Jeff Bellis is a graduate of the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy. We were delighted to offer Jeff a position as a hypnotherapist at ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center after his graduation. Jeff focuses on working with students of all ages on test taking anxiety and academic improvement, and stress reduction for service people, such as police officers and firefighters.
In this Graduate Spotlight, Jeff shares with us how he decided to become a hypnotherapist and how he sees this work adding to his life.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background. What would people enjoy knowing about you?
I’m a college graduate and I spent almost twenty-five years in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff. I enjoy golf, travel, and learning new things. During high school and college, I played guitar in a rock n’ roll band.
What certification trainings did you take at the MHA and when did you graduate from those?
I have a Master NLP Practitioner certification and a Master Hypnotherapist certification. I also have a certification in Academic Performance and Test Anxiety.
What prompted you to seek certification in hypnotherapy?
I’ve always had a curiosity about how the mind works. In law enforcement I interacted with a lot of different people, many who were in dire straits. Getting those people to comply with my lawful orders was a real challenge yet I was successful most of the time and few people got hurt, including myself. After I retired I researched hypnosis to understand better how we can help ourselves solve problems. Then I saw hypnosis as a means to help others, too. That led me to look at hypnosis schools. They say things happen for a reason and after looking at a number of hypnosis schools out of state, I found MHA. The quality of training that I found there was the convincer.
How has gaining certification as a hypnotherapist affected your life?
I think that most of us grow up bringing a lot of mental baggage/garbage with us. Hypnosis has helped me in so many ways understand myself better and understand some of the feelings I have. Self-hypnosis has helped me to release some of that emotional baggage from the past. One of the most profound realizations I’ve learned is that our parents, for better or worse, probably did the best they could as parents. Now I can look back and recall some of the not so pleasant memories of my childhood yet, now they are just memories without the emotional stigma attached. Hypnosis is a wonderful tool for disassociating from and dumping a lot of that mental/emotional garbage and negative feelings from the past.
What is your favorite thing about being a hypnotherapist?
There’s a certain element of magic that occurs when I hypnotize someone. My training has taught me a number of tools and techniques to utilize to help someone overcome their particular problem. The magic comes into play because the hypnosis session takes on a life of its own. I don’t know which tool or technique is going to be the game changer so when the client emerges and says they feel so much better, to me, it’s like magic. For my practicums I did a number of sessions with my brother. We have shared a lot of our concerns about the past and growing up in our family. Through the hypnosis sessions he has stated repeatedly that he feels so much better about the past and how in many ways it no longer affects him to any great degree. Having the ability to help someone change their beliefs about themselves from a negative to a positive reframe is powerfully inspiring for me.
In what ways has learning hypnosis benefited you, personally?
Learning about and doing hypnosis and NLP has made me more tolerant of other people because I believe I can understand much better their frame of reference when they talk about their problems. It’s easy to put labels on someone yet it’s unfair to them. I’m learning to not judge people. We are all human beings and as such we make mistakes and ultimately we are all ignorant of so much in this world.
Just as a lawyer learns in law school certain ways of thinking about legal situations, when just talking with someone, I’m curious to learn what makes that other person ‘tick’. Because, as a hypnotist, it is my job to do so. Of course without session work it is mostly speculative. Yet, as an exercise, I believe I better relate to people in doing so. A fellow I know in the golf league I play in is a very scientific, engineering type person. Normally I have trouble talking with this type of person because I’m just the opposite. I’ve found that all I have to do is ask him a few questions about whatever and, he’s atop his soap box conversing and enjoying himself while I politely listen. As hypnotists, isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing? I don’t need to feed my ego by doing all the talking. And you and I know that in sales and in life, people love to talk about themselves. Chances are quite good that my golfer friend probably thinks I’m an okay guy, and all because I did what? I listened and showed interest!
What issues or areas do you specialize in?
At this point in time I’m focused on test anxiety and academic performance and stress reduction.
Where do you see yourself/your practice in the future?
While some hypnotherapists expand their work to include many types of problems that will respond to hypnosis, I’m not looking to spread myself out into so many areas. I prefer to specialize in a few areas so that I can best serve those clients.
How can people contact you?
Jeff Bellis practices at ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota.