When Bad Things Happen to Good People – What Can come of It?

When Bad Things Happen to Good People – What Can Come of It?                      (Live right … Do right … Get rewards… or Do You?)                                                     by Andrew M.  Leon, BSN, MS, CH

Most of us are taught that if we do all the right things in life, good things will come to us…but sometimes things happen that are not so good.  Sometimes they just seem incomprehensible!

In almost every culture, the issues of shame and guilt are often filled with rejection and painful emotional and even physical consequences.  Denial and anger seem to be the main rules in coping with terrible events both for the surviving participants and for friends and family.

Physical wounds eventually will close and may not even leave visible scars.  Emotional wounds, on the other hand, can be invisible: far more chronic than physical trauma or abuse and in some cases, may never heal if they are kept secret. The same must be said for soldiers, both male and female, who have gone to war and witnessed or participated in events that boggle the imagination of tranquil living civilians.  What may be considered nightmarish and terrorizing in peacetime living can be an everyday occurrence in cases of war or ongoing terror and fear.  What can be done for these people who have been culturally hypnotized into believing that their story does not deserve telling and that to tell it is to bring shame on one’s self and even on one’s family and society? 

Our minds act as filters that screen out important parts of the memory that are necessary to find comfort or wisdom in the survival of their experience. Even in the worst possible experience that a person could have, there is the possibility that there is a positive lesson in it for the survivor. Not to find that lesson is a product of negative hypnosis and can become dangerous, even fatal. 

John (Name changed to protect confidentiality.) was a sergeant who had gained a reputation among the other infantrymen as an expert in matters of combat.  If one had to go on a patrol or mission, this was the Non-commissioned officer (Non-Com) to be led by.  His men always came back safe.  On this one day, things would be different.  John was ordered to lead a patrol into a new area and “probe it”. Only light enemy activity was expected.  Instead John led his men into a clearing that was an ambush site.  He was wounded and the only survivor.  He escaped death by pulling a corpse over himself and then listening, motionless, as the enemy came through to finish killing the wounded Americans: his men that he vowed to keep safe.  The intelligence reports were wrong and when John healed and returned to duty, he learned that there was suspicion that the enemy had more strength and his patrol was expected to take high casualties if that were the case.  He was never told in his pre-patrol briefing.  He was angry with the intelligence agents but angrier with himself because he did not see through the officer’s plot.  He assumed the blame for the deaths of his men. 

John returned home, honorably discharged with medals for his valor but he was, no longer, the amiable and social man who had gone off to war.  He tried marriage and it failed because of his short temper.  Similar experiences followed as this likable and intelligent man tried to apply himself to civilian work.  Always the memories and flashbacks to that fateful day would seize control of his mood and ability to concentrate on his work.  He became more aloof from his workmates and his bosses.  He began drinking and taking drugs to try to control the emotional pain.  As depression set in and his addictions blossomed, he began to care less and less about his work or even his future. His energy was depleting.

It took twenty-five years to convert John from a handsome, very intelligent and dynamic leader into a man of the streets who could unleash his temper without care of consequences.  It took twenty five years for this wrecked human being with so much promise in his youth to arrive for treatment in the Veterans Administration hospital on my unit.  Shortly after that admission, he became diagnosed with HIV infection and within the year would die of AIDS.  No one knew the story of John’s patrol until he had a flashback and was reliving the events of the fight.  It had taken months of knowing John and building trust and being with him alone through that terrible flashback to get him to tell me his story.  By then, he was regarded by the staff as a manipulator and street trash and no one questioned how this boy, raised in a proper Hispanic family, evolved into the personality of a cunning cat.  No one could bring themselves to visualize or imagine themselves having his experience in war.  No one really wanted to go there to find within themselves the road to compassion for this man and many others.  There were 47 veterans at any given time on that unit and most had similar stories of killing and of watching death and of being so terrified that they lost sphincter control.  All of those stories were garnished with feelings of shame or guilt.  The code among the men was to keep the stories private and never again speak of them except, with rare occasion, to other combat veterans who could understand but tended to support their self imposed secrecy codes. In their search for peace or relief of stress, they had turned to substance abuse and the jungle-like life of the streets.  These men did not qualify for treatment under the newly designated Diagnostic Code for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, ironically, another byproduct of the Viet Nam War.  It was still too early in time to know that the anti-social behaviors they were exhibiting were actually symptomatic of PTSD.

