My search for interesting, informative and successful hypnotherapists continues. I hope that these interviews will encourage all hypnotherapists everywhere to believe in themselves as well as the profession. I believe that these interviews will provide you with inspiration and some additional tips that can really help your practice to thrive.
I am very happy to do this interview with Matt Sison, an experienced and talented hypnotherapist with a very interesting background. I am especially excited about the healing work he has been doing, and also I want to tell you about his new CD.
With that brief introduction let’s get on with the interview.
Cal Banyan: Matt, it is great doing this article with you. Let’s start off with finding out a bit about the kind of background you had before you became a hypnotherapist.
Matt Sison: Before becoming a hypnotherapist, I was a Fitness Trainer in Los Angeles, California for over 8 years. Being a fitness trainer is similar to being a hypnotherapist in some ways as your clients tell you about their life stories during their workout. I was privy to hearing about all the ups and downs of their lives, and there were more then a few moments I actually enjoyed hearing about their stories more then training them to get fit. It’s probably what allowed me to be a great trainer; I had a genuine compassion for their stories while I made them sweat to exhaustion. It’s because of this compassion; I feel I did much better than the average fitness trainer that only kept their clients for 6 weeks. I kept mine for an average of 2 years with a consistent referral base.
Cal: That is a really unique background, and it makes perfect sense how it really prepared you for working with the clients that you see now in your hypnotherapy practice. And, of course really caring about your clients is key in any helping profession.
How was it that you decided to look into becoming a hypnotherapist?
Matt: I actually started learning about hypnosis around the age of 10 years. My brother, who is currently a renowned psychiatrist, was learning about hypnosis in school and he wanted to try an experiment on me. He had me lay down on the floor, and in retrospect he did a hypnosis induction on me and then laid his index finger lightly on my chest and suggested that I was stuck to the floor. Well, long story short, it worked ;). So I was hooked and read my first article on hypnosis in Reader’s Digest at that age of 10.
Cal: That is an interesting way to get interested in hypnosis. Then what happened?
Matt: As an adult I reacquainted myself with hypnosis because I wanted to help my fitness clients get past some of their mental peaks. Although I was getting great results with my clients before learning hypnotherapy, after I took the course at the Banyan Hypnosis Center and applied what I learned on my clients, their success skyrocketed. From here, I was able to transition my fitness clients into the beginnings of my hypnotherapy world.
Cal: Yes, way back when you were in my class, I could almost see the light going on! You really connected with what I was teaching, and I could see that you were very enthusiastic about it. But most of important of all, you took that material and went to work putting a successful practice together.
Why don’t you go ahead and tell us about your practice?
Matt: My hypnotherapy business is physically located in Sherman Oaks, CA. In this office I’m part of a group that consists of many types of healers: psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, family counselors, and even psychics. I’ve been fortunate in that they’ve supplied me with clients that they were “stuck” with. After being referred to me, I was able to bypass their clients’ conscious critical thinking minds and find answers they couldn’t get together or that their clients didn’t want to confront consciously.
Cal: I bet that was really exciting for the clients and the professionals that you worked with as well. Am I right?
Matt: Yes, you are. After completing our sessions I had the honor of sending them back to their original therapists to move forward with the work they were “stuck” on. It really makes for a great team: I help the clients release the blocks of the past and their therapists can now more easily help their clients live the present and future life they wish to create.
Cal: Matt, that is a great cooperative model you have going there. I never really liked the term “alternative medicine” etc., I like to think of us as being complementary to what other professionals are doing in many cases. Sure, most of the time we work independently, but we can also work as a team with other professionals as your practice shows us.
What else are you doing?
Matt: Lately, I’m enjoying doing sessions over the phone and on Skype (an internet phone chat). This has really expanded my business. I can literally do work with someone on the other side of the world. I’m often asked if doing work over the phone is as effective as doing them in person, and I reply by saying, in many cases phone or Skype sessions have worked better as the clients are in the comfort of their own homes and they don’t have to worry about how they look in front of me when we’re deep in the session. Of course I have to turn up the notch on my “listening” skills as I don’t get the immediate gratification of seeing how their bodies are physically behaving and reacting. But, this has definitely improved my skills as a healer.
Cal: That is very interesting. I have not been comfortable doing that kind of thing. Maybe if I had a webcam so I could also see what was going on with the client, especially emotionally. I’m glad to hear that it has worked well for you though. At least you are providing a service that these individuals might not otherwise be able to receive at all. Good for you.
Tell us more about your training and so on.
