In my work as a college counselor, I find that hypnosis is very beneficial for students in the areas of relaxation, stress management, improving study skills, changing habits, and particularly overcoming test anxiety. 

The best part is, hypnosis accomplishes the goal in one or two sessions what could easily take weeks of counseling.  Because the hypnosis session is recorded and the student is able to listen to the recording as often as needed, this makes for a flexible and effective method of self-change that fits easily into busy schedules.

Self-hypnosis is another resource that can be easily taught and benefits students by allowing them to take responsibility and make necessary changes to improve their study habits, increase motivation, work on self-defeating habits, and enhance a healthier lifestyle.

I get this question a lot.  The answer is YES, hypnosis can help you quit and can make smoking cessation permanent; but, there are a few key things that are important for you to know.

Send me your questions/comments/concerns about hypnosis for quitting smoking, or any habits, and I’ll answer them for you.

Yes. Whether an object has been missing for years or just recently misplaced, hypnosis can help in finding it, provided it was lost by you in a place where it would not have been found and removed by someone else. Your subconscious mind, like a movie camera, keeps a record of all your actions, therefore accessing it through hypnosis can be most effective in finding lost objects.
When we lose things of importance to us, anxiety sets in. If you are deeply attached to the object, such as a lost wedding ring, there may be guilt and other emotions thrown in. The first step in hypnosis is to relieve the emotional overlay that may be preventing recall. Next, through hypnotic regression, you will be brought back to the day they lost the item and do a mental review of where you were and what you did the day the object was lost. For example, you may have stashed important documents in the back of the filing cabinet and forgotten about them for years. Going back to that day and remembering you were in the office at the filing cabinet when you last saw the papers leads you to later search the files thoroughly and find the elusive documents.
Another method is to do a “walk-through” where you go through all the rooms of the house, following the suggestion that once you are in the right room, you will automatically go to the spot where she last saw the object and remember where you put it.
Again, hypnosis can be very effective in cases where an object was not stolen or removed from where it was past put.


Self-hypnosis is a safe and effective means of self-improvement, the applications of which are virtually limitless. It’s a valuable tool for achieving goals, improving in sports, athletic competitions, school, social, or personal performance, and for bringing about positive changes in your health, emotions, or for whatever reasons you may have.

Here is a method for hypnotizing yourself that you can modify and add any suggestions you would like to make. This is similar to hypnosis performed in the office, only you are the hypnotist and you make up your own suggestions.

1. Begin by thinking about what you would like to accomplish. Some suggestions are: improved sleep, relaxation, managing emotions, relaxing before and during test, medical procedures or dental visits, losing weight, or quitting a habit.
2. Go to a quiet room where you will not be disturbed and sit in a comfortable chair or on a couch.
3. Close your eyes and begin to take slow, deep breaths. Prepare to relax by putting aside any worries or thoughts that you should be doing something else. If thoughts intrude, just dismiss them by telling yourself you will deal with them later.
4. Begin to relax your body starting with your feet, then moving up your body, telling each part to relax and let go. Imagine a soothing light (your choice of color) moving through your body and causing it to relax and release tension.
5. As you exhale, imagine tension leaving your body and say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed,” over and over again.
6. Imagine yourself at the top of a staircase. As you begin to step down the stairs slowly, each step takes you deeper within yourself into a place a perfect calmness.
7. When you reach the bottom of the stairs, imagine yourself in a beautiful place where you feel perfectly calm and peaceful – a garden, the seashore, or somewhere in nature where you are carefree and surrounded by beautiful sights and sounds.
8. Now think about the thing you wish to change, accomplish, or improve, i.e. the original goal for your self-hypnosis.
9. Visualize yourself having reached this goal. Reinforce it with affirmations, such as, “I am relaxed when speaking in front of groups,” “I am an excellent test-taker,” “My piano playing is improving every day,” “I am reaching my weight goal,” I am getting healthier every day,” “I am a non-smoker,” etc.
10. Stay in this relaxed state for as long as you want, then imagine walking back up the stairs, repeating your affirmations (there may be several). At the top of the stairs, remain in the relaxed state for a while longer and when you are ready, open your eyes and affirm out loud, “I am wide awake and have accomplished my goal.”
Be patient with yourself as you start out, realizing that this is a skill that needs practice. Pretty soon, you’ll find that you are able to achieve a state of calmness and relax no matter where you are.

