I did not grow up wanting to become a hypnotherapist. In fact, I didn't even realize that was a viable career option. To me, hypnosis was a stage act my high school paid for so we wouldn't drink and drive on prom night. It appeared to be a joke, and I quickly let the whole concept fall completely off my radar.
Many years later, I was living in the Lower East Side of NYC when a friend suggested I tried hypnotherapy to quit smoking. I was skeptical, but nothing else had worked, not the patches, not the gum, not going cold turkey, so what did I have to lose?
Despite my skepticism, the hypnosis worked—and it worked fast. I became a nonsmoker during my first hypnosis session (I now know that is atypical and that a few sessions are oftentimes required). My initial reaction was not actually one of happiness, relief, or even simple satisfaction that my investment had been worthwhile...I was angry.
What was this? Why hadn't I thought it would work when, out of everything that I tried, it was the only thing that did? Why did I believe for all of those years that hypnosis was a joke when it was actually such a calming, natural experience?