About Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is founded on the understanding that the subconscious mind has evolved to protect us from harm, as a self-protection strategy.  Now that's pretty cool.  At times, these self protection mechanisms either no longer work in our favour, or work to some degree but includes undesirable side effects.  Through hypnotherapy we seek to heal, resolve, neutralize and transform rather than simply helping you to "cope" or "manage."

Hypnotherapy involves relaxing the mind into a state of consciousness similar to meditation and then using words and the imagination to reprogram our beliefs that form the basis of our psychology and our behavior.  Going into the state of hypnosis allows us to employ the power of imagination to create situations that are perceived as real.  This phenomenon of the mind allows emotionally charged memories from the past to be neutralized - in other words, this allows us to heal trauma. When we use the mind to vividly imagine things the way we would have wanted them to have happened, the subconscious accepts these newly created positive scenarios. This results in the neutralization of negative feelings associated with the original memories, freeing us from trauma, erasing triggers, and liberating us from the limitations that trauma creates in our lives.  This is emotional healing. This is emotional liberation.

Hypnosis has been endorsed by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association (PDF Position Paper).

Since 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recommended hypnotherapy as an effective approach for anxiety, smoking cessation, and several medical conditions.

 
Hypnotherapy sessions
Fees and Session Length

 

Initial session: $160 (incl. HST), up to 2 hours.

Goal: Intake, assessment, and usually time for full hypnotherapy session.

 

Occasionally, an initial assessment may result in a recommendation that hypnotherapy is not the best path forward for you and other approaches can then be utilized or recommended. A 15-minute phone call can help in finding out the best approach for you, but note this is not a complete assessment and we reserve the right to recommend alternative approaches based on ethics, expertise, and experience.

Follow-on sessions: $140 (incl. HST), up to 1.5 hours.

In-Person Sessions

 

In-person sessions are held at our office located within the Zentai Wellness Centre, Suite 302, 120 Carlton Street, just a few minutes walk from the College Park TTC Subway Station. 

Preparation for your session

 

Upon booking an in-person session, you will receive information by email on arrival, parking, payment and preparation.

 

It’s good to select an appointment time when you will be:

  • Well-rested (good night’s sleep) and naturally (not from caffeine) high mental energy.  If you are not well-rested, the mind has a harder time focusing and accessing positive perspectives.

  • Not caffeinated. Avoid coffee two hours before a session. Caffeine activates the nervous system and the mind, which can limit your ability to relax, a key aspect of hypnosis.

  • Less stressed than at other times in your day or week. This makes it easier to relax. For people with a stressful day job during the week, a weekend late morning or afternoon is often an optimal time.

Approach and Philosophy for Sessions

 

As someone considering hypnotherapy as a solution, you may have a single issue you would like to work on or you may have a long list of things you’d like to address.

 

Single Issue Clients

 

If you are someone who has a single issue that needs healing, we will get to work with the goal of bringing full resolution in your first session. Single issues can include nail biting, quitting smoking, losing weight, anxiety, insomnia, etc.

 

We will start by talking together to identify underlying causes for the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors you are looking to resolve. Most issues we are addressing in hypnotherapy are a result of an old coping or protective mechanism, which at one time made sense, but is now outdated and unhelpful. It is often only through hypnosis that we come to an understanding of our experiences and challenges.

 

While classic hypnosis approaches often go to work immediately at overriding these mechanisms through giving the subconscious positive programming, this is akin to mowing the lawn to eliminate weeds — its only a matter of time before the energy stored in the root will push up new shoots and soon reestablish the presence of the offending pattern.

 

Identifying and healing the root emotional cause is the more holistic and sustainable approach. This is like pulling up the weed by its roots, eliminating any chance for revival. Once a root has been identified, we move forward in your first session to transform that root, followed by explaining to the subconscious that there is no more reason to continue the now-redundant pattern. We then wrap up the session with visualizations of success or health in that area of your life extending into the future.

 

** As always, your health and well-being are in our top priority. We reserve the right to withhold the use of hypnosis until such time we feel it is appropriate for you. For clients in acute emotional distress or presenting significant symptoms of trauma, we may recommend the use of active discussion in the waking state to unravel core issues and complex patterns prior to using hypnosis, or we may suggest you consult with a Registered mental health professional specializing in trauma, harm reduction, or psychiatric medicine. In some cases, we  may deem it inappropriate  to use in hypnosis in the first session, or at all. **​​​​​​​

Multiple Issue Clients

If you are someone who has a list of issues that need healing, our first goals together are to:

  • Assess your goals and limitations.

