This letter is in response to Mary Pilon, a sometimes writer for The Wall Street Journal regarding her article on Hypnosis for Financial Angst at this link: http://marypilon.blogspot.com/2008/11/hypnotists-in-todays-wsj.html
Dear Ms. Pilon: I read with great concern your article, “A Hypnotic Answer to Financial Angst.” As a former college journalism scholarship/internship recipient, I was disturbed by some errors in facts.
Case in point: 1. Hypnosis is not part of psychology. It is a standalone profession with it’s own specific employment code. 2. There is a wide range of training options between (a) taking a hypnosis course in a Psych department and calling yourself a hypnotist and, (b) taking an on-line course. I had over 600 hours of training when I graduated from the PATH Foundation. I require my students to have a minimum of 250 hours of training, classroom and practice.
I have an MBA; therefore, I come from a consulting background, not healthcare. The biggest difference between my practice and Laura Ryan-Day’s is that I would get the same results or better in five sessions or less. The paradigm I come from is not the Western allopathic medical model. I view myself as a cross between a computer programmer and a coach. I coach my clients about how to change their view of reality (Just like Keanu Reeves learned in the movie “The Matrix”) and since with hypnosis, your beliefs create your reality, I get fast results. Most non-health care hypnotists are like me.
I’ve been doing anxiety sessions for ten years now. They generally take five sessions. I’ve never had anyone come for 30 sessions for the same problem. I’ve only had a handful of clients in ten years come for that many sessions. When they do, it is because they use hypnosis like other people use massage, to relax and unwind.
Regarding anxiety clients, one medical student exclaimed after just three sessions, “Did I really come here for anxiety? I’m not anxious.” She proceeded to email her counselor of several years and tell him, “I haven’t been seeing you because I’ve been seeing a hypnotist. This stuff really works!! You should enroll in training.”
You seem to have fallen prey to the same scam being foisted on other unsuspecting writers by the American Psychological Association, and that is: People have to have medical training to be any good as hypnotists. Quite the contrary, Ms. Pilon. Wouldn’t you rather go to someone who practices full time instead of thinking of the process as only one of many tools? Would you take your computer to a brain surgeon to get it fixed? I constantly have clients tell me they wish they had come to me YEARS ago instead of spending all that time and money in counseling.
I will gladly match my abilities against any counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist in Texas, when it comes to anxiety. I will be happy to provide you with a list of others, like Jacob Bimblich, who could make the same claim. We’re tired of constantly reading that we’re not as good, safe or reliable as “health-care” trained professionals. I see at least six articles per year that make this same unsubstantiated claim. Is that really your idea of good journalism? I’m surprised a newspaper as venerated as The Wallstreet Journal allowed such shoddy editing.
I encourage you to attend our on-line Global Hypnosis Summit in March, to which I have already made certain you will be invited. Come see for yourself that we do IN FACT know what we’re talking about. And, if you’re ever in San Antonio, please be my guest for a free session. If you can’t make it here, please visit my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/mooreinspire and have a free anti-anxiety session on the house.
Best wishes, and thank you for helping hypnotists like me to set the record straight.
Director, San Antonio’s Wellness Center
If you are one of my satisfied clients, or have otherwise benefitted from hypnosis by a non-healthcare professional, I urge you to let Mary know.
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Hypnosis: THE INTERNATIONAL HYPNOSIS FEDERATION Responds to Mary Pilon
Dear Mary Pilon in your November 13, 2008 article, “A Hypnotic Answer to Financial Angst” you said, “No credentials are required to practice hypnotherapy. That has created tension between hypnotherapists who attended traditional psychology programs at major universities and those who got their degrees at online universities or have no formal training at all.” This implication is that other hypnotists are inept. Please do not propagate this illusion.
Hypnosis is a self-regulated profession and hypnosis organizations require that their members agree to high moral standards and ethics. Over 50 organizations welcome both licensed and certified hypnosis helpers. (Only two organizations claim hypno-exclusivity to licensed practitioners).
