Bob Pargament Seeks to Dispel Hypnosis Myths & Improve Lives

Local Hypnotist Seeks to Dispel Myths and Improve Lives
by Jessica Wakeman, White Plains Times (October 26, 2007)

Robert Pargament of Westchester Hypnosis is not interested in the “Vegas voodoo” side of hypnosis; instead, he aims to reveal the real science behind its healing properties. His and many other trained professionals’ hypnosis is anything but swinging pendulums and mildly entertaining spectacles of people barking or clucking like a chicken. His approach represents something that people have practiced since the days of the ancient Greeks; it is a guided relaxation and a powerful modality that can cure many ailments, from smoking cessation to nervous disorders.

The actual root of the word hypnosis can lead people astray. The Greek root translates to a sleep-like state but in fact it is anything but. Hypnotized people are actually fully aware of their thoughts and actions and can be even more alert than normal. They will also be able to remember all the events of the session, although the perception of time may be distorted.

Pargament also clarifies that people will not act upon a suggestion while under hypnosis if it goes against their belief system, and many people who allow themselves to be hypnotized on stage already have a preconceived notion of what will be asked of them, therefore acting upon the requests without question.

In a session with Pargament, which usually lasts about 90 minutes, he first explains the mystery behind hypnosis so that the patient is aware of what their mind will be undergoing. A combination of breathing and relaxation brings a person to a relaxed state where they can let their linear or rational mind cease the constant chatter and instead focus in on the subconscious, allowing a deeper relaxation and a clear path to the root of an addiction or disorder. This is how it differs from cognitive therapy, which can be strictly a rationalization of emotions.

Pargament explains that each person is different, therefore making each session structure different as well. A hypnotist simply acts as the guide to higher acceptance, setting up a structure that will benefit the patient the most. The first session will include a discussion of the patient’s personal goals and problems that they might want to address, then follows a guided path to a deep relaxation where the hypnotist suggests ways to make for a calmer, more relaxed existence. By planting these suggestions within a person’s subconscious, people are often freed from what appears to be the rational logic behind their unwanted actions but in fact is a barrier of learned behaviors or preconceived notions; this helps motivate the desired change. Being that hypnosis is essentially a state of deep mental and physical relaxation in combination with a heightened awareness, almost everyone emerges from a session feeling blissfully relaxed and refreshed.

Pargament explains that some people submit to hypnosis at a much faster pace but all people are capable of being hypnotized and even that people are hypnotized much more often than they may think. For example, the hypnotizing qualities of staring at a flame or simply just daydreaming have the same connotations as a guided hypnosis session.

Pargament’s list of disorders that can be alleviated by hypnosis includes weight loss, smoking cessation, self confidence, motivation, relationship issues, nervous habits, studying and reading issues, creative blocks, sleep continuity, fear elimination, worry, guilt, sports performance improvement, anger management, physical discomfort, bereavement, public speaking, financial enrichment, concentration and test-taking anxiety. He has also done quite a bit of work with children, explaining that pediatric hypnosis has become a powerful and popular alternative to cognitive therapy.

Hypnosis is Pargament’s passion; he has studied under one of the world’s most established and respected hypnotherapists, Gerald Klein, as well as Wendi Friesen, president of the California-based Hypnomastermind Institute. Pargament says, “Hypnosis was first recognized by the American Medical Association in the 1950s, it is the most underappreciated and misunderstood mental and physical health modality, yet it offers amazing hope for extremely powerful physical and emotional transformations for adults and kids alike. It is not just for weight loss and smoking.” He further explains that hypnosis can lead to a new awakening for a more positive outlook on life and should not be simply dismissed as a voodoo technique. As the voice of hypnosis, Pargament can easily convince anyone of this given just a few minutes with his practice.

For more information, visit hypnosiswestchester.com or call Robert Pargament at 800-675-7583 or e-mail info@westchesterhypnosis.com to schedule a free consultation or an appointment.