The Power of Hypnotherapy

The Power of Hypnotherapy

This is a topic I rarely bring up in my office. Let me explain to you what it is exactly and who is the best candidate for it. I think you will find it interesting, so please read on.

I first came across the notion of becoming trained in hypnotherapy in 2017, when I came across the work of Marisa Peer. Some of you may recognize her name as the founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy, or RTT. Marisa is well known in self-development platforms, such as Mindvalley. I am not a Facebook user, but I am certain if you are in the area of inner work and self-development, you have seen Facebook posts by her pop up on your screen.

There are two proponents of RTT that caught my attention back in 2017. One was the idea of this being Rapid. “Quick results, I thought. We all want quick results.” Ask any GP this question and I am sure you would hear the same. Afterall, there is a pill for every ill, right Doc?

As a society, we have been bred to feel there is a faster, more efficient, and better way. Who mails a letter nowadays? Who doesn’t have a microwave in their kitchen? A map in your car’s glove compartment? Are you kidding me? Don’t waste my time.

We get to the root reason and cause as to why you are feeling the way you are today, and we approach it head on.

via @luellajonk

The second proponent of her method that drew me in was that it was transformational in the sense that there is no messing around. We get to the root reason and cause as to why you are feeling the way you are today, and we approach it head on. Your motivation to change increases as well because with understanding…comes clarity. As humans, we are more engaged in the healing process when we understand the journey. Things don’t seem so scary anymore. The magnitude of the challenge to change also decreases to a level that seems approachable, doable, and sustainable. As Victor Frankl stated in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning”.

Okay, now that you understand why I got hooked, I am going to tell you a bit more about my own journey as a hypnotherapist from 2017 -2020.

I have never counted the number of clients who conducted hypnotherapy (specifically RTT) with me, but I would have to guess that it would be over 100. With a fair bit of certainty, I would also say it has made a lasting effect on how they think. The most profound change was their inner dialogue, that is, the voices in their head altered.

This post would not be complete unless I mentioned to you how I complete hypnotherapy today. Although there are a fair number of hypnotherapists in Winnipeg, I think they would all conduct it a bit differently. The only common thread is the actual induction component of the session, and even that can be slightly different. Everything from the pre-induction dialogue, to the method of induction, to the length of the session, to the cost, to provision of a recording, and the follow-up is different. I think this is likely therapist-specific and based on experience. I also know that some hypnotherapists specialize in a specific change, for example smoking, fertility, gambling or grief.

I now realize that Marisa’s claim that it is a one-time fix, is not very realistic. First of all, we are all constantly working on ourselves in terms of being a better person than the day before. So, to claim it is a one-time fix never resonated with me. At the very beginning I completed my sessions in this way and I must say, it was very powerful for the first few individuals that entered my office. In fact, to this day, my very first client (I hope you are reading this [name]) could be the most transformational session I have ever had.

However, as time went on I thought, “I can make this even better”. I began to include follow-up sessions spaced over a month’s time, as well as a daily email to further cement the new ‘habit of thought’. I also consistently checked-in with my client and made sure things were settling-in okay for them. I wanted to let them know, they are not alone.

I still conduct RTT, Marisa Peer’s Program, but I also created a new program called Fast-track Your Intention (or FYI). I call it ‘fast-track’ for a couple of reasons. One simply being… you are condensing what might be months or years into a shorter time at my office. The whole program is 8 hours in total, but the first 4 hours happens in one session, the 5th hour two weeks later, and the remaining hours are booked according to your need. For those remaining 3 hours, I see you as someone that is now well on your way. And because it helps to check-in with me from time to time, my role becomes more of a coach or accountability partner.

It is really the first 4 hours that make this so different than simply booking eight 50-minute sessions with me. The thoroughness of that first session and the intense inner work, allows for a much better opportunity for insight because you have the time to get deep. You can marinate in those feelings and have a better understanding of the genesis of your personal thoughts or why you think and behave the way you do. Finally, you realize you have the power to change the behaviors that ensued due to the thoughts.

