The word “hypnotist” may bring to mind a Hollywood image of a person who swings a pocket watch in front of a patient’s eyes to make them obey commands.
Hypnosis is also becoming a trend among business leaders who are seeking help with performance issues such as focus, speech anxiety, confidence and even goal-setting.
A boost in professional performance
Hypnosis practitioners use verbal repetition or mental images to help a person focus, then offer ideas and possibilities for developing new thoughts, feelings or perspectives that are in line with the goals of the treatment.
“Hypnosis is a gentle and effective means for helping people shift their attention back to what can help them accomplish what they want to accomplish and experience what they want to experience,” Michael D. Yapko, a clinical psychologist and author of “Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis and Essentials of Hypnosis,” tells CNBC Make It. This helps them focus instead of getting lost “in irrelevancy.”
Guy H. Montgomery, an associate professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who uses hypnosis on breast cancer patients to help with pain and anxiety and has treated business leaders for speech anxiety, says during a typical session, a client sits in a comfortable chair and follows the suggestions of the provider.
“Typically — something like close your eyes, and let yourself relax. … Imagery and suggestions follow which are tailored to the patient/client,” Mongomery says.
Montgomery says the use of hypnosis has been “trending up,” and Manhattan-based hypnotists John Mongiovi and Sylvain Coulon both say they’ve seen an uptick in business professionals in recent years who need help with work-related issues.
“Many executives experience performance anxiety when giving presentations and important meetings, [and] sometimes executives seek help being more patient and positive with their colleagues and employees,” Mongiovi, who owns a private practice in New York City, tells CNBC Make It.
Coulon, who also has a private practice in Manhattan, says since he opened in 2016, he has seen a slew of professionals seeking help with work-related issues such as procrastination, focus and preparation for big speaking events.
Entrepreneurs and executives use many tools and rituals to stay focused and get ahead.