Saturday, March 7, 2009


In my last blog, I spoke about the first part of hypnosis – the hypnotic induction. Now, in this blog I want to talk about the second most important part of hypnosis – the suggestions. Most new and some experienced hypnotherapists spend an extraordinary amount of time focused on perfecting an induction… which is understandable considering that this is the way to help their client down the road to a hypnotic trance. However, without the proper amount of suggestions, an induction alone would be like the body of a car without its motor. This creative part of hypnosis is made up of words, metaphors, paraphrases, old folk’s tales, parallelisms or anything the hypnotist could think of to deliver a strong life-altering message to his or her client.

As a hypnotherapist, I never really know what words or set of words will be ‘magic’ for each client until I speak with him or her. Yes, I know what may have worked for others with similar issues but every person is different – they have various experiences, wants, needs and personalities. This is why hypnotic suggestions are the creative part of hypnosis and why all hypnotherapists should spend just as much time on these as on the induction.

Suggestions are so powerful that they can make the difference between just another hypnotherapist and a true healer!

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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Sunday, February 15, 2009


I receive many queries from both new and experienced hypnotherapists who ask my opinion about the best induction to use (or the easiest way to put a person into trance). They are concerned about which induction is more effective for their clients.

I discuss with them how the hypnotic induction is the single most important factor in hypnosis and if it is done right, the client will leave with a good perception of hypnosis— in addition to a positive feeling that he or she will achieve his or her goals.

Many inductions have been developed over decades. Some examples: the Dave Elman method, Erickson’s conversational method, the arm levitation, the pendulum swing/eye fixation, and the handshake method. The Instantaneous, Rapid or Shock inductions are some of the quicker inductions that many hypnotists may employ.

Since hypnosis is both science and art, every hypnotist has a different style – some want to go for the faster inductions, some like a conversational one and yet others feel the need to test the induction (or the level of trance) on the client such as in the case of the Elman method. Many hypnotherapists think that a light stage of trance as in the pendulum swing/eye fixation is good enough in most cases, and some would rather maintain a medium or deep trance.

In my opinion, many of the inductions out today are more hypnotherapist-driven instead of client-driven.

My theory on the induction is to keep the client in mind when selecting the appropriate induction. Think about it: if you were to go into the office of a hypnotherapist for a one-on-one session – not knowing anything about hypnosis or the hypnotist, would you want this stranger shocking you (rapid or shock induction), snatching on your arm (arm bar/levitation) or boring you into trance with some long, convoluted dissertation? Would you be comfortable enough to let someone shake your hand (handshake method) and shortly after immediately hear the word, sleep, screamed into your ear?! Do you feel you would go to sleep in this manner? Do you feel you would relax enough to be at ease or even speak positively to your friends about your hypnotic experience?

Because many inductions have little consideration for the client in a clinical setting, it is the reason I developed my own induction method – The JOImethod. The goal of this induction is to get the client to a state of somnambulism or deeper (around five minutes is a good speed for the client) in the most relaxed way (so he or she can enjoy the experience) and then install his or her goals while they are at this deep level.

The idea of a great induction is to place the client in a highly suggestible state (my theory is to do it in a comfortable way for the client) so that his or her mind could receive the goals (suggestions) that he or she came in for and leave with a positive perception of hypnosis.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

School Board Nixes Hypnosis for Basketball Team

Even though hypnosis enhances an athlete’s performance on the court/gridiron, a school board in St. John, Kansas decided against the practice for its varsity basketball team

Hypnosis is still seen by many as magic or stage antics grounded in mysticism. Think about it: if your only concept of hypnosis is seeing an old man with a pocket watch walking across a stage seemingly controlling the minds of his volunteers (getting them to act a fool uncontrollably), you certainly wouldn’t want your son or daughter to participate in a school’s program even though the hypnotist may have given a glaring description of how hypnosis works.

What many parents don’t realize is that hypnosis is both science and art. It is so versatile, it is probably one of the only techniques that can be used by various professionals – athletes, dentists, general doctors, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, counselors, social workers, ministers, teachers, coaches, motivational speakers, magicians and stage hypnotists or anyone dealing with the mind. Its uses are many – as in healing mental and emotional issues, acquiring motivation to achieve goals, as an anesthetic/ to control pain, boost confidence/esteem, stop smoking, lose weight, or enhance one’s performance/talent…just to mention a few arenas of application.

Unfortunately it is the magician or the stage hypnotist – with a larger than life personality – who appears to use hypnosis in a ‘mind control’ type of way for jokes and laughter. Of course, he will receive many oohs and ahs from his audience but the damage in seeing a professional man walking around like a ballerina or a professional woman walking around like a sex crazed maniac is indelible to the minds of many.

