By Bruce A. Smith
One of the advantages of advanced age is that one has had the time to experience many aspects of life – multiple careers, marriage, motherhood and a spiritual quest.
And so it is for Gloria Peach.
Born in 1932, Gloria is currently developing her latest career, hypnotherapy, after an extensive career in hand-writing analysis. In addition, she’s had three marriages and raised three kids. She also moved to Rainier, WA about twenty years ago to intensify her studies at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment in Yelm.
In her new endeavor she is a gifted and gentle guide to her clients who wish to change their lives in remarkable ways by exploring the inner realms of their sub-conscious mind.
Hypnotherapy is widely used – and respected – for reversing troubling habits, such as smoking or over-eating, and Gloria certainly addresses those difficulties. However, she also assists those clients who seek greater self-awareness and wisdom, much like a psychoanalyst.
“I love helping people unlock the blocks in their lives,” says Gloria. “With each person, it’s like going on a new adventure with them, a new discovery. It’s fascinating.”
Gloria began her hypnotherapy practice nearly three years ago after studying at the Aldebaran School of Hypnotherapy in Tacoma, which has been founded on the principles of noted hypnotherapist, Charles Tebbetts.
In addition, Gloria has been particulary inspired – an influenced – by the work of Dr. Milton H Erickson.
Aldebaran is pronounced “al –Deb-a-ran,” and according to its website it is named after the brightest star in the Taurus constellation, and is used as a symbol to exemplify their professional endeavors:
“It is our mission: To help all those who come before us for training and self-empowerment, to discover the power of the mind and to help themselves and others. To provide the highest professional instruction of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, from a heart of sincerity, honesty and compassion. To always give the very highest and best of ourselves.”
Gloria says that she combines guided-imagery processes to induce neurological rewiring, and thus allows her clients to achieve new behaviors or new physical capacities.
“It works,” she says simply.
Gloria has one client who suffers from macular degeneration, and after a regimen of hypnotherapy he has been able to prevent further deterioration and even restore some vision.
“His eye doctor has said that there has been definite improvement,” said Gloria.
Gloria said that one critical component of her hypnotherapy sessions includes emphatic statements to reverse the effects of the disease, such as repeating, “I see, I see.”
In addition, she guided this client to say, “I have never had macular degeneration” while the patient was in a deep trance.
Gloria also works with many patients who have experienced a stroke. One individual, a McKenna woman named Helen, who had a serious right-sided stroke and is essentially paralyzed on that portion of her body, told the Mountain News that she had improved her speech with Gloria’s help, and had even began to write with her affected hand.
“It requires trust,” said Gloria of the hypnotherapy process. “It’s going into the unknown – it’s like peeling layers of an onion.”
But hypnotherapy has its limitations, too.
“Sometimes people can’t let a block go – it’s too painful to do so. Or they’re comfortable where they’re at.”
When asked how successful she is in helping people quit smoking or lose weight, Gloria had some surprising responses.
“Regarding smoking, it all depends on motivation,” she said. “As for obesity, there are deeper issues involved. Food can be used as body armor….to protect a little kid, emotionally inside, who is crying out for help. There can be real fears involved.”
Gloria has had some unusual successes, too, such as with a man who had a profound sensitivity to certain aromas and smells. For instance, he was utterly intolerant of perfume, and if he took more than few whiffs he would have to find shelter, lie down and sleep until he was restored back to normal.
Gloria said she helped cure him of this disability in one session by engaging him in a guided regression through his life, back to when he was a young boy.
“When this client was seven years-old, he lived on a farm,” said Gloria. “Everyday, he was surrounded by the sharp smells of the farm – the animal wastes and the barn smells. When he was seven, someone in the family died and everyone dressed up in their finery for the funeral – and of course many of the women put on perfume and the men wore cologne. The association of all these smells became associated with death, and they ultimately overwhelmed the client under certain circumstances.”
Once he realized the source of his difficulties, the neurological influence of the association was broken – the brain made new associative connections, with new neurons wiring together biologically – and he is no longer affected.
A hypnotherapy session typically takes place while lying down, most often in a bed. A session begins with a relaxation routine, where Gloria leads a client through a guided-imagery process to relax each part of the body. After about ten minutes, a person is in an initial trance. Depending on the issue at hand and the person’s sense of safety and rapport, Gloria then launches into a second – and more substantive trance-producing segment – where she verbally guides a patient to a deeper level.
This process could be listening to her count backwards from 100, interspersed with advisements to “relax, release, and just let go,” over and over until, as Gloria says, “you get so bored that you just let go.”
At that point, Gloria leads a client towards the object issue. First, though, she will lead the client down a hallway or up an elevator to a spot that is utterly safe.
“This is your safe place. You can always go here at any time,” she tells a client. She then asks the client to raise their left hand and touch their lips to indicate that they understand what she is telling them, and that in fact, they are envisioning the safe place mentally.
