What Is Hypnosis?

It’s not what you see in the movies.

Hypnosis is a natural state of selective, focused attention, and, even though it is 100% natural and normal, it remains one of the most fascinating phenomena of the human mind. Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many purposes.

When we enter into the absorbed state of hypnosis, we can use our thoughts, talents and experiences in ways not usually available to us. With the help of a trained professional, we can develop innate, individual abilities that enable making desired changes in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors possible. For reasons that are being as we speak being researched by Neuro Scientists, the focused state of hypnosis allows changes to intentionally be made “automatically”, changes that we could not ordinarily consciously make.

Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems.

In addition to its use in clinical settings, hypnosis is used in research with the goal of learning more about the nature of hypnosis itself, as well as its impact on sensation, perception, learning, memory, and physiology. Researchers also study the value of hypnosis in the treatment of physical and psychological problems.

Selecting A Qualified Professional:
An Advisory Word to Consumers

It is important to keep in mind that hypnosis is like any other therapeutic tool: it is of major benefit to some people with some problems, and it is helpful with many other people. However, it is recommended that when you are selecting a professional to assist you with a particular symptom or goal, you choose a Clinical Hypnotherapist who is properly trained, licensed and credentialed.

In Alberta, anyone can claim to be a “hypnotherapist.” There are no competency requirements and no accountability. Your plumber who has read a book on hypnosis can claim to be a “hypnotherapist.” For this reason, we highly recommend that you inquire about the training of any practitioner of hypnosis you intend to consult. Ask about their professional affiliations and background, and be sure you choose a provider who is properly trained, licensed and credentialed.

Questions And Answers About Hypnosis

I grew up in a small town, my practice is in a small town. What happens in my office stays in my office. It isn’t only my clients who share personal information, I may provide details of my own healing journey and we mutually understand that these stories are not for sharing. This mutual trust is an important part of our relationship and the healing process. If and when I run into a client (current or former) I let them lead. I never reveal to anyone how I “know someone” and I would certainly never discuss a client’s personal information with anyone!

It’s really simple: if you want to be Hypnotized you can be. I customize my induction based on the personality type of my client, I just let the session guide me. Through extensive education, training and experience I can gauge exactly where a client is “at” during a session and I go with the flow. In layman’s terms, I can tell if your hypnotized and keep working to make sure you’re where you need to be during the session to get the results you came to me to get

The first session can take up to an hour and a half and subsequent sessions up to an hour.

Clinical Hypnotherapy is very client specific. In other words it really depends on the individual and the reason they have sought out the therapy. For some, Two sessions is enough to help them make the desired changes while others who have multiple areas and facets of their lives they wish to improve will sign up for a full year. It’s impossible to tell until we meet and discuss.

The body responds physically to thoughts. For example, when we think a frightening thought, we can experience increased heart rate, shortness of breath, “butterflies” in the stomach, muscular rigidity, sweating, shaking, and so on. Similarly, when we think a pleasurable thought, we can experience reduced heart rate, deeper breathing, relaxation of muscles, and so on. The brain is connected to the body. You feel what you think. It has been said that the physcial body is just a vessel meant to support the brain.

If you think of it that way it kind of makes sense that if the brain believes that the body should be healthy it will be. And of course, if the brain believes the body will be unhealthy, it will.

The brain is a dynamic organ that has a natural ability to adapt and change with time. Even after it has been injured, the brain can change by setting up new connections between neurons that carry the messages within our brains. Plasticity of the brain occurs at every stage of development throughout the life cycle. Plasticity is more likely to occur when there is stimulation of the neural system, meaning that the brain must be active to adapt. Changes do not occur without exposure to a stimulating environment that prompts the brain to work. Hypnosis, when applied by a skilled and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, can stimulate and activate the necessary parts of the brain to make rapid changes. Otherwise, these changes do not occur quickly. That is one of the reasons that alternate, traditional methods of recovery can go on for months and sometimes years.

