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The Synthesis Effect

Updated: May 27, 2021

1. Tell us your story who is Dr. John McGrail.

Dr. John McGrail is a clinical hypnotherapist and personal empowerment specialist. I got into this profession about 20 years ago after several careers: military and commercial aviation, film and television, teaching and corporate training. While all my professional endeavours had been satisfying and successful, when I found myself at a personal and professional crossroad-- having been laid off from my last corporate job due to the dot-com implosion in 2001-- I took stock and realized that there was a common thread; that what I liked most about all of my positions was teaching, coaching, mentoring my staffs. That realization combined with my own personal and spiritual transformation let me to seek a position personal services and healing arts. I chose hypnotherapy because I had used it myself and was aware of its potential as a transformative tool, and because it afforded the most direct path to serve clients in the shortest amount of time.

After a year of training and clinical internship I got my certification and opened my private practice in 2002 and then pursued and earned my PhD in clinical hypnotherapy. Today I work with clients from age 7 to 93 from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, and all demographics. I also work with select corporate clients and appear frequently as a guest expert on radio and television discussing the topic of personal growth and spirituality. I also do keynote and motivational speeches and seminars.

2. When people think of hypnosis, what often comes to mind is a guy with a watch on stage or even in the movies. Please tell us what is Hypnosis and better yet what is hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that we all experience every day. Anytime you watch a good movie or TV show, or read a good book, or daydream and have any kind of an emotional response you are in a form of hypnosis. Because it is a natural state of consciousness it can be used for many purposes like entertainment where people happily respond to suggestions to axillae on stage, or as a tool for creating change growth and transformation in one’s life. Hypnosis creates an open, receptive state of mind and helps us bypass the natural internal resistance to change that we all have to one degree or another, even when the change is something we want for ourselves. Hypnotherapy is the art and science of using hypnosis as a transformative tool.

3. What conditions have been known to be treated or maybe managed using hypnosis?

Because it is a natural state of consciousness and creates a state of mind receptive to change, it can be used across the spectrum of human behavior. Hypnosis can be effective in treating physical, emotional, and even spiritual issues. The most common forms of application are getting over unwanted or unhealthy habits or behavioral patterns, overcoming low self-confidence or low self-esteem, improving performance at work, school or play, eliminating unwanted fears or phobias, eliminating chronic stress and anxiety, pain management and even anesthesia. Truthfully, the applications are almost endless, and while it is no silver bullet, hypnotherapy is an extremely effective modality for creating change growth and transformation quickly and profoundly.

4. So what happens during a hypnotherapy session ?

A typical session lasts about an hour and begins with some cognitive discussion to discuss the client’s progress and how they’re feeling, followed by a period of hypnosis or trance to further the progress of treatment. Sessions typically happen once a week to begin with and then we adjust the frequency as the client progresses through their process and issue.

5. Are there risks when it comes to hypnotherapy.

Because it is a natural state of consciousness, with a few exceptions like severe mental illness for example schizophrenia, there are really no risks involved with hypnotherapy. About the biggest risk anybody faces is that it might not work. Like any modality, it doesn’t work for everyone. Every individual and every mind is different, everyone has different sensibilities and values, and as I mentioned earlier, there is no silver bullet. In the same breath I would repeat that it is incredibly effective for most people across a lot the common issues that hold us back in life.

6. What about the long term/short term benefits of hypnosis.

If a person is facing an issue that is keeping them from living their life fully, abundantly, joyfully and productively, and they can overcome and transcend that issue in a very short period of time compared to most therapeutic protocols, the long-term benefits are obvious. I have a Rule #1 and that is that ‘Life is supposed to be Fun.” I take great joy in helping my clients find their fun.

7. You have also authored a book ‘ the synthesis effect’ what is it about?

Synthesis is the term I give my proprietary process that combines hypnotherapy and a variety of other tools, techniques and models to help address a client’s issue on both a conscious, cognitive level and the much more powerful subconscious, spiritual level. I call the process “Synthesis” because it involves using a disparate set of tools and “ingredients” and combining them to create or synthesize a better version of oneself. My company is called, A Better You.

8. What advice would you give someone about Hypnotherapy.

If you have an issue that has been plaguing you and that has not responded to your own efforts to transcend it, or conventional therapeutic protocols, it might be well worth your time to investigate hypnotherapy. In the hands of an experienced, well trained competent practitioner, it is amazing how quickly a person can transform their life. Hypnosis has been in use as a healing tool for more than 7000 years. If something has been around for 7000 years there has to be a reason, and the reason is that it works.