Surprisingly, a client is able to lift their hand and follow her verbal command even though they feel they are in deep repose, akin to a lucid dream.
Once a client is comfortable in the trance, she then asks them to explore the environment that is associated with the issue. Usually a scene develops in a few moments, and Gloria instructs the patent to say, “I am here,” when they arrive at the place where the troubles are taking place.
From there, Gloria asks questions for the client to consider, or even for the client to relay to the participants in the scene – and report back to her, as if the client is watching an inter-active video and is telling Gloria how the scene is unfolding.
This process continues for about twenty minutes, and then Gloria shifts into an affirmation process whereby she tells the client they have made specific changes in their life, and then she has the client reply with confirming statements.
The last stage – the “coming back to reality” component – is oddly the strangest. It is lengthy and gradual, and a client is often surprised that when they open their eyes they are shocked to see their surroundings – it feels as if they are on an alien planet. That is how deep the process can be, and yet, the trance had felt so normal and almost inconsequential.
At this point, Gloria usually gives a few words of encouragement, holds hands with the client for a few moments, and then leaves. Afterwards, the client realizes they can’t get up for about thirty minutes – they are so far “out there.”
Smiling, the client arises when they can, realizing that some very deep work has taken place.
For more information, Gloria can be reached at: (360) 446-3110, (360) 970-3029, or email@example.com .
Next week: Gloria’s career in handwriting analysis.
© 2011 Mountain News – WA
As a psychologist I appreciate the work Gloria is doing. Although she doesn’t have an advanced degree she appears to be aware of the consequences of dealing with the deeper layers of the human mind. I ‘d be interested in knowing how many clients she’s had and if there have been negative occurences from her session.
Gloria is a certifed hypnotherapist, and performed 200 hours of hypnosis in the process of earning her certification.
But your question Jofannie speaks to a deeper issue – what happens when a therapist, or any healer – is in over their heads, and I trust that Gloria and others will address that here in the days to come.
In the meantime, I can say that when I was working as a psychotherapist and counselor with youth and families, particulary with sexual offenders in the Wilson Center, a residence for young men aged 12-18 in Tacoma, I often felt like I was under-trained and under-prepared to address what these folks were dealing with. Yet, I had fourteen years as an activity therapist in psychiatry and a master’s degree, plus 800 of my own psychotherapy sessions and many hours of continuing education in clinical practice. That said, all of my colleagues at the Wilson Center and related services, such as community foster-care therapy programs, looked overwhelmed at some point, and some admitted to it – all of which I brought into my supervision sessions with my boss. Over time, I figured that the needs of troubled kids just far exceeded the capacities of most of us. Neverthless, the state DSHS decided that my MS in Recreation was insufficient for the work that I was doing, and my agency then terminated me. There was never any discussion of the work I was doing or my effectiveness – or lack thereof – but the prevailing standard was applied, namely, I didn’t have a couseling degree, so I was out.
I was relieved, actually, and as I drove away on my last day I actually started whistling.
But the bigger issue remains, what does a therapist do when a client presents stuff that the therapist can’t handle, and will the therapist know when that occasion arises. To help determine that, one must look at the training and supervision of the therapist – that’s a starting point, and I think the state made the right call with me.
As for hypnotherapy, clearly the bulk of their work – smoking cessation and other habits – fall comfortably within their training pervue. It’s in the deeper areas of more open-ended, more complex issues and behaviors that need to be closely examined. I trust that the hypnotherapists coming out of the Aldebaran School – and in particular Gloria – know what they can handle and what they can’t.
For clients who might have a toughie like Multiple Personality Syndrome, or a fierce Reactive-Attachment Disorder, I think Gloria could give those folks a measure of comfort, but I would consider her efforts to be along the lines of an adjunctive treatment and not the main meat and potatoes, clinically.
That said, Gloria just did a session with me about my anxieties regarding returning to New York to see family over the Christmas holidays, ie: emotions rooted in my anger at mom, and I found Gloria to be exceptionally effective – and never for a moment did I wonder about her skill or confidence.
Wow! What a great response, Bruce. Thank you.
Jofannie sent me the following note, and has agreed to let me post it here:
Bruce, the majority of my clients in the past 10 to 15 years were mostly situationally challenged and I used cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with the problems as they were presented. Having Ramtha’s teachings as a background helped immensely in a number of ways. I used my own ‘observer’ to disengage from ‘needing’ a specific outcome to occur.
I did not take personally their acceptance or non-acceptance of options I offered. And knowing that this lifetime was one of many and that what they were faced with was of their own creation, helped me to gently help my clients accept responsibility for their choices and explore more beneficial ones.
There have been a handful of clients over the 3 decades or so in which I was an active practitioner with whom I could not be effective. Usually they were active substance abusers or had more serious mental problems that I was not equipped to deal with outside of a confined setting.
In those cases, I would refer them to a more appropriate provider.