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Dr. Steve G. Jones on Hypnosis

Dr. Steve G. Jones on Hypnosis

Dr. Steve G. Jones, Ed.D., has been a practicing clinical hypnotherapist since the 1980s and is the author of over 22 books on hypnotherapy. A member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and the American Board of Hypnotherapy, he also serves as the president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists. He is a former board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association. Dr. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University, and both a specialist degree and doctorate in education from Georgia Southern University. He sees clients for various conditions, including weight loss, anxiety, smoking cessation, and test-taking anxiety, and is known for boosting salesperson motivation in business settings through his effective techniques. MysticMag has the opportunity to meet with Dr. Steve.

Steve, what initially sparked your interest in hypnotherapy, and how has your approach evolved over the years?

I was sent to military school, which I wasn’t keen on attending. During my time there, I came across a book titled “The Complete Guide to Hypnosis” by Ph.D. psychologist Leslie M. LeCron. Intrigued, I began hypnotizing my roommates. As time passed, the academically inclined students sought my help to enhance their study habits, while the athletes approached me to improve their exercise routines.
Many years have passed, but I continue to do the same work. However, the individuals I now have the privilege of assisting are associated with NASA and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

Your research at the University of Florida focused on cognitive psychology and understanding how people learn. How have these insights influenced your work in hypnotherapy, particularly in developing techniques for issues like anxiety and test-taking?

My work in cognitive psychology has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of what later became a fundamental aspect of mainstream therapy: the cognitive component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). During my undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Florida, I had the privilege of learning under Dr. Ira Fischler, a Ph.D. psychologist whose teachings profoundly influenced my knowledge in this field.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on the interplay between behavior, thoughts, and feelings. The principle is that these three aspects of human experience are interconnected and influence one another. For instance, when applied to test-taking, CBT employs a technique called behavioral activation. This technique is straightforward: if you don’t feel like doing something, start doing it anyway, and you’ll likely continue. Applied to learning, this means that if a student doesn’t want to study, they should start studying, and they will soon become comfortable with the ongoing process.
Behavioral activation exemplifies how initiating the behavior (the behavioral part of CBT) can lead to feelings that support the behavior, which can be further reinforced by cognitive strategies. My studies in cognitive psychology have significantly informed my approach to hypnotherapy. By using the CBT model, I can hypnotize individuals and suggest actions that align with this behavior-thought-feeling triad.

As a former member of the board of directors for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, how did your experience there shape your perspective on the role of hypnotherapy in addressing public health issues such as smoking cessation?

My involvement in the community underscored the collective interest in addressing public health issues. The director of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association personally invited me to join the board of directors for the Los Angeles chapter, aiming to create a diverse board with varied perspectives. He had read studies indicating the effectiveness of hypnosis in helping people quit smoking, and given that my father had passed away from smoking-related causes, it was a significant honor for me to accept this volunteer position.
Serving on this board was an enriching experience, surrounded by medical doctors, therapists, and myself, a hypnotherapist. At the time, I had an office in Beverly Hills at the Roxbury Medical Building, where I regularly collaborated with doctors to integrate hypnosis into their care plans for smoking cessation. Physicians preferred their patients to quit smoking before undergoing surgery, and hypnosis proved to be a valuable tool in this regard.
This experience highlighted the importance of a diverse community of professionals coming together, each contributing their unique expertise to help individuals overcome the devastating habit of smoking. It reinforced the idea that tackling such significant health challenges requires a collective effort from people with various skills and backgrounds.

You’ve conducted significant research on the efficacy of hypnotherapy, including studies with college students on test score enhancement. Can you share some key findings from your research and how they have impacted your practice?

The significant finding of my research was the ability to demonstrate, within an academic setting, a statistically significant difference between using hypnosis to enhance test scores and not using hypnosis. We also employed a control group, which convincingly showed that hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for boosting students’ grades. Specifically, this form of hypnotherapy was designed to enhance recall during tests and to reduce anxiety.
Referring back to the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) model, if a student experiences anxiety about studying, merely initiating the study process can reduce anxiety and increase the likelihood of continued studying. Using various techniques I had learned over time, I created hypnosis sessions that significantly improved test scores. This was not in a laboratory setting but rather through actual university exams that students had to take. I was attending Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA, while working on my master’s degree.
The impact of this research led me to develop more programs aimed at improving test scores. For instance, I created a CPA exam hypnosis audio program designed to help aspiring certified public accountants enhance their test-taking abilities, thereby increasing their chances of passing the exam. This program ensures that their college studies pay off and helps them achieve their goal of becoming a CPA.

In addition to your clinical work, you frequently work with sales teams to boost motivation. Can you describe your approach to hypnotherapy in a business setting and share any success stories that highlight the impact of your techniques on sales performance?

The sequence for many of my interventions, whether for stopping smoking or boosting motivation, follows a similar pattern. It begins with building confidence, then moves into motivation. This sequence is critical because a person must first be confident that they can make a change and then motivated to continue with that change.
In the first session, we focus on building confidence. The second session is dedicated to motivation. The third session ensures that this motivation is maintained over the long term. It’s common to see a sharp drop in productivity after an initial burst of motivation, like what happens after a seminar. To counter this, I emphasize the importance of maintaining motivation on a day-to-day basis, even when it is no longer exciting.
For example, in sales motivation, I share the concept that success is simply a numbers game and a matter of mathematics. The more people you contact, regardless of your sales skills, the more successes you will achieve. It’s about understanding that there is a set number of “yeses” and “nos,” and persistence will eventually yield results.
I illustrate this with a success story from an actor, who, like a salesperson, needs to sell themselves at auditions. This actor, who had experienced significant success, hit a slump and stopped attending auditions, believing he had lost his “mojo.” When he consulted with me in my Beverly Hills office, I explained that his job was to keep auditioning because success was a numbers game. By applying this sales approach, encouraging him to attend more auditions, he began landing roles again, ultimately returning to the high-paying jobs he had previously secured. This demonstrated that persistence and the right mindset, akin to sales tactics, were crucial in regaining his confidence and success.

If you would like to find out more about Dr. Steve G. Jones, please visit https://stevegjones.com/

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Sarah Kirton
Contributor
Contributor
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.