People are often hurt in ways that they cannot or choose not to forget.  Energy is diverted to maintain the emotion brought up by the event.  That energy is part of a fixed amount of energy that the person has for life.  Once it is tied up, it cannot be used until it is redirected.  In cases of guilt, shame, anger and vengeance, healing the wound becomes secondary and serves to fuel the grudge.  Sometimes so much energy goes into thoughts of retribution, guilt, shame or regret that the original reason is forgotten.

In other cases, the energy goes into remembering as much detail of the trauma as possible…every minute of one’s time, as if somewhere in that script is an escape hatch that might have rescued the situation… but it never is found because it does not exist.  Soon other thoughts with the potential for healing, cannot find their way in to the mind and the person begins the process of “emotional anesthesia”.  Not only will the emotions about the event be shut down, but so much energy might have to be diverted that compassion and joy for any event are numbed.  The person who is traumatized may begin to make erroneous assumptions: “If loving or trusting is what caused me to have this great pain, then I will not trust or love anyone or anything and never be hurt again.”  When that message is repeated often enough, negative hypnosis can set in and the suggestion becomes doctrine.  Relationships will be distanced or terminated without apparent reason.  Above all else, the pain of loss must be avoided and so, loss occurs prematurely or unnecessarily. Eventually joy will cease to exist in the person’s life.

Conscious efforts to overcome or reverse the negative hypnosis in play can take very long times and may frustrate anyone trying to overcome the system of self deprivation. Hypnosis can be of help if the person is willing to engage with the hypnotist after deciding that the present system is not serving a good or useful purpose.  The use of hypnotic suggestions and imagery can assist the wounded person to safely deal with the blocks to happiness that have been built.  Too often they are there because of some rule or tradition that no longer is appropriate for the situation.

In hypnosis, like in the dream state, one is able to redirect or “reshoot” the scene in question.  All the forces in play can be identified in the hypnotically induced dream state where time stands still and one can deal with one issue at a time.  Like a time bomb with multiple fuses, each one can be dismantled in an order that renders the painful memory of the event as just a memory.  The memory itself is then made manageable.

The experience is ultimately converted into a useful story that has useful meaning in the person’s life.  Ultimately, the positive consequences of the experience are harvested and the story becomes processed information to be kept in the subconscious memory and called in from time to time to help resolve future similar problems.  Forgiveness of self and others can then be exercised and gratefulness can be recognized giving real respect and importance to the events in question.

Each of us can be thought of as having essential life energy.  It is a fixed amount and is the fuel of everything we choose to do in life.  Energy, once trapped by reaction to trauma, is now released and returned to the person’s reserves and is available for future work to be chosen by the person.  Emotional anesthesia is replaced by renewed emotional awareness and choice.  Positive changes in health can follow as hope begins to displace despair.  Post hypnotic suggestions can begin to take root as the client’s future thinking becomes more active and he/she accepts that their survival was not a coincidence but part of a greater plan in the larger universe.  The clients can come to understand that the severity of their tragic event may have been like the blacksmith’s fire and water that heats and cools the metal to extreme temperatures in order to prepare it with strength for its future missions.  The losses need not be forgotten.  Instead they are memorialized and honored for their contributions to the surviving life and all it will achieve.

Andy Leon is an NGH Certified Hypnotherapist since June 2001.  In his prior career as a Registered Nurse, he specialized in mental health and development of psychiatric treatment support programs in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Currently he is also Chairperson of the Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project.  He can be contacted by email: hypnosone@andyleon.com  or telephone: 434-962-2136.

Visit the website: www.andyleon.com



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Hypnosis for Everyone: Self-Hypnosis, Pain Control and Shortening Grieving Process.

Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015                      

Time: 10:00 AM  (Registration starts at 9:00 AM)

Comfort Inn Monticello, Charlottesville, VA (Exit 128 on I-64) Junction of Rte 250 & Interstate 64

Spend a day with us and learn how to use hypnosis to solve every day problems.  Self hypnosis is a powerful and ancient tool used in many cultures throughout the ages and can now be part of your inventory of coping strategies for dealing with both physical and emotional pain.  This set of presentations will show you how your life can improve by exerting energy that is already built into every living person.  It is not magic.  It is merely learning how to control your own mind rather than having it controlled by other forces.  Hypnosis is gentle and offers no adverse effects like many drugs do.  It is relaxing and painless and causes the release of natural beneficial chemicals that serve the healing process.  Register for the entire day or choose the sessions you wish to attend.

The Agenda.

