Elena Beloff is a documentary filmmaker whose first film, Zaritsas: Russian Women in New York, was produced by Vincent Vincent D’Onofrio and shown at film festivals around the country. It was ultimate picked up by on RTVi and shown on Russian and Polish language channels in America, and later was broadcast in Russia, Poland, the Ukraine. She has just finished shooting her next documentary and has just begun editing it. It is on the myths and realities behind hypnosis. She is also writing a book on hypnosis for Llewellyn Press.

Elena Beloff was in her early twenties when she started doing clinical hypnosis. “I remember taking one of my first courses in Las Vegas with Mark Cunningham, it was an unusual sight: about 100 men in the class and only a handful of women. I was the youngest, about 23. I wanted to understand the power of the mind and how hypnosis worked ever since I saw stage hypnotist in Russia when I was five and then witnessed the rabid faith healer phenomenon in Post-Soviet Russia,” she says. “Some of my friends at the time laughed at me. They thought I was wasting time studying something like hypnosis. Many people perceive it as something esoteric and pseudoscientific. There are certainly many stereotypes associated with the word hypnosis. I wanted to study hypnosis because it is a real thing and has been around since the dawn of history. Our understanding of it evolved over time.”

After almost ten years in practice, Elena now gets referrals from other hypnotists, former instructors and leading psychiatrists. “People just find me online and through my creative work in film and TV,” she says. Elena is highly recommended by her former clients. “In the beginning I used to work with all issues, from weight loss and stop smoking to nail biting or hair pulling and other rare bad habits and problems. As I got more experienced I narrowed down my specialty and today work primarily with performance anxiety and success motivation. These are my top favorite issues. I am thrilled to help people find themselves and live up to the dreams and inner callings.”
During her time in practice, Elena has dealt with some unexpected issues. “Every now and then a client would ask me to help them forget a specific person or fall out of love. This is has been the most challenging issue to work with. It seems as if connections with people have different causes which one must learn from, understand and grow. Relationships help people evolve. It is almost impossible to help one forget or erase another person. What's possible, though, is learn how to be patient, calm and accepting. That takes practice and regular meditation. One session would not be enough to help with a relationship issue, like in the case of smoking cessation, for instance.”
Elena can treat some issues in a single session, such as smoking cessation, but other issues I usually recommend at least two sessions. In the first sessions I get to know the client, we go over the issue and outline a script with specific personal affirmations. I teach the client self-hypnosis techniques and give them some homework. In follow-up sessions we go over the changes that happened after the sessions and reinforce positive suggestions. Weight loss session may take more than two sessions to satisfy the problem, depending on how much weight a client needs to lose.

Her interest in hypnosis led Elena to explore other disciplines that are related to it, such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and emotional freedom techniques. She explains “NLP is the model that helps us influence thoughts, feelings and behaviors. There are many great NLP techniques that can help build rapport with clients, like mirroring a client’s gestures, body movements, back-tracking, pacing and leading. A hypnotist ought to establish rapport in rode to have a successful hypnosis session. Through rapport a client learns to trust a hypnotist and follow instructions. I also like Anchoring, Meta Model questions and Modeling exercises from NLP. EFT is a simple emotional freedom technique, which has been popular among hypnotists. It incorporates tapping on certain pressure points. There is no science behind this technique. It just helps one stay focused on while tapping. If you believe that it helps you release pressure or tension, then it will.”

Elena explained the benefits of multiple sessions when tackling major behavioral problems and habits that deeply seated in a clients’ thinking. She says that clients go more easily into hypnosis the more often they come in for sessions. “The more clients understand the nature of trance and how hypnosis works, the easier it is for them to enter this profound relaxed state of mind.” After repeated sessions Elena can induce a deep state with a single trigger word, allowing her to get straight to the problem. “I can set a trigger word for a specific state of mind. For example, when a client is in trance state I can set a trigger which would be associated with this state of hypnosis. A trigger can be a word or a gesture. I usually prefer using a word as a trigger. So, next time when I see this client I can just use that one word and a client will enter a state of trance easily. Of course, when I set a trigger I set conditions like, the trigger will only work if I personally use it and only in the setting of my office. The reason I say this is safety. I don't want a client to go into trance if he or she hears their trigger word on street somewhere or any other setting where his wakeful state is required.”

Elena has used hypnosis when conducting past life regressions, though she is quick to say that it is not her specialty and that she’s not entirely convinced of the reality of past lives. She says, “It is an interesting idea to play with it. I won't deny their existence but I will not promulgate past lives are real. In my opinion it is all imagination and unconscious creativity. If tapping into the state where you think you see your past lives helps you draw important clues and understandings on your life, that's all that matters.“

Elena Beloff is available for sessions, for more information please visit her site at www.insidehypnosis.com.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He currently contributes to Silver Tongue, Inside the Reel and Altvariety and has written for Wicked Mystic, Delirium and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera “AssassiNation: We Killed JFK”. He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe, and Britain’s “The Girlie Show.” He was born in Brooklyn, NY.