Thursday, October 04, 2007



When I was studying to become a certified hypnotherapist, sometimes written as Ch.t… ~ medical hypnosis was defined as “a focused altered state.” It will help you to understand that it is a state of hypnosis to read this article because you are focused on the words and meaning. Of course, it can also mean driving a car and not having an accident, sneezing, laughing, nursing your baby, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, the deepest forms of trance… which may include a profound coma. Now that you are informed of some of the many facets of hypnosis, please enjoy the following case history.

Hypnosis is certainly not a cure-all. When it works out successfully, it is partly sound hypnotherapy skills of the practitioner and part intentionality and effort of the patient. Our case history below is an interesting example of both a failure and a success all wrapped up in one story. It is a true saga of one gal’s battle with cigarettes and abusive eating habits.

Many counselors do not seek out people who are addicted to cigarettes and food abuse because it is such a difficult challenge. Regina asked for therapy to quit smoking and over-eating. We accepted her as a patient because she claimed she was ready to quit both negative behaviors. She had four unsuccessful sessions of hypnosis and behavioral modification before her counselors decided that this simply was not working. “Regina” she was told, “let’s stop wasting your time and hard-earned money. You aren’t ready to truly give a commitment to this project.” She looked at her therapists like they were crazy. To let her down softly they advised Regina to contact them again when she was fully ready to give 100% into the effort.

About eleven months later, they received an e-mail and a phone contact asking to begin once more. “So why do you feel that this time it will work out, Regina?” she was asked. What she replied made very good sense. Regina had gone through a divorce from an abuser, and had experienced a spiritual shift in her thinking and total energy. “OK, let’s give it another try, with great results this time…” her former counselors replied.

Her next session was a riot! With the help of Regina’s facilitators, she turned many foods like chocolate and ice cream into rotting, smelling cabbage. Only nutritious and intelligent amounts of foods would taste good to her. She was programmed to eat enough to maintain excellent health, and then stop once she had enough caloric and nutritious intake to keep her well. Please remember that this gal hated to exercise. She was allowed to be near others who ate and smoked, but they would appear like a funny shadow without any influence upon Regina. It was only if she grabbed for a cigarette and fattening foods that it became rotting, smelling cabbage. (Some patients have chosen far worse than this process in order to control addictive eating and smoking. Just use your vivid imagination).

This time, Regina was the winner. She continued going for regular sessions and they always reinforced the positives while firmly letting go of the negatives. In a few months, she was wearing new and smaller sized clothes, while the stains on her teeth and fingers from smoking disappeared. All involved with this wonderful win/win experience were very proud of Regina’s courage to try again. If at first you don’t succeed…

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