10:00-12 Noon     Introduction to Self Hypnosis.  Learn how to use this powerful stress management tool in daily living and in sharpening your focus in task management especially in learning new things.  ($25.00)

12;00-1:30 PM  Lunch

1:30  -3:30 PM    Becoming a Partner in the Surgical Process before and after the Surgery through Hypnosis.                                                                 Post hypnotic suggestions can help in minimizing bleeding and enhancing the healing process long after the  hypnosis session is done.  ($25.00)                                                                         

3:30-5:30 PM    Using Hypnosis to Shorten the Grieving Process. The power of the subconscious mind is utilized to address the issues of “unfinished business” that tend to prolong the discomfort of the grieving process.  Learn the value of Forgiveness in this process that facilitates the ease of celebration of the life of the deceased. ($25.00)                                                                        

**** Register for all three sessions and pay only $50.00, saving $25.00.   Payment can be made by cash or check.                                                                                                                      

To register in advance:

Call: 434-962-2136 or:

Email: amlpractma@aol.com

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Hypnosis and Emotional Trauma

What do people do who have been hurt long ago in their past and believe that they cannot tell anyone or terrible things will happen?  They don’t talk about it and if possible, they never even think about it.  The price for those decisions is very high.  Rewards that they want in life, escape or avoid them.  Normal expectations such as a career, marriage or a family become unreachable or unsustainable.  Sadly, all that is happening without the intention of the person. That is the result of Negative Hypnosis, a powerful suggestion that places fear in the way of ever finding a way out from under that memory. Read More »
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Become a National Guild of Hypnotists Certified Hypnotist

Marie Beach,a National Guild of Hypnotists(NGH) Certified Instructor for more than fifteen years is offering a new 100 hour class over a series of weekends.  There will be 80 hours of class time and 20 hours of supervized field practice. Classes are forming to run:

October 12, 13,19, 20. November 9,10, 11 and  29th.

Another class is planned to run:

December 27, 28, 29, 30, 2013,  January 10, 11, 17, 18, 2014

Graduates who achieve certification will be able to begin practicing hypnosis to assist clients in a host of different areas of their lives. It is exciting and rewarding work to help people to improve their lives by maximizing the power of their imaginations. Andrew M.Leon, BSN,MS,CH will be assisting.

Get details at:www.allhypnosiscenter.com
or contact Andy Leon at 434-962-2136 or email: hypnosone@andyleon.com.

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Negative Hypnosis – The Blog

Hypnosis is an art that has been in use for therapy, enlightenment and entertainment almost as long as man has been about this world.  In most cases the purposes are positive in nature: to improve or enhance the condition of people or groups for better and more comfortable existence.  It works because the suggestions of hypnosis are registered in the subconscious mind and eventually motivate our conscious thinking.

Negative hypnosis is the process of instilling biased suggestions by any words or actions that cause the person to momentarily suspend their conscious thinking and eventually, comply to an altered, sometimes destructive, belief system: a product; an idea; or a philosophy that produces a bias or prejudice or even a willingness to consider “falling in love” against our better judgment.

If a negative or biased thought is delivered often enough, by experience or by words, action or lack of action of a trusted “teacher”, there will be the greater possibility that the subconscious registration of that event will set up a negative hypnotic suggestion deep in the person’s subconscious mind.  In some cases that is the intent of the “teacher’s” action.  The problem is that the recipient of that suggestion will not experience the suggestion as negative.  It will be registered as “the truth”.  That may be one of the reasons why television commercials seem to be placed to interrupt, just as you are getting engrossed with the story line of the program.  You are locked on the story but suddenly, here is this little message about soap or clothing or something that you don’t even think you need… and then one day you are in a store and find yourself studying that same product and the thought occurs: “Maybe I should have one of these.”  The same can hold true for political, religious and philosophical points of view…. “Gee! Maybe I should think more about what he/she said….. This situation looks or sounds just like that thing “they” were talking about…”  Each time one of those considerations is made, the thinker is altering their subconscious state of skepticism and perspective, moving closer and closer to the will of the author…and all of this is happening subconsciously, while you continue to consciously, pay attention to your business.  How is this done?

Emotions at the subconscious level are guided by the Pleasure Principal.  If it feels good, the experience may get logged in the subconscious mind as worth repeating.  Sex is a good example.  More powerful yet is the negative or painful experience that can produce a powerful negative response to the initial situation and then to anything that seems connected to it in any form.  Senders of negative hypnotic suggestions will choose words, sounds or images that promote strong emotional responses.  Messages will be sent that tend to exaggerate reality by segmenting the scene or messages so that only part of the message is available.  In election campaigns one often hears candidates complain that their words were taken out of context.  Thus the words being quoted may be accurate but the true message is misrepresented to appear negative and arouse the fear response.  Products are sold in the same manner.  Snob appeal is produced by minimizing the status of other products or; on a more subtle scale, of other people.  Look at the impact of the election campaign arguments about the 99% and the 1% of the population of the nation.  That message has more volume than the message that “ …we are all Americans.”  Pollsters note that while Americans do not like negative political ads, they tend to respond faster than to more balanced or accurate messages from the parties.  But is it just in politics and public relations that we need to watch out for negative hypnosis?

