Valorie J. Wells, PhD

Certified Hypnotherapist

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Articles Reprinted/Condensed from the Huffington Post by Author

Valorie J. Wells, Ph.D

What to Do When Self Hypnosis Won't Work

Posted: 8/29/11 08:38 AM ET

For the last few months, we've been discussing simple steps to incorporate self-hypnosis into your weight loss or insomnia care plans.

But, what if self-hypnosis just doesn't work for you? Sometimes, our own preconceived notions get in the way of our best intentions. Like, "What if I'm just too uptight to relax?" If you can get lost by gazing into the flames in the fireplace or listening to the pounding surf, then chances are good that you can be hypnotized.

Some people find that the effort to focus on settling down actually turns up the volume on that internal chatterbox. You know that tape that runs on and on in your head as soon as you hit the pillow? "Well, she said that you said that they said..." Your ability to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic day may be temporarily "out of order" due to the fatigue of stress as well as the residual effects of sleep deprivation.

There are also times when the emotional baggage attached to an issue is too overwhelming to ignore, such as in the case of fears and phobias. Perhaps you haven't been sleeping soundly for the last several weeks because you were having nightmares and you dread repeating those bad dreams. In that case, insomnia may actually be a coping mechanism and it might be a better idea to seek counseling to eradicate the source of those nightmares before attempting to use self-hypnosis.

Loss of sleep is not the only symptom of stress. Compulsive overeating and anorexia/bulimia can be signs of the need for self-nurturing. When food becomes a source of love, comfort or just our best friend, that's when self-hypnosis for weight control may seem practically impossible. Have you ever tried to talk yourself out of eating that last stale donut in the box in the break room? Yeah, that's the one that you carefully avoided when they were all fresh at 10:00 a.m. and yet now your conscious-waking mind is front and center with all kinds of rationalizations to eat the donut now. "Go on, eat it now. You had to work through lunch and you won't get supper until almost 9:00 tonight."

"Why can't I get it right?" you might be thinking by now.

If circumstances are preventing you from using self-hypnosis for your issues, you are not out on a limb without a net.

Now there is an alternative way to keep the value of hypnosis without the guilt of feeling like a failure at relaxation. There is no need to schedule time off from work or school, much less take on the hassles of travel.

I call it "Skypnosis," or hypnosis via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), such as Skype. VoIP is an amazing 21st century tool, is often free of charge to another computer using Skype software using computer-to-computer connections. (There might be a service fee required for calls to a landline or mobile phone.)

Skypnosis offers someone in another city, state or country, the ability to receive customized hypnosis in the privacy and safety of your own home for a reasonable fee.

One of the reasons that hypnosis via VoIP works is that, just like traditional in-office hypnosis, you are expected to make the same kind of commitment to be a cooperative part of the therapy. In fact, for many people, the ability to better control their environment, during the hypnotherapy, can often enhance the effectiveness of the hypnosis. A key factor in someone achieving a state of heightened awareness, commonly called a trance state, using hypnosis, is the willingness of the client to adopt an active role in his or her self-help program.

You will need to make a quiet, safe, private place for the Skypnosis session and of course, during hypnosis, you cannot be in your car as either driver or passenger. You cannot use alcohol or recreational drugs. This is not the time for candlelight and a bubble bath either.

In the United States, most health insurance plans do not cover hypnotherapy. As an alternative or complementary healing therapy, much like acupuncture, massage therapy or energy work, most hypnosis requires a personal investment from the client. If, in addition to the fee for the hypnotherapy itself, there is an additional travel charge and perhaps time off from work, the effectiveness of the hypnotherapy is already starting with a possible negative balance.

Enter the concept of making an office visit via your own computer, in the safety of your own home, outside of regular business hours. While the actual encryption codes used on Skype calls remains secret, most techies will agree that VoIP calls are as "safe" as any other computer-based call system.

In fact, the Skype system was developed specifically to provide a forum, originally called "sky peer-to-peer," using a background processing system with installed Skype software on a particular computer, instead of a client-server system.

In other words, if someone wanted to get over having a panic attack on Sundays at sundown, when the reality of Monday morning at work hits them, that client needs to, first of all, be willing to make the effort to open their mind to the possibility of feeling more relaxed when thinking about their job. For this reason, the research to find a hypnotherapist actually becomes part of the healing process.

