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Hypnotherapist uses power of the mind to help people

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http://www.qctimes.net/articles/2006/02 ... 059677.txt

Hypnotherapist uses power of the mind to help people

By Wayne Ma

Joanne Couch-Levin of Rock Island isn’t anything like the stage hypnotists who make people bark like dogs or believe they are naked in front of an audience.

Sandra Grace of Bettendorf relaxes through hypnosis under the guidance of certified hypnotherapist Joanne Couch-Levin.

The common misconception about hypotherapists is that they are similar to stage hypnotists, the Rock Island hypnotherapist says.

Stage hypnotists place people in an altered state of consciousness to perform acts they wouldn’t normally perform.

Hypnotherapists, on the other hand, use hypnosis as a way to treat pain or conditions related to a person’s state of mind. Hypnotherapists believe that when a person enters a trance or altered state of consciousness, the client is more receptive to suggestion.

“It’s bypassing that critical conscious mind and going into the subconscious and patterning it,” Couch-Levin, 55, said.

As a certified hypnotherapist, Couch-Levin sees herself as a counselor and facilitator to clients who are trying to overcome behavioral or health issues.

They come to her in their battle against smoking, weight, stuttering, depression, phobias and other addictive behaviors. Some clients want to focus better on sports like billiards and golf.

For a new client, a session costs about $300 and includes a 90-minute consultation, a 90-minute hypnotherapy session, a customized audio tape and a follow-up interview. Further follow-ups cost about $60.

Couch-Levin said the consultation is important because she needs to understand the client and the complexity of the issue.

Often, the issues are just manifestations of something below the surface of the mind, Couch-Levin said. Being overweight, for example, isn’t the problem itself. The question is: why is that person eating so much?

“It’s just a symptom of something far bigger going on,” she said.

Couch-Levin works from her home, which she calls the healing house. Her business is named A Caring Couch.

In the living room, she creates an atmosphere of calmness with neutral color tones, a mini-waterfall, a jade plant, scented candles and a chaise lounge.

The customized audio CD is meant to put clients into an altered and relaxed state. Couch-Levin works with the client beforehand to get an idea of what language and trigger words to use.

Jennifer Dean, 24, of Moline said she still occasionally listens to her CD even though it has been five years since she first visited Couch-Levin for help with study habits related to memory and retention.

Dean, a former student at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, said she listened to her CD every night and saw her test scores and grades improve.

“It was uplifting and prepared me for a day of classes,” Dean said.

In addition to hypnotherapy, Couch-Levin also teaches metaphysics at seminars and retreats, and is a Reiki master.

Reiki, which means universal life force energy in Japanese, is believed by practitioners to be a form of healing treatment where the healer places his or her hands on or near the person to be healed and then helps draw and guide energy to strengthen the person’s energy system or aura.

Dave Jackson of Rock Island, who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2000, said the Reiki treatments he received from Couch-Levin kept him from feeling the side effects of his chemotherapy treatments at University Hospitals in Iowa City. One week, when Jackson missed a treatment, he began feeling pain in his joints, ankles, knees, hips and elbows.

“That was the only time the chemo affected me in any way,” he said.

Jackson, an admitted skeptic, said it took some coaxing by his doctor, Dr. Mitch Mally, to call Couch-Levin. Jackson originally went to Couch-Levin to get a better perspective on how to handle his diagnosis.

“I’m a pretty straightforward, down-the-road character and a little conservative in my attitudes,” Jackson, 58, said.

Mally, a chiropractic physician and owner of Tri-Med Health and Wellness Center in Davenport, said he has referred 50-100 clients to Couch-Levin. Mally said he always has believed in blending traditional and nontraditional approaches to health care, and that Couch-Levin’s positive attitude and use of mental imagery has helped his clients.

A person’s state of mind is important to their recovery, Mally added.

“There’s a higher success rate if you do more than just give somebody (physical treatment),” Mally said. “Attitude creates altitude.”

Wayne Ma can be contacted at

(563) 383-2360 or wma@qctimes.com.

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I sometimes listen to Relevent Radio in the car on the way to work.


I know I heard on one of their talk shows an interview with a therapist. They were saying it is particularly good at helping to get over addictions. They were pointing out that there is a big difference between using hypnotism for "entertainment" and using it for therapy.

The therapist was Catholic and says that many feel that you can not be Catholic and a Hypnotist. They were pointing out the churches is against people just using mind altering techniques for "fun" but it is not against professionals helping people overcome addictions. They also pointed out how successful it is. I thought I could find the show, but not this am. Donna G

PS They also said it is very good for those with food addictions, and weight problems.

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