Ann Clark PhD RN is a Complementary Health Practitioner and skilled hypnotist. She is helping people in Birmingham AL resolve a wide range of issues including losing weight, stopping smoking but has specialized in stress management and preparing people for, and recovery from, surgery.
Ann's background as a nurse researcher well prepares her for this but she takes some surprisingly less orthodox approaches to help her clients to succeed as I found out in this very interesting interview with Ann.
Ann, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers please.
My name is Ann Clark and after taking an early retirement from my academic career as a nurse researcher and faculty member, I went into private practice.
My goal was to put into practice all the many lessons I had learned over the years at major University Medical Centers about gaps in our healthcare system. I did this by combining my traditional healthcare knowledge with complementary therapies and practical advice.
What first attracted you to a career in Hypnosis?
While doing some research on the burn unit at a University hospital, I witnessed a patient who had been allowed to have a hypnotherapist work with her during wound debridement, an extremely painful process.
I was amazed at how helpful the hypnosis was to her. This experience piqued my interest and later I went on to obtain training in hypnotherapy.
What issues do your clients typically come to you for help with. Do you specialize in helping people with certain issues?
Patients present with a variety of issues: smoking cessation, anxiety, weight loss, chronic pain, insomnia, stress management, academic or sports performance, social anxiety preparation for surgery, recovery from surgery or illness, fatigue, depression, and many others.
I have specialized in stress management and preparation for and recovery from surgery or other illnesses.
Ann, I know that you bring important experience and knowledge to your practice by having served served as Director of Nursing Research in a School of Nursing and a professor teaching on courses that included Complementary Medicine. Does this unique prior experience inform your current hypnosis work and if so, in what ways?
My practice is unique in that I combine nursing/healthcare counseling with hypnotherapy.
For example, if someone comes to me for insomnia, I do a thorough assessment of their sleep patterns, and sleep environment and if indicated, refer the patient for a sleep study.
I then design a hypnosis script tailored to the patient’s unique problems, give the patient advice for obtaining better sleep (Dr. Clark’s sleep tips), recommend any needed changes in diet or exercise, and suggest appropriate nutritional supplements and natural sleep aids as indicated.
I also prepare a pre-sleep recording for patients to use at home. I may suggest energy work to reduce stress in the patient’s life as part of the plan. Often I teach self-hypnosis as an adjunct to other suggested actions.
Do you find any particular phase of your hypnosis work to be of special interest to you?
A special use of hypnotherapy is Past Life regression (PLR), and Life between Life Regression (LBL). You can read more about this on my website. These sessions produce profound healing and changes in patient’s lives and are by far the most satisfying parts of my practice.From a hypnotist's point of view, can you tell us about some of the teachers who have influenced your approach to hypnosis the most?
I took my hypnotherapy training through The American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), which is made up of health care professionals using hypnosis in their practices. I was particularly influenced by the nurses and doctors I encountered in this organization made up of physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, social workers and counselors.What are the three most important bits of advice would you give a client before their first session of hypnosis?
I advise them to:
If you could give potential and beginning hypnotists at least one piece of advice, what would it be?
Believe strongly in what you are practicing and how effective it is going to be!
What is the most frequent misunderstanding about hypnosis that you encounter with clients or the public?
Some patients expect to be completely asleep (delta brain wave pattern) during hypnosis, when research shows that a more awake state (low alpha-theta brain wave pattern) is most effective for most hypnotherapy purposes.
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 accepted in some areas than in others. How would you rate the public acceptance of hypnosis/hypnotherapy in your region?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. There is fairly wide acceptance of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation and weight loss. Many people never even consider hypnotherapy because they don’t know much about it. Past life regression and Life between Life Regression are growing in popularity, but probably not well accepted in the region or even known about. I generally have as many patients as I can handle and many referrals of new patients from my current ones.
What would your favourite book on hypnosis be that you would recommend to others?
My favorite book on hypnosis is actually about regression: Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton. This is the book that started me on this path.
Thank you Ann for sharing your ideas and experiences. You can learn more about appointments etc. with Ann at her website: http://birminghamhypnosis.com
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