The Journey to Hypnotherapy

The Sky’s the Limit

me_n_T402.jpgGrowing up, I was, like most children, wondrous, intuitive and perceptive. I remember being outside and raising my arms upwards, convinced that I was touching the sky. I mean, have you ever thought about where, exactly, the sky begins or ends? In my family whether consciously or unconsciously, that which could not be proven was stifled and only that which could be “figured out” was reinforced and supported. I don’t blame my parents: my dad was a doctor and my mom, a nurse–professions that are steeped in traditional, western philosophy.

I Hated Therapy

When I was in eighth grade, my mom decided to go back to school to become a psychotherapist. In high school, I had some relatively “normal” adolescent problems that my parents felt therapy could help. Like most adolescents who are “made” to go to therapy, I hated it.  However, it did, at this early age, normalize the idea of seeking therapy without a stigma attached to it.

Dr. Who-Knows-What

Throughout college, I was a pre-med major, determined to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a physician. Good in theory, but bad in execution. I tried my darndest to study for the M-CATS after college, but couldn’t, for the life of me, get myself to actually sit down and study. Succumbing to the reality of the situation, I bagged the idea of becoming a doctor and found that I really had no idea what career I wanted to pursue.

From Intellect to Intuition

I entered therapy and discovered how much I enjoyed “figuring myself out.” I loved putting two-and-two together and loved that I could use my intellect to better myself. I decided to go to graduate school for psychotherapy and came across the Buddhist-founded school, Naropa.  I really had no clue about eastern philosophy; all I knew was that I was drawn to the school and to Boulder.

I was accepted into the Transpersonal Psychology program where meditation (unbeknownst to me at the time, a form of self-hypnosis) was a requirement. I began to get back in touch with my wonderment, my intuition, and my perceptiveness. As I started to listen more to my internal voice of intuition, my life seemed to run so much smoother. I realized how, if I had never abandoned my intuition, I could have saved myself a lot of pain, not to mention time!

A Peek at the Future

Towards the end of graduate school, I serendipitously picked up and read Brian Weiss’ book, Many Lives, Many Masters. Weiss talks about his own story of being a western trained psychiatrist who uses hypnotherapy in his practice, and the magical and mystical things that occur during sessions with clients. I was hooked. I remember saying to myself, “I’m going to train with this guy!”

Is this the real world?

Somehow, that idea got pushed to the background, as a job in psychology came to the forefront. I graduated from Naropa and got a job as a Child and Family therapist for a non-profit agency. I worked there for over three years, all the while always feeling somewhat dissatisfied; I wanted to make more of an impact. My supervisor at the time told me that I should lower my expectations, implying that the system didn’t expect much. This was just not okay with me.

Should I stay or should I go?

However, I either had to be okay with this feedback, or I had to leave my job. I decided to stay true to myself and seek other ways to make more of an impact. I moved to a foreign country to learn Spanish to try to serve more populations.

Upon my return to the U.S., I again worked for a non-profit agency as an Adolescent and Family therapist, and I again felt the same constraints and limitations I had previously. It was then I decided to start my own private practice.

A Chance Encounter…?

After working a while in private practice and sometimes feeling frustrated with talk therapy, I ran into a friend of mine from graduate school who told me about an intensive hypnotherapy training she had just attended. She explained how, during the training, each person not only learns how to use the modality as a therapist, but also learns what the experience is like as a client. Being a self-proclaimed personal- and professional-growth junkie, what could be better?! Kill two birds with one stone? Right up my alley! I couldn’t think of a better way to have integrity around the learning and application process than to have the chance to experience it as both a therapist AND a client! Much like graduate school, I didn’t know much about hypnotherapy except that which my friend had shared; I just had a feeling that this was it!

Many Lives, Many Connections

Hypnotherapy has impacted me both personally and professionally. As a client, I was able to give my intellect a break and allow my deeper, subconscious mind to lead. I found this change not only refreshing, but also so effective. Over time, as I have used this with clients, I am continually reminded of and amazed by the healing powers and the efficacy of this work. Repeatedly clients have expressed great awe at how easily they have accessed and healed deep, internal material that they had never thought possible!

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I received my hypnotherapy, past-life regression and between lives regression training at the following centers:

Julie Rappaport, MA, LPC