Reporter Reports


helps people

meet their goals

By Michelle Machado

Record Staff Writer

January 8, 2007





Stockton — During one hour Wednesday, certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Frank Lucas’ job was to help me do my jobs — personal and professional — more effectively. After signing a consent form, I Viewed a videotape that explained the precepts and the process of hypnotherapy

I then answered a few brief questions — not probing, but practical about my goals and specific steps I would be willing to take to achieve them. “Hypnotherapy is different than Psychotherapy: We don’t need a lot of detail,” he explained.

Lucas, who with his wife, Ginny, owns Evergreen Professional Hypnotherapy at 6820 Pacific Ave. Suite 2-B, in Stockton.

I then assumed the position — reclining in a chair — and his voice transmitted through a headset rolled around in my head while a softer, taped female voice played in the background.

“And it’s nice to know that you can easily learn how to drift into trance as you sit there in that chair… here… while you try to be aware of the exact meaning of the words you hear and all the changes there… in you’re thoughts, sensations or awareness as I speak here, or you can forget to try to make the effort…,” Lucas said in a soothing even tone And I did forget to try to make the effort to understand as I felt my breathing slow.

The Evergreen office defines Hypnosis as a natural state of mind combined with physical relaxation during which clients’ brain wave patterns change, allowing them to access a larger percentage of their own brain power to make changes of their own choosing. I found the physical and mental state associated with hypnotism to be both familiar and singular — deep relaxation of the sort experienced just before sleeping or waking and varying awareness of my conscious mind.

Lucas, who received his certification from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy, used a “horse and rider” analogy to describe the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind.

During the beta brain wave pattern, the conscious mind, or rider, is in control. But as the client relaxes into the alpha brain wave, the more powerful subconscious, or horse, takes over, while the conscious mind is just along for the ride. Lucas said that smoking cessation, weight control and stress relief are the top three concerns of his 20-plus clients each week.

Lucas also offers free group sessions funded by First 5 San Joaquin for smokers who are pregnant, living with someone who is pregnant or caring for a child younger than 5.

Sessions last about one hour, with costs, which are sometimes covered by insurance, ranging from $110 to $l80perperson.

Most clients experience immediate results — removing a problem for them, but creating one for Evergreen.

“Nine times out of 10, people need one session,” Lucas said. “The problem with lack of repeat business is that we’re always looking for new clientele.” Stockton resident Jeff DeMello sought help from Lucas for nighttime teeth grinding. “I noticed right off the bat that I wasn’t grinding my teeth anymore,” said DeMello, who continues to listen to a CD supplied by Evergreen that reinforces the new behavior. An earlier session for weight loss was less successful, however, “He said it would only work if l really wanted it to so l guess l didn’t want to stop eating, DeMello said. Only time will tell if I will see a new me in the new year.”

Contact reporter Michelle Machado at (209) 943-8547 or