using them almost interchangably here, there is a difference between the SUBconscious and the UNconscious mind.  The subconscious is that part of the mind works like auto-pilot doing things of which you are only vaguely aware.  When we are first learning a complex opperation like driving a car, brushing our teeth, showering or talking we do it consciously.  But soon it becomes subconscious and automatic.  Then we are able to listen to the radio, talk on the phone, and eat a sandwich while still operating heavy machinery like an automobile. We are able to shower, shave, brush and even dress in the mornings all before having our coffee.  These complex operations have become subconscious. They only become conscious again when something goes wrong, like a shaving cut or another car merging suddenly into your lane.
Other things are run by the unconscious mind.  These are things that we do without even knowing how to do them.  Things like breathing, digesting our food, sneezing or blinking the eyes are under unconscious control.  Our conscious mind can affect these processes but they are run and controlled by the unconscious.  They can continue even when the conscious mind is asleep or deep in a coma.  The important thing to remember is that whether conscious, subconscious or unconscious it is all one mind and it is yours.  Some things just work better when we don’t have to think so much about them.

The Myth of ‘Mind Control’


On my FaceBook page ( ) one lady offered an opinion about hypnosis for weight loss that included the statement “I would recommend not letting others play with your brain while you are not aware.”   Her concerns are worth more than a returned comment.  Who, after all would want someone messing around with your brain when they are not aware?! NOT ME!  But the idea that hypnosis is “mind control” is an old and persistent myth.

Let me start by saying, I am not surprised by the persistence of this myth.  The main reason I am not surprised is that a lot of hypnotists use this myth to their advantage and some hypnotists even believe the myth themselves!  Stage/performance hypnotists do need to rely on the idea of mind control to put on a good show.  It’s kind of the way stage magicians do their “magic” Most of us know that card tricks are actually slight of hand.  Magicians don’t have to fight off angry hordes with torches and pitchforks because people admire the stage magician’s ability to make simple “tricks” look like magic.  So why does the myth still persist for hypnotists?

I’ll tell you why!  Because the human mind is nothing short of AMAZING.  You, my friend, are amazing!  In medical school, I studied neuroscience and I’ll tell you one of the biggest things I learned. I learned that the human brain is like a vast storehouse the size of planet earth and what we know about the brain is like the continent of Australia, plus Tasmania, and maybe the Hawaiian Islands altogether. By which I mean, we hardly know anything about our amazing brains AND what we do know is rather widely spaced and disconnected.

Australia, Tasmania & Hawaiian Islands

Australia, Tasmania & Hawaiian Islands

Now, add to that vast amazing-ness the concept of “the mind”  The functional MIND is even more vast, more amazing, and more unknown in its depths than the physical brain.  So when you see that hypnotist on the stage convince a person from the audience that their body is as strong as steel and then have someone sit on their belly while they are lying suspended across two chairs – your ooo’s and ahhh’s should be at the amazing power of that volunteer’s mind!  This is akin to the amazing, documented phenomena that occurs when a parent, pumped on adrenalin, manages to lift a truck off their child in the heat of passion and danger.  That stuff is REAL!  And it happens more often than we’d like to admit.

Now, imagine what you could do if you could tap into a little of that amazing-ness for yourself!  Think you could eat your vegetables? You bet you could!  Think you could stop cravings for things you know are detrimental?  Without a doubt!  Think you could make daily exercise fun and rewarding?  Piece of cake!  (er, carrot?)  And yes, you can do amazing feats of healing that will blow the minds of medical experts also.  I have seen it happen.

So, is that lil ‘ol me messing with your mind?  Well, I would love to take all the credit.  But, no, that’s not me.  That is YOU!  I am not “controlling” your mind – you are!  You are finally getting control of a part of your mind (unconscious, subconscious) that may have learned ways of behaving that worked as a child but now tend to work against you. You are finally gaining self control.  Honestly, I see it as you partnering with your own sub-conscious or un-conscious self to get the most out of life.

So what is my role?   I am not controlling you or your mind.  (please! I have enough trouble controlling myself! Don’t we all?)  I consider myself your guide and interpreter on the way to tapping into, managing and/or partnering with your own amazing mind.  What I do in a session is first: listen carefully to what your true goals are.  Then: listen to the words you use to get yourself there.  Finally, I figure out your own mind’s strengths and weaknesses.  Some people are visual people, some are feeling people, some are auditory.  I don’t want to paint you a beautiful picture in your mind if you are a person who dreams in black and white.  I don’t want to spend time droning on if you just need things to “click”.  Everyone’s mind is wired a little differently.  I am trained to understand your wiring by listening carefully to your words.

So then I put all my learning about you and your mind together to form a strategy that will get you where you want to go in just the way you need to do it so that it happens smoothly and naturally.  Then, if I’ve done my job right, it feels like magic!  That’s right, I used the “M” word.  It does often feel like magic.  It does sometimes feel like someone else has taken control. But its still all YOU.

Ever fallen asleep in a position that cuts off circulation to your arm? You barely wake up when you become aware of a hand lying by your neck that IS NOT YOURS!! OMG! You snap awake in a panic only to discover that the murderous hand is your own hand that has lost conscious feeling because it is “asleep”.   It is a harmless (actually, helpful) part of yourself that you simply lost conscious control of.  Well, your unconscious mind is a lot like that.  Because, by definition, you are unconscious of it, it may often feel like someone else. So when your magic inner mind kicks in and, say, wakes you one minute before your alarm goes off, or say, makes you crave water when you used to hate it, it may well feel like someone else is in control.  I would like to pretend its me 🙂 but its really not – its all YOU!

amazing strength of mind

amazing strength of mind

P.S. If any of y’all want to tap into some of the even more amazing things your mind can do, talk to me about my specialization in Pain Free Childbirth, enhanced Test Performance and Study Skills, and Turbo-Charged Immune function, to mention a few.  Frankly, if you can put it into words, and the mind can do it, I will work with you to get you there.