Human beings are group animals.  For the most part we do not function well as solo operators.  Like wolves, horses and birds, we have learned over time that being in the midst of a group is more comfortable and safer than trying to survive on our own. In addition to food, water, shelter and air, man has a need for the comfort of belonging to a group.  We create villages, towns, tribes, religions and political parties because of the need to belong among like others.  So what happens when fear and suspicion set in to the group’s sense of survival?  What happens when the other groups or events are perceived by the group’s leadership as dangerous or toxic to the values of the group?  The results can be dangerous.  Wars have been fought because of negative hypnosis.  The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades and many wars and “police actions” have been carried out because of fear of something that could not be easily understood about the people that became the enemy.  On a more benign basis, the jobs of public relations experts are to change public opinion by use of strategic, emotionally charged language or symbols that aim to arouse our fear or other base instincts and steer belief toward seeing the negative as positive.

Hypnotism is an art that was created to improve or entertain people. Information is the antidote to the negative hypnosis that can sabotage our lives and happiness.  Watch for more examples of negative hypnosis at this blog site.

*Andy Leon is a practicing hypnotist in Charlottesville, VA.  Go to www.andyleon.com for more information and how to contact him.

Still to Come…

Negative Hypnosis – Self Concept

Negative Hypnosis – Weight Control

Negative Hypnosis –  Smoking Cessation

Negative Hypnosis – Personal Success

Negative Hypnosis – Personal Relationships

Negative Hypnosis – Personal Performance

Negative Hypnosis – Deserving vs. Unworthiness

Negative Hypnosis – Fear and Panic

Negative Hypnosis – Response to Illness

Negative Hypnosis – Response to Loss

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4th Annual Virginia Conference of Hypnotists – May 6, 2012

Hypnotists from all over Virginia will be converging on the Comfort Inn Monticello in Charlottesville, VA for the 4th Annual Virginia Conference of Hypnotists. The all day affair offers hypnotists and anyone interested in hypnotism, an opportunity to hear speakers on diverse related subjects of the profession. In addition, there is the opportunity to meet colleagues and exchange ideas as well as expand consultative and referral networks.

This year speakers will present on the topics of:

    • PTSD and Hypnosis – Michael McGee, CH, LPC
    • Practice and Marketing of Emotional Freedom Technique – Vicki Griffith, CH, C.A.EFT.P
    • Instant Hypnotic Induction for Difficult Clients – Sean Michael Andrews, CH, MNLP
    • Utilizing Chakras in Hypnosis – Wallace Lossing, CO, MHt.
    • Spirituality and Hypnosis – Mary Curro, RH, CH

 To register or for more information, Call Andy Leon : Tel:434-962-2136 or email.

Early registration (before April 30): $50.00.

Registration at the door: $65.00.

*Credit cards cannot be accepted.
**National Guild of Hypnotists will grant 8 CEU’s toward recertification.

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Third Annual Virginia Conference of Hypnotists

Hypnotists from around Virginia and North Carolina will convene at the Comfort Inn Monticello in Charlottesville on June 4, 2011 for a day of professional discussion and training in various facets of hypnosis.  The conference will run from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM.  Larry Elman, Lt. Col (USAF Ret.), son of the iconic Dave Elman, will be traveling from North Carolina to give one of the presentations.  He has been doing hypnosis since he was a boy and taught by his famous father.

Agenda for Conference of Hypnotists

The Central Virginia Chapter of Hypnotists hosts this meeting and in the fall will convene a meeting of the Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project in Virginia Beach to discuss hypnosis for veterans and their families who have been affected by deployment to war.

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WHAP interview 2/27/2010

Host John Douell (center interviews Hypnotists Dr. Dan Lester(lt) & Keith Menchel at WHAP 1340

 Members of the Central Virginia Chapter of Hypnotist and Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project were interviewed by John Douell and Dr. Ann Ford of WHAP 1340 in Hopewell VA regarding hypnosis and the Veterans Project. 

(Lt to Rt) Andy Leon, co-host Dr. Ann Ford, Keith Menchel, JohnDouell, Host - WHAP 1340

Dr. Dan Lester, Keith Menchel and Andy Leon represented the two organizations.  Keith is President of the Central Virginia Chapter and Dr. Dan is Treasurer.  Andy Leon is a member and also Chairperson of the Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project (VVHP).