One more important note. You leave the 4-hour session with a personalized recording, which is created based on what came up in the induction period. It will serve to change the habit of thought, which in turn changes the habit of action.  You are then accountable to listen to that recording (normally between 10-15 min) every day for the next 45 days.


So, what kind of person do I need to be in order for this to be successful? You must be:

 Attentive to Your Thoughts with a Strong Willingness to Change

With those two characteristics anyone can become suggestible during the induction and achieve their intention.

 To once again quote Victor Frankl’s work, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”

 In my professional opinion, this method is the most efficient way of attaining this space.


To Say I Love You in a Romantic Relationship

To Say I Love You in a Romantic Relationship

…. can mean very different things at different stages of a relationship and when you say it in a heterosexual relationship can be quite different according to gender.

Studies have shown men tend to say it earlier than women in a relationship, which could date back to our primal beginnings. What this means is that it might be a way of securing the mate for procreation, while women tend to wait until later in the relationship, perhaps after a sexual encounter, because they have more skin in the game. In other words, for women, sex brings the possibility of having a lot of responsibility – child caring being the biggest. Women have more at stake and will not say I Love You as easily as men might. Women also have that nurturing motherly emotional component and need to have that solidly established before proclaiming true love. Men may also say it earlier than women in a relationship simply because of the adaptive cultural component of men taking the lead. Men often lead the idea of sex so they may also lead this proclamation of love. They are the ones who propose, so this too makes sense. Men may appreciate hearing a woman say I Love You postcoital rather than before, since this perhaps establishes her appreciation of his affection.

Was this the case for your present or past relationships? If you are in a 10+ year relationship, you likely don’t even remember who said it first. Between diaper changes, daycare pick-up drop-off schedules, home-schooling, and refinancing the mortgage, who has time to even think about this let alone place food on the table. However, let’s be realistic, there is very little that is more important than establishing what love and commitment means to one another through this chaos.

Think of showing your affection routinely as ‘preventative medicine’ that limits the risk of having an emotional heart attack.

via @luellajonk

Are the words I Love You said out loud? If they are, is it simply as part of a ritual? Maybe you have made it part of a habit every morning or every night… which is great, as long as you mean it and you are acting it. How do you show it? Do you do it in a way that fulfills each other’s needs, or do you show it in a way you would like to be shown love. This needs to be examined very closely and established early in the relationship. Think of showing your affection routinely as ‘preventative medicine’ that limits the risk of having an emotional heart attack.

So again, what does saying I Love You mean to you now? I see the meaning of true love taking on different connotations over the life span of a relationship.

In the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, call it the ‘honeymoon phase’, it’s meaning seems to fit more with the passion each individual is experiencing. Think about it – during this stage, the simple thought of this special person makes you smile brilliantly, even if you are in the middle of overly-stuffed Covid-inhabited grimy bus ride home at the end of a long day. Love equals passion at this point of the relationship journey.

In a ‘mature’ relationship, now with post menopause and testosterone levels dropping, what does saying I Love You mean? You are not bunnies anymore, and Spring in Winnipeg does not last 365 days of the year so, again, what does saying I Love You mean to you now?

For strong and mature healthy marriages, it may simply mean, “I will take care of you no matter what comes our way,” or “We have each other’s back no matter what,” or… “You are my world,” or “You make my world a better place”. This is very personal, and I would encourage you to take the time to write out what saying I Love You to my partner means to me right now. Write it out and present it in a special card to your partner – you will not regret this.

For the 25+ year mature relationships, where the passion has completely fizzled, then saying I Love You is likely very different than above. I am speaking about relationships that are ending or has ended. At this stage I hope that it is mutual, but for some cases, it may be one partner that is feeling this more than another.

In such cases, the meaning might be more of, ‘I love you and I want you to be happy, but that may not be with me’. It could mean “I love you as the father/mother of my child/children and I could never have done it without you and thank you for those years.” Finally, “I never want harm to come to you, and I want the best for you”.

