Wendy Packer, RN, CI, BCH, OB—11year NGH member. Co-Author of Are You In A Caregiving Relationship and Don’t Know It? Finding a Balance of Love and Caring. Wendy practices as, “HypnoNurse” in New Rochelle, NY.
DD: How did you first become interested in hypnotism?
WP: I became interested in hypnotism to help my mother with her 20-year chronic discomfort. As a nurse, I did every thing medically possible to help her. I started doing research and found articles regarding WWII soldiers for whom hypnosis was provided.
DD: So, were you NGH trained?
WP: Yes, NGH CI Carol Denicker provided my first training. The NGH course proved very informative and I discovered that I also loved being hypnotized. The day after I received my Guild certification, I started my mother on her hypnosis journey. Soon she was able to alleviate her discomfort from a 10 (most
severe) to a 2. I knew then my nursing career was going to take a new path.
DD: Do you have additional academic credentials in other fields?
WP: I earned an associate’s degree in applied science, and I am a Registered Nurse in New York State and Florida. I’ve been a nurse in hospitals, clinics, private offices and spas.
DD: Don’t you also have a book on caregiving?
WP: I’m considered an expert in the emerging area of caregiving with hypnosis. I co-authored Are You in a Caregiving Relationship and Don’t Know It? Finding a Balance of Loving and Caring. I also lecture to caregiver support groups and at senior centers, about hypnosis, Reiki, EFT and topics related to senior healthy living.
DD: Are you in full-time practice?
WP: Yes, I have a full time home-office hypnosis practice, HypnoNurse, in New Rochelle, NY, assisting both adults and children. I am also an NGH certified instructor, reiki master, adult education instructor at a local high school. I have lectured to the medical community, civic organizations, and local governmental agencies. Health and wellness fairs both NYC and Westchester County often refer to me as their hypnosis expert.
DD: With all of this do you find any phase of hypnotism to be of greater interest to you?
WP: What interests me most is the use f hypnosis for personal development, hypnosis which is safe and effective for the development of one’s own latent powers to live a more successful and vibrant life. My work with hypnosis and youthfulness, along with beauty for women and handsomeness for men, has been of great interest to me. My research, and that of my colleague Ralph Benko, has revealed
some overlooked, or long forgotten information strongly suggesting that hypnosis can have rejuvenating qualities.
DD: So you two have uncovered supporting information on this?
WP: Yes, there is supporting information from medical and scientific literature which made the possibility that hypnosis could make you physically grow younger (and more beautiful) seem credible. Our research strongly suggested that certain hypnotic techniques produce physical, not just psychological rejuvenation … actually growing physically younger. We have researched and refined these long lost hypnotic techniques.
DD: Is there anything else different about your approach to hypnosis techniques?
WP: To begin with, I have eliminated the term “trance” in my pre-talk. I prefer to use the term “reverie.” Reverie, which means daydreaming, is a friendlier, less intimidating word. The most important question I ask of all clients is … tell me what you want as opposed o what you don’t want. I truly believe that hypnosis allows everyday people to access extraordinary capabilities, which lie latent within them, and draw on those capabilities to feed the opportunities that surround them. I teach my clients that the mind-body connection is very powerful.
DD: Are you satisfied with where you are in your research on this?
WP: Finally, I feel we have very persuasive proof that hypnosis can be used to make yourself, and your clients, more youthful looking and feeling … and more beautiful or handsome and a charismatic social leader. As word gets around regarding the power of hypnosis for rejuvenation and for charisma cultivation, there will be an intense desire for these, among both hypnotists and prospective clients.
DD: How is the general acceptance of the practice of hypnotism in your area?
WP: My client and student base all come from referral’s and public appearances. I don’t advertise, so this is proof enough to me that hypnotism is accepted n my area both by the general public and the medical community. With every speaking opportunity, I have an opportunity to clarify misconceptions the public may have about hypnosis. The story regarding why I became a hypnotist to help my mother, also softens any negativity I may confront regarding the amazing profession of hypnosis. I encourage all hypnotists to tell their own story of how hypnosis has affected or transformed their lives and those of their loved ones.
