“Hypnotherapy is not like the cheesy stage hypnotists who make you bark like a dog,” said certified hypnotherapist Barbra Mousouris of Sixth Scents Healing, dispelling any myth that her clients lose all control or self-will during their sessions. “It’s more the feeling you get when you just wake up, which is a deep relaxation.”
Mousouris accesses clients’ subconscious minds and works to alter old thought patterns by using verbal repetition and mental images to promote desired habit changes, address unwanted fears, or alleviate symptoms of illnesses and disease. She encourages clients to use selected perspectives that address issues like phobias, weight loss, anxiety, pain management, and relationship problems.
Mousouris says her work combating phobias has been particularly successful and long-lasting. “One of my young ladies was getting married and wanted to go on a honeymoon but was freaked out about flying,” said Mousouris. She saw the client for four sessions and worked to undo negative associations and replace them with more realistic ideas. The client later called her from Mexico, elated over a stress-free flight.
“You can go to psychotherapy for years and spend a ton of money,” she said, touching on the current difficulty many face in finding affordable mental-health care. “Then people will say that they had much more of a breakthrough after one or two sessions of hypnotherapy.”
Healing touch and aromatherapy are two other energy therapies that Mousouris weaves into her practice. In sessions, she says she monitors a client’s pulse to assess the energetic field and support the body’s natural ability to heal. She says these gentle practices also work well with standard medical care.
Indeed, following Milton H. Erickson’s groundbreaking work, hypnosis is now generally supported in hospitals to combat pre-surgery anxiety, by midwives to reduce pain during childbirth, and by psychotherapists to address disorders.
“People are complex,” said Mousouris, recognizing the limitations of all medical treatments, and especially hypnosis, where levels of client suggestibility and resistance vary greatly.
Sixth Scents Healing is now offering a free session to anyone who has lost a home or loved one in the mudslides. “It’s so rewarding to help people,” Mousouris said. —Carolina Starin