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Hypnosis College Offers Stress Relief

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tarzana’s HMI College of Hypnotherapy has started free online therapy sessions through Zoom, along with a weekly interactive online class on various topics aiming to help understand and control feelings of stress during this time. For George Kappas, director of the institute, such classes tie in with what the college is all about: changing perception. “We kind of think there are two diseases out there. One of them is COVID-19, and the other one is a disease of perception, and perception is what hypnosis is about,” said Kappas. “When your perception changes, I don’t care if it’s your personal life, your self-esteem, your business or how you perceive the future, how you perceive opportunities — when your perception changes, all of a sudden your options change.” For business managers affected by the pandemic, a change in perception via hypnosis can help with adaptability and nimbleness when a business model is suddenly upended, added Kappas. “We’ve just been doing something for so long a certain way that we don’t ever consider anything outside that box,” explained Kappas. “This has been a major jolt; it’s not just little mom-and-pop shops. The most expensive stadium in the world, built right here in Los Angeles, may or may not ever see a full crowd, and I’m sure they did not anticipate that. And I’m sure they’re trying to rethink what they’re going to do.” The free classes are a first in the college’s history, but it’s taking its own advice to connect virtually while still providing opportunities for its students to continue studies. One year of training and a clinical internship, for less than $10,000, Kappas said, have been brought online for students. “We have been a family-managed business for 50 years. My father and uncle founded the institute in the 1960s; I grew up there as a kid,” said Kappas. “We have numerous family members running the business. This is our whole life and we were very fortunate that we were able to adapt to a virtual environment and provide the same services.” For those executives who aren’t quite ready for a one-on-one hypnotherapy session on Zoom, informative self-help classes are offered by instructors. Past classes have focused on addressing pandemic-related fear, financial stress and seeking to reinvent oneself in the face of a floundering industry or business. “We are a nonprofit educational corporation. In light of everybody being sequestered or quarantined, a lot of the feedback we’re getting from the community is about how it has affected them,” added Kappas. “We’ve asked each of our instructors to prepare what they feel would be their best contribution.”

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