DD: What other benefits have you personally received from being a hypnotist?
WP: My self-image has transformed. I have become the most important person in my life, not in a selfish, but in a centered way. This allows me to be the best I can be, and everyone I come in contact with benefits from my giving them my best.
DD: So you are more positive?
WP: Yes, my positivity factor has skyrocketed, making me a consistently much happier person. By listening to hypnotic MP3s I have developed a lower-stress attitude and that allows me to pursue my goals and dreams more easily.
DD: So this career is good for your clients and also for you.
WP: Being a hypnotist was the best possible career choice for me on a personal as well as professional level.
DD: What are the biggest problems you’ve encountered, if any?
WP: Absolutely none! Oh wait…there is one! How to decide what workshops to attend at the annual NGH Convention. It is such a cornucopia of fascinating learning…if only the days were longer!
DD: How would you advise a newcomer to get started in practice? What should a person do that offers the best chance of professional success?
WP: To all the newcomers I say as you have consistently told us to, talk about what you do to everyone with whom you come in contact. We are our own best public relations agency. In social situations when I am asked what I do, my response is to say, “I do something that takes my breath away.”
DD: That must get instant attention.
WP: Yes, but how wonderful is it that as hypnotists we are in the business of assisting individuals to be the best they can be, achieve goals that were once dreams and increase their happiness factor. This improves everyone’s quality of life both personally and professionally.
DD: What are chapter membership benefits you’ve found?
WP: You associate with colleagues on a regular basis. Members freely share all things related to hypnotism and it builds professional solidarity. It is good for the profession and it is good for you. Members keep up to the minute with NGH news and CEUs, and laws and legislation or their state and, most importantly, develop wonderful, valuable, friendships with other chapter members.
DD: Would you like to share any ideas on how a consulting hypnotist can increase clients and practice income?
WP: Offer free seminars for various concerns: stress, weight, performance enhancement, sleep, grief and motivation, for example. Contact local civic associations, PTA organizations, senior centers, medical societies and local places of worship. Write articles for Health and Wellness publications, and your local newspaper, and utilize World Hypnotism Day.
DD: Are there any “rules” you would offer a person starting out?
WP: The most important rules I could offer anyone starting out is to be authentic, professional and follow the NGH Code of Ethics.
DD: Do you have a favorite book, DVD or CD concerning hypnotism?
WP: My favorite book concerning hypnotism is Raising Your Children with Hypnosis by Don Mottin. I have read and referenced this book so many times that the pages are held together with a rubber band. I love assisting children, finding them to be so enchanting and mesmerizing. Many of my child clients ask their parents to make an appointment because they feel so wonderful after their sessions. If you enjoy hypnotizing children do yourself a favor and order Don’s book from the Guild. It is a gem!
DD: What do you think individual practitioners should be doing to help us advance as a separate and distinct profession?
WP: Thanks to the work of the Guild, hypnosis has finally achieved that status. So the first thing to do is to help make the public aware of your credentials as having been NGH trained and qualified. Including, of course, fulfilling its requirements for continuing education by
attending its Summer Institute, Convention, Solid Gold Weekend, or other opportunities. Second, we must conduct ourselves publicly with dignity in every respect, adhering to the Code of Ethics, dressing and comporting ourselves in the same manner as other professionals—doctors, lawyers, accountants, business executives. Dress for success! As a Certified Instructor, I know it is enormously helpful to make newbies aware of our professional history. Your book, Hypnotic Recollections – The History of The Development of Hypnotism as a Separate and Distinct Profession in the 20th Century, is the primary source for this.
DD: What changes have you seen since you started?
WP: One change is the shift in our nomenclature from “hypnotherapist” to “consulting certified hypnotist.” New York State has prohibited by law the use f the terms “hypnotherapist” by nonclinical practitioners, meaning those other than state-licensed health professionals.
It also reflects Guild policy and I think it is a good thing.
DD: Anything else?
