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Healing Hypnosis-Conquering the Bucket List One Session at a Time

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by: twigwoolen60
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Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 Time: 5:25 PM

By Mary Cossolini

Hypnosis has long been considered a mysterious activity to get your friends to do funny things. But what about its practical purposes? Dr. Steven Rosenberg ( has over 30 years expertise as a hypnotist, using it in his practice as therapy to help patients to lose weight, quit smoking, increase motivation, and overcome fears.

This is Neil Zod's success story in overcoming his extreme fear… of heights.

Neil Zod and his wife were planning a vacation… but not just any vacation: a "Bucket-List trip" to Alaska. As part of a cruise, the two planned to go to Juneau, Alaska and then head to Herbert Glacier to go on a dog sledding tour. This has been a dream of the Zod couple for years. Only one thing stood in the way: Neil's severe acrophobia (fear of heights). Neil was not particularly terrified of flying in an airplane to get to Alaska, but was paralyzed by the thought of flying on a helicopter for 25 minutes from Juneau to the glacier.

Neil's fear was overwhelming. The months leading up to the trip cultivated intimidation and dread for an experience that would have otherwise been the opportunity of a lifetime.

When one inquired about his anxiety, he described the feeling as "like a hood pulled over your head. You have no idea where you are. There are no sounds. You are trapped. But you know that if you don't get out, you will die."

Neil's wife brought up the idea of Valium or Xanax; anything to help reduce his anxiety. However, Neil knew drugs would only offer a temporary solution. Then his wife suggested hypnosis.

Neil contacted Dr. Steven Rosenberg in Elkins Park, PA.

Upon arriving at Dr. Steven Rosenberg's for a hypnosis consultation, Dr. Rosenberg spoke with Neil for over an hour and a half, learning about him, talking about his fears, his triggers, and explaining what his hypnotherapy can accomplish. Dr. Rosenberg, as well as other industry experts, reports that these phobias are often triggered by a traumatic experience of some sort, whether it be a repressed memory, or one that frequently flashes in one's mind… The latter pertained to Neil.

Neil explains:

As a 7-year old, my brother, my father and I went to Bowman's Hill Tower in Washington's Crossing. We all went up the tower, one by one, and did just fine. Once we reached the top, however, there was no handrail on the side to come back down. My body completely froze. I was stuck, locked in its position and there was no going down. Finally, my brother and father carefully helped me down, but it was awful. The fear and anxiety stayed with me my whole life, impeding my social and personal life.

For Neil, even the simple act of climbing a stepladder to change a light bulb was a pure nightmare.

With Dr. Rosenberg's instruction, Neil listened to Dr. Rosenberg's CD's two times a day every day, when he first woke up and before he went to sleep. "Stare at an object. Hold your eyes open. You are going to feel tired. Now close them. Take that feel of happiness/relaxation and put in on your forehead…"

These recordings allowed Neil to picture himself riding the helicopter and enjoying the activity. With guided relaxation through breathing and visualization Neil started to overcome his fears.

After 2 weeks of therapy, Neil successfully climbed up a ladder in a room with a cathedral ceiling to change a light bulb. No problem.

A few weeks later, Neil went to see the rock band Queen at the Wells Fargo Center. He had seats at the Mezzanine level, not a height-lover's favorite. He had one moment of hesitation, but readjusted using his hypnosis routine (pinching his thumb and forefinger together along with the breathing technique) and proceeded to enjoy one of the most brilliant concerts he'd ever witnessed.

After 8 weeks of therapy came the ultimate test - the moment of truth... Neil used the techniques he learned and had absolutely no reaction to the helicopter or the flight!

The outcome? Neil landed on that glacier, unscathed, and happy, welcomed by 20 beautiful sled dogs ready to take him for a ride. He and his wife even got the chance to stand up and take the reins as the dogs flew down the snowy Herbert Glacier trail.

It was an unforgettable experience. And without Dr. Rosenberg's help, it wouldn't have become a reality.

Neil does not need to go visit Dr. Rosenberg again, though he would like to shake his hand in gratitude. He continues to utilize the basic meditation techniques he learned for any situation that may induce stress or anxiety, or simply to reach a state of relaxation.

The moral of the story? No, perhaps hypnosis doesn't work on everyone, but it certainly did for Neil Zod, dogsledding, concert-loving bucket-list-championing man.

About the Author

For more information on Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Ph.D., please visit .

Mary Cossolini

represents Dr. Steven Rosenberg, (

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Ph.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1947. He did his undergraduate work at Temple University before receiving his doctorate from Southwest University. Over the course of his subsequent career as a teacher and psychotherapist, he has helped tens of thousands of people quit smoking and lose weight…(read more).

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Ph.D.

8080 Old York Road #206

Elkins Park, PA. 19027

[p] 215.782.8414

[f] 215.782.8801

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