I was very pleased to have the opportunity to talk with gifted Atlanta Hypnotist Jane Ann Covington. Jane Ann is not only a Consulting Hypnotist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Registered Behavioral Therapist and Author but also Founder and Director of the Center for Developing Mastery and Hypnosis Institute International. Jane had much to say of interest as you will read but that of course is not surprising when you learn that she has been involved in hypnosis since 1975. (Stephen Gruber of Ask-the-hypnotist.com).
Stephen: Hello Jane Ann and thank you for sharing your time with us today. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers and tell them about your interesting website, www.HypnosisInstitute.com.
JAC Thank you so much for asking me, Stephen. I am glad to be here and of service to others. My name is Jane Ann Covington. I am the founder and director of the Center for Developing Mastery and Hypnosis Institute International in Atlanta, Georgia. I offer private hypnosis and hypnotherapy sessions in Atlanta or by phone or Skype, as well as a wide range of certification programs through Hypnosis Institute. I am also excited to announce that my first two books will be coming out soon: The Business of Personal Relationships and I am a contributing author in another book on Setting and Achieving Goals. Both publications will be out in late 2011 or early 2012.
Stephen: Thank you Jane Ann. Now I know that you have developed a range of skill sets to help your clients with but tell us if you will, how long have you been a hypnotist or hypnotherapist?
JAC Well, Stephen, I got started in hypnosis and hypnotherapy in 1975; I have over 36 years experience in this magnificent field.
Stephen: Can you recall how you were first drawn to a career in hypnosis?
JAC Absolutely! I had a somewhat rough childhood that left me with insecurities and low self esteem. When I was a little girl, and other children were dreaming of becoming doctors or lawyers or superheroes, I had the idea that I wanted to help people succeed because I knew from personal experience what it was like to feel alone, with no where to turn, and to not get the help I needed to become my full potential.By my mid 20’s I further became aware that I was exhibiting patterns and behaviours and dysfunctional relationship patterns repeatedly; patterns that didn’t always work in my best interest. I could see that I was self-sabotaging myself, but couldn’t figure out what to do about it. I sought out help through traditional therapeutic avenues and got no relief. Finally a friend suggested hypnosis. After my own transforming experience with hypnotherapy (at age 27), I studied and practiced helping others using my growing understanding of hypnosis. For the first 10 years, it was my hobby. Although I have a BA in Developmental Psychology and never quite finished my Masters Degree, all that academic education did not prepare me to be an masterful hypnotherapist. Becoming masterful in hypnotherapy was from learning from such masters as Gil Boyne, and many others, and continuing to study in the field and practice, practice, practice. Towards the end of my 30’s, I hit the “what do you really want to be when you grow up wall” and at that time, I became a certified clinical hypnotherapist and that hobby became the answer to my life long desire to help others succeed. I then opened the Center for Developing Mastery and eventually, the Hypnosis Institute of the Pacific (when I lived in Maui) and now Hypnosis Institute International (based in Atlanta).
Stephen: What do you enjoy about, or benefits do you personally receive, from your hypnosis work?
JAC I think my favourite part of what I do is the “emotional paycheck” that I receive every day. Having studied the mind from various angles, including human anatomy and physiology, I came to understand how we learn. I am a big fan and student of brain based learning. I have taught thousands of people that their mind is a tool and how to use it correctly; that we can use our mind any way we choose to if we have the desire to do so. I just love helping others; it’s my passion. I love to tackle the “difficult cases” such as anxiety, depression, and self defeating habits and patterns that we are often unconsciously doing to sabotage our self and humanity. I have developed a unique and effective process for retraining the mind, emotional, and physical responses of my clients using hypnosis, hypnotherapy, education, and coaching.
Stephen: I know from your web site that you feel people can learn to help themselves in many ways through self hypnosis. In fact I see that you offer courses in it. Can you tell us a little more about why you think learning (and practicing!) self hypnosis can be so helpful to people please?