The trio of hypnotists spent more than half of the show explaining and sharing examples of how hypnosis works and speaking of the many ways it can be applied to help people to overcome fears and unwelcome or intrusive habits.  The remainder of the show allowed for a brief expositionof the Virginia Veterans HypnosisProject in which hypnotists from all over the state of Virginia and nearby Maryland will seek to provide hypnosis services to veterans and their families who are dealing with unspoken memories of their wartime experience and deployments.  This is a new approach as these are usually functioning people who have emerged from the unthinkable and unimaginable experiences of war and are able to encapsulate or isolate the memories while they go on to try to recapture some semblance of normalcy.  The hypnotists believe that these memories and feelings then require very large amounts of personal emotional energy to manage that suppression.  Ultimately, the veteran and loved ones, even the next generation, can be adversely affected by the changes that can be produced in both the personalities of all the people in that network and sometimes even health changes can result because energy, like water will always find a way out.  If there is even one moment of loss of attention, secrets find their way out and not always at the most opportune time or manner.

Anyone interested in receiving the services of the VVHP, can contact Andy Leon at:

                                                                                                                                              Tel: 434-962-2136

                                                                                                                                              Web: www.andyleon.com

He  will help clients to locate a participating hypnotist closest to their area.  The group is interested in learning more about post war veterans and the effects of that experience in the family unit.  Both veterans and family members will be seen pro bono.  We are only asking for permission to compile the information without identification of its source so that future war veterans can be better helped.  In cases that are needing more assistance than the VVHP is professionally prepared to give, a network of competent providers is being developed.  In the final analysis the plan is to help the veterans to safely release their “dark secrets” and reuse their life energy to the benefit of themselves and our society.

Our group was most grateful for the opportunity to present hypnosis to the public and hopefully, open new horizons for personal development and health.

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News Release: Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project

October 30, 2009.  Andrew Leon, Certified Hypnotherapist and a retired RN, has been appointed Chairperson of the Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project at their first organizational meeting at Virginia Beach October 24-25, 2009.  The Project, first announced at the First Virginia Conference of Hypnotists in Charlottesville on May 30, 2009, is comprised of some 35-40 certified hypnotists from all over the state of Virginia and is offering hypnosis for stress management of returning military persons.  Leon is careful to note that the hypnotists are looking for veterans and family members who are functioning but are dealing with the mysterious secret memories so many veterans of wars often carry with them and cannot speak of them.  These memories, unlike PTSD, a diagnosable condition in psychiatric circles, are not necessarily linked to a causative moment but rather may relate to the perception of the veterans’ experiences in the war assignment.  For the family members also, there are the memories of their experience in waiting and disappointment with extensions of deployment or seeing their loved ones return emotionally altered or physically hurt.  Sometimes an unspoken zone is created, non-verbally, that is taboo to enter into by either party.  In this place may reside feelings of anger, guilt, shame or vengeance.  Sometimes the feelings are too confusing to sort out and everyone is just glad that the situation of disruption is over.  The members of the Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project believe that these secret feelings can prove detrimental to the keepers in the long run.  They drain energy away from fulfillment of dreams and aspirations.  They interfere with the carriers’ ability to love and enjoy life to the fullest and in the end they can pass on troublesome personality to the offspring.  Over years jobs may be lost and marriages dissolved and in some cases, full blown PTSD may surface in midlife. 

The hypnotists are well trained to apply suggestion and post-hypnotic suggestion to facilitate identification and understanding of these secret thoughts.  They believe that in coming to grips with these uncomfortable memories, trapped energy can be released to allow the veteran and loved ones to pursue a more enjoyable life. 

The Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project’s members will see veterans and their family members on a pro bono basis.  All services are confidential. Veterans or family members in the Central Virginia area may contact Andrew Leon at (434) 962-2136 for an interview appointment or more information.  Certified Hypnotists in the area, who wish to join Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project, should also call Andrew Leon at the same number.

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Virginia Veterans Hypnosis Project –Presentation

 “There are the physical wounds for which the Purple Heart is awarded. But, there are also the mental and emotional wounds that cannot be seen. They are caused by fear… The right-in-your-face kind of fear with seeing the loss of life of some of our country’s finest young men and women. The fear of just trying to stay alive and keep your brothers safe, those with whom you’ve fought side by side, day in and day out during the horror and confusion of combat. Then comes the reflecting back as to whether or not you made the right decision about having been able to save more lives. All these things will haunt a combat soldier for the rest of his life. The learning to live with all these things is hard to do, but it is important to do.”

Louis Balas, Viet Nam War Veteran… Read More »

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