WP: Another change is that the Guild is beginning to emerge with proficiency on the Web and into social media. Right now, the Guild directly serves 14,000+ members, who, in turn, serve tens or hundreds of thousands of members of the general public. The best change is seeing the first fruits of the Guild’s meticulous work in creating hypnosis as a separate and distinct profession. This is a change of such magnitude that it seems to me that a lot of Guild members are just beginning to absorb its implications. The evidence is unequivocal that history will record Dr. Dwight Damon as the father of hypnosis as a separate and distinct profession. That’s historic. It takes hypnotists from being marginalized to greatly enhanced dignity and respect.
DD: Thank you, Wendy, is there anything you would like to see the Guild do differently?
WP: The Guild is a remarkable entity. It does so many things so well that it is hard to imagine what, if anything, it should do differently. Serving 14,000 or more people worldwide, bringing well over 1,000 members of the profession together annually, publishing very professional magazines, and so much more, is a lot of work. The Guild does so much for so many so well. How can anyone quibble
with such a great success story?
DD: Thank you, Wendy, is there anything you would like to see the Guild do differently?
WP: The Guild is a remarkable entity. It does so many things so well that it is hard to imagine what, if anything, it should do differently. Serving 14,000 or more people worldwide, bringing well over 1,000 members of the profession together annually, publishing very professional magazines, and so much more, is a lot of work. The Guild does so much for so many so well. How can anyone quibble with such a great success story?
DD: Do you enjoy reading Guild publications? Do you enjoy one more than another? If so, which one and why?
WP: I read every issue of the Journal of Hypnotism and Hypno-Gram from cover to cover. Both have value and are very enjoyable. My personal preference is the Journal of Hypnotism. I feel it has a greater range and depth of perspectives from some of the profession’s leaders. It also is beautifully produced.
DD: You are a member of our union NFH Local 104. How is that important to you?
WP: I belong to our Hypnotists Union, NFH local 104 because the Union is one of the most important factors in defending our professional dignity and ability to practice nonclinical hypnosis as a profession. There are many state-licensed, state-regulated, health and mental health professionals who from time to time have passed, or tried to pass, laws or regulations to impair the ability of nonclinical hypnotists to provide professional services to the public. The NGH is our first line of defense and the Union is the cavalry. Being members of the AFL-CIO, as we are, also opens up completely new channels of professional opportunities. Union members have a special affinity for other union members.
DD: I know you attend the convention. How many times and what do you like best or least?
WP: Yes! I do attend the convention. I will be attending my 10th this year in August. The energy generated at the convention is incredible. Who wouldn’t want to be around like-minded individuals who are caring, sharing and fun from all over the world! It is a mesmerizing meeting of the minds. What I like best is that you have the ability to choose seminars and workshops, share stories, ask questions, hear different viewpoints and expand your hypnotic knowledge beyond the beyond. I also am honored to be an NGH adjunct faculty member. That allows me to share knowledge in areas where I have had success with my colleagues so they can become more successful as well. I learn from them and I like to give back. Plus I really enjoy interacting with the outstanding NGH staff who do an amazing job from the registering process to helping us get to where we need to be. They are attentive, helpful and make the attendees feel very much at home. The smiles on their faces are so refreshing. It truly is the friendliest convention in the world, with many opportunities to catch up with old friends.
DD: What do you see as the future of our profession?
WP: I feel that the future depends on us as members. The Guild has established hypnosis as a separate and distinct profession. However, that status cannot be taken for granted. You had to fight for it, Dr. Damon, and so do we. We must adhere meticulously to the highest professional standards. We must join civic organizations and speak up there to make ourselves known. We must regularly interact respectfully with leaders of other professions. Pastoral, medical and legal associations, especially. We must develop relationships with our elected officials…especially our state legislators. Elected officials do love to hear from their friendly constituents! Each of us needs to cultivate reporters, columnists, and TV producers in our area. Present ourselves, politely and repeatedly, in ways that are designed to be easily useful to them. Make ourselves known in dignified ways. As a professional, you need to hold your head up high, get your name out there, make you voice heard, and put your distinct professional hypnotic abilities to work in the service of your community.
DD: Wendy Packer, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you, and we’ll look forward to your convention presentation with Ralph Benko on “How To Use Hypnosis To Look And Feel Younger Plus More Beautiful And Handsome.”