Some key factors to consider before selecting your hypnotherapist are:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Referrals
  • Personal Rapport

So if you feel like self-hypnosis isn't working for you, you might consider approaching self-hypnosis via Skype. It's just one more option that might make a huge difference in your life.

Valorie J. Wells, Ph.D. has been in practice as a clinical hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years. Her educational background in industrial psychology, coupled with advanced hypnosis studies, creates an alternative healing environment that appeals to today's informed consumers as clients. Her determination to limit her practice to hypnotherapy has forged a secure bond between area health care providers, hospitals and their referrals. This innovative, cross-discipline approach to patient care serves as a vital link for the integrative chain of careful attention to the individual's needs. Moreover, the rapport between providers and patients encourages participation, dialogue and continuity of care.


Hypnosis for Weight Control

Using the power of your own mind, you will learn how to re-frame the way you think about food and eating. Whether food has become your best friend or your worst enemy, you can take back control over how you approach this essential function for life.

Hypnosis allows you recognize where food is now; in your mind, in your social life and even in your daily planning. Whether you are fighting compulsive overeating or binge-purge habits, you can put food back where it belongs, using your own mind-over-matter skills.

In as few as three sessions, you will learn to use self-hypnosis to create a place of calming reassurance as you develop your own food plan for life. Each step is practical, easy to remember and proven effective. When you awaken from a deeply soothing, hypnotic-induced nap, you will have a three-point plan that a allows you to maintain a healthy way of eating and drinking; at home or way, alone or with others. Moreover, this new behavior will soon become a new habit that allows you to enjoy living a healthier lifestyle. It is as easy as counting from one to three!

Deep Sleep: Hypnosis for Insomnia

Using the power of your own mind-over-matter skills, you will learn how to defeat sleeplessness using the same inner control that allows you to finish a project even when you feel the beginnings of a head cold.

Hypnosis is one way of turning down the volume on that little voice in your head that keeps repeating troubling thoughts, like, "Well, he said that she said that you said!"

Even if that voice in your head has become a committee meeting, you can stop those long nights of checking the clock every hour.

In confidential, customized hypnosis sessions, you will enjoy hypnosis to put an end to those hours of tossing and turning at the end of a trying day, sleeping in a new environment or just overcoming a repeating pattern of insomnia. Each session creates a practical, easy to remember and proven effective way to get to sleep. In addition, this new behavior will soon become a habit that allows you to achieve deep, restful sleep at home, on the road or on vacation.


Hypnosis for Anxiety or Stress Relief

Are you one of those white-knuckled passengers who is not actually afraid of flying, just the take-offs and landings? Perhaps you are an effective employee or a truly diligent manager but then you get 'the memo'. You have to introduce the next kick-off campaign at the annual company conference and you suddenly feel as if you are under a giant microscope. Maybe your particular trigger for anxiety is the dread of death. Your concern might be centered on your own demise or your loved ones. In nearly twenty years of private practice, I have never been surprised at what terrifies an otherwise rational adult.

You are not alone. Anxiety is one of those phenomenons that everyone has to face at some time in life with sweaty palms, pounding pulse, queasy stomach, ringing/buzzing in the ears, dizziness and even shortness of breath. For many people it has nothing to do with whether they are alone or in a crowd, when the anxiety reaches its zenith. It seems as if the whole world shrinks as you and your greatest fears loom larger than life. It does not seem to matter if the anxiety-producing fear is real or imaginary. The symptoms can be equally debilitating. Loss of sleep, compulsive overeating or loss of appetite are common results of anxious thoughts and can lead to more serious health risks.

Now you can take back control of your life, using the power of your own mind with hypnosis. You can rest assured that you have the ability to use self-hypnosis to defeat anxiety. We all tap into a kind of mind-over-matter when we feel a head cold starting up the day before a big deadline or exam. We manage to put those annoying symptoms on hold until we meet the demand and then we really get sick, taking to our bed.

This is your power. With the guidance of professional hypnotherapy, you have the capacity to create the most pleasing escape that appeals to your inner self. Under hypnosis you will subdue that rising sense of panic that surrounds the anxious dread of that certain event. You can taken back control over the one area where you really are in charge: your own mind.