  • Determine the framework within which we can work and develop a recommended therapeutic approach.

  • Identify any limiting beliefs around your ability to heal and respond by teaching you about how we can heal with hypnotherapy.

  • Get you immediate relief by working on the deepest core issue that you are willing to work on. These is typically done by bringing healing to major painful themes and painful events from your past. Often multiple issues are interrelated and by working at the core issues, other issues disappear.

 

It’s always interesting to see where the movement occurs after a first session such as this. Some issues are easily healed or shifted, while others can require more focused time and attention in follow-on sessions.

While we generally recommend sessions be spaced 1-2 weeks apart, the timing is ultimately up to you. The content we focus on each time is always determined through discussion and agreement.

Here is an outline of the steps that we generally take with multiple-issue clients:

  1. Examine the list of symptoms in want of healing, and tie them to core themes/issues.

  2. Conduct a general first session addressing all core issues we are aware of at this time.

  3. Evaluate efficacy of session, through (a) your feedback to us of your subjective experience, and (b) you observing yourself over the days following the session and then sharing with us what symptoms were alleviated, and which symptoms remain.

  4. Discuss and decide whether additional session work is wanted (up to you based on your urgency in addressing remaining issues) and likely to be helpful (based on the success in changing symptoms as a result of the previous session).

  5. Either conduct an additional focused session, or end course of treatment.

 

After each session, we return to Step 3, evaluating success, and then Step 4, determining if further work is wanted and likely to be helpful.

** As always, your health and well-being are in our top priority. We reserve the right to withhold the use of hypnosis until such time we feel it is appropriate for you. For clients in acute emotional distress or presenting significant symptoms of trauma, we may recommend the use of active discussion in the waking state to unravel core issues and complex patterns prior to using hypnosis, or we may suggest you consult with a Registered mental health professional specializing in trauma, harm reduction, or psychiatric medicine. In some cases, we  may deem it inappropriate  to use in hypnosis in the first session, or at all. **​​​​​​​

 
What is holistic counseling?

Holistic counseling incorporates the best available techniques for mental and emotional exploration and transformation that are possible without using hypnosis.

From our backgrounds in hypnotherapy, we are accustomed to guiding our clients to create deep and lasting change in a short amount of time. We bring this approach and commitment to rapid and powerful transformation into our holistic counseling sessions.

Our counseling sessions are more than just providing good advice. Our holistic counseling draws upon various cutting edge and solutions-focused methodologies.

Specific therapeutic activities used in holistic counseling sessions include:

  • Guided self-inquiry to uncover your core values, drives, and limiting or negative assumptions and beliefs

  • Guided self-inquiry into your thoughts and feelings

  • Examination of and feedback on your lifestyle components – familial, social, nutritional, environmental, occupational, spiritual, etc.

  • Active, guided reframing of situations, events, themes and dynamics in your life

  • Providing you with perspective and context to remove judgment, shame and guilt

  • Reworking limiting perspectives and assumptions

  • Teaching you self-management techniques informed by the latest science on resilience

  • Emotional education so you better understand your feelings and what to do with them

These sessions often include homework and practices to continue outside the sessions. As with everything we do, our goal is your transformation; greater connection to self, others and the world; and moving out of limited, unexamined automatic responses and into an open, spacious relationship to your thoughts and feelings.

Who is holistic counseling for?

Life rarely stands still, and when it does, chances are your mind does not. Whether you’re looking for a total overhaul of your thoughts and emotional patterns, for support through a life transition, or simply to fine-tune and improve your level of resilience and skillfulness in dealing with life, holistic counseling can help.

Do I need to be doing hypnotherapy sessions too?

Absolutely not. These sessions stand on their own.

What if I am already coming for hypnotherapy?

Our holistic counseling sessions are great adjunct sessions to work on goal setting, accountability, and deep, guided inquiry into your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. These are powerful sessions designed for immediate turnarounds on conflicting or difficult thoughts and perspectives that are no longer serving you.

How much does it cost?

$140 (incl. HST) for 90 minutes.

How do you book a session?

Just click below. Sessions are available for in-person or phone/WhatsApp/Skype upon request.

Holistic Counseling Sessions
 
Hypnotherapy by Phone, WhatsApp, Skype
Remote sessions are just as effective as in-person sessions. 

