hypnosis works transforming the mind. Hi there, I'm Hendrick baird a practicing non medical hypnotherapist currently based in Pretoria South Africa. I'm always curious to learn more about hypnosis. And so I thought what better way to learn than to chat with other hypno therapists to gain some insights into what they do and how they work. So join me as we explore the fascinating world of the mind and of hypnosis. Mm My guest today is Durban based hypnotherapist. Heather Fountain. I'm speaking to Heather Fountain today. She is a hypnotherapist based in Morningside in Durban. Hi heather. How is the weather in Durban today? Good morning Hendrick. Thank you for speaking to me today. The weather is beautiful, it's around 30°, the sun is out and the humidity is knocking on the door.
Oh the humidity in Durban can be quite daunting. I stayed there for a year or two and that was one of the worst things for me was like, it's a beautiful day. But sure it's hot. Very, very hot. You can add at least 8° onto your, onto your temperature that the Weatherman says because of the humidity. So heather. Tell me a little bit about your journey into hypnotherapy. How did how did you get interested into it? And how did you train? Where did you train and give me a bit of background. So In 2011, that's when my journey started. But I need to take you back to 2001. I lost my mom in 2001 in my my then manager gave me a book called journey of the souls and she said to me, she felt sure that this book would comfort me with losing my mom. Anyway, I put the book away and I didn't read it until 2011 when I lost my dad and I happened to be scratching in the cupboard for something and outfall this book and it hit me on the foot and I picked the book up and I thought, well, seeing as I am now an orphan, I think it's time to read it.
So I read the book and the more I read, the more fascinated I became to a point where I actually started doing some research on the basis. And of course, the more I researched, the more I listen to you, the more intrigued I became. So that's really where it started. I then got hold of john Dutton from Cyma, signed up for the class life aggression course and I then moved on because I caught the bug the hypnosis. But and I then moved on to study the advanced level practitioner of course, An interesting story though because so I studied for a year with john on a part time basis, did lots and lots of practice. But a few days before my exam, I was put in hospital. So I contacted jOHN quite distressed and said, you know, what am I going to do now I'm sitting in the hospital and I really want to write my exams and I asked him if he could actually come to hospital and for me to write my exams in my hospital bed.
So johN very kindly be accommodated li and the rest is history are then passed my exams and went straight into part time practice and I'm now full time practitioner. So two points I want to pick up. The one is the book for people who don't know what the book is about. Maybe you can just give us a little bit of background. So what they did was they used 100,000 people to try and find out when they hypnotist them how it was that they had all gone on the same journey. They then chose 27 of the cases and they wrote the book and it really is about what happens to us when we pass over. It's the most beautiful book and just so fascinating and it really is all about past life regression. So here's my other question. There are kind of two hypnosis schools in this country. I went to South African Institute of Hypnotism and or hypnosis side. And I think a lot of people have spoken to so far have done the training there and their training, you start with the self hypnosis course and then you do different modules which you do weekend sessions with and then eventually do case studies And then after a very long and involved process, they qualify you, How did your training work?
What does that consist of? I studied through Sama, which is this South African modern hypnosis Academy john Dutton was my mentor and tutor and and teach her and many elephants. So what he did was he presented us with these books that we largely wrote our own notes and and he went through, for instance, the history of hypnosis. Uh you know, all the background information. He went through different techniques. We covered different kinds of therapy and then we went on to actually deal with particular things for instance giving up smoking. So we started off with those and what we used to do was we used to practice on one another. And the amazing thing about my journey with, with john and the team of people that that I studied with was I went through an incredible amount of self healing. So not only was I learning how to work with other people, but at the same time I was actually going through a process of peanut myself, which I found an incredible benefit to that.
