Bad habits to break? This hypnotherapist helps retrain your brain

Alexandra Janelli’s clients often tell her how they’ve tried therapy, only to come away from it all less enlightened than they’d hoped.

Traditional therapy didn’t work for Janelli, either. That’s why she launched her own practice called Theta Spring Hypnosis.

“Back in 2006, I was seeing a chiropractor,” the WeWork Park South member recalls. “I had been an avid ‘finger-picker.’ Psychiatrists had always wanted to put me on high doses of anti-anxiety medication, but that wasn’t something I was willing to live with. My chiropractor asked me, ‘Would you ever consider seeing a hypnotist?’ I had never considered it, but I said, ‘Why not?’ Within three sessions, the finger picking habit stopped completely.”

Hypnotherapy clicked for Janelli in more ways than one. At the time, Janelli worked as an environmental consultant, but she had started asking herself what she really wanted to do. So she went back to school for hypnotherapy.

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“It became a journey of self-discovery and getting to know myself,” she explains. “It’s been amazing.”

Like running a startup company, Janelli is learning constantly on the job.

“As much as I know the foundation of hypnotherapy, a lot of the practice is formulated around working with my clients and working with myself.”

One common misconception about hypnosis is that the client won’t remember anything.

“Most people associate hypnotherapy with a stage hypnosis show where you’re not going to remember anything that happens,” says Janelli. “Hypnosis is nothing more than a deep state of relaxation—the body first, then the mind. You are acutely aware of what’s going on.”

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Janelli says that an advantage of hypnotherapy is that it can change behaviors more quickly than other forms of therapy.

“The start of any session in hypnosis is getting to the root of what’s going on,” she says. “The hypnosis brings the awareness back down to a subconscious level where the behaviors come from. You really are learning to retrain the brain: How would you like to feel? You begin to rewire your response.”

Janelli reflects on the large spectrum of clients she’s worked with.

“It’s interesting: the difference between working with creatives and business executives,” she says. “The business executives are great to work with because they already know how to focus their minds. On the other hand, the creatives already know how to do the visualization.”

Janelli’s clients include startup employees, investment bankers, accountants, consultants, students, actors, artists, and authors—people with grand goals who can’t rest until they’re one step closer to the finish line. And she’s happy to help them get there.

Photos: Katelyn Perry

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