 

Once we start the hypnosis, your eyes are closed and the only connection between us is through the voice, so hypnotherapy is perfectly suited to be done remotely. Nowadays, an increasing number of therapists and coaches are doing their work by phone, WhatsApp and Skype.

Phone, WhatsApp, Skype

Your session can be done by phone, WhtasApp or Skype.

A simple cell phone headset or earbuds is recommended; otherwise, a speaker phone, or computer speaker works.

 

Preparation

It’s good to select an appointment time when you will be:

  • ​Well-rested (good night’s sleep) and naturally (not from caffeine) high mental energy.  If you are not well-rested, the mind has a harder time focusing and accessing positive perspectives.

  • Not caffeinated. Avoid coffee two hours before a session. Caffeine activates the nervous system and the mind, which can limit your ability to relax, a key aspect of hypnosis.

  • Less stressed than at other times in your day or week. This makes it easier to relax. For people with a stressful day job during the week, a weekend late morning or afternoon is often an optimal time.

 
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you'll find answers to all the most commonly asked questions clients have about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. If you are scheduling a Free 15 Minute Consult Call please make sure to read this page BEFORE your scheduled call. 

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxation we enter into every day — while we’re reading, watching TV, falling asleep, waking up, and daydreaming. It is a state of highly focused attention. Being in hypnosis is incredibly relaxing and usually brings a sense of peace and well-being.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the name for applying transformational techniques while in a state of hypnosis.

Is hypnosis similar to meditation?

The state of hypnosis is essentially the same state of mind individuals strive for during meditation. What is the difference? In meditation, one generally seeks to clear the mind of all thoughts while in the clear and focused state; whereas in hypnosis, one is generally there to use the power of that state for a specific transformational purpose.

Is the client awake and fully aware of the process or do they go under a dream like/trance state?

Hypnosis is a spectrum with different depths. I work in lighter and medium states, which is like having your eyes closed, being deeply relaxed, and being in state of rich visualization. But you are always aware of where you are and the situation and you are always in control.

What does hypnosis do?

Hypnosis reduces or eliminates the activity of the conscious mind, calms the nervous system, and allows the benefits of a relaxed, focused state to come to the surface. In hypnosis there is an enhanced ability to:

  • Access deep self-knowledge and wisdom

  • Experience natural ease, well-being, and grace

  • Step out of a negative thought pattern or perspective

  • See a more positive perspective, to embody hope, to release attachment to outcome, and to forgive

  • Revisit and reinterpret memories from the past in a broader, more supportive context

  • Reveal emotions that may be associated with and causing psychosomatic illness

  • Influence physiological processes through visualization (medical hypnotherapy)

 

What is the conscious mind?

The conscious mind is the name given to describe a certain set of mental functions in the waking state. Typically when we talk about the conscious mind, we are talking about the analytical part of the mind — it is the part of us that judges, analyzes, scrutinizes and filters the information and experiences we encounter.

Our conscious mind is where we experience our running “stream of consciousness”, our self-talk, our fears, our doubts, and our sense of limitations. The conscious mind is rooted in what we generally think of as “reality” and generally only believes things to be possible when they make logical sense in the context of our past experiences. When the conscious mind is relaxed, and its functions subside, anything is possible. This is what happens when we dream at night — the most fantastical dreams of flying or other seemingly impossible feats and circumstances seem completely feasible and we believe them to be real. This is because the conscious mind is out of the way – dreams occur in the subconscious.

 

What is the subconscious mind?

Our subconscious mind a name used to describe a certain set of mental functions that occur below our level of conscious awareness. These activities occur regardless of being awake or asleep. The dream state is a great insight into the function of this so-called subconscious.

The subconscious mind does not judge or filter experiences. It believes what it is told and generally holds onto those beliefs permanently. The subconscious is where all our memories and beliefs are stored, where our emotions are generated, and where our imagination lies.

As children, we generally don’t have very developed conscious filters before the age of 10, explaining why children believe much of what they are told. Children don’t yet have enough life experience by which to judge or filter new information as being correct or reasonable. This is why so many of our emotional challenges as adults lie in events or circumstances from our childhood. Parents who don’t show love to their children or who abuse their children verbally or otherwise can cause deep-rooted negative beliefs in the child about the self and the world. Common examples include believing that they are inadequate, undeserving, unloveable, unimportant, unvalued, unappreciated, etc.