Yeah, so we went through different modules to get to the end and then we had exams, we had an oral exam and then we had a, and then what is your qualification, What do you qualify as? I'm an advanced level practitioner, a general practitioner, I do have areas that I believe that I'm better at than others. But yeah, I'm a general advanced level practitioners. So that pretty much covers everything everybody I've spoken to so far seems to attract a certain kind of client with a certain kind of problem For me. It's mainly smokers, somebody I just spoke to previously deals with addictions and people who want to stop drinking wine. Did you find that your practice also has a kind of a focus or is it open? And you see kind of a bit of everything. The incredible thing is is that I found over the years that I have waves of people. So I almost have a batch of people who come and see me to improve their sport to improve the way they either swim or play tennis.
I've had a lot of well known people come through my practice tennis storming. I have a lot of people like that that I work with. I work mainly with individuals who have lost themselves either through past relationships with partners or parents and siblings. And I go through a process of re Brandon established things like value systems and healthy boundaries and sort of understanding their weaknesses and strengths and we basically just rebrand them so they often change careers and study again further skills. So yeah, it's like a personal revolution really. I work a lot with people who have addictions including alcohol, drugs, retail therapy, social media addictions. And then I also work with a lot of people who have fears the most common fear being driving in this country, flying or public speaking.
But I'll tell you what gecko is also out there, Gekko's, my grandmother was very scared of a gecko. She would freak out. She was, she was so very brave woman. But when it came to a gecko, yeah, geckos are really upset. And and tell me about the, you know, if a client comes to you, would it be a one session deal? Would you spend many sessions? How how does that aspect work? It all depends on the individual. It all depends on how they respond to hypnosis. It depends on what they, what they want to achieve. For instance, If somebody comes to me to give up smoking, I always ask them to budget for 3-4 sessions and I keep the last session for almost like a follow up and a top up. But it depends on the individual. It really does. You know where I've just worked with some South African swimmers and they were all different. They will respond very differently to hypnosis, but very pleased to say that they've clocked their towns and they've done amazingly.
So I love working with sports people. I must say. I've also done some, some sports people. I worked with a quite a famous uh female athlete who had lost all interest in running and after just two sessions with me. She she did a marathon and she came second and she was so proud of herself. And another guy was a power lifter. You know, these bulky big guys and he had an issue that every time he did one of these things, these arms were just snap and he came back after two sessions and told me he'd just gone to a competition and it won best, best in show if there's such a thing, he won his his gold medal and you know, his problem was solved. So he seems to work really great for, like you say, for sports people. Yes. And the amazing thing is Hendrik is that they arrive. A lot of people arrive with one reason to see me and as they talk through their unique story, it unravels and as they have a sense of new awareness, especially working through triggers in that often, you know, it ends up being something completely different.
It always fascinates me because every single person that arrives at my door is unique. Not only do I help them, but they have this beautiful way of helping me too. I just love the creativity, the spontaneity. I never know how it's going to all end up, but I tell you amazing, amazing with people. So what is it about hypnosis that makes it such a special modality. I think everybody has their own way in hypnosis. And it's not about hypnosis itself, it's about the other strengths or the other areas that they bring to hypnosis, but for me it is incredible hard work. So I will work a lot with people who have no self esteem or no self worth and that sort of thing. So I work with them, but in addition I hit the trance thing and it's just amazing to see these people transition how they just they walk in one person and leave another.
So maybe I did I answer your question on, well it's transformative, that's what you're saying. Yes it is and I think it's all about focus and also it works so quickly, doesn't it? It's not like you have to spend years and years in therapy, it's like you say a few sessions and you can change your life and and who you are. So I think for myself, I think having worked in the corporate world for Many, many years will around 44 years actually human resources, finance, sales, credit management, I've managed teams projects and I've worked with people for many years. So I believe that this has given me great insight into human behavior. A lot of those roles that I've filled in my life was being able to see behind what they were saying almost you know, having to very quickly some people up and I think that's something that really assists me in the work that I do. Okay talk to me about your first session, is there a special way that you deal with the first session or as you say, is it is it different for every client?
