An honest therapist will not exact an absurdly high fee. If you are searching for an ethical and compassionate practitioner of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, you have come to the right place!
Greetings, and thank you for your interest in my practice! I am certified as a Diplomate and Fellow in Clinical Hypnotherapy by the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (www.natboard.com). I am also a licensed Florida Mental Health Counselor (MH1412), and hold the following credentials issued by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC): National Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and Master Addictions Counselor. In your search for a hypnotherapist, be sure that you have also found a practitioner who is licensed under one of the recognized mental health disciplines, and who is qualified to practice hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I began the practice of counseling and psychotherapy in 1985, and added hypnotherapy to my practice in 1989, when I received my initial training in the Dave Elman method of hypnosis from Gerald Kein, director of the Omni Hypnosis Center, DeLand, Florida. I received additional training methods from additional teaching practitioners in Rapid Trauma Resolution, Milton Erickson's Metaphorical Method, and in Neurolinguistic Programming.
The word hypnosis was coined by Scottish surgeon, and hypnosis pioneer, Dr. James Braid in 1841, who adapted the name from the ancient Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. About the same time, another British physician, Dr. James Esdaile was using hypnosis for surgical anesthesia, and who performed some 300 major operations, including limb amputations, painlessly, using hypnosis alone as anesthesia! An even earlier pioneer in the field, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), had named trance induction after himself, calling it Mesmerism. But it was Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), the French neurologist, who introduced hypnosis the great Viennese Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, while Charcot's pupil Pierre Janet (1859-1947) introduced hypnosis to the famous American psychologist William James, to the depth-psychologists C.G. Jung and Alfred Adler, and thence to modern times. Well known postmodern hypnotists include Dave Elman, Gil Boyne, Harry Arons, Dr. Herbert Spiegel, Dr. Milton Erickson, Gerald Kein, and Cal Banyan.
But the phenomenon that we call hypnosis today has a very ancient history. Indeed, one of the most famous instances of the use of trance was the ancient Oracle at Delphi, Greece, who may have elicited trance through a method of self-hypnosis elicited by naturally occurring psychoactive Ethylene gas arising from a fissure over which she sat on a tripod chair, similar to present day's Narco-Hypnosis techniques. (Copy and paste to read: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/19/science/for-delphic-oracle-fumes-and-visions.html?pagewanted=all ).
In that heightened state of mind, she was sought out by troubled individuals for insight into their own maladies. Psychotherapy that is conducted while a client is in a hypnotic trance is called hypnotherapy, and it is a brief and highly effective form of therapy.
It should not go unmentioned, that trance, the altered state which characterizes hypnosis, has been an important part of the art of healing in ancient cultures such as the temple priests of ancient of Egypt, the Therapeutae of Greece, the yogis and Ayurvedic practitioners of India, the shamen of Siberia, and the medicine men of the Plains Indians of North America. Trance was at the center of these diverse traditions historically for millennia. Wisdom traditions the world over, have been the trustees of techniques which would come to be understood in modern times as hypnosis.
Dave Elman defined hypnosis thusly: "Hypnosis is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is bypassed, and selective thinking established." This means that hypnosis is a matter of consent, never force. Once the "critical factor," or analytical mind is bypassed, one's mind becomes extremely open to suggestions. But, not to any suggestions, only suggestions that one really likes. Suggestions towards which one is neutral or averse to will not be accepted by one's mind. This means that a hypnotist can never seduce someone into doing something that one is morally opposed to, despite what one has seen in the movies! Also, the use of the command, "Sleep!" in hypnosis, does not mean actual sleep. In hypnosis one is neither asleep nor does one lose consciousness or control when one is in trance. In fact, it is in hypnosis that an individual takes back control of his or her life! There is a technique called hypno-sleep, but I do not employ this method. Remember this - ALL hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and the hypnotist is merely a guide into that wonderful state of mind.
A modern and technological description of hypnosis should not be overlooked. Electroencephalogram studies of brain waves suggest four major types of brain waves designated by the Greek letters Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta. A fifth type, designated Gamma has recently been posited, but this Superconscious state is not part of the hypnotic process. Hypnosis typically begins with ordinary thinking which is characteristically Beta wave activity (14-30 Cycles Per Second or CPS). The process shifts from Beta waves to slower Alpha waves (8-13 CPS), which heralds meditation and deep relaxation. Finally, one elicits Theta waves (4-7 CPS) which characterize 'the working state' of hypnosis. It is intermediary between waking and sleeping that we all pass through every time we awaken from deep sleep or begin to fall asleep, which is the Delta wave state (0.5-3.5 CPS). From this perspective, hypnosis is not an alien or unfamiliar condition. What the hypnotist does it to elicit Theta wave activity, guide the subject from Beta to Alpha to Theta, while preventing one from entering the Delta wave state (you're not here to snore)! In Theta wave states, one is able to experience great insights. As a boy I often visited Thomas Edison's laboratory, workshop and library in West Orange, NJ. I was particularly interested in how Edison often worked around the clock, taking brief sleep breaks on a mattress behind the desk in his library. Apparently, it was during these brief interludes which elicited Theta waves that he envisioned many of his great inventions. In hypnotherapy, great insight, and a rapid resolution of the cause of one's symptoms is frequently the result. Hypnotherapy is an extremely brief form of psychotherapy, shortened by both the intensification and the marked reduction of resistance while in trance.
