16 Aug HYPNOTHERAPY AND MISCONCEPTIONS: AN INTERVIEW AND TRANSCRIPT
Following is a transcript of an interview between George Pegios and Amanda Dounis which took place on 11.8.20.
Great points on questions, interested individuals would have, about hypnotherapy and misconceptions.
If you prefer to watch the actual interview you may do so below:
Disclaimer: this transcript was mechanically transcribed and the author has done her best to make certain grammatical corrections and ensure that it makes sense. The true version is in the video. What follows below is slightly modified to help the reader make sense of the content. Please respect that spoken language often transcribes with confusion and some doubling up. Regardless, enjoy.
A = Amanda Dounis
G = George Pegios
Well hello and a warm welcome to today’s listeners. Allow me to introduce myself as the host of Today’s episode. My name is Amanda Dounis. I am the founder of the positive thinking clinic located in Wolli Creek Sydney.
Here are the positive thinking clinic, I see clients of all ages. I see individuals couples families and small groups. I conduct psychotherapy and I use a variety of modalities delivered through counselling techniques and hypnotherapy.
I’m a professional counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist, strategic psychotherapist, early childhood teacher, and MLP master practitioner.
To learn more about what I do and what I offer, visit my website on www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au. The easiest way to connect with me on social media is to search my name Amanda Dounis or my clinic name Positive thinking clinic.
You may also access my social media at the bottom of my website. I’m the author of my coping skills handbook aimed at kids aged 8 through to 14 years of age and I’ve also turned this into an online course.
I have a range of podcasts that can be found on Amandadounis.podbean.com
In addition to the Positive Thinking Clinic, I am the owner of four early learning centers. I’m passionate about quality care and emotional wellness of all ages. I believe we set the foundation for emotional wellness from a very young age. My early learning centers are licensed as Positive Living Skills services.
I also have an emotional wellness & kids group on Facebook. One of my greatest hobbies is that I think I’m always involved in a variety of courses no matter how small. I enjoy adding to my skill set as an integrated therapist.
I learn diverse skills and I select the best fit for any situation. If you wonder if I have any other hobbies I’m also into fitness. I’ve run a number of marathons including two ultra marathons. So that’s me in a nutshell.
If you wanted to get in touch you can use the contact form on my website.
I would love to hear from you signing out and moving forward.
You’re listening to Amanda Dounis.
Today we have George Pearce joining us. George Pegios is the founder of help my pain in Double Bay.
His main interest is hypnosis for medical pain. He’s done a diploma in hypnotherapy. He’s a strategic psychotherapist and a Master NLP Practitioner.
If you want to find out more about George Pegios visit www.helpmypain.com.au.
He’s very interested in pain management, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. He’s also interested in writing and publishing. You can contact George through the website.
You can also be part of his social media finding him through help my pain on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
George also studied at Sydney University during his dental degree. He has since then done some consultant work, has developed consumer products, and has a variety of other interests.
He loves the outdoors. He loves golf, scuba diving, and has also lived in Bali for two years. He was always interested in hypnosis. First he started with the NLP course and then realized that his lecturer Gordon Young also offered Hypnotherapy and Strategic Psychotherapy.
He found this extremely interesting especially the way that it impacts all aspects of human beings. Since then George has furthered his knowledge doing a variety of other courses.
So let’s see today what expertise George can share with us today.
Okay so we’ve got George Pegios. George: welcome to today’s program.
Thank you Amanda. Thank you for the invitation. I’m so looking forward to this.
George you know I thought we’d speak about common misconceptions and misunderstandings that clients or individuals have about hypnotherapy.
I’ve been experiencing that confusion because of the questions that some clients have been asking me before session. Have you encountered the same in your experience?
Actually funny enough I had a new client that came in last week that we kind of butted heads a little bit because of misconception. And her misconception was that she thought that all she had to do was turn up, sit there passively and let me do my thing. And I had to explain to her that it’s a little bit more involved than that. And we can’t just simply zap people or do something to people without them really participating to some degree.
And I think that a lot of that is propagated by what people see on TV or movies or in stage shows about a total control by the hypnotist or the therapist.
Yeah I agree there. George to be quite honest with you I was unable to explain exactly hypnotherapy was until I actually became qualified and it was still strange to me because we are so exposed to what happens on TV, and on all the live shows.
And I know now that there’s a key difference. And one way that I clear that up in my clinic, is when I have a client make the first booking,.. I’ve written a blog on what hypnotherapy is. Or I actually have more than one, and I usually send them one, just so that they have the opportunity to read exactly what to expect when they come along.