No, I definitely follow a process in my initial session. So I don't believe that going straight into hypnotizing somebody is the most effective way to work. So after I have sent them all, the question is and they're not many. There's three documents they've got to fill out. One is based around medical questions how they eat, how they sleep, whether they take alcohol, whether they're on any drugs or whether they're on sleeping tablets or antidepressants. So after I've done that are then set up what I call an initial session with a potential client and that really it encompasses getting to know the person and why they contacted me. So I explained the basic process of hypnosis because I believe if you don't build the poor and trust then hypnotherapy is not going to work for that person. So what we do is we discuss and agree an action plan in that first session as well which touch on throughout our journey together to ensure that the clown sees their own progress and that they understand that I've heard in our group at the end of the first session, I'll conduct a relaxation session so that they have an idea how it feels to be in trance.
And I found over the seven years that I have been in practiced that as I said, it all depends on the individual but the general rule of thumb is between four and six sessions. You know if I if I really look at it. So some people are very skeptical and say I don't think I can be hypnotized. Have you ever found somebody that cannot go into trance in one way or the other? So what I did was I had a few months ago I had a phone call from a gentleman who he gave me his name and he said I don't believe in hypnotherapy. Uh I don't believe it works. I think it's a waste of time. He really phoned me to let me know just but he didn't believe in hypnosis with him. I asked him to come and see me. I said to him I will see you at no cost to you. But I'd like you to come and see me. So he did, it was just before we went into the second curve in sort of lockdown and he came to see me and we had a long conversation about hypnosis. At the end of that he went away and he's very much a person who does a lot of research and a lot of listening.
So I gave him some information to go and you know to listen to. And over the months I haven't seen him again. But I've spoken to him on zoom and of course we've spoken on the phone but he is now looking at becoming a therapist, there are many ways to follow a journey with someone and in his case if I had taken him into my room and try to advertise them, it would have been an absolute disaster. So I chose another way to me, I don't believe in hypnosis. I say, well that's okay. It's not a religion. Uh but can you relax? Do you know how to relax? And usually people go, well, not really unless I have a glass of wine. And I say, well, I can show you how to deeply relax and that is hypnosis really in the end, isn't it? It's a very deep state of relaxation where you can then very specifically concentrate on that one thing that you want to change in your life and because you can exclude all the other things that distract you, you can really get to the root of the problem, find that answer deep within yourself and make those changes?
Yeah, he uh he certainly is a believer now and he is going to be contacting john Dutton to go and study with them. So you know, that didn't come out, it had a different ending, but a very successful one. So, in hypnosis also, and I just want to talk a little bit more about this this aspect because I find it so intriguing, we talk about highs and lows people who are easily hypnotized and people that you know, you take a little bit longer and have to use a different process. Have you found people that are difficult clients, you know that that resist you or are they usually there because they want to change and therefore they easily follow your suggestions. And I think because I hold that initial session and I talked them through how hypnosis works and associate the uniqueness and their story to hypnosis. I think there are very few people. I did have one gentleman who who said you're not ever going to control me. And his wife had given him a past life regression christmas present.
So he walked in and sat down and said, you will never hypnotize me. And I said, you're quite right, I never will. You know, this is just not going to work. But I do have people who go straight into hypnosis and I just do rapid reductions with them ultimately. But then I've got other people who take a little longer. Um I had a lady a little while ago come and see me. I had a session in the morning with her. I then spoke to her in the afternoon and she said it wasn't the way I had explained it. So I asked her a few questions and one of the things she said to me was I absolutely loved music. So that evening I hepatitis to again, but I used music, you know, in the background, she went straight into a wonderful trance. So I think people are different and I think the uniqueness of each person is what you've got to find. It's also got to do with the misconceptions around hypnosis don't you think, I mean people going, you can't control me, you won't be able to hypnotize me. You're absolutely right. I have no supernatural powers. I can't make you do anything that you don't want to do.