Of course, it is sad when this occurs in a relationship, but you need to give yourself permission to let that go without guilt. Typically, the children are older in this case, and you are likely financially more secure than any other time in your relationship, so it will be okay.

Life has always been uncertain, and it will continue to be uncertain. Covid-19 has made us realize this more than ever. Can we be preventative in order to do our best for this not to happen to our relationship? Yes, of course we can. However, if you find yourselves in this spot right now, in that your love for this person is not what it once was, then it is okay to feel like this. Just be sure to talk to someone other than an immediate close acquaintance to ensure this is what is best for you. Seek out an experienced marriage therapist to talk through your feelings so that you may feel more secure in your decision.

How to Make Anxiety Your Ally

How to Make Anxiety Your Ally

As Winnipeg schools start welcoming students back into their classrooms, along with Universities and Colleges opening their doors to online and in-classroom learning, many of us are feeling a bit more edgy this week. If you are anything like me, you are both excited for students to see peers face-to-face (masks and all) but worry that all will be sent home as they were in March 2020. I anticipate the disruption that would follow after such a change. Winnipeg and Manitoba were doing quite well prior to larger group gatherings, so of course our minds anticipate the same now with the schools re-opening.

“When you notice thoughts getting out of control, it is usually a sign that you need to challenge irrational thoughts rather than distracting yourself from them.”

via @luellajonk

When you notice thoughts getting out of control, it is usually a sign that you need to challenge irrational thoughts rather than distracting yourself from them. For example, instead of seeing every thought that enters your head as rational or fact, see every thought that enters your head as neutral. The thought is neither good nor bad, it is just a thought that has entered your head.

The only reason a particular thought has entered your head is because there was a past event or experience that conjured up the thought.

So while it might seem totally rational for your friend to have a thought enter their head (since it was based on a previous experience they had), you on the other hand, would have never had this thought. This is the primary reason for why we think differently. This is why one person might be anxious, while another is not. As I remind many of my clients ‘You did not inherit the anxiety gene’ when they report General Anxiety Disorder or GAD ‘runs in my family’.

Let me give you an analogy. I will use a romantic relationship since I am a marriage therapist in Winnipeg who sees many couples. Let’s say that you are having trouble trusting your spouse or partner. You are constantly wondering or accusing your partner of flirting with another person or questioning why he/she arrived home 1-2 hours later than they initially told you they were supposed to arrive. Why does your mind right away go to the idea that ‘they are late because of spending time with another woman/man’? It is very likely because you were once cheated on in the past. The thought might be completely irrational. And even if you were cheated upon in this particular relationship or a previous one, you must see this as a new event or beginning – and make the thought neutral.

Easier said than done right? Because the mind loves to protect you – and scope out any potential harm. This is when we have to become masters of the inner dialogue that goes on within our minds.

Those that experience GAD know all too much about ‘racing thoughts’ or ‘spiralling out of control’. When one loses a central locus of control within themselves and allow irrational thoughts to seemingly become fact or truth, then one will feel hopeless and helpless. My role as your therapist is to regain that control. I want to remind you that each and every day you have the choice of how you will approach every situation. Look at a situation with a yearning to understand and be curious. Remind yourself that YOU have the CHOICE on how to perceive every interaction or event you experience and not to live in the past.

At one time in your life you may have experienced anxiety, but that does not warrant you to be labelled ‘an anxious person’. I personally hate labels. They have no merit in my psychotherapy practice. Every day, interaction, situation, problem, experience or event is new. You are a person that is constantly learning, growing, and evolving. Labels make us feel stuck and stagnant.

As much as September 2020 brings with it a measure of uncertainty, it also brings routine and familiarity of joining a community, whether that be online or in-person. We are all in it together. Let’s see the last quarter of 2020 as one of newness and an invitation for a fresh outlook and a new chapter in our book. A book that you are the author of.