In the criminal field, police would say that their job is to protect 99% of the population from the 1% of the criminals. The same can go for many professionals who use hypnosis to enhance their patients’/clients’ lives versus that 1% who uses it for shock value, fun and games.

Because of that 1% of showmanship, perhaps no other therapeutic technique has to defend itself as much as hypnosis has to.

But as the father of one of the St. John’s varsity team players said, “I don’t know how it works, but Jordan says he can feel a difference. He says he loves it.” Shouldn’t that matter most!

Maybe if the parents and the school board of the St. John’s basketball team were told that hypnosis would not only help their sons play better basketball, but it would also enhance their grades, build their confidence and esteem and help them prepare for their future… maybe the school board would have defended hypnosis instead of being against it.

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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Monday, February 2, 2009



In my last blog I discussed why relationships between men and women are so rocky in today’s world. Today, as promised, I will write about what makes men and women so different from each other and more importantly, how relationships can be successful despite these differences.

NOTE: Keep in mind that I am generalizing from my experience from studying both men and women individually and working with couples. You and your mate may have specific differences that I do not mention here.


A man defines himself by what he does for a living or his career. And he is very simple in comparison to women. You can figure him out easily if you study his behavior - he goes to work, puts in his required hours, comes home, eats and does whatever he enjoys - watching television, playing video games, having a beer with the guys, playing with his toys (electronic gadgets, tools for his car or computer), repairing something around the house, talking to his wife (in certain situations this activity may be very limited for various reasons – see top ten reasons for divorce in Part 1)… and at the end of the day, he wants to be sexually intimate with his woman – of course, if there isn’t any arguing, fussing or fighting going on. Everything he does is simple and logical and this is where he puts his meaning and value.

He can do this year-in and year-out without change? Women may look at this as being boring – and it probably is after a while – but this is the way men are genetically wired and environmentally groomed.

Since guys are very logical, they like for things to go according to a logical plan.

Being the left brain types, guys generally cannot handle intense emotions – such as crying or being upset over small things or about what someone said to them or about them negatively - at least not for long. But because of his drive to have sex (a man is biologically designed to procreate), he will tolerate his mate’s emotions more than normal.

On Relationships:

Bonding: The more sex he has with his woman, the closer he feels to her. The less sex he has with her (because of arguments, fights, and emotional battles), the more his mind will wander – which ultimately draws him apart from her. Without the intimacy with his woman, his nature will build up - he can actually feel it in his nether regions - physically - and his thoughts may become stronger (daydreaming about sex, etc.). Thus, one of the top reasons for divorce may rear its ugly head: infidelity (number 1 on the Top Ten list of reasons for divorce).

Weaknesses: Because of his logic (doing the same things year after year), he is very limited in his tastes for clothes, food, conversation and culture. His idea of a night out on the town may be going to the local buffet for the all-you-can-eat menu –he loves to save money! After all, saving pennies is the logical thing to do, right? And he oftentimes may miss the subtle messages that his woman may be sending out about how she feels, which can be a cause for an argument.

Strengths: Being the logical type, he knows how to get things done. This helps his relationship in terms of paying bills, building the bank account, having the car repaired, fixing things around the house, and being good with time management. Since he isn’t fancy, he can stay with the same woman forever as long as she treats him right – which equates to less emotions/arguments and more physical intimacy. While he isn’t emotional, he has learned over the years how to cope with emotions when it comes to his woman.


A woman defines herself by her relationship or her family. Because of her emotions and intuition, she is genetically wired and environmentally groomed to be in touch with her feelings and has a desire to be different. According to statistics, she speaks 20,000 words per day compared to man’s 7,000 words per day; because of these factors, this makes her the most complex species on earth!

Being the right brain type, she loves beauty, making herself pretty, and has a penchant for shopping. Women generally dislike boredom or doing the same things over and over again like men do.

On Relationships:

Bonding: The more she is moved – i.e., stimulated mentally and emotionally – by her man, the closer she feels to him. Without being shown attention and affection in her relationship, her nature will build up and her thoughts will begin to wander. She will daydream about romance, the need to hear how beautiful she is or how much she is wanted and loved. Because of her dislike for the mundane, she may easily think the 'grass is greener in other pastures' – and this sometimes may lead to infidelity (number 1 on the Top Ten list of reasons for divorce).

Weaknesses: Time management – since she is the right brain type, she is moved by how she feels/her own time and not by man’s clock. Because her emotions make her complex (and her complexity makes her feel unique about herself), she may cause drama in the relationship and hold on to an argument longer than her mate which ultimately causes her relationship more issues. She may use her emotions – intentionally or unintentionally – to control the relationship.

