Dr. Liz interviews Kelley Woods about the HOPE coaching program for hypnotherapists. Hear how this program helps people with chronic problems re-gain hope and heal themselves using Mindful Hypnosis.

And learn an Emotional Detox Technique to release excess stress or anxiety during this episode!

Kelley is a certified hypnotist with a practice in Anacortes, WA, near Seattle. She’s written several books about hypnosis, holds training programs for hypnotists and hypnotherapists, runs the Hypnotic Women FB group, and helps organize Hypnothoughts, a semi-annual (twice a year) hypnosis conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the U.S.. Find Kelley at https://www.woodshypnosis.com/

Find a hypnotherapist trained in the HOPE program at https://www.mindfulhypnosiscoach.com/

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With over 100,000 downloads and listened to in over 100 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Elizabeth Bonet, discusses the research behind hypnosis, interviews the professionals doing it, and talks to individuals who have had hypnosis to see what happened afterwards. Free hypnoses are also given from time to time. If you’re interested in learning more about the magic of hypnosis, psychotherapy and mindfulness, this is the perfect place to feed your fascination!

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Dr. Liz [0:00]
Hi, Dr. Liz here if this is your first time listening, welcome to the hypnotize me podcast. Thank you so much for being here. Today’s interview is with Kelly woods, and she is quite a force in the hypnosis world. She has written several books about hypnosis. She runs the hypnotic women Facebook group, which has almost 3000 members now and it is just chock full of good information and really wonderful caring women who are practicing hypnotist or hypnotherapist. She also helps organize the hypnosis thoughts conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and the US every year, which is a huge conference that people attend from all over. So she is quite a busy woman. And that’s all in addition to her private practice where she sees children and adults in the state of Washington right outside of Seattle. In this episode, she’s going to talk to us about the whole program. But she developed with Michael Ellner, who was also very well known in the hypnotherapy world, he passed away in 2018. But she continues to carry his work forward, he developed many, many training programs for hypnotist and hypnotherapist. Before we jump in, I do want to say that the audio is not great on this episode. I apologize for that ahead of time, we actually started on Skype, and then we switch to zoom and it improved and I tried to improve it as much as I could. But sometimes audio is not perfect, right? Sometimes stuff happens. I felt like the quality was enough to go ahead and air the episode. But I just do need to ask for your consideration and compassion on this one. Because the information that she gives is just really wonderful, as well as the process that she teaches during the episode. Anybody can use this at home whenever you like, and it’s a really wonderful and healing process. So let’s jump in.

Hi, Kelly, welcome to hypnotize me.

Kelly Woods [4:38]
Thank you for having me here today.

Dr. Liz [4:40]
Yeah, so excited. I’d like to start with how you originally discovered hypnosis.

Kelly Woods [4:49]
Oh, well, that’s kind of an interesting story. I really had very little exposure to it. Besides, or most people are used to there may be seen it on in a movie or maybe a stage show. And, boy, it was almost 20 years ago, I was on a blind date. And while I didn’t fall for the man, I fell for what he is talking about. He was he was. And so that evening as I when I got home, I actually didn’t actually Google and started researching. And in my own city, there was a one year certification course starting within a couple months, and I had just sold the business and was looking for the next adventure. So there it was on a silver platter.

Dr. Liz [5:36]
Wow, what kind of business did you sell?

I had an ignition interlock dealership that was a company that I started here in Washington state that provided devices for DUI offenders for their cars. Imagine, you know having to deal with people who are going through stressful situations. And I think that that was just one of my background jobs that prepared me for hypnotherapy.

Yeah, absolutely. So this is quite a change for you.

Yes, it was, but I had been an entrepreneur, my most of my adult life. And, and really, I think that’s what an aspect of hypnotherapy that a lot of people underestimate is that there’s a lot of business skills involved in creating the practice and keeping it viable.

