melissa tiers - mentor in hypnosis

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Mentors in Hypnosis brings together the best hypnotists in the world! Through these interviews the Mentors share with you their knowledge, wisdom and experience. Together they bring you Centuries of hypnosis.

In this Interview we learn from Mentor Melissa Tiers.

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Mentor Melissa Tiers is already a prominent figure in the world of hypnosis! Her free spirit and inquisitive mind has lead her treading new paths in the depths of human understanding.

Mentor Melissa Tiers is the founder of The Center For Integrative Hypnosis with a private hypnosis practice in New York City. She teaches classes in Integrative Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Psychology and mental health coaching.

Melissa Tiers is an instructor for the NGH and The International Association of Counselors and Therapists and an adjunct faculty member of The New York Open Center and Tri-State College of Acupuncture.

Melissa Tiers is a two time recipient of the International Medical and Dental Association’s prestigious Pen and Quill Award for her books “Integrative Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Course in Change” and “Keeping the Brain in Mind: Practical Neuroscience for Coaches, Therapists and Hypnosis Practitioners” co-written with Shawn Carson. Melissa was recently awarded the NGH’s 2014 President’s Award, for excellence in the field and the 2014 Speaker and Author of the year from the Zurich Hypnose Kongress all of these and much more, making her a valued mentor in hypnosis.

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Eugen Popa: Awhat are the ingredients of a good hypnotist?

Melissa Tiers: Curiosity, absolute excitement and passion for the work, an ability to observe, an ability to play, to play with the client, because honestly, what we know about the brain, what we know about how people remember, how people learn, we need a lot of dopamine flowing, and dopamine creates a lot down of attention, it helps to create memory, dopamine is created when something is new, when something is novel, when something is funny and engaging.

So, if you bring those elements into it, so I ‘m getting my clients curious about what I am doing or they are doing, right, I talk about the inner strategy, I say:”Ok, so that image you just made over here, what happens if we pull it here?” And they go: “What?” and then, all of the sudden, you see them light up, like: “Oh shit, I didn’t know, that if I moved images or if I changed the internal voice, or if I changed the way it affects me in my stomach, then I absolutely destroy the habituated pattern, if I keep messing with it. So it gets them curious, so I think it’s a big piece.

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Eugen Popa: So, now that we know what are the ingredients of a good hypnotist, let’s talk about what is the recipe for a good hypnosis session.

Melissa Tiers: You know, that’s a good question. I’m gonna say, as far as the recipe goes, I’m gonna fall back on what I just said creates a good hypnotist, which is the curiosity, which is the play, it’s the dopamine, the constant novelty, the newness, as well as an ability to gauge what’s working and what’s not, a flexibility where if something it’s not happening, you can set way into another, goes back to what you were talking about, having a variety of tools, but to say that there’s a recipe in the sense that it should be: pre talk, suggestibility test, induction, deepener, convincer, than script, it’s a crack of shit. And I think that is gonna get you in trouble, it’s more limiting than anything else, because people get stuck on the structure, and human beings can’t be so easily logged, and so I think, to bring in the elements of what makes a good hypnotist is already starting to show you that you can play, and that’s the recipe for a good hypnosis session. Playing, but obviously, I did profess this with read as much as you can watch and hear as much as you can, practice as much as you can, so you have the skill set almost unconscious, that you can then bring out and plan ahead. You cannot plan ahead, I learned that very early on, when it was like “Ok, I got a fear of heights coming in, I’m gonna do this and this and this” and then they come in and it’s like “What?”

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Eugen Popa: (...) What is the best attitude to have in such a situation when it’s like “Oh, I fucked up here, what do I do?”

Melissa Tiers: You know, one of the presuppositions of NLP that I really own is that there is no failure, there’s only feedback. And so, if you’re doing something and it didn’t work, that gives you more information about what not to do, which is a scientific method, a very valid response. This is how we do experiments, we learn what not to do (...) So, on one level, to give yourself a flexibility, by understanding that there’s no way that you could be prepared for another human being’s psyche, and emotional reality, and you’re always… it’s a conversation, sometimes I’m looking for the trigger and I just say, stop, slow it down for me, I’m looking for the moment when this pattern goes unconscious, I need you to help me out here. So, repeat what you just did, but let’s slow it down, so that I can see where this fear kicks in, bear with me, we’re gonna get it. And this way I enlist the client’s help, they understand the reason why I’m doing this is to get to that actual moment when we can re pattern something, I don’t do this guided imagery when someone feels floaty and wonderful in my office, and then they go back in the real world and their shit comes back in their face. So I have to be more strategic and I have to enlist their help.

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So in answer to “What do you do if you’re fumbling”, you know you do something else. And you say “ok, this isn’t the one for you”. Let’s go over here”, and be human, that’s one of the things… I teach a big skill set to my clients, and even when they call me and say “Can you help me stop smoking?” I say “No”, and they go “What? My doctor said to call you, you’re a hypnotist, right?” and I’m like: “Yeah, I can’t make you stop smoking, but here’s what I can do: I can give you seven different ways to stop a craving, seven different ways to stop the stress that leads to the craving, I can teach you a form of self-hypnosis that’s going to make it really easy for you, I’ll give you the tools and the rest is up to you.”

And this way, instead of being: “The hypnosis didn’t work, I smoked”. It’s “I didn’t work, I didn’t use any of the pattern interrupts I know that can stop a craving”.

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Eugen Popa: And you know, this kinds of leads into the next question, and that is, “What other skills or techniques or methods should a hypnotist learn?”

Melissa Tiers: I think a hypnotist should certainly learn neurolinguistic psychology, and it’s not necessarily that they need the old school curriculum of NLP which I think it’s a bit outdated, but I think having a foundation in NLP so they understand some modalities, so they understand nature of subjective experience and how different people function. I think that learning more of the cognitive behavioral psychology, I think incorporating some energy psychology into the mix, whether it’d be in a form of taping or things like that, once again, I think the basic understanding of neuroplasticity, and how the brain rewires itself, to me, all of this things create a lot of flexibility in dealing with the conscious mind, the unconscious mind, you’re dealing with the energetic, the emotional biochemical, I think that everyone should know a little bit about psychoneuroimmunology and understand how the mind affects the body, I think that some of the people who are playing with the various states of consciousness and brainwaves states, whether is open focused brain, Les Fehmi, I think you should know the basics of how the brain learns and unlearns, and how memories are formed, or rather created and recreated, because this informs my work.

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In other words, when I do something like reimprinting, or what some people would refer to as a regression to cause, and people come out and say “Wow, that was amazing, but my mother would have never hugged me like that.” And I’d say ‘yes, your conscious mind understands that, but your unconscious mind is going to respond differently based on this work”, because here’s what we’re discovering about memory. Every time you remember something, you recreate it, but you lift it out of the brain and can add more information and then it gets reconsolidated down. So sometimes I’ll use that, or sometimes I’ll say: “you know, when they put your brain in a FMRI machine and they ask you to remember that memory, certain areas light up, if they ask you to change that memory, the same areas light up, your brain doesn’t know the difference between a real or an imagined memory as it relates to emotional affect, and so this is what we can play with. So this is what your conscious mind knows, it’s not how it went, but your unconscious mind, which is behaving today based on those instances is now going to react differently.

So, by knowing just this little bullets, two minutes off an explanation of utilizing neuroscience is going to change everything. So I think knowing just the basics of that it’s crucial because it explains what we’re doing on a deeper level.

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