An honest therapist will not exact an absurdly high fee. Neither are a lot of sessions necessary to eliminate the symptoms from some of the most terrible and psychologically entrenched traumas. If you are searching for an ethical and compassionate practitioner of hypnotherapy, you have come to the right place, where quality triumphs over quantity!
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 (with a professional code of ethics), 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 (formerly Fort Lauderdale, Florida). I received additional training from other practitioners in Rapid Trauma Resolution, Milton Erickson's Metaphorical Method, and in Neurolinguistic Programming.
The word hypnosis was coined in 1841 by Scottish surgeon, and hypnosis pioneer, Dr. James Braid, 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 (from whose collaborative work I learned the 5-Path® method).
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 among the Oracles at Delphi in ancient Greece, who may have elicited trance through a method of self-hypnosis by inhaling naturally occurring psychoactive Ethylene gas arising from a fissure over which she sat on a tripod chair. Ethylene was one of the first modern medical anesthesia gases.The Oracle's inhalations would have had psychological effects similar to modern narco-hypnosis (narcosynthesis) techniques using Barbiturate medications. (Copy and paste into your browser 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, the Delphic or Pythian Oracles were sought out by troubled individuals for insight into their own maladies from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.
Trance, the altered state of consciousness 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. Historically, trance was at the center of these diverse healing traditions for millennia. Wisdom traditions the world over, have been the trustees of techniques which would come to be understood in modern times as hypnosis. 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.
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 of one's internal state of mind 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:
- Athletic Performance
- Fear of Public Speaking
- Psychedelic Flashbacks
- Psychogenic Pain
- Self-Esteem Issues
- Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
- Traumatic Events
Unfortunately, I do not treat cigarette smoking addiction. I specialize in trauma-based symptoms, and cigarette smoking is not the result of a trauma, but a choice, often influenced by social learning processes during adolescence. For this concern I recommend hypnotic treatment at a center that is oriented solely for smoking cessation. Also, while I am knowledgeable about the phenomenon of past-life regression, I will remind clients that in such matters, I remain 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 Jewish Orthodoxy (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 have. 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. Sometimes a few brief tests ('convincers') of hypnotizability are conducted (which also builds confidence in one's results). Lastly, the first session will end with a hypnotic induction, and a suggestion will be made to go into trance much more rapidly on the following visit. The client will be allowed to enjoy the hypnotic trance state for several minutes in order to become familiar with it, and to condition a new state of mind for future use.
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 necessarily minimum. With hypnotherapy, one is trading duration for intensity. This is how only a few sessions can achieve results more rapidly than months of talking psychotherapy. 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 their European names), 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 from your physician indicating that it is safe to proceed. A prescription pad note is acceptable. (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.
While I do not charge a fee for missed appointments, please extend the courtesy of a timely notice of postponement or cancellation. Promptness is greatly appreciated! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.