Oh, absolutely. Yes. I owned business previously too and then ran. Ran that one with my private practice for many years. And absolutely, there’s a lot of business skills. In a lot of training programs, they don’t talk about it, I think some of the specific hypnosis certifications. I’m guessing that they talk about it more there. But certainly in graduate school, like psychological training, I got zero around it.

Kelly Woods [6:55]
Well, it is important because we want to be able to stay in business to keep helping people. Yes,

Dr. Liz [7:00]
yeah. And I think it is a shift for a lot of hypnotherapist, and you shift from Like, who do you really want to serve? Who do you really want to help? To be able to help them you have to be able to reach them. Like they have to know about what you’re doing. This is true.

Yeah, I want to keep the lights on, even though sometimes we dim the lights in our work.

Yes. So you got certified, and then opened a practice in Washington, I’m assuming?

Unknown Speaker [7:33]
Yes, yes. I’m up in the northwest corner of the state of near the San Juan Islands. It’s a beautiful area. And

Dr. Liz [7:40]
I see your pictures. Sometimes it’s like, oh, it’s gorgeous.

Kelly Woods [7:44]
And I feel really fortunate being here, not just because it’s a wonderful part of the country. But the West Coast is very open to hypnosis and has quite a long history of being so. Hmm.

Dr. Liz [7:56]
Yeah, I think that’s very true. Let’s jump into the hope program that you created with Michael Eleanor.

Yes, this I met Michael and he is a wonderful hypnotherapist in New York City. And I met him in the early days of hip, no thoughts calm, which was at that, at that time growing to be the largest Social Forum online for hidden hypnotist. And Michael just kind of became what we jokingly call my tour mentor. And I learned a lot from him. He was a just a beautiful human being Unfortunately, he passed away last year lymphoma, but but before he did, he, he just taught so many of us some wonderful insights and perspectives. And so somewhere along the way, he and I collaborated and created a program called hope coaching, one of his slogans was hope is realistic. And he specializes in working with people who have chronic issues. And the interesting thing is that when we really think about our clients, many of them have chronic issues. And just the definition of that is something that lasts more than just a few months. So anything from sleep issues to chronic pain to illnesses, autoimmune disorders, even obesity qualifies as a chronic issue.

Mm hmm. So this program isn’t just for pain, it’s for a variety of issues.

Yes. And you know, really what we address is the suffering of these issues. Even the suffering of pain can be addressed with hypnotic processes. Because we can sometimes help people change their perception in the way that they experience what they’re going through. You know, a lot of people have the impression that you go to a hypnotist and, and they put you out of it, you’re unconscious, and then wake up and voila, everything’s fixed. Now, certainly that can happen. In some cases, we can have some very spontaneous and marvelous things occur. And that state of being unconscious, we actually call that symbolism, which is a missile misnomer, because that means sleepwalking. Although, when when people are sleepwalking their conscious mind is not involved. And so there that is one experience that people can have in hypnosis. But there are many interactive levels of hypnosis to where the conscious mind is present. And that’s really what we focus on largely, that’s a nebulous state is marvelous for healing, because the conscious mind gets out of the way. And a body can do what it’s designed to do. But when we’re doing these interactive, we we coined the phrase mindful hypnosis processes, a person is actually building a skill set, and is learning some techniques and processes whereby they can continue what we do in our work together, because part of the reason that they get to where they are, is through the power of repetition, they experienced certain things repeatedly, maybe it’s a state of anxiety. And this is actually hardwired these states into their nervous system into their brain. And so when we’re teaching them, how they can basically become their own hypnotist, and restructure the neural pathways that are maintaining pain or sleep difficulty or anxiety, or any of the other problems that are bothering them, they can essentially heal themselves. And so, Michael, and I created, along with some other people, Alan Barsky as part of this process to a series of very brief, easy to do, exercises that people do this rewiring, and gives them immediate relief. If they’re having pain, it helps move them into sleep, let go of awake. So they get the effects of it. But it’s also doing this long term restructuring. So it’s working on both levels immediate in the long term restructuring. Exactly. And I think one of the real powers of teaching our clients how to do this, which essentially is the difference between serving them a beautiful fish dinner in our office, to teach them how to fish and their own is that it is empowering to them. And many people who have struggled with chronic issues, they get to a place of hopelessness, of even helplessness. They feel disempowered, they’ve gone from one doctor to another, especially with undiagnosed conditions to come in, and be able to gain a sense of control over how they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, how they’re behaving, how they’re responding to their situation. It makes all the difference. Yes, absolutely.

