Music for my eyes: IACT’s Ask the Professional w/ Debbie Lane


Ask the Professional is one of the perks of IACT membership – It is a monthly on-line feature that explores the personal and professional opinions of a featured IACT member.

It was great fun to see that my friend Debbie Lane was being featured in their Feb. 2011 edition and I was happy that Debbie was getting some “Expert” spotlight… I know how pleasurable and satisfying this kind of attention can be. What I didn’t know was that I going to be reading a very pleasurable and satisfying acknowledgement concerning my contributions to the mentoring and chat groups:

IACT: What resources have you found to be your best ally with regard to education and research?
DL: Mentors like Michael Ellner never cease to enlighten me

Thanks for brightening up my day — Debbie!

You can read Debbie’s entire interview below compliments of IACT:

A newsletter designed to explore alternative models in holistic health care disciplines. With insights from expert practitioners around the world. Brought to you by the International Association of Counselors and Therapists.

Debbie Lane is a member of the International Association of Counselors and Therapists and the recipient of the 2007 Hypnotist of the Year. She is an associate of the Unlimited Possibilities Institute. In 2007 Debbie received national media attention on Inside Edition, The Today Show, Extra, ABC, NBC and others when she assisted a 15 year old Florida girl with putting an end to 37 non-stop, painful days of

Practitioner Heal Thyself: It’s Time to Practice What We Preach

An interview with Debbie Lane
IACT: Hello Debbie. What a wonderful title you’ve selected for our interview. In this current economic climate, how does a practitioner employ the things we tell our clients to practice, in light of current events.
DL: Wow, is that a loaded question!

I think to begin with, I would have to say that, just like our clients, we need to be aware that we are experiencing a problem and want to stop the discomfort it creates. In order for me, personally, to do my best by the client, I have to be in a loving space and totally absorbed in the moment I am with that individual. If I find my mind wandering to some other issues or concerns, then I know I am not engaged in the session. If I end a session feeling as though I never truly engaged, I allow self doubt to creep in.

It is easy to get into the blame game, blaming current economic situations and other external factors as to why things have slowed down. (Heaven knows, my personal life has been a roller coaster in the past year!) Further more, I think that there has been so much emphasis on how we manifest what we think, that guilt creeps in along with fear of our own thoughts.

I am a sole practitioner which can also lead to isolation. Although I work in a building with other offices, there isn’t the same camaraderie around the water cooler. I don’t want to take my work into my personal life, so just as I advise my clients, I need to leave issues outside the home. All of the factors I mentioned can allow me to cause my business to slow down.

So, one of the most important things I have done, is to connect with fellow hypnosis professionals. Time constraints prevent me from always meeting personally with local colleagues, although I always enjoy the opportunity to do so. I have made some wonderful long distance friends through this organization that I have connected with via the internet (such as Facebook). We connect by phone, emails, even Skype.

It never fails that just when I need it most, the phone rings and it is a fellow hypno wanting to share, brag or complain! The sharing always feels good. Bragging is awesome, because the enthusiasm is contagious and I love to catch a good case of enthusiasm. Complaining sometimes is the most helpful though. It reminds me that we have similar concerns and obstacles and we are all in this together. A reminder that this economy, these circumstances are not personal. We make a point of brainstorming possibilities any time we complain. Thus the reminder that “this too shall pass”, in other words nothing is permanent (even difficult times). So, it ends up constructively as well.

What is really funny, is how the Universe will create unexpected connections for confirmations. Just recently, Mary Ellen Ott pocket called me from her cell phone. When I called her back thinking I had missed her call, she laughed at the synchronicity. She had been thinking she wanted to call me, just hadn’t physically dialed my number. Our conversation led to reminders we were both receiving of Learned Optimism. This economy is not personal, permanent or pervasive. She had been discussing that with her husband the night before as I had with mine! (BTW, we are both married to Gregs!)

In real estate the three most important things are location, location, location. Perhaps for Hypnosis Practitioners it is confirmation, confirmation, confirmation!

Once we are reminded of the three P’s, permanent, personal and pervasive we can begin to reframe our thinking. It becomes a time to once again focus on why we do what we do. What about hypnosis was so incredible that we couldn’t imagine ourselves doing anything else? What drives us to get up each morning and call ourselves Hypnosis Practitioners?
IACT: You have obtained a measurable amount of celebrity status due largely in part to your awesome work, but what’s interesting is how you manage to market yourself in such a way that you endure the kind of economy we’re experiencing at this time. Do you have a daily marketing strategy that serves you well in today’s economy?
DL: My marketing can be summarized with three words: Gratitude, Service and Educate.

