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  • Is Hypnosis a Gateway for Demons?

    Today I took a call to NBCCH from an anxious gentleman. He wanted to know whether hypnosis could have caused his friend to be possessed by demons. He was frightened for his friend who went to see a hypnotist because she is now in a psych ward “acting like a baby.” As a psychophysiologist, it first comes to mind for me that many things, other than demons, could land someone in a psych ward. My training would cause me to think of things that would impact her brain, and therefore her behavior. The friend could have had a stroke, onset of a seizure disorder, or a score of metabolic issues could have reached clinical significance and affected her behavior. But this phone call should be a warning to every person, no matter how well trained in hypnosis, no matter how credentialled, that there is a segment of the population that believes that hypnosis causes a person to become vulnerable to demonic possession. In more rational language, demonic possession could be called malpractice. This is no laughing matter. It’s very simple to protect yourself from such an accusation: Videorecord every session you have and keep it password protected on an external drive. Of course, you must obtain permission, in writing, to videorecord a session. Make it part of your consent for treatment. If a person refuses, you might elect to refuse treatment. (Unless you think that treating that person without recording the session could be worth dealing with lawyers in the future.) You can make recording a session more palatable by offering a copy of the session to them, by request. Now back to today’s call… The idea that malevolent spirits cause illness and aberrant behavior is woven into history. Fear of demonic possession and exorcism goes back thousands of years into primitive cultures, and persists into modern eastern and western religions. Medicine, as practiced in tents by shaman, and even today by mental health professionals, looks at psychological disturbance as being a force or entity that must be wrestled out of the depths of a person. This means that treatment may require facing one’s demons, so to speak. The progenitor of psychology, Dr. Freud, was a clinical hypnotherapist, and he believed that at the core of people lurked deeply disturbing, raging, impulses of homicide and molestation. Something nearly demonic, but certainly evil. This concept that something evil is lurking within continues to thrive. Hence the expression ‘Rotten to the Core.’ And the reputation of hypnosis, as evidenced by this distressed phone call, is that the experience of hypnosis can render a person’s core vulnerable to the rotten forces of the universe. How does hypnotherapy win such a corrupt reputation? Where are people exposed to hypnosis in the world? For most, by far, it would be by watching a stage hypnotist or magician. These professionals cause a group of strangers to behave in bizarre ways, or cause confusion, and maybe even (worse) cause “post”-hypnotic behavior. Of course, we know that successful stage hypnotists are trained in how to select highly susceptible subjects.According to studies using the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS), approximately 10-15% of people are highly hypnotizable. While this may mean that they will quack like a duck when they hear the word green, it also means that they are highly responsive to language. And not just the language of a hypnotist, but also to the language of friends, neighbors, therapists, physicians, ministers, and anyone they respect or find interesting in television, radio, or even social media. Susceptibility is a result of how people are wired to process information. Responsiveness isn’t an all-or-nothing trait, and that people may exhibit different levels of responsiveness depending on the skill of the hypnotist, and, as realtors say, location, location, location. If the location is a private meeting in the presence of a trained hypnotist, does the situation suggest that the client is going to become more vulnerable than usual? Could the hypnotist, in a private context, then use hypnosis to install demons? Trained hypnotherapists know that the human mind processes language in ways that weren’t the intention of the speaker. Imagine that a compassionate therapist says to you, “That must be horrible for you!” That’s something lots of people purr when they don’t know what else to say in the face of something awful. Certainly, the intention is to make you feel better. And you find that, in a way, you do. You feel understood because an area of your brain understands tone rather than words, and locks onto the sympathetic tone of voice. But in a way, you feel a little bit more helpless and hopeless because another area of your brain that locks onto words and not tone, has also processed those words as literal, stripped of the compassionate tone. They hear the command: “THAT…MUST be horrible…for YOU.” The word “must” implies requirement, obligation, endurance. As in, “That thing is required to be horrible for you, now and in the future. You are stuck with it.” Unintentionally, and invisibly, that therapist (or friend, family member, minister, or kind stranger) just gave you the evil eye. Could the words of a compassionate hypnotherapist cause an unintentional impact? The answer is yes. Anyone who speaks to you (or even makes a face at you) could cause your emotions to go to a dark place. To that rotten core that has been conjured to exist throughout history. Could the words of a hypnotist cause a person to come face to face with a fantasy, a fear, some unacknowledged feeling of guilt, resentment, even panic or rage? Yes. So could the words of a news caster. Or a politician. A cult leader. Words have the power to point the mind at thoughts and ideas that are threatening. But could the words of a hypnotist install demons? If a person believes in exorcism, or that there is any ritual that is able to banish demons, then it’s evident that the person believes in the presence of demons. That person, therefore, is also prone to believing that words (or behaviors) could invite demons to take residence in someone’s vulnerable rotten core. As long as there is cultural or religious support for demonic possession as the source of dysregulated human behavior, there is room for the idea that someone, or something, caused a demonic possession. And as long as there are people who see bizarre behavior as being caused by hypnotists, and there are lawyers ready to take their case….well, take heed. Next week, I have an appointment with a lovely Christian lady whose daughter warned her to avoid hypnosis because it’s of the devil. You can be sure that our zoom session will be recorded.