So is it a series of sessions that someone comes to like, do you get request specifically for hope coaching? Or is it more like something that you integrate into your work naturally?

That’s a great question. And we do have a website specific for it. So sometimes we’ll get clients accessing us through that. But typically, it’s it’s more philosophy, and something that’s integrated into our sessions. Because I think that effective hypnotist is customize their work for people. And they don’t just do some pre made template that is scripted. And so we have this broad toolkit of different approaches that we can use them, we’re not necessarily wedded to one or another. Hmm, it typically is a series of sessions, for example, when I’m working with someone for weight issues, I, that might be significant more than just a few pounds, I want them to come in for perhaps half a dozen sessions, so that we can really get a chance to address all the different things that are influencing their weight.

Mm hmm. So it is more of a philosophy that you integrate. And so then, when someone shows up, let’s say, Well, let me back up here. You said it was also teaching these discrete tools that they can use at home. So when you’re presenting it, could you give an example of one of the tools?

Certainly one of one of my favorites that I’ve been teaching clients and use using for myself, probably at least a decade, is an NLP process, which is that acronym is for neuro linguistic programming, which is that the art and science of modeling others and then also the, it’s the science, an art of influence, and politicians use NLP sales, people use NLP, I like to teach my clients to use NLP so that they can influence themselves.

One of the best speakers I have ever heard in my life, he’s actually considered a trainer, because it was a transformational program I was going through. About an hour into it, I realized he was using NLP, just the way he was talking the way he was moving. How he moved across the stage, when he said certain things, it was fascinating. And of course, the workshop became much more fun. Because then I got to track what he was doing, you know, and learn from him. He was amazing.

Yes, once you start learning some of these concepts, and you start to notice it, it just in your everyday life, it’s pretty fascinating. I think a lot of people naturally use many of the NLP concepts, you know, with body language and, and communication, we learn, we learn how to do that, especially if it’s, you know, we’re influencing others, or if you’re a parent, for example, on this part, yes. Yes. Which, which is interesting. So, this particular process we call the emotional detox technique, but it can be used for any anything, it works beautifully for physical sensations that are not helpful. And basically, what it does is it helps people change states and states are just how we’re feeling in a moment to have we’re thinking how we’re emotionally and physically feeling. And sometimes we might be in an unhelpful state, we might be having excess stress or anxiety, that really doesn’t, isn’t anything that we can control at the time. Or it might be even hardwired in and just present, even though there is no threat or there’s nothing that we need to respond to at the time, it could be that we’re having, you know, distress with feelings about something that happened to us in the past, in the past doesn’t exist anymore. So to be free of those kinds of feelings, might be an help a helpful thing. You know, you’ll notice that I use the phrase that helpful and unhelpful, rather than good or bad or positive or negative, I think it it’s, it’s helpful to release the judgment of these kinds of emotions or states.

So I love the frame. I teach a lot of DBT skills, dialectical behavior therapy, and one of the skills is turning the mind. So how do you do that? And often one of the questions, the first questions you ask yourself is, is this helpful? Is this thought helpful? Yes, like, oh, wait a minute, it’s not very helpful to me right now. So what would be helpful, and then you learn how to say, to focus on the helpful thoughts as the same type of process, because it is nice and helpful. To me.