If they don’t read that, then obviously I have to explain in session before we do something, and I do find that just like you said, sometimes they think they just, or they expected a region of you to just turn off and say what magic you as the therapist can do.
But truthfully the magic is within them. Let’s just say we’re there guiding them. And all hypnosis as we’ve learnt is self hypnosis.
And I think another misconception is: That they have to sleep. And I understand this part because that term has been thrown around, mostly in America and the UK. I see that, that term is used, I don’t use that in my clinic. Do you use it in your therapy George? Sleep? The word hypnosis comes from the greek word translating to sleep.
I don’t, I avoid that yeah.
But having said that I’ve had a few people that I’ve had far too comfortable that have actually fallen asleep and lucky, lucky in those instances I had, that I was recording the sessions for a particular purpose so I could give them. But obviously that’s not going to work.
No that’s right. I always remind my clients just before the session that.
It’s an experience where their body is extremely relaxed but they have extreme heightened and focused attention. And so it is quite possible that you may doze off and fall asleep. It’s not very common to be quite honest because I really reinforce being extremely mind alert.
Now if I was to get an indication that my client has dozed off or fallen asleep, I say this before session and I’ll get permission to maybe tap him or her on the shoulder, or I’ll let them know that I’ll make some other noise to make sure that they’ve come out of that, because I don’t want them in that state of sleep.
So just going back you said that you you write a blog or you send the client some information beforehand, roughly what do you include in that information?
I include a definition of what hypnotherapy is, my role, my expectations, of myself, and of them, and for them, what to expect. And I’m pretty sure it also includes some of the myths of what hypnotherapy is, what it is, and what it’s good for and what it’s not.
And just so that at least they have a basic understanding because some clients have come for a session saying oh I’ve tried this therapy and that therapy and now I’ll try hypnotherapy but I don’t know exactly what hypnotherapy is.
And the reason why give them that (the blog) is because, well that saves us ten minutes in session explaining it, I rather them have the opportunity to read it and then when they come into session they ask me some questions for clarity.
So it’s just groundwork before they actually come in for the first session. I know that makes sense and you get get them up to speed as much as possible. Yeah.
Another misconception. Obviously would come in special powers.
Now another one that I get, I get asked as well quite often is, do they lose control or you know, do we make them do things that I want to do. Is it, is it basically a mind control thing.
And it’s actually quite funny because even my daughter I’ve suggested doing some you know some basic work with her and she doesn’t want it because she actually feels that this is mind control. It’s actually quite funny. Yeah.
So I like to reassure clients who seem nervous about that at all stages, they are in total control. They can open their eyes they can stand up and they can walk out. I say that bluntly so that they know that they have total control the entire time and that we don’t have any control over them just that we expect them to go with the experience, and just say that it’s relaxing, it’s pleasant and, that we don’t have any control over them.
This is just a different style of therapy. In addition because you brought it to my attention. Sometimes they think that we may be able to get some deep secrets out of them or that they can feel things. But then and again that comes to control. They have total control over what they say.
At all times we cannot make them say anything or reveal any deep secrets. Have you ever had anybody that’s concerned about that?
No but I have heard it from other practitioners though, and just in general. Yeah but no one said that to me directly. No.
What about people who think or say or comment that they have to have a weak mind to be hypnotized.
Have you ever heard that before. I’ve heard I’ve heard of that.
Not not directly. Again, no one said that to me because most people don’t think they’ve got a weak mind.
But sometimes people can be too analytical. And they need to always be in control and constantly analyze exactly what you say and that could work against them as well because you’re basically trying to get them in a relaxed state.
And yet their mind is firing off on everything that’s being said and done and start questioning, they’re questioning. And I’ve found that a bit limiting for some people.
George, funny you say that. I’ve had some experience with clients like that as well where they come in and because I’m a counsellor, sometimes we’re not doing hypnotherapy and we’re just doing counselling techniques.
And I did have a client who had said ‘I do want to do hypnotherapy but I’m such a control freak… I don’t want to do it’. And so eventually after several sessions of gaining trust and being more interested in giving it a go…
I then know that I just changed my induction at the beginning of hypnosis, and when I have someone that I know that they want to stay in control, and yet they don’t want to, because they know that you’re not supposed to, I welcome them by saying you can allow yourself to be safely vulnerable.