I can just talk to you and give you suggestions and it's up to you whether you want to follow those suggestions or not. If you do, you will hypnotize yourself probably into a very deep state of hypnosis that you you were not aware that you could do. Yeah. So you know when I do, I do quite a lot of shows at the body, mind and health fairs and that sort of thing. And it's mainly not to gain clients but to promote what hypnosis is. So often you have a line of people waiting to speak to you once you've spoken to them about how the process of hypnosis and how people go in and out of natural hypnosis every day of their lives. You get to work and you've used the same route to get to work every day. And you don't remember going fast that shot over that bridge. It's because you're in a light trance and when you start explaining that to people, they certainly fine after that because they understand that you're also saying that the first session is so important to establish, report and get the client to relax because I find some people just jump into hypnosis.
They're so eager. You know, they just there we go and then it doesn't quite work and then the client is disappointed and feel they've wasted their money. So I do agree with you. You know, you have to, you have to talk to your client, you have to explain what it is that they're about to do. And then you have to guide them in a very kind of empathetic way for them to have the right kind of experience within which they can then make those changes. And I mean really for me, it's about seeing the changes in the client, you know, facilitating their journey to the life they wish to live, that every single person that walks in. That's what I do have a process for. So of all the things you've you've worked with all the issues you've worked with. Which do you find the most challenging? I used to find past life regression easier than I do now for some reason. So I don't do as much past life regression as I used to. Not that I I had a dismal failures or anything. I just don't seem to have people coming to me anymore for past life regression either. I really enjoy working with the sports people where we've got a goal.
You know, we work towards that goal. I really enjoy seeing people rebranding themselves. I mean that is just the most fascinating thing. People around if they have no idea who they are, you know what their belief systems are or what their strengths and weaknesses are. I think that for me is the most rewarding talking about sports people, there's this amazing video on Youtube, a young gymnast who's got, what are these bars that they swing around and all those weird things and she keeps on slipping and she keeps on, you know, missing the one bar and then the coach says to just stand still, close your eyes and just imagine yourself going through that routine a few times and that's all she does. She just stands there, She waits a bit, she she practiced it in her mind and then when she does it again, she does it perfectly. Isn't it amazing how through the power of your imagination, you could visualize yourself having achieved that like winning the medal or there you are on the podium or there's your time clocking in a record time and then somehow your body finds a way to get you there.
I've been doing this for for many years now, but I am still so taken aback at how powerful this modality is. It just, it fascinates me why is it not taught in schools? Because this is surely a life skill that all of us needs from a very young age, the way the schooling systems and that are set up in the world, not just in South Africa, they really were set up for the industrial age, you know the way everybody looks the same, sounds the same answers at the same time. So the reason why they don't have that kind of thing in schools, Well, they've started in europe, they have started in the East, they've started bringing what they call meditation into, into the classrooms. So I believe that we are in transition is hypnotherapist. I think we are going to be busier than we could ever have imagined to be, because I see the world changing the traditional way people are taught the way people go to doctors, the way they're all looking for alternative ways of healing now.
And I think the more people become comfortable with that, the busier we are going to be talk about the world changing and certainly Covid has changed things dramatically over the past Year. Tell me, I mean, if you told me that I was going to be holding zoom calls, hypnotizing people over the Internet 18 months ago, I would have said, no, I don't know if that's possible, and that's what I'm doing and it's working successfully very successfully. Somebody was telling me that it might be because people feel more comfortable in their own homes and therefore they go into trance much quicker. Yes, they do, and they don't have the anxiety of arriving at a new place, getting used to the surroundings, that they don't have to do any of that. They don't even have to travel there in their own homes, especially with the fears more and more people. I have to talk about that for a little bit because I'm very interested in it. What I did was I put out a notice is everywhere to say that I would help health care workers who required sessions and I would not charge them uh because I have enormous respect for them and I just don't know how they got through.