It is, and while you know things like DBT and many of the processes that are used in positive psychology, are so helpful. Sometimes, sometimes when people are in the moment, it’s hard for them to think their way out of it really cute, hypnotic principles is that we can relieve that need to think their way out of things. And we can create systems with them within the network automatically. And this, this process is one of those. So I’ll just walk you through it really quickly, if you’d like to be sure. And we’re sure listeners are welcome to join into. If you’re driving you may not want to, although I must say I use this, if I’m stuck in Seattle traffic, which is renowned for being very soon.

Okay, I’m not assuming down the highway and.

Okay, exactly. So it begins by just getting in touch with a thought or feeling that is not helpful to you. And you don’t even have to tell me what it is Elizabeth, it’s none of my business. Some clients really appreciate that they can come and see a hypnotist and have a lot of privacy. Yeah, so just bring up something that perhaps is stressful or distressing to you. Or maybe it’s a worry that you know, there’s nothing you can do about it right now. Okay, got it. Yeah. And that’s the power of your imagination, you can even notice that your body’s probably responding to that thought, or feeling too, because our body’s always responding to whatever we’re thinking about. And you might even measure at what level you’re experiencing, that would be done in 10 minutes really intense, okay. And as you do that, with your right hand, just make a fist, we’re going to associate this physical gesture, to the neural pathways that are maintaining that thought or idea that’s bothering me. This is called an anchor. So creating, and doesn’t take long for that to tie it together just a few moments. And then release your hand and take a nice deep cleansing breath on those good abdominal, we can use the breath, to begin to shift from one state to another. Now I’d like you to just in the privacy of your mind, to think of a great day for you, maybe you’re doing something you enjoy, or maybe you’re not doing anything at all. It’s a perfect hair day, you have a big smile on your face, you notice that your heart is happy,

the mind is peaceful, perhaps your spirit is playful?

Are you able to create that? Yes, good. And then should do that with your opposite hand, your left hand, just make a fist with an associate that gesture to these helpful neural pathways that are running right now. And again, it doesn’t take long, just hold it for a few moments. And then release that and take another one of those nice cleansing breaths. Then this third and final step is where there’s actually going to be kind of a magical shift, but it’s actually a physiological shift in those neural pathways in your brain, in your nervous system. So go ahead and make this of both hands. And we just hold them to the count of 543211 more nice cleansing breath. And as you exhale, just open your hands. And notice how you’re feeling now. Pretty good.

Yes, absolutely.

And you can go and check in with that previous unhelpful thought or feeling and notice where it is, maybe you can compare it on that previous level on Netflix, or maybe notice that it’s just drifted away, it’s less important. Definitely drifted away. And, you know, it’ll happen to that to some degree for everybody. And if it was still bothersome, a person can just repeat that cycle. And it’ll, it’ll reduce some more. And, you know, there’s science behind how this works. But basically, we brought up that initial, unhelpful feeling, write it in nice and close, tied it to that made that anchor from it. And then we use the breath to shift states, we found a helpful state, drop it in nice and close anchored it, we shifted out of that. And when we activate both of them at the same time, the brain cannot engage in both of those. So it goes for the most recent one, which wasn’t helpful. The other one dissipates, it kind of receipts into the background. And it will give the person relief in that moment. But it also does over time, that long term restriction. And in a way a person moves themselves into self regulation. They spend less time in the unhelpful states and more time in the helpful ones. And what I really liked about this is they can choose what that health is going to be. I gave you some suggestions, and you felt they did very well. But no, maybe they want to be energized. Maybe they want to be relaxed to go to sleep, maybe they want to feel they can pick. And that gives them the freedom to choose how they’re feeling, no matter what’s going on. And it really is that simple. It’s an elegant process. And again, it’s the regular application of it the repetition that really gives the permanent results that.

So it’s a process of not just doing it with a client in session, but then saying, Okay, take this home and practice it.