I am so filled with gratitude every morning I wake up. This past year really brought to light how fortunate I am, as I experienced some losses as well as the wonderful recovery of my husband’s health. In application to my business, I must say I have felt humbled and grateful to be able to join so many people on their journeys of discovery.

How does that apply to my marketing? Well, let’s begin with the simple words, “thank you”. Those two little words can have a tremendous impact on a person. Certainly, when I get a note or a call from someone who appreciates my efforts, I smile inside and out. I am motivated to do more of the same. So, I send thank you’s whenever appropriate. Referrals are an obvious reason.

Those in the media are much more accustomed to angry letters than thanks. So anytime I am mentioned in the news, you can be sure I thank the reporter. I have even been known to thank journalists when they report about hypnosis that doesn’t involve me. 

Just as we want to be of service to our clients, it is important to understand how we can be of service to referral sources and media types. I do my best to be aware of the needs of my referral sources. For example, if I notice an article that is of help to a particular individual or industry, I will cut it out and mail it. The media sources need to fill blank space every day. So the best thing anyone can do for them is send possible story ideas. I think it is pretty obvious that I send out press releases on a consistent basis.

The idea behind any of my press releases is to educate the public regarding hypnosis. I don’t sell hypnosis, that isn’t what makes news or what gets results. People are curious about hypnosis, but more importantly, they want to know how to stop their pain. If a particular concern is making headlines and I know that hypnosis presents a possible solution, I send a press release relating the two. I find it helps me to keep up my education as well. I am constantly reading, researching and seeking new information. Of course, an idea shared becomes even bigger and I can’t seem to stop myself from sharing when I get revved up with new ideas!

IACT: What resources have you found to be your best ally with regard to education and research?

DL: There are so many resources, I could lose myself in studying if I wasn’t careful! Obviously a fabulous resource is through the Virtual Library and the Hypnocaster. The steady stream of fabulous information is delicious. Being a member of both the IACT and the IMHDA Yahoo groups is also an opportunity to have information directed my way. The articles that are shared often spark more searching on my part for deeper understanding. Mentors like Michael Ellner never cease to enlighten me.

I am fortunate to have a local chapter of IACT in my area, headed up by Patti Scott. She brings in many talented and knowledgeable professionals to the area who offer classes and talks. There are other groups that meet here monthly, as well, that offer more opportunities to learn. The Hypnosis Education Association has three conventions a year in Orlando, always filled with great information. As you know, the IACT annual convention is held nearby me, in Daytona. So, while I don’t make all the classes and conventions available, there is a plethora for me without even having to leave my back yard!

I have also found that pod casts can be a great way to listen and learn, over and over. For example, Michael Watson did an interview on NLP that I downloaded and burned to a disk. I listen to it in my car whenever I am traveling. It is astonishing how many times I listen to it, yet each time there seems to be some new take away for me.

My nightstand is piled high with books I am in process of reading, re-reading or in queue to be read.

One other way of keeping possible new information fed my way is to make use of google alerts. I have created some keywords that I know will spark my interest and get updates of whenever new information is sent out into the ether via the web.

IACT: We all find ourselves (at one time or another) in a situation where, we know what to do – but acting on what we know is another story. What are your thoughts on motivating or inspiring the practitioner in overcoming personal challenges?

DL: For me, not taking the next step is like not making a choice. In the long run, it is a choice, a choice to let outside influences control me and my business. Thus, ending up feeling as though I am a victim of circumstances. I am afraid that I have never worn the victim mantle well.
Still, I often wonder if an idea I have will work. I get many ideas when I am out walking or riding my bike. That is a time when my creative juices flow. So, what I do, is file those ideas in my internal filing system. Then, when I am home and in my quiet space, I visit with my Doppleganger. That is the twin me that has already acted on those ideas. She can share with me how the ideas worked, what I needed to tweak and how I feel about that outcome. When it is a fabulous outcome, I will ask her to allow me to experience with all my senses just how it feels to have been so clever. I anchor those feelings and create the master plan to follow through with action.

After that, I usually can’t control my enthusiasm and so taking the next step is more than a chore, it is a drive that must be satisfied.

IACT: This has been an amazing and enlightening discussion. What final thoughts would you like our readers to take away from this interview?

DL: Perhaps for me, it would be that we are all in this together. Check your thoughts and feelings, check in with a colleague as well. When you recognize your thoughts are not in line with your mission statement, adjust. Notice who your clients are and what their issues are. Is it reflecting some aspect of what you are experiencing? I think that as we continually check ourselves; our business reflects that with growth. Treat yourself with the same compassion you give your clients!
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust-

IACT: Thank you for your time. We certainly appreciate your insight.

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