Frequently Asked Questions
Daniel explaining hypnotherapy to students at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (2016)
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been defined as an altered state of consciousness characterized by focused imagination and a heightened receptivity to suggestion.
Can everyone be hypnotized?
It's a misconception that many people cannot be hypnotized. This is based on stage hypnotists and stories of those who participated in group hypnosis sessions. Individual clinical hypnotherapy is different. While some may take more time than others, I've only encountered 5 clients in over 10 years who I could not hypnotize. It hasn't happened in years!
Will I be aware of what is happening?
There are 15 levels of trance, and your awareness decreases as you go to the deeper levels. At the superficial levels you might hear everything I say. The middle levels get kind of dreamy and your conscious mind might "miss" some of what I say. At the deepest levels (after many sessions) you might "miss" most of what I say. However, you are not unconscious or asleep. Your subconscious is always listening and aware. Even in a deep dream, you are aware if your spouse kicks you, right?
Can I be forced to do something against my will?
This is another misconception. Even in stage hypnotist shows, every participant has a line he or she won't go past. Part of the fun is helping the audience believe the hypnotist is in total control, but that is just not true. NEVER! The men and women on the stage volunteered and agreed to be silly. And, as long as the hypnotist stays within those bounds they will cooperate. Similarly, the idea of a hypnotist getting someone to rob a bank or kill someone is totally ridiculous!
Can I drive and go to work or home right after a session?
Yes! It may take you 5 minutes to get fully present, but afterwards you will feel relaxed and ready to get on with your day or night. The only lingering effects are positive ones!
How many sessions will I need?
The vast majority of my patients will experience improvement after just the first session. However, I am usually working with issues or habits that go back years or decades. One-session promises usually use negative conditioning and don't address the underlying problem. That is not how I work. Many people who have stopped smoking that way end up with a weight issue or another issue because the underlying problem wasn't healed.
I always recommend at least 4 sessions to have the best chance for a permanent solution. More involved cases require more sessions. However, while you are always welcome to come back at any time, the vast majority of my patients do not need follow-up sessions once we completed the course of treatment.
Do you take insurance?
No, like many other alternative healthcare professionals these services must be paid out of pocket. There have been instances where payment was completed through a Health Savings Account, but the program rules must allow it. The good news is for weight loss or smoking cessation services, my fees can be deducted as a medical expense on your income taxes.
Is your office conveniently located?
The office has been located in the same building since 2007. It is a few hundred feet from the intersection of East Broadway and the 101 (Price Freeway), across the street from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. The office is convenient for people who live or work in Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale. Patients have also traveled from Sun City West, Prescott, Glendale, Casa Grande and Tucson.
How does hypnosis compare to other treatment options?
Most patients have tried a variety of methods before stepping into my office. Diet plans have a terrible track record, and without doubt, hypnotherapy works faster than various forms of psychotherapy or counseling. I've treated many people who made more progress with me in a few months than they had with a psychotherapist in many years! I do believe counseling can be useful in certain cases, but there is no comparison in speed or efficacy when compared to hypnotherapy.
I am also not a fan of a pharmaceutical approach--although again, there may be cases where it can be useful. The best proof for me is provided by the Veterans Administration that switched from using hypnosis for "shell shock" or PTSD in the 1980s to a protocol of group counseling and pharmaceuticals. If that approach were effective, why would we have 22 veterans killing themselves every day? Perhaps millions of other veterans suffer with drug and alcohol abuse in an attempt to quiet their demons. This is a tragedy.
How should I pick a hypnotherapist?
There are people who pick a practitioner based on fees or proximity to their home or job. I don't agree with that approach. In every profession there are those who are more skilled and those who are less skilled. If you read my testimonials, you'll see I often help people make significant life changes. Could just anyone do it?
Another variable is where a hypnotherapist practices. Many of my competitors practice out of their home. While that is a cost savings for the practitioner, it could raise pet/allergy issues, extraneous noise concerns or worries about safety. My office is in a professional office building that houses many small businesses. It is centrally located, with plenty of free parking in our lots.
Training in this profession varies greatly. There are competitors who were trained and certified over the internet. Others whose training is less than impressive. And, very, very few who have any sort of psychological education--on an undergraduate or graduate level. So choose based on what's important to you. My only advice is: Treat this as an important decision, because it is!