This time. I've had health care workers coming through um zoom where I just, I just relax them and I send them a relaxation session and it is fascinating. Never in a million years with those people have actually thought of going to hypnotherapist to relax themselves. But you know, I've explained that I could start taking a break. It's like going to wherever your favorite places. And even if it just takes a few minutes, it's a break for you. It's a mental break on top of that. We've got all the people who have been on on ventilators for weeks and weeks. Now I'm busy treating people for claustrophobia and for not being able to close doors when they go to the loo or they can't close the shower door when they go in the shower, they can't be confounded all because the minute that happens, they start to go into having full blown anxiety attacks.
Not only that if there's anything in the background that is repetitive. For instance, if you've got a fan that moves and it switches itself on and off. You know, you get these fancy fans that triggers the rhythmic movement of the ventilators on their faces and they are suffering from extreme anxiety and claustrophobia. So I'm busy working with a few people on that and I think that's going to become a very real thing that needs to be treated, you know, and I always believe that fears and they just, they just work so well together. You know, that's so interesting when when I was in hospital with my, with my heart and surgery and all of that, the worst part for me was being on that machine that breathes for you after you come out of the surgery, because it's like you don't have any control. And I just fought with that machine the whole night and it was going off and alarms and all sorts of things. Yeah. And imagine all these people that have been, you know, they've been in a room with a whole lot of people that are dying.
They can't see them because they've got these ventilators on their faces, but they know they're dying and they've never seen the people's faces because they themselves are on ventilators. And it's very interesting for me that when they really, really sick, they can't remember anything the conscious mind when you when you that traumatized shuts down. It's amazing to listen to, you know, the experiences that people have had that are contacted me all the nurses, I was also reading an article around how teachers are starting to experience post traumatic stress syndrome and just a sneak peek that's what my next article is about for the finder, hypnotist uh website and I think we're going to see much more of that kind of thing hey, that we're going to, that we're going to see people who are, who are really stressed out by this whole situation, even if they have not been sick, it's just the anxiety around that, you know, can I go out, people are not wearing their mask properly. All those sort of things are really having a terrible effect on our mental health and research I saw recently is there's definitely scientifically proven now a correlation between mind and body if your mind is not in the right place and you have your mind and your your thought patterns are out of sync and sick in a way it's going to manifest in some way in your body the same way if your body is sick and you're going through a terrible time physically, it's going to have an effect on your mind.
And that's where hypnosis is such a powerful way to help solve those kind of problems in a very short space of time. So I see us transitioning as, as you know, the human race from being very uh I started off by saying industrialized, but everything was set up to cope with treating people are products really, you know, um, all dressed the same, All sitting in the same Rose only speaking when they asked to speak. But the society is changing the way they teaching kids is changing the way people's belief systems are evolving. It's all changing. And I think Kervin has seriously forwarded that, you know, at a fast pace, this huge change. So we're going through incredible change. We're going through individual warning and we're going through great Morning where people have first loved ones and fear of death and all that sort of thing. I think it's put us on a trajectory that it was absolutely unimaginable before Covid and also who said change was going to be easy.
Exactly. Tell me a little bit about the business of hypnosis. Obviously, you know, you charge clients a bit of money, you make a living off that. How do you, how do you find clients? How do you attract them? Do you just go, I need a client and they magically appear or do you advertise? How does all of that aspect of it? Well, I think it's a mixture of a few things. So I'm a great believer that when people are ready to see me, they will knock on my door. So, you know, I need to see a therapist. So that's the one side of me where I honestly believe that I'm going to be busy and and I am. But there's another side to, so I do a lot of work on social media, a lot of advertising. I'm learning how to combine all these different platforms of social media which has been an interesting journey for me because studying these, how to, how to set up instagram and and the lingo that they use that. I'm not used to because remember I've been in the corporate world for many, many years, so how these different systems work, It's been a challenge, but thankfully I've got through.
