Auto Accident – Memory Recovery

Auto Accident Memory Recovery - A car parked on the side of a mountain - Car

The forensic interview of an auto accident victim, held in my office this week, allowed us to recover once again the missing information needed to proceed with the claim. Until the session, the accident victim had been unable to remember the license plate and identifying details of the car following him, whose driver had witnessed the accident.

In a single session, bringing the auto-accident victim back to the day of the collision, we are able to go through the unfolding of the events, exactly as they took place.

Proceeding from the moment our subject left his office, we experience the sounds, scents, temperature he noticed around him as his day unfolded. His facial features soften as he leaves the cool air conditioned environment of his office to step into the warm summer breeze outside.

Moving to the moment of the collision, our subject relays the sequence of events: “The light turns green. A truck is cutting in front of me! There is so much noise! His muffler is so loud! He’s going to hit me!” Proceeding through the events enables us to review every sight, sound, detail and information needed for the claim as if we were looking at a videotape recording.

Glancing at his rear view mirror, our subject notices it has been shifted by the impact. Once he readjusts it, he notices the car behind him, whose driver witnessed the accident. This clear image in his mind gives us all the information we need on the driver, his car and an almost complete license plate.

Memory Functioning

Have you ever wondered why our memory often fails us when it need it most?

We have all experienced the moment when, in the middle of a conversation, we try to convey the name of a person that seems to remain at the tip of our tongue and maddeningly just out of our reach. The harder we try to remember, the more the data escapes us. Yet, the minute we walk away, the information often comes flooding back to our conscious awareness. We see this when we try to find an object we misplaced as well. The harder we try to remember where we last placed it, the more elusive the memory becomes. Only when we give up does the memory finally float back up to the surface of our mind.

There is a physiological explanation for this. As we stress, tense and intensify our efforts, our body restricts internally. Our muscles, tendons, tissues squeeze under the mental, physical or emotional pressure. Blood vessels constrict, thereby restricting blood flow to the brain. When we are under stress, cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the brain and released in the body under stress, fear, tension, anxiety. Intially, in our Neanderthal times, this psycho-physiological response enabled us to bolt and run, giving us our best chance to escape predators or imminent danger. In our day and age, we produce high levels of cortisol in response to various non-life-threatening stressors and tend to function for long periods of times under sustained stress.

High levels of cortisol produce all of the things we don’t want: accelerated aging, aches and pains in the body, immune system deficiency and yes, mental deficiency as well. As a friend and colleague stated recently, while on stage during a presentation in his capacity as Adjunct Professor of Psychology: “Basically, the more stressed we are, the stupider we become.”

Memory Recovery

The process of hypnosis allows us to reverse the effects of stress on the body and mind. In the state of hypnosis, as the entire body soften, our flesh, tissues, tendons and muscles finally relax. Blood vessels loosen up. Our blood is able to resume flowing easily, fluidly and effortlessly through our entire system, flooding the brain with vital oxygen, essential for proper functioning, and nourishing our internal organs with nutrients. Our immune system is boosted. Most importantly in the matter of data recovery, our clarity of mind is vastly enhanced.

According to Senior Special Agent John Kilnapp of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, hypnosis may be the only way to recover the details of a traumatic event crime victims blocked out of their mind. Electroencephalogram and functional MRI studies of the brain before, during and after hypnosis demonstrate the chemical and hormonal changes taking place in the brain during hypnosis. As cortisol levels drop significantly, they are replaced by a boost in endorphins, dopamine and norepinephrins. This produces enhanced focus and attention, higher levels of mental clarity, better brain functioning and superior memory capabilities.

This is why we are consistently able to recover key missing information when we place victims or witnesses of traumatic events in this profoundly restorative state. Hypnosis is an ideal state for synthetic thought and creativity, functions of the right brain hemisphere. The state places us in an optimal condition to remember facts and data, memorize languages, analyze complex situations, all of which in a state of profoundly restorative calm.

Emotional Balance

In addition to enabling the recovery of determining information, hypnosis allows us to address the secondary effects left behind by trauma, enabling us to restore the emotional balance, stability and peace of mind of those we work with.

Applying for a Consultation

Applying for a Consultation - A woman standing on a beach near a body of water - Zika virus

This is the second time this month I am reaching out publicly to aplogize for becoming increasingly difficult to reach.

As my schedule continues starting earlier and extending later each day, and as I am in session, back-to-back, through the day, it is becoming difficult for me to return the amount of phone calls that continue accumulating.

To respond to the demand we are receiving at the moment, with people physically walking in the office without appointments asking to be seen, we are setting up a confidential application log at the front desk with my reception team. This will enable you to enter your contact information and submit your request to be considered for a consultation. I will go through this log myself personally and contact you when we have an opening available.

In the meantime, you can also schedule a consultation directly online by clicking the “Book Now” button at left.

Scheduling a consultation is the best, most efficient way to discuss your situation, needs and goals one-on-one with me and determine the most effective approach. Scheduling a consultation is an essential requirement to be considered for sessions. I do not work with everyone, only those I feel will benefit from my approach. I only work with those I have met in consultation and only address medical conditions in collaboration with your physician and medical team. For these reasons, sessions can only be scheduled after the preparation work has been conducted in consultation. Also, please note hypnotherapy is not currently covered by insurance and is an out-of-pocket expense.

