In the bustling landscape of wellness and self-discovery, few individuals stand out as prominently as Andre McDonald, an esteemed Honorary Doctor of Holistic Science and the visionary Founder of the AN/EX Hypnosis & Wellness Center. With a passion for unlocking the potential of the mind and a commitment to holistic healing, McDonald has become a guiding force in the realm of personal transformation. Join Mystic Mag on a journey into the fascinating world of holistic science and hypnotic wellness as we delve into the life and philosophy of Andre McDonald, a trailblazer dedicated to helping individuals achieve harmony and balance in their lives.
Your background is quite diverse, ranging from psychology to hypnosis and holistic science. How do these different areas of study intersect in your approach to wellness, and how do you integrate them into your practice at the Hypnosis & Wellness Center?
My background allows me the type of openness it takes to approach wellness from various angles. It’s not just about hypnosis; it also involves proven modalities from NLP to Clinical Dream Interpretation. Additionally, I work with people in person, utilizing biomagnetism. My techniques in bilateral stimulation, however, can be either in person or online. This approach brings together diverse methods, reaching a broader audience compared to focusing on a specific group. This flexibility enables us to connect with and assist a more varied range of individuals with a broad range of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual challenges.
Having earned an Honorary Doctor of Holistic Science, how do you see the role of holistic approaches in complementing traditional therapeutic methods, especially when it comes to addressing issues like trauma and stress?
First of all, it is an honor. I feel that holistic approaches complement traditional therapies and treatments very effectively in these times. I have noticed that many medical doctors have limitations, and every practitioner has a scope, a set boundary that one can exceed while the other cannot. Holistic treatments are very useful in being able to look at a whole person—considering their entire lifestyle, their complete situation—and integrating that into a comprehensive healing story. This approach helps the person benefit from more than just one type of outcome or a singular application of expertise.
What type of services do you offer?
I offer verbal hypnosis, which involves me speaking. There’s also nonverbal hypnosis, using significantly less talk. It primarily involves a gaze and a magnetic bond between myself and the client. Bilateral stimulation, somewhat like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), focuses on the left and right sides of the body, calming the vagus nerve to reframe past traumas and setbacks. Additionally, I use Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), incorporating verbal language and body language for communication, aiming to pinpoint someone’s belief system and help shift that frame to a new perception. I also provide clinical dream interpretation, going beyond traditional dream dictionaries. I decipher the meaning behind the perceptions; understanding an individual’s metaphors and symbols on a deeper level. For instance, a polar bear might signify different things to different people. For one person in America, a polar bear may be a cute cuddly animal while a person living in an arctic climate with polar bears could mean a threat. I combine these staple modalities with various techniques, including Dr. Eugene Gendling’s FOCUSING technique, and I also integrate different approaches such as CBD and DBT in between these modalities.
As a trained hypnotist with certifications from reputable organizations, how do you ensure the ethical and responsible application of hypnosis in your practice?
That’s one of the most important questions to ask. I appreciate it when people inquire about this before starting a session. Ethical responsibility is paramount to my practice, and I’ve been trained in hypnosis and hypnotherapy for over 9 years. I follow and keep up with the guidelines provided by the National Guild of Hypnotists, which operates at a national level, ensuring everything is within guidelines for maintaining everyone’s safety.
Personal safety takes precedence for me, and this involves internationally asking for consent and understanding how someone feels about a procedure before taking any action. It also includes setting up ‘safety nets’ and guidelines before diving into sessions, particularly when dealing with trauma. The objective is to create a safe space and establish safe triggers or cues. For instance, I can say ‘happy,’ and you can return to a positive state, allowing us to approach more delicate areas, such as fears or phobias, with caution. Safety is the top priority, and then achieving the desired healing result is what follows.
As the founder of the AN/EX Hypnosis & Wellness Center, what inspired you to establish this center, and what unique aspects of your approach set it apart from other wellness centers?
I have established this beautiful place because I realize that we have potential that goes deeper than any words can express, more than anyone can explain. My goal is to help people see and realize their inner potential and how much they have to offer the world in a beautiful way. This place is called the Mystic Mag, so, I’m going to go off-script from what I wrote.
I discovered the potential inside myself first in 2012. I discovered psychokinesis, or mind over matter and shortly after I had this ‘knowing’ that it is not exclusive to me—it’s something I believe everybody can do. We all possess this inner power that we’re using all the time, physically influencing the world around us. I think it’s a good idea to be real with ourselves, figure out what’s going on, break off those blockages and things that are holding us back, so we can move forward as a part of a whole humanity.
What specific psychological theories or principles do you find most influential in your work, and how do you incorporate them into your therapeutic strategies?
As far as theories go, CBT has been really helpful, and so has DBT. I use them all the time. I was using them even before I got certified in them because much of what we do, whether it’s internalized or externalized, involves language— the words we use within ourselves and outside of ourselves. Even if it’s not expressed in words, it often manifests in symbolisms. Yet, we can usually get some understanding of what we’re feeling or what kind of image or belief we have. Once we conceptualize this in a way to communicate, we can then explore why it is useful to us, why it is important, and what we can let go of.
This brings me to my other favorite theory, which is secondary gain in psychology. There’s a reason behind everything we do, and our subconscious is here to ensure our safety and protection. So, even if something is not entirely healthy for you, like smoking cigarettes, there’s some subconscious reason that deems it good for you. For example, someone smoking might believe it helps with stress, despite the fact that it introduces chemicals that induce stress, making the brain produce more chemicals for protection. Essentially, they become addicted to their own brain chemistry. It’s fascinating how these cigarette companies operate.
Secondary gain is a crucial concept. I consider CBT and DBT as essential foundational parts of what I do.