The Skinny On Hypnotherapy

The Skinny On Hypnotherapy

With Sheri O. Zampelli,​ M.S.,​ CCH Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist an​ Interview By Laura M. Turner,​ CHHP

I admit,​ I didn't know much about hypnotherapy,​ especially for weight loss. But the​ results are undeniable. So to​ find out more,​ I sat down with Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist,​ weight loss coach and creator of​ Donate Your Weight ( to​ get the​ skinny. Here's what she told me:

Q: Sheri,​ What is​ the​ background or​ history of​ hypnotherapy?

A: Modern hypnosis is​ said to​ have been around since 1776 and has faded in​ and out of​ popularity and acceptance since then. Sigmund Freud used hypnosis in​ his practice and his theory of​ psychoanalysis was formed based on​ some of​ the​ things he liked and didn't like about hypnosis. Many therapists and doctors integrate hypnosis into their practice to​ help clients manage physical pain,​ break habits and resolve deep psychological issues.

Q: What is​ your story as​ it​ pertains to​ hypnotherapy? Why were you drawn to​ it?

A: I initially found out about hypnosis when I was desperately struggling with my weight and eating and went to​ see a​ woman named Dr. Nancy Bonus. She marketed a​ "non-diet weight loss program" and called her technique 'visualization'. it​ seems that many people call their technique visualization in​ an​ attempt to​ avoid any negative connotations previously associated with hypnosis. the​ truth is,​ many programs using 'visualization' are using some version of​ hypnosis. However,​ the​ term 'visualization' doesn't adequately describe the​ power of​ hypnosis.

The goal with hypnosis is​ not just to​ see or​ imagine something in​ your mind. the​ power of​ hypnosis depends on​ the​ state you're in​ when you visualize an​ outcome and also the​ emotions you are able to​ experience as​ a​ result of​ being in​ a​ deep,​ relaxed,​ trance-like state. the​ goal with hypnosis is​ to​ get past the​ analytical or​ logical part of​ the​ mind and to​ access the​ part of​ your mind that makes automatic,​ impulsive,​ emotionally driven decisions. With hypnosis,​ you can help your conscious mind work in​ harmony with your subconscious mind so that eventually,​ you are automatically drawn to​ new behaviors without having to​ think about it​ or​ use willpower.

Q: Why would a​ person choose hypnotherapy as​ a​ means of​ promoting weight loss?

A: a​ good reason to​ choose hypnotherapy as​ a​ means of​ promoting weight loss is​ because hypnosis helps you get past the​ critical factor and access that part of​ the​ mind (the old brain) that's like a​ little brat and insists,​ "I want cookies,​ I want candy,​ I don't want to​ exercise." That old brain (amygdala) wants instant gratification and rewards,​ it​ doesn't care about consequences or​ logic. You can reprogram that part of​ the​ mind to​ look forward to​ health,​ fitting in​ smaller clothes,​ dancing,​ playing,​ getting off medication and all the​ other benefits of​ weight loss,​ suddenly you have its cooperation. Now your conscious and subconscious mind are working together. Your subconscious mind doesn't care about good or​ bad,​ should or​ shouldn't,​ right or​ wrong. in​ fact,​ the​ subconscious mind seems to​ rebel against rules,​ but it​ loves rewards.

Q: What would a​ private session involve in​ terms of​ expense and time commitment? Do you offer private sessions via internet?

A: Private sessions can range from $75 to​ $300 an​ hour. My per session fee is​ $150 but I prefer to​ offer six-session packages for $700. I do offer coaching over the​ phone and I will create a​ personalized hypnosis CD for the​ client after I've been working with them for about three weeks. the​ truth is,​ when it​ comes to​ weight loss,​ most people will not benefit from only one session. Weight and eating issues are very complex and sometimes begin in​ infancy. Solving your weight problem permanently usually requires work on​ emotional triggers,​ psychological triggers,​ habits,​ self-talk and self-esteem. it​ also includes making changes to​ your environment and mindset related to​ food,​ eating,​ fun,​ rewards and weight.

Some clients have experienced trauma or​ abuse that is​ the​ root of​ their weight problem. Food becomes a​ friend and excess weight becomes a​ security blanket. Unless trauma is​ resolved,​ the​ weight and poor eating habits are likely to​ resurface again and again,​ especially in​ times of​ stress. However,​ it​ is​ possible to​ resolve these issues and take back your power if​ you are willing to​ commit to​ the​ process.

Q: Could a​ person get the​ benefits of​ hypnotherapy on​ their own and how?

A person can absolutely benefit from using a​ CD recording of​ a​ hypnosis session. CD's often work great for motivation and focus and staying on​ track with new goals. CD's can also help you break habits. a​ self-motivated person with little or​ no past trauma or​ abuse might find that a​ CD is​ sufficient to​ attain their goals. However if​ the​ CD alone seems to​ stop working or​ lose effectiveness it​ might be either time for a​ new CD or​ time to​ see a​ professional who can help you overcome roadblocks that might be standing in​ their way of​ gaining the​ full benefits of​ hypnosis. Self-sabotage can also be a​ factor in​ the​ effectiveness of​ hypnosis. if​ a​ person holds core beliefs such as​ "I don't deserve good things,​ I'm worthless,​ Why bother,​ People will think I'm snooty,​ slutty,​ selfish,​ etc." then hypnosis alone may not be enough to​ overcome those beliefs. My book,​ From Sabotage to​ Success offers a​ wide variety of​ tools for overcoming self-sabotage.

The Skinny On Hypnotherapy

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