My team and I are doing our very best to respond to each and every person in need. We will continue devising new and improved ways to strategically assist an increasingly greater number of people.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in the process. We look forward to meeting you.

Hypnosis Conference – Portland, Oregon

Hypnosis Conference; Portland, Oregon - A view of a city at night - Portland

In spite of dating back to the beginning of civilization, our profession has always been under scrutiny and stigma. This is due to widespread myths and misinformation based on superstitions and ignorance. The state of hypnosis is a fundamentally natural state of being, inherent to the nature of life itself. Ancient texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome and China all depict various forms of practice and use of hypnosis. A 3rd Century CE papyrus discovered in the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes describes hypnotic induction by fixation of attention to the flickering flames of an oil lamp. A practice later coined as “monoideism” by renowned Scottish surgeon and scientist Dr. James Braid in the 19th Century. Hieroglyphic records located in British museums depict Egyptian high priests standing up with arms outstretched in front of subjects holding their head bowed and their eyes closed. Egyptians built sleep temples, where people were brought into a state lasting 7 to 10 days during which priests would whisper suggestions (called prayers at the time) into their ears.

Clinical Recognition of Hypnosis

It is the interest, work, research and experiments of medical doctors that enabled hypnosis to gain recognition as a therapeutic modality. Viennese physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) began to use hypnosis as an efficient approach to address convulsive conditions. British surgeon John Elliotson (1791-1868), a University College Hospital physician, pioneered the use of hypnosis for anaesthesia and pain control in surgery, keeping meticulous records of many successful operations, including amputations. Upon witnessing the level of pain suffered by some of his patients during surgical procedures, Scottish surgeon James Esdaile (1808-1859), influenced by the work of Dr. Elliotson, performed over 300 major and 1000 minor surgeical operations using hypnosis as the only form of anaesthesia and succeeded in rendering his patients entirely analgesic. Dr. Esdaile’s hypnotic anaesthesia was known to be extremely safe. He is considered by many to have been the pioneer in the use of hypnosis for surgical anaesthesia. In France, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), Director of Medicine at the famous Saltpêtrière Women’s Asylum, became known for using hypnosis to address neurosis, acquiring the nickname of the “Napoleon of Neurosis.” Charles Richet (1850-1935), a professor of physiology at the University of Paris, conducted a wealth of research and experiments in medical and clinical hypnosis in the 1870s. And most notably, Scottish surgeon and scientist Dr. James Braid (1795-1860) defined the hypnotic state as “neurohypnology” initially, referring to a sleep of the nervous system. The term was later shortened for “neurypnology” before becoming obsolete in the 1880s and being replaced by the word “hypnosis” – itself derived from the Greek “hypnos” which means sleep. In his first book, “Neurypnology” (1843), Dr. Braid describes hypnosis as a state of physical relaxation induced and accompanied by mental concentration.

Clinical Research, Education & Exchange

It is the continuing research, education, collaboration and exchange within the medical field that enabled our profession to slowly acquire greater understanding, recognition and results. Being fully committed to continually expand our education, keep meticulous records and share our findings with one another is a syne qua non of continuing to build our knowledge, experience, expertise and credibility. Operating on our own, we not only prevent our own professional development, but we become vulnerable before the constant scrutiny and stigma that still plagues our profession. The only way for us to stand strong is to stand together, as a profession committed to continuing education, clinical research, development, ethics and professionalism. As a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving professionalism, ethics and excellence in the field of hypnotherapy, the mission of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association is to provide you with a professional forum for the exchange of ideas, methodologies, occupational research and development. Attending our conferences and continuing to expand our knowledge should be an absolute priority for those of us in practice. We owe it to ourselves, as a profession, and to those we work with, to continue developing and mastering our knowledge in our field as much as we possibly can. Only when we never cease to learn, improve, research and experiment, do we find those gems of understanding that allow us to produce better results we otherwise would have been able to.

Summer Hypnosis Conference

On Saturday, June 20th, the summer conference of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association will be focused on psychomotor effects. Hosted at the Fairfield Inn in Lake Oswego, and around a succulent luncheon, we will explore the concepts, workings and values of convincers and ideo-motor response.

Those we work with are subject to the same preconceived notions, superstitions and misperceptions as the public at large. The expert use of convincers accomplishes 3 goals: 1 – It acts as a confirmation our subject is at least in a state of medium hypnosis. 2 – It is an effective deepening technique. 3 – And perhaps most importantly, it demonstrates to our subject they have indeed accessed a deeper state than what they are typically familiar with. When you assist the work of physicians with patients who are facing catastrophic illnesses, it is critical to ensure the person realizes they are in a state of hypnosis for results to take place.

Ideo-motor response (IMR) is an effective problem-solving tool that can prove extremely valuable when we are faced with difficult cases. IMR also enables us to preserve depth more efficiently than direct communication with our clients, since asking them to make the effort to speak inevitably emerges them to some degree.

Through our practice, research and development of hypnosis, day after day, client after client, we all fine-tune our methods, tools and techniques, continually uncovering better ways to achieve results. By sharing these findings with one another, we not only become stronger at what we do, we also continue building the reputation of our profession in the public eye. This in turns benefits all of us together.

Need I say more? We owe it to ourselves, our profession and our clients to commit ourselves fully to continuing education, development and excellence. We look forward to seeing you next week! Details and registrations at:

Genvièv Martin-Bernard, President, Oregon Hypnotherapy Association