There are varying depths to the hypnotic trance, but we call the 'working state of hypnosis,' somnambulism. Like the word sleep, the word somnambulism has a special meaning in hypnosis. It does not mean 'sleep-walking.' One reclines on the therapy chair throughout treatment, in a profoundly deep and pleasant state of relaxation, in which one can comfortably re-experience formerly uncomfortable or even painful life experiences. This re-experiencing is not merely vivid memory (hypermnesia), it is living through an experience again so as to have the pain associated with the experience removed. Like the surgical technique of 'twilight sleep,' where an otherwise painful operation is rendered painless, distressing, symptom-producing emotions can be removed painlessly. This process is called revivification, and it is part of a wider procedure called age regression. Whereas hypnotic suggestion serves to alleviate symptoms, age regression aims at eliminating symptoms. Some of the clinical problems that I have had excellent treatment results with include:
- Traumatic Events
- Fears and Phobias
- Self-Esteem Issues
- Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
- Athletic Performance
- Fear of Public Speaking
- Psychogenic Pain
In addition to the hypnotherapeutic treatment of underlying traumas that result in symptoms, I am also qualified to provide traditional non-hypnotic psychotherapy, adolescent, couples and family counseling, as well as Jungian oriented dream analysis. I am knowledgeable about the phenomenon of past-life regression, but I will remind clients that in such matters, I am a clinician not a metaphysician! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_life_regression However, you the prospective client, should be advised that I take a psychological stance toward such phenomena that may arise in hypnosis. I do not attribute spiritual or metaphysical significance to such spontaneously arising material because it is entirely possible that the unconscious creates past-life experiences in the same way that it creates elaborate dreams every night. Additionally, there are significant differences in the concepts of past-life phenomena in different cultures. For example, Buddhist rebirth has a very different premise than Hindu reincarnation. There are different versions of transmigration among the ancient Greeks (metempsychosis) or among Orthodox Jews (gilgul). Different concepts are in direct contradiction with one another. The result may be confusion instead of clarity, complication rather than simplification. A significant disturbance of one's world-view can result in a spiritual emergency or spiritual crisis. Therefore, interpretation and valuation are left to the client.
1st Session: I offer a FREE face-to-face consultation at my residential office. This is usually the first 15 or 20 minutes of the session - enough time for you to decide whether to go ahead with the procedure or leave without obligation. (I can't remember anybody leaving). My wife is always available to greet clients, and to ease any trepidations my prospective female clients may experience. A brief history-taking will be conducted, a consent form signed, and a fee collected (it is more pleasant to simply leave from the therapy chair than to pause for payment, but it's up to the client). A hypnotic pre-talk is included in the first visit as an important means for dispelling misconceptions about hypnosis, for the development of trust, and to build positive expectations. A few brief tests ('convincers') of hypnotizability follow, (which also builds confidence in one's results). Lastly, a hypnotic induction will follow, and with somnambulism established, a suggestion will be made to go into trance much more rapidly on following visits. The client will be allowed to enjoy the hypnotic trance state for several minutes in order to become familiar with it.
2nd Session: Begins the actual hypnotherapy. Again, psychotherapy that is conducted while a client is in a hypnotic trance is called hypnotherapy. The relaxation, receptivity to change, and enhanced suggestibility greatly reduces the amount of time and money that traditional psychotherapy would require. Moreover, the trance makes dealing with difficult material much, much easier to handle as well as being cost effective. Many difficulties can be resolved in 2-3 sessions, however, two sessions are minimum. Please be advised that even though most people feel noticeable relief at the end of the first hypnotherapy session, complete disappearance of symptoms can take 2-3 weeks. The unconscious is a living, organic reality and complete change occurs gradually, more like a flower unfolding than the flip of a mechanical switch.
Payment: Is due at the time of service. You pay for one session at a time with NO commitment to a set number of sessions, NO money down prior to treatment, and NO credit card number required (I do not accept credit cards). I am confident that my fee is less than the others you've researched. Please phone me for information on the fee. At the conclusion of the final session (to be determined by the client based on the reduction/elimination of symptoms), I can teach you self-hypnosis and the use of the Chevreul Pendulum. Following that instruction the client will leave with a complimentary pendulum! My clients have included children (over age 8), adolescents, adults and seniors.
There are three cautionary points that I must mention:
(1) If you are currently taking any Benzodiazepine medications (e.g., Xanax®, Valium® or Diastat®, Librium®, Ativan®, Klonopin®, Tranxene®, Halcion®, Serax®, Dalmane®, Restoril®, Paxipam®, ProSom®, or others), this class of drug prevents one's ability to enter into hypnotic trance to the depth necessary for a successful hypnotherapeutic outcome. With the guidance of your prescribing physician, it will be necessary for you to be free of the influence of these medications in your body before beginning hypnotherapeutic treatment. If you are a habitual user, even as clinically prescribed, do not stop taking any Benzodiazepine medication abruptly! Very serious and potentially life-threatening withdrawal reactions can result!
(2) If hypnotherapy is being sought for the alleviation of physical pain, I require a written note (a prescription pad note is acceptable) from your physician indicating that it is safe to proceed. (Masking pain of undiagnosed medical conditions with hypnosis can have grave consequences).
(3) Please do not wear contact lenses during hypnosis as occasional lachrymation (tearing) can cause irritation. It is suggested that eye glasses be worn instead, or removal of contacts prior to treatment.
There is no fee charged for missed appointments, but please extend the courtesy of a timely notice of postponement or cancellation. Feel free to email me at email@example.com or if you have questions about my credentials, click on the LinkedIn® button at the right top of this page. Of course, if you want to speak to me directly or set up an appointment, phone me at (305) 653-4841 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, 7 days a week. Thanks again for your interest in my practice!
Dr. Mark Abrahams
835 Northeast 206th Street
Miami, Florida 33179
Serving Greater Miami-Dade County, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Greater Broward & Palm Beach Counties.