Strengths: She is a nurturing being. Without her love for beauty, culture, fashion, the need to keep up with current events and her penchant to talk, the relationship will become boring. She helps her man when it comes to selecting his clothes and helping him to become more cultured. Her decorations make the house more of a home. With her need to be sociable, she helps him come out of his shell when it comes to having fun. She is good with organizing events, trips and outings for the family.

So now it’s back to the original question: How can a relationship become better or more successful?

Women’s complexity and man’s simplicity may certainly present major issues in relationships. If neither are consciously aware and appreciative of each other’s differences, the relationship would inevitably suffer.

Yet, here’s the clincher: Instead of using your differences as a tool to compete and fight, you can use them as if you are both partners in a card game for high stakes competing against two other partners for the win.

We first have to stop seeing ourselves as separate from each other and embrace the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Because my partner is different than I am doesn’t mean that we aren’t meant to be soul-mates. She has abilities, skills and ideals that she brings to the table and so does he.

This, however, requires growing up and becoming mature! And it also requires… COMMITMENT!

Once we understand and appreciate the differences and ‘let go’ of our ego (it certainly gets in the way in a relationship), only then can we compromise with our wants and needs in relation to our mate’s wants and needs.

We all know we have our own issues and problems (drama, being overly emotional or too analytical, being negative, angry, hostile, competitive, having a need for control, or just natural differences between men and women) and it is these issues that cause our relationship problems. Since we know this, why do we hold on to them? If we have no intentions of letting go of our own issues (or at least move them out of the relationship’s way), why be in a relationship and make ourselves sick, our mate miserable and eventually, contribute to the divorce rate statistics?

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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Sunday, January 25, 2009



”What you can do I can do better! No you can’t, yes I can, no you can’t, yes I can!”

This chant was in a commercial many years ago between the basketball great Michael Jordan and the soccer great Mia Hamm (Mariel Margaret Hamm).

Even though I loved this commercial, it pitted one super athlete against another in many different scenarios; unfortunately, this attitude also embodies how many couples behave in their relationship – as if they were playing a game to see who will be the winner.

In my practice I have worked with many couples. Such problems I hear of: ”Why does he or she behave the way he or she behaves? Why is he or she looking/ wanting to be with someone else? Why are we arguing all the time? I am ‘trying’ to love him or I am ‘trying’ to love her but he or she won’t cooperate. She does this that irritates me or he does that which frustrates me. It is just a constant battle between us!”

After all of the bickering and the going back and forth, and both telling me who’s to blame, ultimately, the question eventually comes to: How can we make our relationship better?

Before I get into that, I will share some information to get your gray cells spinning.

The divorce rate in America is about 50% (and that’s only for the first marriage). Men and women are constantly at each other’s throats over small things.

People, we have a serious problem and we (both men and women) are to blame – there is enough finger-pointing to go around.

Below are the Divorce Rate Statistics of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marriages.
• Divorce rate in America after first marriage is from 41% to 50%.
• U.S divorce rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67%
• After 3 marriages the U.S divorce rate is from 73% to 74%

According to a Healthy Living website, here are the Top Ten Reasons for Divorce:

1. Lack of commitment towards marriage, sexual incompatibility and infidelity
2. Lack of communication between spouses
3. Abandonment, alcohol addiction and substance abuse
4. Physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse
5. Inability to manage and resolve conflict
6. Differences in personal and career goals
7. Different expectation about household tasks and financial problems
8. Intellectual incompatibility and inflexibility
9. Mental instability and mental illness
10. Religious belief, cultural and lifestyle differences

With the exception of point number 9 above, I have experienced each of these issues first hand with the various couples I’ve worked with over the years. By far, lack of commitment, lack of communication, inflexibility, and the inability (or desire) to manage and resolve conflict are the issues I have seen happen the most.

Think of this: why do we (both men and women) spend so much time, money and effort searching for each other – we go to clubs, pubs, and parties, dating services, blind dates and social groups – just to argue, fuss and fight when we finally get with each other? And if the relationship ends in divorce (heaven forbid), we do the same things all over again in search of the next companion, or should I say, the next competitive match. Many times we take our negative issues from one relationship to the next relationship.

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘I am looking for my soul-mate’? It is a very common expression.

What does that actually mean? Does it mean that only one person on the face of this planet has a similar soul as I? Does it mean that I am looking for a carbon copy of myself? Does it mean that if someone thinks differently than I do, I will give that person pure hell? Does it also mean that only 50% of the American population that is still married has been lucky enough to have found their soul mate…or have they just not mustered the courage to leave?

