You have made a name for yourself in the sports world for helping athletes such as Lou Amundsen and Trevor Cahill improve their game. Eric Young Jr. credits you with helping him to up his batting average by keeping his mind in the moment. How did you get into this business?
PF: I had been a massage therapist and wanted more for my clients. I looked into hypnotherapy to improve the clients’ mental ability. I then was asked to work with a high school football team as their mental trainer. I was to bring the boys out of a negative environment and have them leave behind the past. I was teaching massage therapy to the students while helping the teams keep focus and applying my hypnotherapy/sports mental training techniques for confidence so the athletes could excel. At the same time I also had private clients and worked 60 hours a week. The students took on the mindset that they were unbeatable and could be the state champs. I had them visualizing it and living it. The school hadn’t won a state championship in 25 years so my job was going to be tough. After the first season of the team using what I taught them they won State Championship and they continued for 3 years in a row. During this time I was doing both massage and hypnosis and I couldn’t make up my mind to keep doing both or choose. Until one game when I walked off a curb, fell and broke my femur. I had a lot of time to think and that’s when I realized my passion of only hypnotherapy. I have been practicing hypnotherapy for 16 years and have loved ever minute of it. My success comes from clients wanting change. They use the tools I show them to benefit their life for positivity and consistency in their lives.
A lot of people have the idea that hypnosis is either a fun parlor game or a dangerous trick that can make people do things they don’t want to do. Can you share a little about what it is and isn’t?
PF: Hypnosis can allow the person to do things only if they allow it. I myself cannot have people do anything against their will. But, I can show them, if they allow it, that they can achieve greatness. Hypnosis shows are a good use as a marketing tool or demo so people can be aware that it’s not so scary and its all for the good. Hypnosis is not mystical or taking control, you are in total control. It’s not meditation that clears your mind. What it does is put suggestions to help your mind be productive with positive thoughts, promote relaxation and even a quiet deep sleep. Even while asleep, your mind is listening.
Is there an ideal participant? Is there anyone hypnotherapy would not work for?
PF: Everyone is an ideal candidate. We all get hypnotized 8 to 10 times a day: by daydreaming, by being at a computer, by a TV or even by being at a sporting event. We can all be under hypnosis, but only if you allow it. You don’t have to believe in hypnotherapy, you just have to be open to it. Sometimes, depending on the situation, people that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are unable to focus. In that case, I refuse the client until they are sober. Also, analytic people might have a harder time to allow it to work because they believe they will be out of control. Police officers, doctors, anyone that needs to be in control might have a harder time. I have found that I can get anyone hypnotized once they give me permission to do so. Even when hypnotized, they are always in control and can stop the process at any time. My techniques reassure them that they are safe and they can achieve by listening and allowing it to happen. Give it time to work and be patient.
One of the things I loved so much about working with you was our pre-sessions where we just talked like two friends. I felt I was blabbering on, but once the session began, it was clear you were listening with a laser focus. How does this process work on your end? How do you know what to pull?
PF: Being a good listener is important. By taking the time to speak with you, the nervousness of the unknown goes away and you began to talk freely telling me the smallest things that sometimes others overlook. When you were talking I heard other issues that came up that could of been a part of what was causing your mind to stop you from moving forward. The more time I spend with a client, I learn what is important to you, your drive, your dreams and your goals. For you, afterward, it seemed your mind accepted what I asked effortlessly and immediately. You gave me all the clues and the right tools to help you by allowing me to suggest and guide you in the right direction without any hesitation. I actually used your words in a positive way because that was what your mind was thinking and you had mentioned several times throughout the talk. I used it to your advantage to help you gain confidence and success.
I often found myself feeling giddy and even repeating your exact words to myself in the mirror and really feeling they were my own. There was this calm that came over me when I would say words of self love that I never felt before. Can you tell me more about how the brain takes in suggestions and processes the information? Was I getting subliminal messages? How does it work exactly?
