From Hypnosis to Healing
by Susan Post
From firefighter and paramedic, to IT consultant, to certified hypnotherapist from the American Board of Hypnotherapy, TD Hickerson has experienced an interesting career progression, but one thing has remained constant – his love of helping others.
“My first career was in the fire department. I was a paramedic and a professional firefighter, but I injured my back over some years and decided it was time to go,” Hickerson says. “What I liked about that job was being able to help people.” When he moved into IT, he still thrived on the satisfaction of assisting folks. “It slowly dawned on me that I was really most interested in helping people, period,” he says. Hickerson wanted to find a way to help people with longer-term problems or issues that were keeping them stuck. “I was looking for more of a permanent way to help,” he says.
The answer came in the form of hypnotherapy. “I used hypnotherapy for myself and found it effective for my own problems,” Hickerson says. He has personal experience with any modality he uses, including Reiki, allowing him to vouch for its effectiveness.
Hickerson opened Integrative Hypnotherapy in Worthington to help others experience the healing powers of hypnotherapy. When most people hear the word “hypnotherapy”, they think stage shows, mind control and absurd antics that could not be further from the truth.
“Hypnotherapy is a way of basically interacting with the subconscious mind,” Hickerson says. “It’s based on the idea that we do a lot of what we do in our daily lives automatically.” Instead of relying solely on learned responses, then, “Hypnotherapy allows you to access the subconscious mind so you can start reprogramming,” Hickerson says. It is also not the wide-open mind control many stereotypes imply.
“Their receptivity is increased but they still have their own ethics and morals that are fully enforced,” Hickerson says of patients under hypnosis.
Hypnosis is actually a state everyone has experienced. Hickerson describes it as the semi-sleep state right before unconsciousness when going to bed at night. “It’s not scary when people realize they have done it every day for their entire life,” he says.
Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for many ailments and conditions, including fears and phobias, smoking cessation and weight loss, but the full list is much longer. Hickerson says it is also effective for things like building self-confidence and self-control, motivation, curbing procrastination, and generally becoming conscious of the ways one is running through life. It can help optimize a person’s life and eliminate a specific practice that may be holding them back.
During a session Hickerson starts by discussing what a patient wants to work on; he then digs into triggers and figures out why certain events cause certain emotions. Once identified, therapeutic tools like imagery and the emotional freedom technique are used to treat patients during hypnosis.
“This is an extremely powerful tool to access the subconscious,” Hickerson says. He hopes people think of hypnotherapy as more than a tool to lose weight or quit smoking, but instead see it as a way to remove that one thorn in their side that might help them live a more fulfilling life.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.