Unconscious Love

Happy Valentines Day!

Today’s post is motivated by James, a photographer who has a studio in my office building and by Ed, a sports medicine associate I met at Starbucks.  James ran into me in the building a few days ago and when I introduced myself and my occupation, blew me away by suggesting I hold a workshop for women in relationships with “dead beat men”.  As James put it, that man sitting on the couch playing video games while a beautiful sexy woman works to support his lazy ways, is using “mind control”.  How else would he get away with it?  James suggested I used the hypnotherapy to empower women who claim “love” makes them stay in lousy one way relationships while good men, kind men, hard working men are sitting home alone.

That got me thinking.  See not too many years ago, I set out to write a book on human sexuality and relationships.  After two long years working hard to save a marriage that finally ended (I was the only one working. Sing along if you know this tune!) I had read every relationship book in the library, seen every relationship video, tried all the “save your sex life” games and then finally, when the divorce papers dried, dated like it was boot camp in an effort to figure out what had gone wrong so I never had to repeat that mistake again.  To say I was interested in what makes  relationships work was a vast understatement.

So when I was working full time as a hypnotherapist and had the opportunity to ask new people daily, “In a relationship, what do you need to really enjoy yourself?” I began to hatch a new idea.  I was seeing patterns in the way that men and women answered the question and I thought that if I interviewed enough people I might find the answers I was looking for and also provide answers for all the many people like me.  So I began the book.  My goal was to interview at least 100 people, crossing as many lines of race, culture, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, etc as I could.  I would ask open ended questions and I would look for patterns.  I had some experience doing meta studies in science so this came naturally for me.

I got to about 60 people when Hurricane Katrina hit taking all my interview tapes and manuscripts just as it took the Gulf coast.  But the learning from all those lovely people was still lodged in my brain.  All this is to say, I probably am well qualified to empower the women James was talking about.  I probably have something helpful to share.  But I couldn’t think what was most important.  What is it that would lead a beautiful woman (or man) to put up with a partner who took but never gave back? And most importantly, what would trigger the change to wake up and smell the coffee?

As fate would have it I found out a few days later in a coffee shop.  Ed, a tall, well-groomed, young and gorgeous man blew me away again. This time it wasn’t a question he asked, it was an amazing act of courage.  Ed spilled his coffee all over himself and then when I was helping him to a refill he looked me straight in the eye and said very softly, “You are stunningly beautiful.” His words were so soft and so surprising that I asked him to repeat himself.  He did – three times! I was so stunned by his courage to persist where most men would have given up in awkward silence, by his courage to take a chance on love even while making a fool of himself with coffee, and by the fact that he was clearly 10-20 years younger than me and clearly didn’t care, that I told him he was beautiful himself.  He asked me out on the spot and I took his card.

It was only later when my brain came back on that I found myself confused and uncomfortable.  I realized I had a man.  My man is my best friend, David who I had been keeping at arms length for some time now, afraid to take it to a deeper level.  When my conscious mind kicked in I realized I was ready for that deeper level with David.  I also realized I was feeling obliged to go out with Ed.  I realized that my unconscious “autopilot” in romance obliges me to honor other people’s feelings without regard for my own.  That is what I was afraid of with David, that autopilot that takes over and drives all relationships into the ground.

In my new wide awake state I talked to David about my fears and my desires.  together we came up with the idea to sit down with a white board, flip charts, and post-its and create a strategic plan for the future of our relationship.  We would not go in blind.  We would not run on autopilot.  We would talk about our goals, our values, our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  We would create a strategy for moving toward our goals, for evaluating our progress, and for periodically  revising our plan.  Most importantly, we would designate responsibilities and design an action plan. Romantic? For a 49 year old woman terrified of being swept up into one more man’s unconscious  fantasy of the “perfect woman”?  YES! Oh, yes, yes, yes!  Nerdy? Well, ok, let those chips fall where they may. I don’t care.

So where have my discoveries about love and the unconscious, the autopilot, led me? What do I have to say to those poor women who could be happy if only they’d wake up and go for the Good Man? Well, it all came out when I was taking my daughters to school and happily (nerdily) telling them about my plans to make a business plan for our relationship.  My daughter, raised by this avant guarde wild woman nerd of a mother, innocently asked if that was what normal people did when starting a relationship.  I answered from the truth of all my experience and all those interviews. “No, Honey, most people fall in love and let the emotions carry them along.  Most people get married and put in the unconscious video of their parent’s marriage (however miserable or unsatisfactory) and run on autopilot doing whatever they saw done.  Most people don’t think in love, they just react.”

Its true. Most people  love in an unconscious state, assuming that they are pre-programed to know what to do right.  But most people are per-programed for failure.  So if I have anything to say to those women its, “Wake up.” If your man won’t lay the cards on the table and discuss where you are going and how you can both contribute to getting there?  That’s not romantic, that’s mind control.  Ask him to talk to your conscious mind.

And what about those Good Men out there, sitting alone, putting up with rejection?  My advice to you if you want to wake her up – pull an Ed.  That’s right: be polite, be kind, be real.  But be madly courageous, ridiculously persistent, and completely unafraid of making a fool of yourself.  love makes a fool of us all.  Real love, good love, though is well worth it.

Will a strategic plan work for a relationship?  Will love survive such directness? Can nerdiness really make its way in the world of romance?  I’ll keep you posted! 🙂