When I think of the word ‘soul-mate’ (by the way, this word is not on the Top Ten list of reasons for divorce), I also think of the word compatibility (and incompatibility is down the list at number eight). Finding my soul-mate is the same as finding someone compatible to me.

Let’s face it, men and women are the most intelligent creatures on this planet. We have the ability to adapt to any surrounding, culture, language, situation or environment; yet we complain about our mate (which means we complain about ourselves because we married or decided to have a relationship with the mate) or a potential mate who comes from the same country, state, town, city, schools, speaks the same language and has the same accent, the same or similar career, lifestyle, goals, educational background, religion, and finally, the same ideals. Could you get any more compatible?

If two people have all of this compatibility (in other words, he or she has found his soul-mate), why do we have so much divorce/separation in our society? Am I looking to date myself?

If I am looking for more of a carbon-copy of me, I need to consider first - have I not been upset with some of the choices that I have made in my life? If so, this would mean that if I find someone who is exactly the same as I am in every way, I will probably be upset with some of her choices as well.

Why wouldn’t I cut my mate some slack?

Here is a secret:

Successful relationships (like anything else) require work from both parties – especially after the Honeymoon Stage is over. This is the stage of the relationship between the time when you first met your mate until about a year or so later, depending on the couple. During this time, your new mate can do no wrong – he or she can walk on water in your eyes.

Do you still remember that time when you felt butterflies in your stomach when you saw, heard or even thought of your mate? The time when you were inseparable – talking on the phone for hours when you were apart, e-mailing and text messaging all day, holding hands, eating out of the same bowl, sipping from the same glass, taking showers together, giving each other massages, feeding each other grapes over a candle-lit fire – you know, those times?

But what happens after the Honeymoon Stage when the couple begins to ‘settle’ in and REALLY get to know each other? Believe it or not, however, even though the Honeymoon Stage may have worn off, the relationship isn’t over – there is still fun to be had.

To make our relationships run smoother, we must first understand who we are and who we are dating or married to. To do this, we need to take a look at the basic differences between men and women to help us appreciate each other more.

But time’s up for this blog – so tune back in next week to learn about what makes men and women so different and how, despite these differences, they can make a relationship work!

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Most Challenging Client

Oftentimes I receive questions – whether from a client, a friend, family member or from someone at a social event – on what type of client is the most challenging?

When I am asked this question, I’ve gathered that the person asking is usually talking about the most difficult person to hypnotize. After I find out if this is indeed what he or she means, I let them know that I have no problems hypnotizing anyone. In fact, inducing or hypnotizing someone is the easy part!

Many of these questioners are often surprised when I say this because they have this erroneous view that hypnosis is a mental challenge between hypnotist and client instead of a cooperative relationship.

After I explain what hypnosis is to them, I then let them know that my challenges would come from the Negative Emotional client.

Of course their next question is: how so?

I go on to say: when a person displays Negative Emotions (here I am talking extreme cases or near extreme such as years of depression/suicidal tendencies, obsessive compulsive behavior/thoughts, and eating disorders), his or her nasty habits are so entrenched, I would have to work with them on many sessions (six or more) just to balance out the emotions first. Once their emotions are balanced, inner peace and harmony injected into the mind and emotions just to offset the ‘war’ that is been waged inside of them, only then could we work on their other goals that they came in for.

Where I could see a major difference in a non-emotional or a client with balanced emotions in one to three sessions, the client who suffers from Negative Emotions are so locked in to how she ‘feels’ that she may miss the change. And even if she can see or feel some change, those negative emotions or the experience of anger, guilt, humiliation, shame, embarrassment or some other feeling that have become habit may be reaching in from the past preventing her from enjoying the change.

How did this client get this way? I cannot speak for all of them but I can say from my experience that many of them would have missed a wonderful experience in childhood and instead suffered abuse, neglect or some form of other mistreatment. Or some of them could have lived in a household without strong and supportive parental guidance or with parents/relatives who experienced years of depression or some other Negative Emotion and this behavior ‘rubbed’ off on them.

Because of the years of havoc and turmoil, many of them have little social and career skills – this is another reason why this client is so challenging. With this in mind, I don’t only use hypnosis; I also use advice, mentoring/coaching and encouragement in both their personal and professional lives.

In essence, this client is challenging because I would have to dismantle the dysfunctional mental and emotional system and rebuild a new and functioning one (inner peace, balance, harmony, self esteem/confidence and focus; social, organizational and career skills).

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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