 

So what makes hypnosis so powerful?

Hypnosis opens up the subconscious mind to the way it was when we were children – malleable and open to changes in belief. This is extremely powerful since it allows a skilled therapist to literally undo damage that was done through a person’s misinterpretation of earlier life experiences.

While regular psychotherapy (talk therapy) allows a client to understand on an intellectual level how an earlier life experience affects their current psychology (and in the process provides some empowerment), hypnotherapy targets the actual experience, reframes how it is perceived, and completely changes the associated emotional context and resultant belief.

Working with the subconscious mind directly also allows incredible changes to occur physiologically. There exists a very strong connection between the subconscious mind and our physical body. Science is only beginning to understand the mechanisms of these connections, yet in the meantime we have found that simple hypnotic and visualization methods can improve or eliminate a large range of medical conditions.

 

How deep will I go?

How deep you will go, depends on a variety of factors:

  • The strength of your desire or motivation to reach your transformational goal. The more you really want to achieve whatever it is you are seeking hypnotherapy for, the more “on board” your whole being will be with engaging in the process.

  • The level of comfort and trust you have with your hypnotherapist (rapport). Allowing another person to guide you through the hypnosis experience can make some people feel vulnerable, particularly if they have never experienced hypnosis before and don’t know what to expect. Naturally, allowing one’s self to go to deeper levels of relaxation and comfort requires a certain level of trust and confidence in your hypnotherapist. It is important to follow your gut instincts when choosing a hypnotherapist. Also, it helps to seek a hypnotherapist that describes a life and healing philosophy that matches your own. A hypnotherapist with a value set close to your own will act synergistically to accelerate the change you are seeking.​​

  • Your previous experience with hypnosis or meditation. The ability to go into hypnosis, like meditation or any other activity in our lives, improves with practice. Individuals who experience multiple sessions of hypnosis usually experience successively deeper hypnotic states. Each session is training for the mind, and as someone has reaches a certain depth in their first session, the feeling of that state is often noted in the mind as a reference point from which they can go deeper during the next session. For individuals with some apprehension of the process, this increase in depth is also likely caused by increasing levels of trust in the hypnotherapist, and a realization of how incredibly enjoying the hypnotic state feels.​​

  • Preconceived ideas about hypnosis. If you have any negative, preconceived ideas about hypnosis that you have not had resolved with your hypnotherapist in your pre-session talk (pre-talk), you may not be completely open to the experience. This resistance can cause mental distraction from the focus required to both experience deeper levels of hypnosis, and achieve your therapeutic goals. Your hypnotherapist should ask you in the pre-talk whether you have any previous experience with hypnosis, and if you have any concerns they can put to ease. If you are not asked about any previous experience concerns, make sure to ask about what you can expect during the session — it will positively impact your results.​​

  • Your natural mental flexibility and skill. Individuals have a wide range of natural skill or flexibility in shifting states. Some people go into a very deep hypnotic state during their very first experience, while others may take several sessions before getting to that point. The reasons for this variation in individuals likely depends on a number of factors, some of which incorporate some of the factors described above – personality (how trusting you are in general), ability to relax, stress level, and right brain-left brain dominance (highly creative and imaginative people often engage in the process more easily) are some of the commonly accepted factors.

 

Do I need to go into deep hypnosis to achieve my goals?

Usually not. Most of the work can be done in a light state of hypnosis, where the client is actively participating in the process, and emerges fully aware of what transpired. However, deep trance is beneficial when working with particular topics whose solutions lie outside of our conscious awareness, requiring us to access information stored in the subconscious mind. Such instances where deep trance is beneficial includes the recovery of lost memories, detailed memory recall as when trying to recall the location of a lost object, and finding the subconscious root of a psychosomatic physical ailment.

 

What does being in hypnosis feel like?

As you go into hypnosis, you will feel a deepening relaxation. A good state of hypnosis is similar to that wonderful feeling of just gaining awareness as you wake up in the morning. Your body is still very much asleep, and your conscious range of awareness is very narrow, but perhaps focused on a dream, an idea, a feeling or an image. Physiologically, going into hypnosis is similar to falling asleep, except with hypnosis, your mind stays aware while your body goes to sleep. During hypnosis, you will likely lose total awareness of your body, as your mind is completely focused on whatever is being discussed at the time. When you do turn attention to your body, you will often feel like it is extremely heavy. Your heart rate has slowed down, your breathing has slowed, and your body temperature will have dropped slightly. At the end of the session, when you emerge from the hypnotic state, you may not be able to move your body for the first few moments. Your mind typically wakes up first, then your body, and you have the desire to stretch out, just as if waking up from a nap. After the session is over, you will typically feel so relaxed that it can feel like you’ve just had a full body massage. Your stress levels will be very low, you will feel very calm, peaceful, and centered.