JAC Excellent question! It is my belief and experience that everyone can benefit from being able to intentionally take control of their own mind and use it for their greater good. All behaviour comes from thought. If we don’t change our thoughts and beliefs, our behaviour isn’t permanently going to change. Further, I believe and see that we are already hypnotized. Aren’t we all already programmed from childhood, society, school, friends, our own perceptions and misperceptions? For instance, if we had been born into another culture at a different time in history, our perceptions and beliefs would be very different than they are at present. We all come into the world with a body and a brain, but with no instruction booklet. Environment plays a very significant role in who we think we are. Yet, we are not stuck with our prior limited exposure to environmental patterns and unhelpful beliefs. We can always learn new ways of thinking and believing, and therefore, behaving.In my self-hypnosis program, in addition to teaching my students the most effective ways to communicate with their subconscious, I also teach my students (and clients in my office in private sessions) how their conscious and subconscious mind works, and how to work them together for their greater good. As we all know, just telling our self to not do or do something or feel something doesn’t really work. Once we have knowledge about how to use this most powerful tool of ours–how the mind works and how to work it properly–we can literally achieve anything we set our minds to!
Stephen: Have you experienced any personal benefits from using hypnosis for yourself that you would care to share with our readers?
JAC I frequently practice self-hypnosis. Benefits that I have personally experienced are many, including no longer have generalized anxiety from my stressful upbringing—having grown up in a “dysfunctional family.” I quit smoking, stopped the negative self talk, self criticism, and feeling and thinking that I’m not or might not be good enough. I no longer have low self esteem, fear of public speaking, nor do I live with the patterns of self sabotage that were common to me in years past. I now feel free and realize that I truly am unlimited potential, centered, competent, prosperous, fulfilling my life’s passion of helping others, and at peace. I am an ever evolving, ever learning being that is happy and healthy! I am capable of dealing with the challenges and opportunities that come my way. I am secure enough to ask for help when I need it, which is what all truly successful people do. I live in integrity and walk my talk. I am also a Spiritual being that appreciates the many gifts and blessings that come my way.
Stephen: What issues do your clients typically come to you for help with Jane Ann in your daily practice? Do you specialize in helping people with certain issues?
JAC My organizational tagline is “Specializing in Issues That Have Not Responded to Other Methods.” Most of my clients have tried everything with limited or no results through traditional routes and sometimes when other hypnotists or hypnotherapists. I take on the tough cases; the ones that other hypnotherapists aren’t qualified to deal with. I would have to say that by far, the most common underlying issue that I work with is anxiety in various forms. Many patterns that people want help with have the unfortunate foundation of anxiety and fears. Most problems people come to me with are unconscious patterns and habits and simply symptoms of this deeper fear or anxiety block.
Stephen: Is there something different or especially emphasized in your approach to helping people with hypnosis work that you would like to tell us about?
JAC In my 36 years of experience, I have developed tried-and-true methods of helping people using a combination of hypnosis, education, coaching, and hypnotherapy. It’s important for me to find the right balance of each of those for any given client. Remembering that the client is an individual, and tailoring my help to each person is an important part of what I do, starting with the all important and very specifically crafted interview. In order to achieve the outcome that my clients want, I must understand who I’m dealing with and what I’m dealing with as soon as possible. I must interview them, because I am not a mind reader or psychic.
Stephen: In addition to seeing clients in one on one sessions I know that you provide training for people to become Hypnotherapists. From your years of experience, What do you think are some of the most important attributes a person would need to become a successful Hypnotherapist?
JAC A successful hypnotherapist needs to be take a training that supports them to get out of their own way (in other words, release old patterns that don’t serve them). They need to be willing to become compassionate, empathetic, non-judgmental, loving, and resourceful, be well trained in a training that provides practice and good coaching during the experience, allowing them to develop self confidence, persistence, and a willingness to be in their own business…to name a few things. This last aspect, the business part, is very important because I don’t care how good anyone is at a skill, if you can’t sell your self to others and be professional, you’ll never make a good living doing it. That’s why I have a business segment in the program.Now, it’s very true that some people who take the training will never go into business for themselves, but they’ll integrate the skills and understanding they learn into their current work, or use it with their family and friends, or themselves. And, that’s wonderful, too. Of course there is much more, but you get the overall idea.
