People will look for hope and answers anywhere. Especially in crappy economic times. Wonder how long before the telegenic preachers make a comeback.
WSJ: Hypnosis has been used for years to help clients quit smoking, lose weight or sleep better. But recently there has been a surge of business from people who want help dealing with the stress of market turmoil, according to Dwight Damon, president of the National Guild of Hypnotists. The guild has more than 12,000 members.
…The effectiveness of hypnosis aimed at treating financial anxiety is difficult to track — unlike smoking-cessation or weight-loss hypnosis. The outcomes are measurable in pounds or months cigarette free, whereas with finances, countless variables are involved. But that doesn’t stop stressed-out Wall Street types from seeking treatment.
Jacob Bimblich, a New York City hypnotist, knew that when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted this fall, his business would go up. He first noticed the increase in financially fretful clients after a couple of laid-off workers from Bear, Stearns & Co., which collapsed in March and was acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., saw him this spring. Soon came a stream of clients from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Washington Mutual Inc. and other Wall Street firms caught up in the credit crunch.
Mr. Bimblich never went to school for hypnosis, and says he learned his craft through working with other hypnotists and reading up on the subject. He sees around 30 clients a week, and charges $60 for a basic half-hour session.
Success is breeding product extensions!
Dr. Fiore, who has been hypnotizing for more than 30 years, charges $150 for a 25-minute session. He also encourages his clients — many of whom are wealthy tech entrepreneurs — to send him their worries via email and BlackBerry throughout the week. He responds with calming messages that typically echo the mantras he speaks while the client is being hypnotized. He’s even done sessions over the phone to clients who never had to leave their cubicles.
He’s constantly telling clients, “You net worth doesn’t equal your personal worth.”
Hypnotists as the new financial titans?
It can be big business. Matthew B. James, a Hawaii-based hypnotist, says he earns $3 million a year through his group-hypnosis sessions, hypnosis-related books and CDs and teaching other hypnotists through his unaccredited American Pacific University. The cost of his treatment sessions range from $95 for a two-day seminar to $2,000 for an intensive weekend-long program.
He counsels clients to get in touch with their “inner entrepreneur.” Since the subprime mortgage crisis hit California more than a year ago, Dr. James has seen an increase in participation in his seminars there and other hard-hit parts of the country.
This guys rolls with the times.
He’s retooled his marketing approach to be financially focused, changing his slogan in local radio, TV and print advertising from “improve your thinking” to “improve your thinking about prosperity.” He replaces some of the words in his discussions about weight loss with terms used to describe debt.
Awesome! Here’s a new job for those hit by recession: this rich hypnotist got his degree at UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX.
Dr. James, who earned his doctorate online from the University of Phoenix, defends his credentials. “We’re doing everything we can to increase credibility,” he says.
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