Successful Hypnotherapy Practice
Hypnotist Hard At Work Conquering Bad Rap
I’m seated in a plush easy chair in a darkened office. I close my eyes and hypnotist Colin Christopher clucks his tongue and tells me to take a deep breath in, then out. “Now,” he says, “You’ll see you are standing in front of a staircase. There are 10 steps in this staircase. “In a moment, you are going to start going down.” In my mind, I walk down each stair one by one, feeling more “deeply relaxed” as he tells me to feel. It feels like dozing off in an armchair in the late afternoon sun. Christopher is delving deep into my psyche to help me solve an age-old problem – my obsession with wearing hiking boots.
I am a year-round walking fashion faux pas. In my world, hiking boots go with miniskirts, dress pants and capris. I shun all other shoes. Christopher, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, said my “problem” is one of the weirdest ones he’s tackled. He is not a psychologist or a doctor but most clients come to him in hopes of quitting smoking or losing weight.
A university graduate with a degree in chemistry and genetics, he first got interested in hypnosis when he volunteered to be in a hypnotism show at the University of Alberta.
After graduation, he trained at the Hypnosis Training Institute of Alberta in Sherwood Park and decided to take the plunge and do hypnotism full time. He started seeing some clients privately when some deeper personal issues began to emerge from volunteers in his entertainment hypnosis shows.
“To do the actual hypnotherapy, you have to really want to help people,” he said. “You have to be very non-judgmental because when you’re doing therapy, a lot of different things can come up. You have to be fairly sensitive and shut your own feelings off.”
There are about 20 performing hypnotists in Edmonton and about 40 practicing hypnotherapists, he said. Hypnotherapy isn’t cheap: it costs $250 an hour during each session and, depending on the problem, it can take anywhere from two to 10 sessions to resolve the problem, he said.
Christopher claims 80 percent of his clients who want to lose weight or quit smoking have succeeded either with live hypnotherapy or CD’s he sells. Still his favorite part of the job is hypnotizing a group of volunteers in a live show. He thrives on performing and enjoys the freedom of being his own boss and booking shows abroad when he wants to travel. “If I want to just take a day off, I take a day off.”
Hypnotists have a bad rap, Christopher said, and he’s working hard to dispel the notion that hypnotism is a “spooky, mystical, cult thing.”
“I was sitting beside a minister and his wife (because) I was MCing a wedding. They said, ‘You have a wonderful voice. What do you do; are you in a choir?’ And I’m like, “No, I’m a hypnotist,” and they were deathly afraid of me.”
The upshot of my hypnotherapy session is that hiking boots are my armor. It comes out in our hour-long chat about feet – which I remember every second of – that hiking boots make me feel safe and protected. Strappy sandals and pumps make me feel vulnerable.
As I write this article, I am sporting black leather dress shoes. Perhaps my shoe issue is resolved after all.
Journal Staff Writer
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