When directed by a skilled, experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, yes.  By the same token, some people are able to go into trance more quickly and more deeply than others.  For most therapeutic goals, light trance is enough to stimulate the necessary parts of the brain and enable almost everyone to benefit from hypnotherapy to some extent.

In a relatively small number of situations, (say, when hypnosis is being used instead of a general anesthetic, e.g., as in labor and childbirth), a deeper level of trance may be needed. For these purposes, it is helpful to determine the trance capability of a given person, before making a decision about the advisability of using hypnosis as an anesthetic.

Because children are naturally imaginative, they naturally and easily engage in hypnosis and respond well to hypnotic suggestion for a wide variety of problems, e.g., self- esteem issues, anxiety, behavior problems, habit change, and certain medical issues. 

I personally don’t work with Preteens however I do know several amazing Hypnotherapists I can make a referral too.

The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep, but it is mis-named. Hypnosis is NOT sleep.

Sleep and hypnosis may seem similar since we may be relaxed and have our eyes closed (although not necessarily), but there are many differences. One main difference is that we tend to be in a relaxed state, but with heightened awareness!

If a person were to fall asleep during a session, they would return to normal consciousness when asked to, or simply awaken after a short nap. They would feel refreshed, relaxed and would have no ill effects at all.

Unless otherwise educated, there are people, after a session of hypnosis, who don’t believe that they were hypnotized at all. This likely comes from misconceptions about just what a ‘trance’ really is.

There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance. In practice, people who are hypnotized often talk with the hypnotist, and can both answer and ask questions, hear everything that is said very clearly, and are perfectly well aware.

There is no mysterious feeling to being hypnotized and our minds are not taken over nor controlled. This expectation and perhaps a demand to have some mysterious experience beyond conscious control or awareness can leave leave some people disappointed so it’s important to educate yourself prior to the experience in order to get the most out of the therapy.

It should be noted that unconscious change happens whether or not you felt hypnotized.

No, there is no loss of control. Hypnosis allows clients to be more focused and less distracted and more skillful in using their own mental abilities constructively. In this way, they can achieve more of their goals, and consequently, actually achieve more (not less) control of their personal comfort, health, and well-being.

The ‘control’ misconception appears to originate from stage hypnosis which actually involves people doing what they want to be doing in a social agreement to be entertaining.

No. At any time a client can re-alert or choose to ignore suggestions. No one stays hypnotized indefinitely – you will always “come out” of trance within a short time.

That depends… Yes and No. Hypnosis can improve our recall of events that we believe happened to us. But hypnosis is not a way to find out the truth (whatever that may be) about events that are in dispute. That is, under hypnosis you may re-experience events, but there is no guarantee that you are remembering them correctly. Hypnosis only assists the subject in recalling perceptions, not truths.

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Are You Looking for a Perfect Psychiatrist?

Monday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday 09:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed


Courtney McCracken

I have severe anxiety and very low self esteem and have had it for many years of my life. I went to see Robyn hoping that maybe she could do something well I tell you she changed my life and with only 2 sessions. I have not taken my anxiety medication in almost a month and I can look in the mirror without crying and feeling disgusting and that is thanks to Robin. I would recommend her to anybody who needs any kind of help. She has such an amazing soul and a calming comforting voice. I can’t say enough about how much she has helped me and how thankful and grateful I am to have had this opportunity to see what she does. She is great at what she does. Thank you Robin!!

Scott Matvichuk

Robin is one of the most amazing and down to earth people I have ever met. She is a straight shooter that will tell you what you need to hear but her approach is amazing. I will be forever grateful for the time I got to spend with her and for what she has done for me. If you need to get your mind back on track, I highly recommend!!

Jamie Lynn

Robin is so wonderful. She has changed my life. meeting her was truly a blessing. She is kind and wise beyond wonder and so good at what she does. It is hard to know that at this time in my life I dont have a reason to keep going to her. Yet that is such an amazing feeling to know she has made such a huge impact on my life. She will make you feel so comfortable and help you in feeling better.
Thank you Robin, you will really never understand the impact you have had on my life ?