Matt: I was very fortunate in that the base of my hypnosis training was at the Banyan Hypnosis Center in Minnesota led by you (Cal Banyan). I’ve come across so many hypnotherapists that jump from one form of healing to another and another and another. And I honestly sense it’s because they weren’t able to have a solid foundation. It’s because of my foundation from the Banyan Hypnosis Center that I was able to grasp my private teachings with Stephen Parkhill, Author of “Answer Cancer.” I studied with Stephen for about 2 years, and to this day he calls me his “light bearer.” I’ve been able to keep honest to most of what he’s passed down to me. I’ve even had clients come in from out of town after asking Stephen for a referral that have told me, “Stephen has placed you on the top of his list for referring out.” I consider that quite a humbling honor.
Cal: That is great. Really, we need to continually learn in this profession. So that makes me curious, tell me more about your approach to doing hypnosis and hypnotherapy
Matt: Well, as I continue to grow as a healer, I’ve been able to expand what I’ve done from the beginning. In the beginning, I was strictly a regressionist. Everything had to be regressed. But even Stephen had told me that sometimes this would be like using a bazooka to kill a fly inside of your home. So suffice it to say, I’ve been able to more appropriately assess my client’s needs and use a few techniques that espouse similar philosophies and concepts of regression but may be less intensive for those that don’t carry their issues as deep. Specifically, I use EFT: used in the traditional way and used as a form of regression for the deeper buried issues. I particularly like using EFT for the analytical types. I’m sure I’ll get some emails about how to do this, but Cal, maybe they can bug you for a request to get me to teach it at your center ;).
Cal: I’d love to put together a class for you at the Banyan Hypnosis Center. We will have to talk more about this. And, by the way, I’m looking forward to your upcoming Meet the Pros Seminar. I hope we can get it scheduled in a week or so. We have had so many great teachers on that program, and we get a lot of positive feedback about it. And, that brings to mind your new column on the Banyan E-Zine, Generation H. I think that everyone is going to look forward to those articles. Thanks for doing that. Keep going it sounds like you are doing lots of interesting things.
Matt: I really am. On top of everything else, I incorporate Direct Suggestion hypnosis, some NLP and other techniques that were born out of my sessions on clients and myself. Everything I use on my clients have been tried and tested on me first.
Cal: You really sound busy. Where is all of this happening and who are you working, etc.?
Matt: As far as physical location, I have more freedom with phone sessions and the internet so I’m not bound to just doing sessions in person. In regards to specific issues, I particularly enjoy working on what medical doctors and scientists will call anxiety and panic attacks. One of the reasons I enjoy this area is because I can deeply connect with these clients as I’ve been through some of the worst of the worst anxiety and panic attacks, attacks that sent me to the emergency room in one week’s time. Through my willingness to face my issues head on, I’ve been able to overcome these attacks as well as “genetic” high blood pressure.
Cal: Very interesting, can you tell us about an interesting case?
Matt: Hmm… Instead of using a client case, how about using mine. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (average of 160/100) for 3 years, but at that moment I was a Masters student of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), so I never wanted to take western medications, but rather herbs and acupuncture. However, even TCM provided only brief moments of relief.
Cal: Then what happened?
Matt: One day, Stephen Parkhill had posed a question to me “Matt, when push comes to shove and you find yourself in your own life or death situation, do you commit to healing yourself or do you give in to the doctors?” Well, the following week I woke up in the middle of the night with severe chest pains, jaw pain, left arm numbness and short of breath. My blood pressure skyrocketed to over 220/160 and a pulse rate of about 180 beats per minute.
Cal: Wow, those are surprising symptoms for such a young and healthy guy. It must have been terrifying!
Matt: My girlfriend was on the phone with 911 and knowing my work as a hypnotherapist turned to me and said “are you sure you want me to complete this call or is it a feeling you need to follow?” Now, if you’re a regression hypnotherapist, you’ll know what she meant. So, at that moment I realized that if I gave in to the doctors I could not continue doing what I was doing as a hypnotherapist. I would feel like a fraud.
Cal: So, what did you do?
Matt: In that instance I told her “put the phone down” and thought to myself “If I die tonight, I die.” What happens next I would never suggest anyone do, it was just my personal test. Instead follow through with 911.
Cal: Go on.
Matt: Long story short, I ended up doing a 6 hour regression session on myself (yes, on myself. It is possible, especially in the state I was in). I had a crash course lesson that night about the “race” between us releasing our emotions and our bodies clamping down on them. Every time I would release some emotions I would start to feel better and would say “ok, enough. This is too intense,” but when I would stop I would feel the body clamping down again which was a sign to me that my work wasn’t completed. I needed to bring up more events and more feelings. After all was said and done, I remember taking a deep clear breath and saying “Oh my God, I can breathe again!”
