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Hypnosis may help people change habits

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POSTED: November 24, 2007 5:01 a.m.
Experts say it takes 21 days for people to form or change a habit.
Debra Zimmerman Poland of Hinesville believes people can open themselves up to become who they want to be through hypnosis and has recently opened Lifeworks Hypnotherapy Center.
Moved by her brother’s death from cancer caused by smoking and her sister dealing with problems from smoking, Poland sees destructive or addictive habits, such as smoking, as “needless suffering.”
When people say they cannot do something, such as quitting smoking, Poland said that it “doesn’t make any logical sense.”
She believes people do not quit because they are not ready and people can do a lot more than what they think they are able to do.
“A lot of what we learn is you can’t. ‘You’re not good enough,’ ‘you’re not — fill in the blank’, tall enough, rich enough,” Poland said.
But she said these are suggestions and it is up to the person to accept or deny them.
“The goal of hypnosis is self-empowerment. It’s not for me to fix you,” Poland said.
Poland defines hypnosis as a state of altered consciousness. She calls it a “daydream state” that people often overlook but experience on a regular basis while watching TV or driving the same route to work everyday.
She finds that fear keeps people away from hypnotherapy.
“That’s because they don’t understand. No one can be hypnotized if they don’t want to,” Poland said.
Clients are in charge of the entire procedure and are not completely vulnerable to the therapist.
Hypnotherapy involves no deep sleep or mind control. And clients are not tricked into telling dark secrets or doing bizarre things, as seen on TV.
Poland said those hypnotists and participants are for entertainment. The client is awake and aware of surroundings and what is being said.
“(Hypnosis) is compatible with any religion, any point of view. I want them to maintain their belief system,” Poland said.
Poland said the goal of hypnotherapy is for the person to connect the conscious with the unconscious mind, “which holds all possibilities and potential for the highest version of the self.”
She wants to “get the person in touch with the spirit within them. No one was born a smoker or a drinker.”
Poland has counseled in the areas of substance abuse and corrections. And has worked with people of different ages, including children and the elderly.
She noticed the trend in other kinds of counseling seemed to be “all about the paperwork.”
“I didn’t want to be a clerk,” Poland said, “and keep records of every person and every facet of their life.”
“(Hypnotherapy) keeps things 100 percent confidential. I couldn’t do that as a therapist,” Poland said.
Poland is not interested in establishing a “regular clientele”. She wants people to see results from a single session.
The sessions are focused and begin with the client filling out a questionnaire and documenting everything related to a specific problem.
“The client always knows the problem, better than the therapist,” Poland said.
She finds there are often underlying reasons why problems and habits appear in people’s lives.
“The same thing that happens in the psychological happens in the physical. It takes a lot of energy to keep things all bottled up.” Poland said. “Nothing was meant to be hidden or medicated. Bad things make us stronger.”
Poland holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has been counseling for more than 20 years.
She is a hypnotherapist and was certified by the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association.
Hypnotherapy can help those wanting to quit smoking, lose weight, manage stress or change behavior in any area.
To arrange an appointment or for more information, call Poland at (912) 980-5712.
 

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