What one habit of yours would you like to alter? Almost everyone has something they'd like to quit doing, whether it be smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being unwilling to exercise, or feeling upset whenever you're around a certain person.
After taking a masters degree course in clinical hypnosis in 2012, I decided to sample the skills and abilities of a local hypnotherapist, Eileen Stith, who works in the Smyrna area, close to I-75 and I-285. Eileen was chosen primarily because she has been trained to use several of the techniques of one of the world's most effective and ingenious hypnotherapists, Milton H. Erickson. The information in this review comes from three sessions with Eileen, and an email interview with her. You can also learn more at Creative Solutions Through Hypnosis.
Why do people seek help from you with hypnosis?
[Eileen]: It varies; often people come to me because they realize that they don’t know how to use their mind to control their behavior, or feel frustrated and want to improve their health. Some clients have explored what medicine has to offer them and then seek a different approach.
There are a lot of myths about hypnosis - which ones do you hear most often?
[Eileen]: The most common one is that people see a stage hypnotist and understandably want to avoid being asked to do things that they might later feel embarrassed about; I’d feel the same way, and their concern is totally reasonable and understandable. Hypnosis happens when we’re driving, watching an engrossing movie or sports game, and when we daydream; it’s an everyday occurrence for all of us. The hypnosis we do together in my office respects what you want, gives you the power to choose what you want to do, and is orientated towards helping you to be your best.
Some other people believe that they might be asked to do something against their will. This is a genuine concern after watching stage hypnosis. The hypnosis we do together is focused on helping you, and is not about having you entertain other people. Your subconscious mind is always watching over and protecting you, and in hypnosis, you retain the power to decide what to do, and what not to do.
A few people tell me that they wonder if they can be stuck in hypnosis. Of all of the thousands of people who I’ve helped, not one has been stuck in hypnosis, and some people fall lightly asleep during the session, and of course, everyone wakes up afterwards, and is totally themselves.
What specific types of physical or psychological concerns do people visit you for help with?
[Eileen]: Recently, I reviewed the types of challenges that people come to see me for; there were 143 different types of problems and health conditions! Some of them include:
- Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
- Test anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Relationship concerns
- Fears and phobias
You’re welcome to see other concerns I can help with by clicking on the services page of my web site, and people are welcome to call me and email me if they have questions.
How does hypnosis work?
[Eileen]: When you’re experiencing hypnosis you’re in a relaxed state, and how this feels can vary from person to person. Whenever you in this state, your subconscious mind is more receptive to accepting the suggestions that are made by the hypnosis professional. The suggestions are aligned with what you - as the patient - want to experience, and your subconscious mind is free to decide whether to accept the suggestions. In other words, your subconscious mind is protecting and looking out for you. A hypnotist is therefore unable to have you do something which you do not want to do.
How does hypnosis benefit people, and are there any downsides to it?
[Eileen]: Typically, hypnosis helps people to change their behavior by updating their old, unhelpful habits and beliefs. This frees people to act and do the things they want to do. Hypnosis is much quicker than traditional therapy and many issues can be resolved in 1 to 3 sessions. On very rare occasions, hypnosis doesn't agree with someone, and when this happens, they're encouraged to relax, and we talk about what their next steps are.
The body and our ability to be healthy can also be improved with hypnosis. Many a time a client has come to me with a health condition that responds beautifully to hypnosis. Examples of this are: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, sleep disorders, pre- and post- surgery, weight management, smoking cessation, eating disorders, back pain, drug/alcohol abuse.
What were my hypnosis sessions like?
Eileen started by wanting to understand the situation I was needing her help with, and what I was looking for. We sat and talked for about thirty minutes, and she then invited me to sit in her comfortable reclining chair. The room was quiet, the temperature just right, and the light levels were comfortable. She asked if I wanted a light blanket to keep me warm, and I closed my eyes and snuggled down into the comfortable chair. Eileen's voice is peaceful, not monotonous, and I started relaxing quickly.
In our first session, a little part of me was curious to notice whether her session was structured in the same way as I had been taught in my university class. For most of the first session I listened, partly evaluating her technique, and also allowing myself to relax. I'm happy to report that Eileen's sessions are well structured, and I've found them deeply relaxing. At the end of the first session, I didn't want to leave the reclining chair and wanted to stay in a light trance because the experience was so peaceful, yet alive, and very comfortable.
In a recent session, Eileen has started helping me with a life-long challenge which I knew my mind would be defensive about. She pitched the initial session just right; I was aware that her suggestions were doing something, and that she was tuned into my body's subtle way of showing its defensiveness. I'm keen to discover how we'll move forward with this topic in our next session. As a hypnotherapist, Eileen is astute, observant, friendly, quick-witted, and a pleasure to spend time with.
What basic concepts, if any, do people need to understand hypnosis to help them get the most from it?
[Eileen]: Your subconscious mind is always awake, even when your conscious mind is sleeping. It is programmed to help you survive, and acts as your protector. It is always looking out for you. In addition, your subconscious mind influences the conscious decisions you make and shapes your behaviors, both negative and positive, based on past experiences. This occurs without you even being aware of it. Formal hypnosis is a series of techniques that tap into your subconscious mind allowing you to transform and release the negative thought patterns and behaviors that we all get stuck in from time to time allowing you to reach your full potential.
What do you do in a hypnosis session with a client from the time they walk in the door?
[Eileen]: When a client first walks in the door, I’m looking to connect with them, and to understand their perspective about what they want my help with. I usually do this by asking new clients to complete the intake forms, which I read. We then usually talk about the challenge they’re having, and I also ask them questions about what they want to experience or what life would be like if they no had the challenge they’ve come to me for. As they speak, I am listening to how they’re describing what’s going on, and what they want. I then invite the client to sit in the very comfortable recliner chair in my office, and to lie back and relax while I help them to focus on being relaxed. Then I talk to their subconscious mind in a way that can facilitate change, and finally then invite the client to be fully alert and wide awake.
To experience hypnosis with Eileen Stith, call her at: (770) 618-3089, or email her at: CreativeSolutionsThruHypnosis@gmail.com