So in my induction I like to say well you can control as fast as you relax, or you can be in charge at all times of relaxing your mind. So I still give them that element of control during the induction so that they can, it’s their rapport with themselves and with me.
And also as you know there’s a number of different styles of induction, and with the analytical type clients there’s the confusion induction which confuses me too.
So I think that’s really useful because the mind just wants to keep on trying to analyze such a confusing part of induction. You just then just say okay let me just be with the experience. And I guess we prompt them, to remember, just relax and just enjoy the experience, and let the controlling mind of yours just step aside and listen. It doesn’t have to participate.
Just so that you can access that part of your mind, so that we can reinforce any change that you want, that when they’re in control of what they desire and what they’re there for. And settle down on the mind and eliminate some of that… you know chitchat, that’s not being very helpful. That they can really see it from a just different perspective.
Yeah that’s right. Perspective is everything, I think they come in with one way of thinking and perceiving or interpreting the will they belief, which ultimately is the limiting belief until they allow for the mind to become creative enough.
I mean, going back to being weak minded or strong minded I’ve read in the literature that it’s quite often strong minded people who do very well in hypnotherapy and in decision but I don’t have a belief that you know you’re either weak minded or or strong minded, I think in certain areas you are stronger than others.
So that means to me that you already possess that resource. We’ve just got to rely on the situation that you’re in now whether it be doing a session on hypnosis or daydreaming. Or focused attention. That’s right.
Another couple of experiences that I had as well with some things that are a little bit different where I had someone that was referred to me who has only been in the country for about a year and whose English was not that well, and I tried as much as I could I didn’t want to overdo it as far as simplifying the language but I was very conscious of what I was saying and how I was saying things. And to my surprise it worked quite well.
So sometimes not having 100 percent grasp of the language isn’t a barrier either, as long as you know what the message is basically. Then as long as it’s generally understandable and you’ve got the right approach to providing that, the therapy is all that can work as well.
It’s not I suppose, not guaranteed that it can work nearly every time. Good rapport with a client is necessary, because the client in that situation or in every situation has to be able to make their own meaning. So yes it’s good to hear that, that was successful even given the slight language barrier.
You still get the meaning across and the client was able to create re-thought on that and changed states. That’s a very good success story.
It’s, it’s interesting. And as I was watching something on YouTube video by this professor, and he was saying, which I really had thought about, I didn’t quite understand, up until what he said and that is whenever two people communicate.
You want, you need a little bit of ambiguity because that’s what the other person has, their own flavor. Has their own experiences on things. And when they receive the message they blend it somehow to fit to their narrative as well. So you know what I’m trying to say is that it’s not always, you don’t always have to be 100 percent accurate in what you say or have to be specific 100 percent, because there’s so much that comes from the other person as well into that message as well.
So they may say some that triggered something, or they see things. You say something to them, they hear it from a different perspective and then they throw in part of their own experience into that as well. So I think it’s actually quite beautiful how that interplay works if you know what I mean.
I agree with that. Their own internal dialogue like…
I know that when some clients have spoken to me specifically about where they are and where they need to go, and what their resources were in other situations, so they give me a key angle and formula of what to work with.
But I always find very successful sometimes, and only sometimes, I don’t always do conversational hypnosis but what I do like to do a lot of is your own internal dialogue.
I find that fits in nicely with what you just said. Where they can, give this suggestion but I invite them to create their own interpretation or perception or their own language, to repeat to themselves. And that’s the part of hypnosis that I feel is very effective. So they can do that internally. They could do that as a whisper or they can say that out loud.
So yeah I agree with you there. There’s just so many different avenues that you can use, it’s just a matter of being creative, having the rapport with the clients that we know their style as well, and we can be as specific or not specific as we desire. Because it’s them, that takes it and it’s builds on that to create change. So that we become, it becomes personalized and I guess that’s the advantage of the way we deliver hypnotherapy as opposed to using script work.
And then some other hypnotherapist which may be maybe using scripts, it might give them great results as well but that’s not today’s topic. For another time.
For another time.
And that’s the, that’s the that’s the power of movies and metaphors and stories because when you’re telling someone that they’re watching something, they’re putting themselves in that position. They’re putting themselves in that story. They’re putting themselves in that hero or heroic view of the world.
So in the end they participated and you can measure it and it measures it. You know physiologically that people insert themselves in stories and that’s what’s so beautiful in this world. That’s what’s so powerful and effective, stories. I’m a great fan of stories indeed, and you taught me the two frogs story.