Cal: That is really great Matt, how has it been going since?
Matt: Up to that point, for over 3 years, my breathing was shallow due to high blood pressure. But after that 6 hour session, I put the blood pressure cuff on and my blood pressure measured at 115/75: a few points below the safe average of 120/80. Over the course of the next 3 months I did more work on myself and to this day, about 4 years later, my blood remains at an average of 120/80. Now, I must say, there are times when it starts to creep up to 140/90 but I know that when this happens, that I have been ignoring the work I need to do on myself or it’s simply a sign for me to just stop and take a breather. This has been my internal mechanism for me to say I’ve been out of line with my spiritual self.
Cal: That is a very interesting case. Thanks for sharing that with us. I’m sure we will get more questions about that technique in the future. Do you have any specialties or favorite issues you like to work with?
Matt: As mentioned above, I enjoy working with clients that have anxiety and panic attacks, but on a more broad sense I find myself ecstatic when I have someone coming to me for a particular issue (physical, mental or emotional) that consciously acknowledges the need to overcome the issue in order to fully reconnect with their soul’s purpose for living this life.
Cal: I completely understand that. I really think that is an important issue. It is a really important thing that 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® does as well. Why do your clients select you over other hypnotherapists?
Matt: Most of the clients that I receive now are referrals from previous clientele. So they come in knowing my philosophies and concepts. They know that I will most likely have them face something deep inside that they’ve been ignoring or scared to face, but that I’m also the person that will compassionately lead them into the black hole of their fears and eventually bring them into the fountain of light beyond the darkness. They know that I will provide or remind them of life tools to prevent them from slipping backwards. And, in this day and age, I sense more and more people are looking for something that goes beyond a short term “band aid” approach to healing, and are looking for someone that can help them to truly live out their spiritual intentions.
Cal: “Right on!” as we used to say in the 60’s and 70’s. I really like your philosophy, and approach. I am totally in line with you on this. Are you teaching any classes?
Matt: I have a couple of workshops on manifesting your true desires coming up in Los Angeles, and San Francisco, California. Maybe we can post them on your website, www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com? And, I am currently setting up workshops for hypnotherapists in the near future.
Cal: That sounds great to me. Send me the information. I’ll also announce it on my hypnosis groups on Yahoo. Oh, and it would be a perfect match for the email group I set up on Yahoo called, The Secret Movie Group.
Tell everyone about your new CD.
Matt: I have a CD that I am very proud of having created! I’m very excited about it! I’ve been getting numerous testimonials about it being different from other Hypnosis or Guided imagery CDs out there. The storyline and music are really winning a lot of people over, and it’s in line with the popular DVD “the Secret”. The name of my CD is “Remembrance,” and below is a brief description taken from the back of the cover.
“Remembrance” takes you on a journey to the center of the universe to uncover a truth that has existed since the dawn of creation. Set to a rich, professional, holographic soundtrack, this guided visual meditation C.D. will empower you to create a life of extraordinary possibilities. Through a vivid sequence of meditations and guided imagery, you will reconnect with a truth that unlocks your infinite potential for prosperity, abundance, health and the ability to manifest all you desire.”
Remembrance is available at www.banyanhypnosismall.com. This particular project is the first of a trilogy. Other products will be available soon. The nearest project almost completed is a 2 CD set titled “Diffusing the negative impact of an HIV positive diagnosis.”
Cal: I look forward to learning more about that in the future as well, if it is nearly as good as Remembrance, we will be very happy to help you get the word out about it and have it available on the “Mall.” Oh, and just a note to the readers, we have set up that link, www.banyanhypnosismall.com so that all of your contributions will be available at one place on the site, including your articles, interview, and CDs. Matt, thanks for sharing so much with everyone in this interview. I wonder if you could give any more tips that the readers could use right now in their hypnotherapy practices?
Matt: I really am interested in helping other hypnotherapists to help their clients. That is one of the main reasons that I took you up on my offer to write for the Banyan Hypnosis E-Zine. You have already posted my first article there. I suggest that the readers go there and get my tips. How’s that?
Cal: That sounds great. How to do you want to wrap up the interview, Matt?
Matt: How about with a quote? Here is one of my favorites, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”- Carl Jung
Cal: That is great Matt. You are doing such a great job. I am glad that we have this opportunity to do some things together, and with this interview/article I feel like we are off to a great start. I hope everyone will keep checking www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com for the latest offerings by Matt Sison. If you would like to contact him please do so through that website. Here is a link to the Contact Page. Until next time, we hope that we can continue to help you to have a more and more successful hypnosis practice, and more fulfilling life.