There are practitioners of hypnosis who claim to make people drop weight during a hypnosis session. I know of only one biological way to do that and it could get messy. Okay, so call me a skeptic. My standard answer to someone who asks, “Can hypnosis be used to lose weight?” is, “Of course, but you have to be willing to change your behaviors and commit to a healthy diet and exercise plan.”

My approach to weight loss is to counsel people on what causes weight gain, provide dietary information, devise an exercise plan, and then reinforce commitment to the plan through suggestions given under hypnosis. For all the claims on weight loss methods that require no change of diet and no exertion of energy (and there are many out there) all I can say is, the power of suggestion in advertising is amazingly strong and even the best of us can get sucked in.

If you’re serious about losing weight for health reasons, then do it sensibly. Talk to your physician, find a diet plan you can live with and enjoy, commit to an exercise routine, and use hypnosis to give you that extra “umph” to get you the results you want.

How I Got Started

June 16, 2010

I became interested in hypnosis in high school. I can’t remember exactly how, but I learned some rudimentary hypnotic techniques that I practiced on my little brother, Mike — a most willing “guinea pig.” I managed to make his arm rise up and become ‘light as a feather,’ then make it so heavy he couldn’t lift it; I ‘glued’ his knees and hands together so he couldn’t separate them. Needless to say we had a lot of fun until we got caught in the middle of a session in which Mike’s arm was  so ‘stiff as a board’  he couldn’t bend it, and my mother walked in the room. My mother’s command, “stop that nonsense” overruled my hypnotic suggestion and put an end to my early hypnosis practice.

Years later, as a counselor/therapist, I decided to learn and practice hypnosis and incorporate it with other therapies. My clients (many of them students) were interested in overcoming test anxiety, weight loss, quitting smoking, relieving stress, panic attacks, fear of public speaking, phobias, including social phobia, etc. I have found that hypnosis produces quite remarkable results in no time at all.

As for those who think hypnosis is mind control, or that it’s only possible with ‘weak-minded’ people, it is not. The strongest-minded people make the best hypnotic subjects. The fact is, you have to want to be hypnotized, in order to be hypnotized.

Thanks, Mike, for giving my hypnosis work a start.

If you’re eager to learn more, an excellent website is http://www.howstuffworks.com/hypnosis.htm.

Some people think that hypnosis is “mind control.”  If you consider that hypnosis is an opening of the mind to suggestions, we are hypnotized every day to various degrees. For example, the mother who gets her baby to sleep using soft music, low, soothing vocal tones, and repetition of sleep-producing words is using hypnosis; the preacher who engages the congregation with a story that captures their attention; the teacher who uses metaphors to plant ideas in children’s minds; the lawyer who uses convincing statements and gestures to focus the attention of and to convince a jury; the advertiser who uses lively music, images, and repetition of words to sell a product; – all of these are examples of hypnosis.

Begin to notice how hypnosis may be influencing your thinking and behavior. (Hint: pay close attention to TV commercials).


“I don’t think I can be hypnotized.” – The fact is, hypnosis is an agreement between you and the hypnotherapist. It is your decision and intention to be hypnotized that determines whether or not you can, or cannot, be hypnotized. No one can be hypnotized against their will, and no one will accept suggestions under hypnosis that are contrary to their values and innermost intentions.
“Does it work?” – Hypnosis only can work if the person being hypnotized accepts the suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. As stated previously, if the person is not in agreement with the suggestions, his/her subconscious mind will override them.
“Does it last?” – This depends on a few things. First, did the person’s subconscious mind respond to the suggestions made; second, were the suggestions reinforced over time; and third, did the person believe that the changes brought about were worth keeping up?

I intentionally record my hypnosis sessions and tell clients to listen to the recording over a period of time, especially when they feel inclined to return to an old habit or behavior. Yes, hypnosis lasts, if you continue reinforcing it.
What questions do you have about hypnosis? Feel free to use this blog to get answers or share your experiences with hypnosis.