So I do advertising. I belong to different associations both within South Africa and out of South Africa. Because the other thing is because we're doing zoom for you can be anywhere in the world, you don't have to just be from South Africa and I have quite a large expat South African group of people all over the world that I work with. So I do a lot of media advertising through the associations that I belong to. So I list on different platforms. And I talked specifically about ex South Africans who are living in Australia or the UK or in europe. And I think you know, we go beyond the borders of of South Africa, which is amazing who would have thought that would have been possible just a year ago, Like you said exactly. Um the other thing that I do is I attend a lot of fairs and where I can workshops and the beauty of post Covid is that I'm able to attend all these workshops online.
I don't actually have to travel anywhere. So I constantly research constantly, try and up skill myself all the time. I've literally got 50 courses waiting to do which I purchased when I was still working. So when I'm not busy hypnotizing, I'm certainly learning about it. And I love that South Africa is not really well connected through the internet and a great many people don't have access to zoom and these sort of things. Do you think there's other ways we can also reach them? That's not necessarily these mainstream words? Well, because I've been working with healthcare workers, some of them Martinez, they are now telling their friends that this amazing thing has happened. So where do mouth is certainly getting around? And I think that's one of the most powerful ways as well as when you referred. I think we need to to embrace a lot more people bring them in his students to hypnosis. I know john has done some good work through Africa with different people. So I know he's focused on doing that, but I think we need to do a lot more hindered.
You know, I think the masters of hypnosis, the people that have been around for many years, I think they need to do a little bit more about embracing a huge population out there that just hasn't been hypnotized. What about group hypnosis? Do you do you do groups? Or is it only just one on one. No, I don't do group hypnosis at all. It's one on one. And the only reason for that is because I'm working with healing. I prefer to concentrate on one person. And if anything happens to that person, I'm equipped to look after them because you first aid and all those sorts of things need to come into it as well. But I do see beyond hypnosis, I'm gonna do couples counseling and I'm a life coach and I'm busy learning how to be essential oils practitioner. So those are all things that enhance what I'm currently doing. So I think hypnotherapist need to find other ways, other products and I'm sure they do that enhance the hypnosis experienced.
Now if people want to get hold of you for either in person session or resume session, how do they do that? So I have a website that I can be contacted on uh I'm on facebook. I'm on instagram about to launch on linked in as well. And also I have a cell phone number that they can contact me on. They welcome to you know for the initial contact to come by. What's Apple email or they phoned me, what is your website called? It's called? W W. W. Dot Dragonflies therapy dot C O dot C A. And your number for a WhatsApp oh eight to 887 nano double man. And of course I'll put all of heather's contact details in the description of the podcast. So you can easily get hold over. Otherwise you can just contact hypnosis works and myself and uh if you need her services, I can put you in contact with her as well.
Heather just to end off. I I always ask this to to everybody. So here goes, hypnosis usually is in the back of the queue. As I think we've said earlier. Why do you think people should consider hypnosis first before they go for the other modalities? I think they should consider it first because it's thorough and it gets the job done and we're not magicians. It does sometimes take a bit of time. But certainly as you said earlier in the interview, they don't need to take years and years. So I think the conciseness of it and the way it works which suits anybody who has a busy love, you know, and most people do have busy lives whether it's been so interesting chatting with you. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you very much, Hendrick for this wonderful opportunity of being interviewed by you and I certainly appreciate your initiative. Thank you so much. Well I found chatting to my hypnosis colleague very interesting and insightful and I trusted you did too.
Their contact details are in the podcast description or you can get in touch with them through find a hypnotist dot c 0.0 if you want to find out more about me and what I do, please visit my website, Hendrick Bad dot com remember I released new episodes every thursday, So be sure to subscribe to my channel until we speak again. Have a hypnotic day. Hypnosis works transforming the mind.