And ever since then we’ve been exchanging these stories. It’s really good. But I must say I mean I’m in the early childhood industry and everything that we teach children is through stories. All the morals, all the values, all the sharing, all the feelings, absolutely everything. Even when we do a pre mathematical experience with them or a pre science, we do it through stories.
Whether it’s from a book or we’re just telling a story, or puppets, or through sand or play dough. Anything they want to teach them is never taught through a logical conversation. It’s only delivered through stories.
And I guess, as you know still, children at that age are unconsciously learning all of the time and it just makes total sense that. They learn all of this through stories. That’s why we have to be rich with our literature and books. Like they say in hypnosis, the unconscious mind uses the language of imagination. And we deliver suggestion through storytelling so that the client can use their imagination and they come to find their solutions.
Its like you said it’s beautiful. it is the right term that you’re using to create change like that when someone comes in for smoking and we do hypnotherapy. we know it’s very successful because having a logical conversation with someone who smokes isn’t going to work. They’re going to finish their last cigarette, and go get another one regardless of the picture on the packet of cigarettes.
The logic that they’ve had. There’s much logic as you could imagine. I mean everyone’s telling them, they can read it anywhere. It’s you know, it’s, it’s all logical. That’s the right stuff, but it’s not logic that could make the change.
Yeah that’s right. So it’s really nice that hypnotherapy is a different pathway that can be beneficial to so many individuals who want to create change. Sometimes it’s the right thing for them to do right now or next year or last year.
It’s just gotta be the right time with a willing to be the best client possible which is being vulnerable to the experience safely. Yeah. Does she or he know, to be vulnerable to the experience. That way I like to say that, because it gives them permission to let their guard down and know that, because it’s actually about letting go. And we can’t do that if we’re going to come in with all our walls and say I’m not going to let you relax me.
So we’ll have that rapport, we have that agreement beforehand. Usually that works out quite nicely. It’s really nice watching us deliver change or watching the client learn their own skills and bring out their own results, to create their own results. It’s really rewarding isn’t it?
I think we’ve covered absolutely everything that they really,… or enough?
I have a couple more, that there’s a couple more.
One of the other misconception is, if I’m doing hypnosis and something happens to the therapist, whether they leave the room, or whether they have a heart attack and die, will they be stuck in hypnosis. Will I be stuck in that stage. And of course the answer is No. That you’ll gradually in your own time come out of it. That’s it.
I had an interesting experience with a younger lady. It was her third session and by that stage she had become very comfortable with my voice and with with what we were doing. And a place, of course she was, she was in a very good state, quite deep actually, and someone knocked on the door which they’re not supposed to do. And I went to answer it and I was there for a bit of time and I came back. And we resumed the session and then when it’s, when it finished, I asked her what her experience was.
She said look, I could tell something was going on, but I just didn’t care. I just, I was just enjoying the experience as being really really really deeply relaxed as she was she was almost cataleptic. In other words you know pretty much I couldn’t move at all.
And did you say to her that you were going to go and answer the door. What did you say?
I apologized and I said look I’m really sorry but just just take this time to just relax and focus your attention inwards. I didn’t I mean I didn’t have to do much but we had a good rapport there. So if that had happened to someone who was there for the first time I don’t know how it would have been. But you know again these things happened.
Going back to my original point was that some people do think or have the idea that they’re hypnotized, it’s like in the movies that you stay hypnotized forever which as you said we don’t, just doesn’t happen.
And another point on noise and disturbances. We live much of our day through unconscious learning.
And that’s full of environmental noise and a lot of the information that’s trance. Through our entire experience, in life, has not come through uninterrupted silence has it. Our fears phobias and our emotional encounters have often been out in public and we people surrounding us so, hypnosis works.
I always tell my clients, in my nice little cozy room which is my therapy room. I let them know that, whatever sounds they hear is just a reminder that they’re extremely awake. Because I have a train line at the back. You can’t usually hear a train go by but you might hear a car go by.
I know of other hypnotherapist in the city who constantly have fire brigades going past and lots of sound. And so we utilize it in our session.
But somehow in the beginning of my induction I’d like to prep them up, just in case anything happens and they do hear.
I’m in a clinic with other rooms, and just in case someone decides to do a big laugh, then it’s not a disturbance it’s like it’s just part of your experience.
Your experience is internal and I say you can care less about any other sounds except my voice. So I like to prep them up that way as well. You know this way you utilize it and what I say when there’s noise, and there’s people walking past the corridor outside or they can hear cars and trucks.