Braylin Marie Loth-Thacker

I could write a novel about how Robin changed my life so I’ll keep it sweet and short and just say that she was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend her to anybody and everybody.
Thank you Robin so much

Pamela Meyer

Robin Popowich RCHt helped me work through some challenging life dynamics and anxiety. I’m so, so, so grateful that I found Robin as she was able to reconnect me to a stronger, braver, and more resilient version of myself. I was interested in building my own practice in Clinical Hypnotherapy so I later enrolled in the ARCH Canada accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist Training program that Robin instructs.
If you have any type of major trauma or challenging life event and you’re looking for the best Clinical Hypnotherapist contact Robin she’s only an email or phone call away. If you need science, logic, and results Robin is informed, in-tune, and incredibly effective she will help you to quickly make permanent changes and get back to loving your life!
If you’re thinking of becoming a Clinical Hypnotherapist yourself and you want to learn from the best well…Robin literally wrote the e-book on how to build a successful Clinical Hypnotherapy practice no joke! She always keeps the course engaging and interesting she has developed a group mentoring program to support students beyond their successful completion of their training.

Candace Montgomery

This review is long and long overdue. I saw Robin 2 years ago for anxiety and depression. My doctor referred me to her after I stated that I wanted to be weaned off the medication I was taking for my anxiety. Honestly I didn’t think it was working anymore and rather than increase my dosage or change my prescription I wanted to just get over it. Because I live in Calgary I went to a Hypnotherapist closer to home, I assumed that it didn’t really matter who I saw. At my next appointment I mentioned to my doctor that the hypnotherapy I got didn’t make much of a difference for my anxiety, and I got educated. Apparently anyone can call themselves a Hypnotherapist I guess it’s not really regulated. I had no idea.
My doctor encouraged me to try again with Robin so I made an appointment. I liked her immediately. She was quirky, funny and real. And SMART. This lady knows what she is talking about! She told me I would need 6 sessions. I remember doing the math, 6 sessions was a little more than what I was paying in a year for my meds even after some pretty good benefits. So I thought, why not?
Robin saved my life. I didn’t even do all of the homework she gave me (sorry Robin) and I still recovered from a life time of anxiety and periodic depressive episodes. A life time! I started feeling better right after the first session. And it got better and better. I am now in control of my thoughts and my feelings. She gave me a better understanding of why I felt the way I did and the cause and I healed. It’s amazing that in just 6 hours she was able to do what 10 years of regular Psychologist appointments couldn’t do. Needless to say I told everyone I knew. And everyone I knew that went to see her has been happy they did.
I recently started feeling anxious again and got worried. I knew it was because of the whole covid business but I was feeling uncomfortable and afraid that my crippling anxiety would come back. So I went for a “touch up”. She’s still real, she’s still funny and I think she might even be smarter!
Thank you Robin. I think about you all the time, your voice is in my head “how would I rather feel” and I am grateful for it.

Darlene Poier

A few months back Robin helped me get past all those niggling self limiting beliefs. She gave me the tools to help rewire my brain to love myself again, put the negative self talk where it belongs, and to move forward. I’m a work in progress but Robin helped me create the foundation that I needed to be successful. Thank you Robin!

Kelela MacKimmie-Koch

Giving myself the gift of these magical sessions with Robin has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. She is a superior professional and has the most soothing bedside manner. Hypnotherapyis a very powerful tool of self-healing and Robin adds her own personal flare with her amazing energy. I’m beyond grateful that she is there providing her priceless and extraordinary service to those in need.

Contact Robin To Book Appointment
At this time I am only able to take on new clients referred through FCSS in Carstairs, Didsbury and Sundre, AB. If you have been a past client or have been referred through FCSS, please contact me to schedule an appointment or alternatively, you can make an appointment with a graduate student who has passed the rigorous, extensive training required to become a Clinical Hypnotherapist registered with ARCH Canada. All of the Clinical Hypnotherapists recommended here have been personally trained and mentored by me so you can be assured you will receive the same quality of therapy you would have received with me.
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