  • What's True, Anyway?

    If you Google “Brain Processing Speed,” you’ll find a range of answers, all in agreement that the vast majority of processing occurs in unconscious or automatic associations, and that very little of the process rises to the level of conscious decision making. By one estimate, the human brain can process 11 million bits of information every second, but conscious mind can handle only 40 to 50 bits of information a second. A galaxy compared to a solar system. Brain processing speeds are estimates using a “sliding window” model in data processing. Jon Connelly offers the metaphor of unconscious mind as a locomotive train with conscious mind as a little red wagon tied behind it. As the train hauls its payload down the tracks, the little red wagon covers the same tracks, but in arrears, and with virtually no impact on the power of the locomotive. Neuroscience informs us that the vast majority of neurocognitive processing takes place during the first 3rd of every second (or as fast as the first 4th) and is too fast for conscious processing. (Coca Cola used to insert subliminal ads into movies at this speed.) This is called the P3, or P300 (sometimes the P2 or P250 in people who process faster). After that data has been automatically processed, then a small fraction of that processing becomes available to conscious mind in the form of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and ‘decisions’. Given the pace and scope of unconscious processing, the drag of internal discourse won’t get the job done. For the safety and continuity of the species, data processing has to be automatic, immediate, and as efficient as possible. This means that information has to rely on pattern recognition, not on logic. On pictures, not sentences. On recognition, not reason. This is why a person can ‘decide’ to diet, and yet find his hand rooting around at the bottom of a potato chip bag. The bulk of his information processing is aiming him at the comfort food based on something about blood sugar and other indicators that, by downing a bag of chips, threat is mitigated. It’s why we might immediately reject a stranger as unreliable which no actual experience of that person. Perhaps their posture or hair color is similar to that of the 2nd grade teacher who died midyear. It’s why some people can pick up a microphone and speak their mind freely while others become paralyzed with panic. Mind is organizing around the small tidbits of information being handed up from vast depths of preconscious conclusions. As a neurofeedback practitioner, I’ve arrived at this rationale for using hypnotherapy in my practice. Use metaphors and images to communicate where automatic behavior occurs. Behave as a proxy for deeper mind. This insight into mind, leads me to a strange conclusion. If the bulk of information on which we base behavior is the result of sensory pattern recognition and data matching, then objective Truth has nothing to do with it. This deeper processing isn’t concerned with what’s True. It’s looking first and foremost to avoid what might kill us, and then what might be possible (opportunities for growth and learning that might increase well-being). If the goal of our deeper experience has nothing to do with sorting truth from falsehood, as a hypnotherapist shall I put forward so-called “facts” and explanations just because they are likely to cause a shift away from a harmful belief, a hopeless or helpless feeling, or away from fear or anger? Do I do away with Truth as a criteria for intervention? (Evidently unconscious does.) As of now, I think yes. Without fact checking, and with no regard for the Truth of it, I do what it takes to convince the porn addict that most of the women are victims of human trafficking and are acting because they’ve been promised their next fix. I can tell him that each woman could be that woman until his mind can’t find a woman participating in porn of her own will. I do this because I want unconscious mind to switch association away from pleasure to disgust or sympathy so my client can begin to enjoy the whole-body sensations of slippery sex with a real person. I do it because his unconscious mind began long ago to innocently guide him to internet porn so he could learn about sex. That naïve unconscious mind never intended it to end up where it did, with debt, isolation, and self-loathing. I have to be a more beneficial unconscious mind for him, until his connection to porn and his self-image transform into more beneficial possibilities. And that’s my Truth, at least for now.

  • Going Up

    A few weeks ago, I was observing a recorded hypnotherapy session of a client who presented to a colleague with self-doubt and regret for what she had been defining as her complicity in a traumatic event. The therapist had moved the client forward to the point at which the client realized that her intentions were innocent going into the event. She saw that her experience now informed her of what to avoid going forward, but that she couldn't then have understood to avoid what she didn't yet know. Her shoulders relaxed as she exhaled and said, "I did the best I could." While her language was no longer self-recriminating, it also wasn't congratulatory. HER best was not great. More like ok, more acceptable than not, tepid. I may have left it at that, and hoped for more in the future. But the therapist replied, "AND you were also doing the worst you could." Mind blown. That retort allowed the client to see what had, until that moment, been invisible to her: That there WAS a worse that could be done, and that she wasn't doing it. (Here you are, way above all that possible bad stuff that you not only weren't doing, but didn't even occur to you to do.) I'm a "good" girl. Pleaser. A yogi, do no harm type. If I'm honest with myself, I see that, in an effort to lift clients, I often try to reframe their experience by using language that I'd traditionally think of as appreciative. (Essentially, "Look how great you're doing!" Rah, rah!) Using a sentence embedded with "Doing the worst you could", would be far outside my normal inclination. But we can see where its power resides. Mind tries to process "worst" and discovers that "worst" is actually pointing to a better "best." Unconscious mind is forced to work this out. It isn't simple, but because it creates a dilemma, it becomes even more powerful in terms of allocating attention and resources. And isn't that the very nature of powerful influence?