So to say just use this time knowing listening to that know that you don’t have to be part of that anymore right here right now it’s your time out from all that you don’t have to engage in any of that.
So they know that it’s the more they hear it the more it creates a barrier and a separation from that life. That external. That’s right. Well we can blend it in and utilize it. I just. Only once I did this but it fitted in nicely like we did hear a train go past because I do work in the evenings where it’s kind of quiet and it was at that appropriate time where I was suggesting that we can just put any thoughts on that train and just let it carry away so that you can just use it that way.
We just used it that way. Or even if I did hear something really loud I would often mention that, but utilise it and let it be gone like barking away. For example if it was a dog WE could utilize it that way.
Well there was once children laughing very loud something must be very funny. But we could hear the laughter and I knew there was that as well like the sound of children.
So I blended it in with my stories, that way it doesn’t put any pressure on me. It’s part of the experience and it becomes very casual and just it’s like I said no pressure.
And then the last thing that I had to say was an experience I’ve had is some and I’ve heard it from a couple of people and it’s a particular excuse and I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all because everyone is entitled to their own view, is that they are deeply religious and they believe that hypnosis
means that that they’re giving up their freedom of will and that it allows someone to enter or someone’s influence to enter their mind and take away from them or allow the devil to come in.
So you need to be, well we need to be respectful that certain people have certain views and it can it can come up as a barrier, so obviously we’d have to work around it and just basically talk to, if they if they did want to come in for help we’d be talking to them but we couldn’t be doing anything along the lines of hypnosis because they would find that obviously very offensive I suppose because of their beliefs.
And have you had that experience?
I haven’t had that experience to be honest with you to that extreme, although as you say that I do wonder what needs to be clarified. As you said that story I just visualized myself diffusing those just because they’re not truths. But we’re not allowed. Definitely. No we’re not. So we don’t have the power to create any entities or you know we don’t work in that field at all.
So I think that your client in that regard obviously would appreciate some psycho education on what hypnotherapy is and what it isn’t so that way he or she feels safe. That this isn’t an entity. It just works on relaxing and looking at resource states.
Meeting goals making changes in their behaviors, their ways of thinking and yet their beliefs or religion or spirituality for that matter stays intact. And I have done a lengthy component on multicultural counselling. So yes I totally agree that it’s very important to speak to clients about their beliefs, their customs their religion.
And that happens in our client intake form. And when we see something that stands out there. We discuss that with the client to do any kind of discussion. So I think that’s dispelled right at the beginning of our very first session so that when we do progress and say we’re going to do a simple hypnotherapy then they know that they’re not doing anything wrong because if they feel they’re doing anything wrong it’s best that we don’t progress because we don’t want to cause any harm.
No no no. You don’t want to cause any kind of conflict within that person. So psycho education is really important for them to receive to know what it is and what it is not. And then they can decide if you think therapy is the right thing for them or not.
Because as well as experiencing it I also read I don’t know it was some website or some blog. Actually no it was one of the courses that I’m doing with people. It’s an online course where practitioners have written questions of their own from their own experiences one was that they had resistance from someone because of religious beliefs. So that’s why I thought about it today.
Yeah. That’s a very good topic. That is a very good thing to speak about. And. I agree that some people, because of their beliefs, their religion, their spirituality they’re entitled to feel that they should ask as many questions as possible so that they can feel safe and to say, and to decide for themselves if this is the right pathway for them. And at the end of the day what we’re here for is basically good reason and to help them break through whatever they need to break through.
So the purpose of today’s episode was for any of our listeners to gain an understanding. I mean there’s been a lot of searching on the Internet as to what it is what it is not. And I think it’s even that that’s available. Some people like to see it on YouTube and I know there’s lots of reasons to put it there on YouTube or listen to an MP3 or podcast or whatever it is.
And so we’ve done this short episode. We hope it’s useful for our listeners and for all of those listening out there. You’ve been listening to Amanda Dounis from the positive thinking clinic and George Pegios from help my pain.
So like we said at the beginning of the episode if you wanted to reach out to us you can contact us through our website and even connect on our social media, even if you just wanted to ask a question.
So if there’s anything else George on your end….
No I just want to thank you very much for the opportunity.
Thank you too. I think it worked out quite well.
I think so too,
So maybe we’ll get together and do another episode on a different topic. So I guess I’ll see you soon. Thank you. Logging out now.
Positive Thinking Clinic
1/7 Magdalene Terrace
Wolli Creek, 2205
0458 850 850