True you need no pedigree or documentation to use hypnosis or self-hypnosis. Advertisers, promoters, politicians, educators, law practitioners, parents, and religions all use hypnosis with no documentation.
When you use hypnotism as a career, you join a distinct, ethical, stand-alone profession; that of a practicing hypnotist. Professional Hypnotists, Hypnotherapists, and Hypno-counselors spend hundreds, often thousands, of hours learning and practicing hypnotic techniques. When you successfully complete your training, you receive your certificate as a sanctioned professional. Professional organizations, like the International Hypnosis Federation, offer training and conferences to update mind, body, and spirit skills.
So why “tension” from licensed people?
Question: “What is green and wrinkled, is not Kermit the Frog, and smells like cash?”
For the sake of business, a few dirty-dealers promote scare tactics against the competition. “Hypnosis” they say “is exclusively mine.” Exclusivity’s motivation… Ka-Ching… cash!
The ill are highly suggestible and vulnerable. Most licensed professionals have little or no hypnosis instruction and some unwittingly harm patients with negative and frightening suggestions. And why would someone offer drugs and surgery as a first approach to a problem that may be abated with safer approaches?
Un or misinformed professionals may try to discredit non-licensed hypnotists. “Lay” practitioners, they say, are not qualified to make a “medical assessment.” They are correct. Conversely, licensed practitioners are not educationally qualified to make a “hypnosis assessment” or practice hypnosis.
Hypnosis offers here and now solutions and differs from “talk therapy” that diagnoses and/or prescribes. That is why many wise licensed medical practitioners refer people to professional hypnotists.
1. Hypnosis Helps People Of All Ages
2. Hypnosis is Safe, Fun, Easy To Learn, And Belongs To Us All.
3. Hypnosis is Good Business
Hypnotists bring revenue into your city. Statistics from the New England School of Medicine show that over half of all people seeking health care, go to practitioners like hypnotists.
4. Hypnotists are Law-Abiding
Hypnotists are trained to satisfy local and state laws. They hold business licenses in their communities, and are active in community events.
5. Hypnosis Is A Legal Profession
Like most professions, Hypnotherapy is a non-licensed legal occupation. It is totally different and separate from other practices (like psychology, for example). Sometimes hypnosis is offered as an adjunct to a licensed profession.
6. Hypnosis Is A Self-Governed Stand-Alone Profession
Hypnosis is self-regulated and no legal certification is required. However, Professional Hypnotherapists are well trained in their specialty and are usually certified by their organization or hypnosis school. A few states and countries require some sort of registration for professionals of all sorts including hypnosis.
7. Hypnotists Belong To Professional Hypnosis Organizations and Unions
Though not required, most hypnosis practitioners belong to hypnosis organizations, like the International Hypnosis Federation, and are often affiliated with the AFLCIO hypnotists union in California. Each member agrees to a code of ethics, spends hundreds of hours learning and practicing hypnotic techniques, and regularly attends conferences.
8. People Prefer Complementary Providers
A 1993 Study published in the New England School of Medicine Journal, says providers of “unconventional” therapies (non-medical alternative therapies) had an estimated 425 patient visits in 1990. This figure exceeds the 388 million visits to primary care physicians.
Mary please come to Los Angeles March 6-8 to join us at the International Hypnosis Federation’s “It’s All About YOU Fun Conference” We would love to have you meet hundreds of terrific hypnotists who would happily let you experience it for yourself.
Love And Light,
Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD
President of the International Hypnosis Federation
SHELLEY STOCKWELL-NICHOLAS, PhD Hypnotherapist, teacher and author of 14 books including “Hypnosis How To Put A Smile On Your Face and $$ In Your Pocket” and “Stockwell’s Hypnosis Dictionary Script Book.” She is the Founder of the International Hypnosis Federation and hypnosisfederation.com.