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INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN RYERSON
KEVIN RYERSON, Expert Intuitive, is best known for his prominence in some of Shirley MacLaine's best selling books, and for his role in the ABC miniseries "Out On A Limb". Since 1972, Kevin has taught and lectured in the field of parapsychology and has offered many excellent seminars and retreats. He is author of the book Spirit Communication: The Soul's Path. Kevin has referred many people over the years to the Hypnotherapy Training Institute. He and his wife, Lynn, took our full hypnotherapy training back in 1987.
Kevin Ryerson teaches a workshop called Intuition and Creating Our Futures as part of some of the programs of the Hypnotherapy Training Institute. Kevin Ryerson's website, Kevin Ryerson & Company, is www.kevinryerson.com, his email address is KevinRyerson@earthlink.net.
THE FUTURE OF HYPNOTHERAPY and Why a Highly Successful Expert Intuitive Would Want To Receive Hypnotherapy Training
The following is transcribed from an interview with Kevin Ryerson by Randal Churchill. (RC = Randal Churchill, KR = Kevin Ryerson)
RC: Kevin, what are some current aspects in the field of hypnosis that you think are significant, as they relate to the world in general or to our culture?
KR: I would reduce "world" to "our society". You'll find that I never go to a planetary scope. Out of my own work with altered states of consciousness, the thing I am most excited about is the fact that people in general are beginning to recognize the potential of hypnosis. For example, Dr. Bernie Siegel, who many people know is a surgeon who advocates work with altered states of consciousness in areas of positive attitude and visualizations to promote healing, was on Nightline recently. There is also a great deal of progress being made in the acceptance and the practice of biofeedback.
Where hypnosis enters into this is that these altered states can be self-induced and applied consistently in a much more scientific or controlled manner. In my own experience over the years I have seen many benefits for people from a spiritual or theological perspective through parallel tools to hypnosis such as prayer and meditation. I have always conceived of prayer as outlined in Buddhist psychology or practices, as an inner dialogue, getting in touch with a deeper dimension of yourself that, theologically speaking, is your inner self or your true or deeper self.
RC: Or your higher self.
"I would honestly have to admit that I had some stereotypes or even prejudices that some people have toward hypnosis and what it can accomplish."
KR: Or your higher self, yes. Meditation is the time that you spend actually listening to that inner dialogue. Hypnosis, I discovered through my experience in the vocational training that I received from the Hypnotherapy Training Institute, personalized that for me.
Meditation is usually an attempt on the part of a person to align their inner values with the greater cosmos, whereas the function of hypnosis or intuition, is to allow a person to apply those inner values in a more practical context. They can be applied within a person's own knowledge and sense of who they are in the here and now.
RC: Of course, you were already using hypnosis before by entering it during your intuitive work.
KR: Well, I always had some strong feelings or opinions about hypnosis. Some of my opinions were very similar to people not fully informed through direct experiences with hypnosis in an organized and educational program such as your center provides. I would honestly have to admit that I had some stereotypes or even prejudices that some people have toward hypnosis and what it can accomplish. My feeling was that working more exclusively with meditative practices was superior. Quite frankly, I have come to believe that the application of a person's conscious mind in accessing subconscious or even superconscious resources are all part of the same vehicle, and it is actually the intellectual restraints of the practitioner that determine how deep that person can reach.
I have been working since 1972 with altered states of consciousness, and in working with key words such as meditation or altered states of consciousness, I sense that the individual many times feels that these are exclusively the domain of a theological or religious experience. Whereas hypnosis, I believe, removes that stigma and allows the person to apply their inner values, their inner conscious realms, in a more personalized manner. Of course, this would not discount the personal religious experience of a person. I just feel that in our society and in the way that we communicate with language, formal education in hypnosis and self- hypnosis is something that can reach a broader segment of the secular public. I can speak of this with expertise because my own theological background has always been of a nondenominational perspective.
"...medicine itself will come to accept hypnotherapy as a standard method of practice...and hypnotherapy will probably become the real bridge between many of the alternative therapies..."
As a person who holds both theological and ministerial credentials, I feel hypnosis reaches a broader reach of people from many professional backgrounds that I don't think I could reach with the other credentials I hold. There is a clear body of information that can be communicated in the orthodox educational manner, such as the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners, which allows for a broader outreach to people of all walks of life and all areas of professionalism. I think what has been traditionally almost exclusively the area of theology, change and inner transformation, is no longer the exclusive domain of people with theological or even psychological credentials, but there is an entire area of vocation and avocation that hypnotherapy provides in a much clearer manner, as people harness the personal aspects of the subconscious.
RC: Among other things, we have considerable flexibility as hypnotherapists.
KR: Yes, I've encountered people practicing hypnosis who come from a stringently rigid, intellectual, psychological and psychiatric model in which all that exists is subconscious and conscious, and the subconscious is the result of a Skinner-ist or Freudian conditioning response. Those people are open to the idea of human potential and even the idea that we have past life influences, but more as an illusionary state. One thing I discovered from the class was that it provides a comfortable model for people who wish to subscribe to the model I just described, or allows people of stronger metaphysical inclinations to hold their beliefs.
RC: We are open minded enough in how we teach the class that we can support a broad range of models.
" I think that my experience at the Institute is best summarized as an excellence of feeling and an excellence in heart."
KR: Exactly. And I feel that what hypnosis has added is an educational and intellectual perspective that allows me to reach even further into a more secular audience. Before, I could make cases for people by quoting the documentary studies of hypnosis. Now, however, a formal Certification and vocational training in hypnotherapy has increased my credentials to speak in that area.
RC: Seeing society as a hypnotherapist, how do you see us using hypnotherapy as a profession, and as an adjunct to related professions, as the new century unfolds?
KR: I think that hypnotherapy has great value in the area of certain educational models, in reducing stress and helping people access information that has laid dormant. I think it will also re-empower people to work with their personal altered states, such as artists or people in business following their intuition or creativity.
Biofeedback is a form of self-help that will probably continue to increase and will be one of the cutting edges where hypnosis will be applied. And as these things move into an even more slightly esoteric or leading edge, medicine itself will come to accept hypnotherapy as a standard method of practice in medicine. Hypnotherapy will probably become the real bridge between many of the wholistic art forms and alternative therapies--truly re-empowering people to retake command of their own sense of direction for both mental and physical well-being.RC: Is there anything else you would like to say about your experience after having taken our program?
KR: I have experienced many different types of trainings, and my final standard is the degree to which people put heart in the training. I have experienced people who practice hypnosis and do so with a degree of excellence and expertise, however those attributes alone can become not only the quality and the power of the practice, but also their limitations.
What I experienced in the program at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute was that it was taught with an eye for excellence in education, and an excellence in the lectures, demonstrations and materials that were presented. I saw a continuous expansion and updating of information as it became available. But what I have not necessarily seen in other endeavors to harness the phenomena of the subconscious or even the superconscious, is what I consider to be an excellence in feeling and an excellence in heart. And that is what my experience at the Institute is best summarized as--an excellence of feeling and an excellence in heart. Anyone who wants to be an effective practitioner and help facilitate people toward their goals has to have that ability to nurture
RC: Thank you very much.
This article was first published in the Pacific Sun.
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