In June of 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals. In a post-game interview with ABC, LA Lakers' player Ron Artest attributed some of success to his sports psychologist Dr. Nicole Miller. Artest had a history of getting so angry that he had previously gotten into a fight with fans in the arena. The psychologist had helped Artest control his anger and manage stress more effectively.
One obvious risk to patients is the insufficiently trained therapist. The inadequately trained therapist can cause harm and distort the normally pleasant experience of hypnotherapy. A second risk for patients is the unscrupulous practitioner who may be both inadequately trained and may have some hidden agenda. These rare individuals are capable of causing great harm to the patient and to the profession. As mentioned above, the patient should carefully scrutinize their chosen therapist before submitting themselves to this dynamic form of therapy.
Changing the way you think and act is tough even when you have support from others. But when key leaders above or beside you are indifferent, skeptical or hostile to changes you're trying to make, things get exponentially more difficult. Coaching works best when key people in the executive's world stand solidly behind her. They need to provide tailwinds, not headwinds. Coaching relationships in a vacuum of support fall apart before any goals are achieved.
Hypnosis is first and foremost a self-accepted journey away from the reality of the moment. Although the trance state is often referred to as if the patient is asleep, nothing could be further from the truth. The patient is fully awake at all times. The hypnotic subject is simply in a heightened, more receptive state of mind. This fact is proven with inductions called open-eye techniques, where the patient keeps his/her eyes open during the hypnotherapy. Full and deep trance is still achievable.
One of Google’s earliest executives, Chade-Meng Tan, teaches a popular course for Google employees that helps build such qualities. It’s demonstrated positive benefits for success and wellbeing. And much research confirms that self-examination is critical for leaders’ positive development. For example, Scott Keller, a director at McKinsey & Company, described the importance of overcoming self-interest and delusion in the Harvard Business Review. He emphasized the need for openness to personal growth and development, because “deep down, (leaders) do not believe that it is they who need to change...” and that “the real bottleneck...is knowing what to change at a personal level.” Self-awareness also expands the capacity to know what not to pursue, not just what to go after, as Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS, Inc., described regarding what he learned from an Apple executive.
Look for a hypnotherapist who is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. To be a member of either of these organizations, a hypnotherapist must have a doctorate level degree in medicine, dentistry, or psychology, or a master’s degree in nursing, social work, psychology, or marital/family therapy plus a specific number of hours of approved training in hypnotherapy. In some cases, accredited, doctoral-level practitioners of alternative health care, such traditional Chinese medicine, may also be approved for membership. Of course, in addition to looking at qualifications, you should also find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel confident and comfortable in a therapeutic relationship.