Friday, March 31, 2017

Thoughts of the Day

Photo by Sara Fogan

      Every now and then I like (and need) to take a few moments and remind myself about what is really important to me, in my life. If you follow me on my Calminsense Hypnotherapy Facebook page you may have seen some of these quotes before on this page, or will in the future. Many of these Quotes of the Day are beautiful examples and illustrations of the work I do as a hypnotherapist, so I will probably draw on them in future essays.

  • “The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors.” – Napoleon Hill

  • “Never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others.” – Pema Chödrön

  • “To be all you can be you have to do more than you can do!” – Bille Baty

  • “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

  • “No words are empty words. Every syllable we speak engages energy towards or against us.” – Carmen Harra

  • “In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” – Harold Geneen

  • “Life becomes easier when you accept the apology you never got.” – Robert Brault

  • [The] past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.” – Eckhart  Tolle

  • “Make sure you’re stepping forward, not on.” – Lolly Daskal

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit

© 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Body Syndromes: Fight and Reaching Syndrome

(This blog was originally posted on October 16, 2015)

Image courtesy of Microsoft

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., whenever a person represses or does not express an emotion the displaced energy from that experience is converted into a physical “symptom” of that emotional trauma. The phenomenon is called a body syndrome. There are no nerve endings in the brain; however, sensory perception (e.g., smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch) that begin there send electric impulses that carry this information through the body. These impulses ultimately begin to manifest physical discomfort in areas of the body that are specifically associated with a certain repressed emotion. Once we are aware of which emotion is being manifested, we can treat the syndrome, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder stated.

The Fight/Reaching Syndrome affects the arms and hands. Physiological symptoms and diseases that are characterized by these syndromes include: arthritis, blisters, nail-biting, rheumatism, skin rashes or warts.  According to the premise of Body Syndromes, the symptoms of someone who has a Fight Syndrome manifest the sufferer’s subconscious need to defend her- or himself, such as from verbal or physical abuse. Someone who is metaphorically “reaching” for something that is unobtainable, such as a rejecting lover or a promotion the person was denied, might experience one of those physical ailments as a manifestation of Reaching Syndrome.  

People generally do not know what causes this presenting issue when they seek hypnotherapy. Since it is out of my scope of expertise as a certified hypnotherapist to recognize/identify specific symptoms that have a psychological or physiological basis, I refer clients to an appropriate licensed professional to make this diagnosis. However, once this other expert has ruled out a medical etiology of your symptom and provided an appropriate treatment, I can continue to work with you in hypnotherapy with a follow-up referral from that licensed professional. In addition to providing complementary therapeutic benefits and help to alleviate and/or control your discomfort, I can also use hypnosis and therapeutic guided-imagery techniques to help you achieve vocational and avocational self-improvement goals. 

My first step to treating someone who is manifesting a Fight or Reaching Syndrome is to explore what the client is subconsciously fighting or reaching for. Once the possible cause(s) or motivation(s) has been established, I would use systematic desensitization to help the client neutralize the intensity of the stimulus that triggers his or her physical symptom of this syndrome. I would also incorporate guided therapeutic imagery and teach the emotional freedom technique to increase the person’s perception of being able to control and prevail over the emotional triggers of this syndrome. Therapeutic guided-imagery techniques would also be useful tools with which the client can explore different options for resolving the conflict so he or she could focus on and achieve vocational and avocational self-improvement goals.


Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
© 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Working With the Individual

(This blog was originally posted on February 15, 2016)

My horse, Avalon's Galahad (front) and his brother,
the Lipizzan stallion Favory Alisa II (Amadeus)
Photo by Sara Fogan

Earlier this afternoon one of my good friends described how and why she has slightly different training approaches for each of her three horses. One of them responds well to body language, vocal and clicker instructions. He is a “thinker,” she said, and he will work to figure out what she wants and complete his “task” before he gets his reward. The other two, she said, would crash into themselves and her to get a treat, so she must adjust how she asks and make sure they understand what is expected of them and when. This makes complete sense to me.

Although my gelding, Avalon’s Galahad, receives the same training and handling as the other horses at the barn, he is definitely his “own horse.” Like them, he understands the aids for walking forward, stopping, transitioning up and down between gaits, backing up, standing still, etc. Like them, he also knows when I am on him and when our trainer is riding him, and what he can, cannot and will try to get away with depending who is on board. Galahad likes to really understand what he is being asked to do and why. If he thinks human error/confusion is going on, he tries his best to do what is being asked. If that still doesn’t make sense, he responds how he thinks the human up there on his back intended. To his credit, he understands the subconscious intent of his rider in terms of her body language. How she sits in the saddle or shifts her weight is one of the aids he correctly interpreted, based on his training. However, at that moment his rider’s conscious mind hadn’t caught up with her body (subconscious mind) and she didn’t actually ask for the movement she intended. So horse and rider try again: the rider asks the question more clearly and/or a little differently and checks how Galahad responds. Sometimes he is genuinely confused when he is learning a new movement; sometimes I give mixed signals when I ask for that transition down to a walk but my body keeps moving along with the rhythm of his very comfortable trot. He is probably thinking: What do you want, lady?

For example, before she ever put me on Galahad for a trial ride, my trainer had me ride her hunter (and Galahad’s brother), Ban. I knew the gelding understood what I was asking him to do, but he would not budge no matter how many clucks or squeezes I gave him. Ban knew his owner/trainer was not on him, and he was not going to move a hoof until she said to do so, at which point he became a (fairly) willing equine partner for an hour or so.

Granted, my horse is much more fluent speaking and understanding “Human” and body language than I am speaking Equus (horse). We share a mutual vocabulary in terms of the aids we use during ground-work and training in the saddle. Unlike his brother, Galahad is my horse; when I ask him to do something he will make a great effort to do answer my question as he understands it. We also enjoy a good rapport: mutual respect, trust, improving communication and to like and even enjoy each other’s company. I know and understand from working with my hypnotherapy clients that these factors are imperative to understanding their individual therapeutic goals, as is being able to effect the specific desired behavior changes through hypnosis. I believe the same is true when we are riding and interacting with horses. With rapport and good communication skills, it is possible to have a great, mutually rewarding and even enlightening conversation.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
© 2017