Common Questions

Q. What is regression therapy?

Regression therapy is a cognitive therapy that uses deep breathing, visualization and talk to explore memories. We're looking back (hence 'regression') to better understand the present and more confidently create the future. Sometimes we explore the memories of what may or may not be past lives. This depends on the client's spiritual inclinations, interest and needs. It is not always necessary. We gain information that is useful in the present. 

Q. What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state characterized by concentration, focused attention, and physical relaxation. In hypnosis, you are able to focus on only what's relevant, whether that's a narrow sliver of experience or an expansive connection with the whole world. It feels something like a sustained daydream.

In a state of hypnosis, the critical faculties of the conscious mind take a mini-vacation, allowing the unconscious mind to openly receive communication. Clinical hypnosis utilizes this line of communication to create lasting, therapeutic change in areas of life that are generally controlled by the unconscious mind.

If you want to break a bad habit (smoking, overeating, nail biting, etc.), resolve inner conflict, improve focus and concentration, enhance creativity, manage pain, overcome a phobia, improve sleep, or develop peak performance states, hypnosis is a remarkably powerful tool.

Q. Will I remember everything that happens? 

Yes. You're cognizant through the whole experience. You see and feel everything. We keep a dialogue and I act as a guide. 

Q. Do you accept insurance and how does that work?

I don't deal directly with insurance companies. If your insurance company offers benefits for out of network providers, see if they accept claims for hypnotherapy. I will give you a receipt that you can submit with your insurance claim.

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Q. What if I can't be hypnotized?

Everyone can be hypnotized. Even if you have never experienced formal hypnosis, you experience states that are similar to hypnotic trance every day: zoning out, daydreaming, getting lost in a movie plot. If you are capable of these things, you can experience hypnosis.

There are many different hypnotic inductions — rapid, gradual, structured, conversational. I customize the hypnotic experience based on each client's needs and personality. 

The major impediments to experiencing hypnosis are fears and misconceptions about what it is. I hope to dispel some of the common misconceptions here. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any reservations or concerns about trying hypnosis.

Q. What is a typical session like?

A typical first session begins with a conversation about the problem you're having or the behavior you'd like to change. I will ask you some questions, and answer any questions you have about hypnosis.

After the initial consultation, we will move on to hypnotic induction, creative visualization, therapeutic suggestion, etc.

After you emerge from hypnosis, we will briefly discuss your experience. I will also teach you some powerful self-hypnosis techniques.

Q. How many sessions do I need?

Most people find that one or two sessions is all that is needed to kick a lifelong habit. Some people require longer or multiple sessions. Milton Erickson, the seminal figure of 20th century hypnotherapy, saw some clients for 6 hours at a time.

Based on the history you provide during a phone screening, we will determine the optimal length of your first session. After the first session, you will likely have an intuitive sense about whether you would benefit from additional sessions. Clients who come for more than three sessions are usually tackling multiple problems in turn.

Q. Will I lose control?

If you have seen people do crazy things at a hypnosis show, it is natural to wonder how much control the hypnotist has. It is important to remember that people who volunteer for stage hypnosis have an expectation about what participating will entail. The hypnotist selects people who seem uninhibited, and sends the reluctant back to their seats.

Context and motivation determine what makes sense as a suggestion. You will reject things that don't make sense. It would be difficult if not impossible to get someone to cluck like a chicken in my office, just as it would be difficult to suggest that the star of a hypnosis show quit smoking.

Hypnosis is a consensual state. I am literally incapable of making you do anything you're not comfortable doing. If I asked you under hypnosis to tell me your ATM PIN number, you would just say "no" and laugh at me (in hypnosis it is completely normal to talk, laugh, scratch an itch, or shift to get more comfortable in your chair).

Q. Will I know what's going on while I am hypnotized?

Hypnosis is very relaxing, but it is not sleep. On the contrary, people become extremely alert during hypnosis. All your senses are heightened, and you are able to think clearly.

Relaxation and alertness may seem mutually exclusive, but they are not. The "deeper" you go into hypnosis, the more relaxed and more alert you become.

Q. Do you believe in past lives?

I don't know. I believe our lives unfold in loops, and I've certainly seen a lot that would substantiate reincarnation. That said, I'm missing the empirical evidence that the rest of the world wants to see too. 

When I was 16 my father told me he was looking forward to dying. I was incredulous and he grinned. "I want to know if there's past-lives or not." he said. Today I feel the same. I'm privileged to work as a regression therapist, but it has not lead to a belief in reincarnation. Instead, it's filled me with a great love of working with people, a passion for healing and a greater awareness of how important it is to live in the present moment.

Q. What if I don't believe in past lives?

Doesn't matter. The present is what matters. As with everything, openness and a positive attitude help.

Q. How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Q. Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

Q. Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 

Q. What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

Q. What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. 

Q. Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the
client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.