 

Will I cluck like a chicken? Bark like a dog?

Many of us have seen a stage hypnosis show, or know someone who took part in such a show. Stage hypnosis utilizes a very deep state of hypnosis that not everyone enters into naturally. Stage hypnosis is an excellent display of the sheer power and malleability of the subconscious mind when the function of the conscious mind is temporarily suspended. These experiences are far removed from clinical hypnosis which is a well recognized and serious therapeutic modality. Everything done in a therapeutic session is done in complete cooperation and agreement with you, the client. Hypnotherapy clients usually feel a sense of awareness throughout their sessions and are able to recall what transpired. Occasionally some individuals in deep hypnosis will experience a natural amnesia and will not remember portions of the session.

How many sessions are needed to see permanent results? 

Permanent results are often seen from the first session, but it varies by person. The extent of those results can vary widely as well, from marginal improvement, to a complete resolution of one’s issue. Often one session is enough to achieve a goal. Other times, a more gradual and layered approach is appropriate. Each session is entered with the optimism of full and spontaneous healing. And while this happens frequently with the majority of clients, your ability to achieve this for yourself depends on your level of openness, trust, and comfort level with facing the core of your issues, which often means looking at the memories that gave rise to the core issue in the first place.

As with any good holistic practitioners, we work with you to heal the root cause of your issue(s). When people can heal the core issue, they almost always find rapid and lasting relief from symptoms. Hypnotherapy works to identify core limiting beliefs that often date back to childhood and directly change them out for more empowered perspectives. Guiding you to your own internal wisdom to generate these alternative perspectives is a key aspect of the work, and to generate the healing answers for yourself is also great at building self-esteem. Core beliefs are simply deep-set thoughts that are often outside of your conscious awareness. When you can bring these core issues to light for yourself, you have the power to change them. And when you heal your thinking at a core level, mental and emotional peace naturally follow.

 

Does hypnotherapy work independently or can it be combined with therapy?

It works independently, and also works wonderfully in combination with standard talk therapy. Revelations and insights from talk therapy can be “downloaded” in hypnotherapy to the deeper, emotional levels of the mind. It’s a great combo.

 

Do anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications interfere with hypnotherapy?

While there doesn’t seem to be any research conducted on this topic, our experience has been that clients who are on psychopharmaceuticals sometimes have reduced ability to visualize make emotional connection to memories and imagery. The success of hypnotherapy is closely tied to these two abilities, and so yes, these types of medications can sometimes interfere. But not always. I have had medicated clients who were still able to achieve powerful insights and breakthroughs. Each drug and each person are unique, so if you are concerned about this, you can get an idea of how you might do in a live session, I can send you a free audio downloads that you can listen to see if you are able to have a rich experience or not.

 

Is the client in control through the whole process or is the hypnotherapist completely in-charge?

You can think of it like being guided through a guided visualization. There are no control dynamics because overwhelmingly you are generating the content for your own experience and transformation.

How many sessions will I need to do?

We always recommend that clients stay open to doing up to five sessions on an issue they are working on. This allows the time and space to be as comprehensive as possible. That said, so many of our clients see amazing results, if not total resolution of the issue in as little as one or two sessions. Everyone is individual and coming to the table with their own unique circumstances, life experiences, and history. We work with our clients to get the best results possible as quickly as possible, and support our clients to do their best work and direct their own healing trajectory. We can always make personalized suggestions in a session about how to best move forward with session work.

What makes for successful hypnotherapy sessions?

The greatest factor is you. We find that the clients that are the most successful share some common traits that include, but aren't limited to;

  • Being deeply committed to their transformation

  • Being courageous about facing what's not working for them in their lives

  • Having a deep desire to change

  • Feeling a desire to work on themselves and aren't looking for "quick fixes"

  • Being honest with themselves 

  • Having an openness and curiosity about themselves and their lives

  • Being coachable/teachable and want to learn ways to live better

  • Wanting to develop emotional flexibility