lisa_smith_web.jpgWhen you’re coughing, sneezing, sniffling, or facing extreme allergies, you see a doctor for medication. When you attempt to stop smoking, you go to the nearest pharmacy for the newest smoking cessation products. Even when you suspect that your child may have Attention Deficit Disorder, you consult with a clinical physician.

When faced with most lifestyle behavioral issues, most people seek out traditional medical solutions, rarely exploring alternative methods such as hypnosis.

Perhaps when you hear the word hypnosis; you picture the dark, mystical, cryptic image seen in movies and on TV. Perhaps it’s a portentous-looking man with a skinny goatee and a curly-edged mustache who waves his gold-adorned pocket watch back and forth, slowly leaving you in a trance-like state after muttering,
“You’re getting sleeeeeepy.”

As depicted on TV and in movies, the poor, hypnotized victim then unknowingly obeys the hypnotist’s every command, regardless of how embarrassing each command may be.

Unfortunately, because of this image, hypnosis has gotten a bad wrap for a long time.

In reality, hypnosis is a valid and effective form of treatment that has been around for centuries.

Hypnosis can be defined as a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. Unlike sleep, one is fully conscious and alert the whole time.

Seeking to transform the negative connotations of hypnosis, Lisa Smith, a certified hypnotherapist and founder of Cre8tve Solutions, opened her own hypnotherapy clinic in March 2006.

Smith, who holds a bachelor of science and a master’s degree in psychology from City College in Harlem, N.Y., is working on her Ph.D. in psychology at Walden
University, an accredited online university for working professionals.

She said she truly believes in the art of hypnosis.

“The stigma with hypnosis is that people think they’re going to get brainwashed and that’s false. They are totally aware of everything that takes place. The hypnosis that people are familiar with is known as stage hypnosis and that’s used primarily for entertainment purposes,” Smith told the South Florida Times.

With the increase in medication production and an over $4 billion-a-year price tag on over-the-counter drugs, it could be concluded that we have quickly become an overmedicated society that relies heavily on drugs to combat life’s displeasures.

Smith said she believes hypnotherapy treats more than just the symptoms, but also addresses the patterns of our behavior. 

“Hypnosis allows you to see the pattern in your behavior and get to the core of the issue and in most cases in less than three visits,” Smith added.

Cre8tve Solutions treats patients who face a myriad of issues, including low self-esteem, sexual abuse, Attention Deficit Disorder, foster care trauma, addiction and many more. Because of the intensely personal aspects of the issues, a safe, open and tranquil environment is essential for the procedure.

Usually, when a client comes in with a traumatic or symptomatic concern, the initial phase involves breathing techniques. After the patient is in a relaxed state, the divided consciousness, similar to a daydream state, allows memories and emotions to transcend.

The process continues toward a regression that links all the events that have created the patient’s futile pattern of behavior. The patient is able to confront the source of his or her behavior based on past experiences, and change it.

Once a person decides to behave differently, he or she can inevitably live differently.  There is no exchange of pills, potions or prescriptions.

Smith concluded, “It’s important we find new ways to treat our community without increasing costs. Some of the medication we’re taking treats the symptoms and nothing else, and in most cases we’re on that medication for the rest of their lives. I am so passionate about what I do because hypnosis is that alternative therapy that does not require medication.”

Photo by Elgin Jones/SFT Staff. Lisa Wiggins