Mooresville resident Amy Bernstein became interested in hypnotherapy when her husband was hypnotized in 1999. “He needed help overcoming procrastination to prepare for an exam at work, and it worked,” she says. Bernstein didn’t procrastinate. She earned her hypnotherapy certificate from the American Institute of Hypnosis that same year, adding to her master’s degree social work. In 2000 she opened Lakeside Counseling and Hypnotherapy Center in Davidson, offering counseling and hypnotherapy services for children and adults. Bernstein uses hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) when counseling clients. With EFT, clients are taught how to reduce painful physical and emotional symptoms by tapping the body’s energy points. Bernstein witnessed EFT’s success firsthand when her infant son broke his leg and was placed in a body cast for three weeks. Removing the cast was a frightening experience, but Bernstein calmed him using EFT therapy. Bernstein quickly dispels the myth that hypnotists lull people to sleep and have conversations that clients don’t remember after being jolted awake. “You want to remember what we talked about,” says Bernstein. “I’m offering suggestions for making the changes you wish to make in your life. After waking up, you’ll recall important phrases and ideas to help make these changes.” Clients receive a CD recording of their sessions. “It takes three weeks for new habits to take effect,” Bernstein says. “I advise clients to listen to the CD frequently in those first three weeks.” In recent years Bernstein has noticed an increase in clients seeking help for anxiety, a factor she attributes to job loss and the recession. Most of her clients come from personal or physician referrals. Bernstein has also seen an increase in kids seeking assistance for a variety of concerns from anger and anxiety to concentration. She even helped her own child overcome motion sickness. “My daughter would get extremely car sick and she asked me to hypnotize her. She developed some relaxation techniques and hasn’t gotten sick since.” A new technique Bernstein recently added that works especially well with kids is sandplay therapy. Using action figures, figurines and a sandtray, clients subconsciously make designs and scenes indicative of their emotional state. “It’s interesting to see which figures the kids grab and how they play with them in the sand,” Bernstein says. Bernstein says that January is typically her busiest time of the year as people are looking to follow through on New Year’s resolutions, such as quitting smoking, losing weight and reducing stress. “I become the good angel on a client’s shoulder,” Bernstein says.
Lakeside Counseling and Hypnotherapy Center
709 Northeast Drive, Suite 22, Davidson