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  • Step 2: 2023 Membership Form |

    Here is a sample Certificate. Your old NBCCH certificate is now invalid. We encourage everyone to opt for the new parchment certificate at no additional fee. (NBCCH will replace the certificate as part of your annual renewal). NBCCH APPLICATION 2023 First Name Last Name Preferred email for your listing Preferred phone for your listing NEW MEMBERS. From whom did you take a 50+ hour hypnotherapy course? PLEASE PROVIDE CURRENT INFORMATION: (1) State or Country (2) License type (3) License number (4) License expiration date. Malpractice policy company. Choose all that apply: I'm a new member I'm a renewing member Please send a parchment certificate Please email a PDF certificate only I'm an honorably discharged or active duty vet Requested the certificate? How do you want your name and designations to appear? We need your mailing address to send it. I affirm that I have not been convicted of a felony, that the information I have provided is accurate, and that I will comply with NBCCH regulations. SUBMIT Success! Thank you for completing this form. Honorably Discharged or Active Duty Vets are granted dues-free membership and can skip the payment step. Vets proceed to the listing form which is Step 4: "Get Listed." TAKE ME TO PAYMENT Questions or Problems? Contact Lorrie at 310.703.7449

  • NC |

    North Carolina Patricia D. Whitt, PhD, ABPP, NBCCH Lake View Psychological Services Davidson, NC 28036 704-896-6068 l If you are having difficulty with panic disorder; single-incident PTSD; depression; relationship problems; anger issues; or grief/loss, contact me for a consultation. I do not treat smoking cessation; weight control; or addiction NC lic PSY 1823 Deborah H. Weir, Ph.D., LMHC, NBCC, NBCCH ​ 828-575-4139 Specialty areas: Self-esteem, stress management, anxiety problems, eating disorders, gay & lesbian, PTSD, relationships. Afternoon and evening hours. NC LCMHC-S 7547S Exp 6/30/23 Ted L. Bissette, LCAS, LPC, LCMHC, NCC, ICAADC, NBCCH Atwood Institute for REsearch & Education Greensboro, NC 27401 336-272-7079 Hypnotherapy specialty in smoking cessation and weight loss.​ NC LCAS1700 1/1/35 LCMHC 6529 6/30/24 ICCADC 830989 1/1/25 Ronald G. Begley, LCSW, NBCCH I am in-network with most insurance plans Cary, NC 27511 919-272-5407 Individual and couples therapy. Specialties: clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation, pain management, and emotional issues. Anxiety, panic, and stress management; couples counseling and relationship issues; substance abuse; grief; sexual addiction; bariatric surgery pre-screening. NC LCSWC004494 8/23 Thomas L. Murray, Jr., PhD, LCMHC, NBCCH AASECT Sex Therapist Insurance accepted; sliding scale for those without insurance. Credit Card, Cash, Check, HSA. Winston-Salem, NC 336-728-6066 Practice is limited to currently enrolled students at the North Carolina School of the Arts. General practice of counseling includes: depression, grief, anxiety, phobias . NC lic CMHC5025 6/22 Jane R. Rosen-Granson, PhD, LPCS, LMFT, NBCFCH Rosen-Grandon Associates, Inc. Greensboro, NC 27403 336-292-2116 Psychotherapy and Individual Counseling Child and Family Therapy Marital and Couple Therapy Sexual Counseling and Sex Therapy Family Crisis Intervention Chronic Illness and Medical Family Therapy Hypnotherapy: smoking, habits, pain Stress Management / Vocational Counseling Divorce Counseling / Family Mediation Consultations – Medical, Business Offices Family Reunification Counseling Disability Examinations NC lic LCMHC 2299 6/22 John W. Hall, PhD, ABPP, NBCCH Charlotte, NC 28204 In-office or Teletherapy Phone: 704.258.5553 Fax: 704.344.0078 I accept insurance Board certified clinical health psychologist serving adults, adolescents, and families from Charlotte, NC. Specializing in men’s issues, LGB&T concerns, trauma, ADHD, anxiety, couples functioning, chronic pain and disability, illness & grief, and the interaction of mental health and spirituality or religion. More information available at NC PSY 2578 10/24 Corey Andolfi, LMFT, NBCFCH Carolina Beach Counseling Insurances or a sliding fee scale for those clients without insurance Carolina Beach, NC 28428 910-294-0970 Services Offered: Rapid Resolution Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Couples Therapy. Currently seeing children, adolescents, and adults. NC lic LMFT 1562 Mary Beth Auld, LCSW, CGP, NBCCH Creative Psychotherapy, PC Raleigh, NC 27615 (919) 848-9715 I was born under hypnosis and began practicing at the age of 6. I'm professionally trained by an ASCH trainer & "certified" since 2012. I utilize clinical hypnosis in a variety of ways to help clients heal from mood disorders, behavioral issues, unconscious conflicts and as a way to explore their metaphysical paths. I provide clinical social work services to women with depression, anxiety, phobias, and problems adjusting to life’s challenges. My philosophy promotes self determination and encourages women to “find relief within yourself.” Individualized treatment; no cookie-cutter plans here. Traditional and creative treatment models are available. Say “no” to boring and “yes” to progress! NC LCSW C006227 11/24 Lauren Dornell-Neal, LMHC, LPCA, LCASA, NBCCH Charlotte, North Carolina 28262 980-404-2341 147697 Einstein said "the past, present, and future is an illusion. Within therapy we gently reach within the subconscious mind which is unencumbered by time, you can recall or imagine a sense of personal well-being where you are comfortable in life, energized, successful, in step with the world and appreciated as you are. Call me for a free 15 minute consultation. NC lic LCMHC 9301 6/23 Patricia A. Schafer, PhD, LPCC, LICDC, NCC, NBCDCH Raleigh, N.C. 27610 984-200-3880 Phone/fax: 440-349-4521 or 440-349-4469 Depression, anxiety, stress, drug/alcohol issues; couples counseling; 12-step counseling; Christian counseling. NC lic LCMHC12765 6/23 Sheila McKeon, LPC, LCAS, NBCCH Asheville, NC 28801 Licensed Professional Counselor; Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Certified in Rapid Resolution Therapy and Rapid Trauma Resolution and EMDR Specializing in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy 20 years experience working with children, teens, adults and couples. Trauma, phobias, anxiety, grief/loss, and heartbreak. NC lic LCMHC 5576 6/22 Denauvo Robinson, LMHC, NBCCH Elizabeth City, NC 27909 252-207-1981 I have over 45 years of extensive experience in community related settings and counseling. I currently serve on the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors. I serve on the Counseling Compact Commision and am President of the American Associations of State Counseling Boards. I have been a proud Certified member of NBCCH since 2005. I have a small tele-mental health practice. I practice Hypnotherapy with face - to - face clients. I am also a licensed Supervisor. NC MHC 4535 Exp 6/30/23 Nicole Deaver, LMHC, LPC, NBCCH Winter Garden, FL 34787 828-545-0699 Telehealth Accept Cigna and Aetna Insurance I specialize in resolving trauma. I work with adults, teens, and children to address trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, phobias, weight loss, relationship, family and parenting issues. Licensed and Board Registered Art Therapist Certified in Rapid Resolution Therapy Certified Health Coach Feel free to email me for more information. NC Lic 8368 Exp. 6/30/24 Jeannette Murray, PsyD, LPC, NBCCH Integrated Therapies Burnsville, NC 28714 828-284-0040 Licensed Professional Counselor National Certified Counselor College counselor and psychotherapist in private practice with over 30 years of professional experience. Utilizing a variety of therapies including, but not limited to EMDR, Reality Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Hypnotherapy. I work with adults. I do not work with substance abuse. NC Lic. LPC 3792 Michael Fagan, LPC, LCAS, NBCCH Asheville, NC 28801 828-713-7991 I work with Individuals, Couples, Adolescents, Families Addressing Trauma, Grief, Anxiety, Addictions, Depression and Phobias. National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Trained in Rapid Resolution Therapy and Rapid Trauma Resolution Call for an appointment or to consult with me to see if my services are a good fit for you. NC lic LMHC7779, LCAS1757 Suzanne Fix, LCSW, NBCCH Asheville, NC 28801 828-536-9898 If you want to put that negative habit behind you once and for all, I can help! Smoking, over-eating and fear of flying are my specialties. Jump-start the changes you want to see in your life with hypnosis. NC lic LCSW C006117 6/22

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    PAY DUES ONLINE SEVERAL WAYS Payment just got easier. You no longer need an account with PayPal to use the PayPal utility. You can choose to use your preferred payment method (Venmo, Credit Card, or Pay Later) instead of using a PayPal account. OR PAY BY CHECK Please make your check payable to NBCCH. NOTE YOUR NAME ON YOUR CHECK. And mail your check to: NBCCH 30251 Golden Lantern Suite E515 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 TAKE ME TO THE LISTING FORM

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