Absolutely. And I even recommend that they get maybe a one of those apps, they can live on their phone, a mindfulness spell, and set that to go off about once an hour. And when they hear that beautiful chime. If they’re having attention, they’re struggling with anything, they can run this process. And people that do this, find that within a very short period of time, maybe just four or five days, they’re feeling so much better. And again, it’s empowering, because they’re taking the responsibility for their own health and happiness. And they’re making improvements themselves.

Absolutely. I mean, they truly are retraining their brain. Yes, yeah. I was listening recently to Dan Siegel, I don’t know if you’re familiar with him, but he researches a lot about therapy in neuro processes. He calls it the wheel of awareness. That is a concept that he teaches. But he’s basically saying the same type of thing. Like it’s not just in the office, you need to do this. But you can shift your state of being your state feeling your states of discomfort or pain, whichever you want to call it or your state that’s unhelpful to you. Yeah. Over time. Yeah. But it’s practice, what makes those neural pathways, do need to be reinforced, let’s say, the

And in many cases, that’s how people get into trouble because they’ve reinforced it through repetition, and it’s become habituated in them. So through these techniques, people can get themselves into, you know, better states of being. And you know, I work a lot with with young people. Yes, you work with children, and teens. And I can tell you that teenagers love easy, quick processes.

True, I have two of them

Kelly Woods [25:50]
They don’t want to go through the things are going to take a lot of effort. And this technique has been so amenable to young people, and for them to get it on. Maybe there’s social anxiety, or testing anxiety is a beautiful thing. And they get really excited about it. And I’d have clients of all ages who perhaps have been in the therapy for years, and they’ll stare at me after I teach them this because sometimes the shifts are so, so profound, that they’re amazed. I’ll say, Why hasn’t anyone ever taught me this? And, yes,

Dr. Liz [26:27]
yeah, I have the same experience. I often get people coming in for one of the more intensive techniques that I offer, but it’s like they’ve been through years of therapy and good therapies, you know, very research driven, proven therapies, these are supposed to work quote, unquote, right? But they’re there in my office, same, why haven’t these works? And sometimes it is a process of Okay, let’s not just retrain those neural pathways, but let’s work on a subconscious level so that it’s easier for you. So back what you were saying before, is, yeah, you know, turning that that, like I was talking about before is the kind of process but how do we make that easier on a subconscious level. So that’s where hypnosis really shine. And this is where it actually becomes automatic.

Kelly Woods [27:15]
So a person after a while, they don’t even have to go through the physical action of creating these anchors, their brains shifts automatically. That’s how it works for me. Yeah, I love it. When I noticed that happening. Were in in a situation where maybe a person would be very stressed or angry. I’m just like rising above it and going nuts interesting. And it’s really possible, even for people who have suffered from chronic depression and anxiety, it’s hope is realistic, they can restructure those patterns within their brain and their nervous system.

Dr. Liz [27:53]

Well, we are coming to the end of our time here. So thank you so much for talking about this philosophy and program, please tell people how they can reach you if they’d like to work with you or find out more about the hope to Okay, thank you, Elizabeth. On our hook coaching website is mindfulhypnosiscoach. com, actually have a directory there of many different hypnotherapist who are part of our programs, so people throughout the country can access somebody through that. And my website is woods, hypnosis. com and I work online with people and here in the beautiful Northwest.

So it’s with woodshypnosis.

Kelly Woods [28:40]
That’s right.

Dr. Liz [28:42]
Wonderful, wonderful. Well, thank you so much.

Kelly Woods [28:45]
Thank you for having me on today, and I hope your Sunday continues to be beautiful.

Dr. Liz [29:25]
I hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, Dr. Liz hypnosis. com DRLIZhypnosis. com. I work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website, and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you and helping you reach them. Finally, if you liked today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend that way more and more people learn about the power of hypnosis. Alright everyone, have a wonderful week. Peace

Transcribed by https://otter.ai