Monday, June 8, 2009

Group Hypnosis or Private Sessions

A couple years back a prospective client called me regarding my hypnosis counseling services. When we got around to discussing fees, he balked at my rate of $100 per visit and stated "Yeah, but the guy with ad in the paper today only charges $49.95!"

I inquired if he was referring to the large group hypnosis seminar for quitting smoking and weight loss that was making the rounds in our area to which he replied in the affirmative. With that I explained that if he attracts 100 attendees his actual rate is about $2,497.50 per hour for that two hour program! And it is really comparing apples to oranges since in that environment the presenter cannot provide any individualized attention to a specific group member if needed.

This is not to say that there is no value to group hypnosis programs. In fact, I myself have run a number of them related to smoking cessation, weight loss and stress reduction through my county colleges' Adult Education programs and have truly enjoyed facilitating them. However, there is some consumer confusion as to what are the differences between group hypnosis and private sessions. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of?

First and foremost, always remember that hypnosis unlocks potential already resides in your subconscious mind, a hypnotist has no special magical powers-just a skill set that helps people improve their lives. What can a properly run group program offer you? In the past I have been lucky enough to sit in on some professional development seminars given by Robert Otto, the leading expert on running hypnosis programs and I learned quite a bit.

A good group program can offer you really useful information about the dynamics between the conscious and subconscious mind, tools to maintain a positive outlook, a hypnotic induction that introduces you to therapeutic trance and suggestion along with a self-hypnosis technique to reinforce what you have learned afterwards. There is also the camaraderie of being around others with a similar predicament that some find motivating. Certainly a program that has these elements can be a good investment of time and money.

Amongst the drawbacks is that it can be difficult for some people to relax and focus when they are sitting amongst a crowd of strangers. Also, when there are a large number of participants, the hypnotic approach cannot be customized to any one individual's needs-instead it is "one size fits all." And some people would really benefit from ongoing reinforcement, which a traveling group program cannot offer. Personalization and ongoing support are part and parcel of the private session experience.

Although there are those individuals who offer group hypnosis programs in an ethical way, sadly to say there is a small minority who do not. The warning flag is when the program is actually a vehicle for promoting other products and services. There was one outfit that was soundly slammed by consumer protection authorities here in New Jersey for running a hypnosis seminar that basically was nothing more than an excuse to employ high pressure sales tactics on attendees in order to pitch their expensive line of vitamins and supplements.

However, there is nothing wrong with the seminar producers offering things like audio self-hypnosis programs or workbooks for reinforcing the suggestions at home. But if it is a hypnosis seminar, the product line should be related to hypnosis!

Although private sessions do cost more, with certain issues that added investment is worth it. This is especially true with healthy weight loss since that is an issue that requires time and persistence for it to be solved. And although you might ask if you can afford private sessions, it might be helpful to consider if you also consider the costs of remaining the same.

James Malone, DCH is the proprietor of a source of affordable transformational ebooks on subjects like stress control, boosting metabolism, conquering procrastination and much more!

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