Stephen: What is the most frequent misunderstanding about hypnosis that you encounter with clients or the public Jane Ann?
JAC The most common misconception that I come across is that hypnotherapy is like stage hypnosis. I make a point of explaining to people I meet that what you see in movies and on television is for entertainment. Hypnotherapy on the other hand is a gentle, effective method for achieving lasting and profound behavioural changes. In short, you won’t leave my office clucking like a chicken. You will not be unconscious nor out of control. I believe that, when done well, hypnosis is a concentrated form of learning and it’s pretty near impossible to learn much when we’re asleep. Think back on being in school. If you kept falling asleep, how well did you learn the subject? So I help my clients and students understand, by teaching them the science behind hypnosis, that we prefer them to be in a very relaxed, aware state. I typically record the hypnosis sessions for them to take home anyway because repetition is the mother of learning.
Stephen: As we both know, Hypnosis as a healing and helping modality has existed for hundreds of years now. However, it is more widely known and more accepted in some areas more than others. How would you rate the public acceptance of hypnosis/hypnotherapy in the Atlanta region?
JAC From the history I’ve studied, forms of hypnosis have been around for more than 4,000 years–all the way back to the Greeks and Romans. Public acceptance is very wide-spread in our area. We have a high percentage of our clients who come to us as referrals from others. That tells me that people are seeing the benefits of hypnosis and hypnotherapy for themselves, and telling their friends. What better press is there than word of mouth? Plus, we are blessed to have an amazing percentage of people come to see us from nearby states, and through modern technology, I work with people nationally and internationally by Skype.
Stephen: Do you have a favorite book Jane Ann on hypnosis that you would recommend to others?
JAC I had the privilege of training with Gil Boyne himself when I was first certified. I strongly recommend his book, Transforming Therapy: A New Approach to Hypnotherapy to someone who wants to learn more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Next year, I will be publishing another book myself on hypnosis that will clearly outline my methodology as well. If anyone is interested, go to HypnosisInstitute.com and sign up on the contact form with a notation of your interest in the book. We’ll let you know when it is published.
Stephen: Jane Ann, based on your experience, how do you see the future of hypnotism in the US?
JAC The trends that I am seeing in my own practice tell me that hypnosis and hypnotherapy are becoming more and more popular as alternatives to medication or years and years of traditional “talk” therapy. People want more natural approaches to self-care, and hypnotherapy certainly offers that.This is one field that, unlike others that have ran their course or are on the decline, hypnosis is still, as a profession, in it’s infancy. In other words, more and more hypnotherapists will be needed in the future due to it’s short term therapy benefits. Everyone wants it now….they don’t want to wait years to get help. Hypnosis, when done well, can be that answer for many. Remember, it’s not magic, but statistically, it beats most forms of therapy for effectiveness in a quicker amount of time, as well.
Stephen: Thank you Jane Ann. Can you tell our readers who are interested in learning more about your hypnosis work, which is the best way to get in touch with you?
JAC I would love to hear from them! They can feel free to visit our website at www.HypnosisInstitute.com, they can email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can call us at (404) 442-8700 or toll free at (800) 927-9618. I work with clients all over the world via Skype, too.
Stephen: Is there anything else that you would like to expand upon or add that we have not covered?
JAC Those of you out there who haven’t tried hypnosis to help you get out of your own way and move beyond old blocks, owe it to yourself to do so. Remember, it’s a process, but much quicker than anything else I know. If you’re tired of trying to go it on your own and not getting past that wall in your unconscious mind, this may be what you’ve been looking for. Remember, successful people ask for help. If you want more success, ask for help, and do your best to make it with someone that is experienced and competent enough to help you.
Stephen: And thank you Jane Ann for your time and a very interesting look into your hypnosis world.
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