PF: First, I gave you suggestions associated with water or color so it can be a trigger for your subconscious mind to respond to. When I told your mind that every time you drink water you feel confident and seeing the color red gives you empowerment which made you happy. You confirmed it by smiling and feel giddy. This proved to you that you can do anything once you set your mind on it. My background music is a special mix with subliminal positive affirmations with bio feed music. Also, my services are offered worldwide through Skype, phone and in person. I work with clients in Germany, Japan, England, Sweden and the US. Hypnosis can be done without physically being in my office. The mind processes thoughts, ideas and images in 13 milliseconds; it’s just that fast. So what we think is what we get. Subconsciously, our mind can think while we sleep. As the mind sleeps it opens up to allow the suggestions to take action. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and make believe. By giving your mind the path it needs to take in positivity in a way it feels and thinks is right, it will keep giving you that response. By leaving the bad habits and patterns behind, your mind is giving you new results that can change and improve what you are asking.
I came to you for what seems like a complete life overhaul, but you have said that some people come to overcome one specific challenge. Can you share some of the challenges you have helped clients overcome?
It seems each time there is new and different situations that come up in our daily lives. Hypnotherapy can help in almost everything. Dating is a hot topic; I deal with relationship issues and even break ups. My athletes that I help are of all ages and levels from grad school to professional. Doctors send me clients for anxiety, PTSD, stress, weight loss, etc. I have been working with a well known addiction specialist in Los Angeles and their rehab centers for addictions for alcohol, gambling and drugs. This is part of their recovery program to gain clarity and confidence to achieve and never give up. Also, the basics like quitting smoking, abundance and coaching. The challenges are very similar for all of my clients: they want change and they don’t know how to achieve it alone. They feel they can but sometimes they need that extra boost of confidence or focus in all that they do. Weight loss clients have a hard time reaching their goal weight because they feel they have failed in the past and they probably will again. Smokers feel they can have one cigarette; this is false and they need to know they are healthier and better without the bad habit. Addiction clients are challenging because they come from all different walks of life and of all ages. Once they see they can overcome, be productive and be responsible for themselves they start to be clean and sober which leads to a healthier lifestyle.
You once said that a 20 minutes session served the body the same way as several hours of sleep. What are some of the other benefits of hypnotherapy?
PF: The benefits are amazing in so many ways, It can help, change and improve your life just by thinking and believing. Not only is a 20 minute session like getting several hours of sleep, hypnotherapy can also lead to better nights sleep and no more insomnia. It can also help you have a clear, fresh outlook which can make you happy. Another benefit is motivation and being able to focus on your goals. In sports, hypnotherapy can help enhance an athlete’s talents and skills. For weight loss, clients are able to say “no” and let go of the guilt associated with food. Hypnotherapy allows people to be able to take control of their lives, when, before, they felt out of control.
I remember our last session when you told me that our pre-session really showed you how much the therapy had helped me to grow and that last session was so powerful and more about moving forward and conquering life than healing the past. How do you know when you have been successful? Do you ever feel a client is not “getting it” so to speak?
PF: How I know it’s successful is by the actions of the client. If they follow my instructions to play the download in between sessions and keep their session regular, it does make a difference. As you know, it gives your mind insight. Success is not focused on me, it’s for my client. It’s what they want from that session. I know I truly hit the mark when they see changes happening without realizing it but others see it. Then they are a believer in themselves more. If a client comes to me doing hypnotherapy to please someone else, then I don’t even consider them. The reason is because they need to be 100% in; they need to be doing it for themselves. Many times I refuse them and they will return knowing it’s for them. They just needed time to think how important it is. Other times a client forces themselves into hypnosis and that doesn’t happen naturally. When I ask them what is happening they tell me how they are nervous and they want it to work so badly that they are trying too hard. At the end it all works out. That’s why I normally spend time with my clients so they are relaxed and feel this is right, never forced or feeling it’s their last resource.
Thank you so much for such an exceptional experience. To learn more about the science behind hypnotherapy, click here and to contact Pattie, visit http://www.thearizonahypnotist.com/