When most people hear the word “hypnotism” they probably think of a high school assembly where they watched their classmates act silly on stage. Roberta Fernandez is hoping to change that perception. “None of my clients have to worry about mooing like a cow or quacking like a duck when they get five miles down the road,” Fernandez says. “That’s not what I do here.”
Fernandez, founder and owner of the FARE Hypnosis Center in Eden Prairie, knows firsthand how hypnosis can help with serious issues. She had two knees replaced at the same time and took no pain medication. She even has the unused medication to prove it. “This is about 184 pills that did not go into my body,” she says. “You don’t have to feel pain. Hypnosis is very effective in dealing with pain management.”
Fernandez, who has been a professional hypnotist for nearly four years, opened FARE Hypnosis last October. At FARE, Fernandez, along with the three licensed hypnotists on staff, helps her clients with anything from problems sleeping to improving their golf game. The most common issues she sees, though, are smoking, weight issues, pain and stress. “My goal is to work through the main issues with the client, and then teach them how to do self-hypnosis,” Fernandez says. “Hypnosis is a natural state of mind.”
Hypnosis works by accessing the subconscious part of the brain, the same part of your brain that is active when you dream. “We talk very negatively to ourselves,” Fernandez says. “I teach my clients to become very aware of what they are thinking and to get rid of that stuff in your subconscious mind that doesn’t serve you anymore.”
In fact, she says most people experience some form of hypnosis, or trance, every day. “I’m sure you’ve driven from one place to another and not remembered how you got there.”
Fernandez is licensed by the state of Minnesota and the National Guild of Hypnotists. She has more than 800 hours of training—and that doesn’t include the books and articles she reads in her free time. While Fernandez is quick to note that she is not a doctor or a therapist, she works closely with people in both of those professions to help improve her clients’ lives.
For Maggie Grosshuesch of Minnetrista, seeking help from hypnosis was a life changing experience. “I met Roberta in August,” Grosshuesch said. “My body language told her that my life was full of stress.” After working with Fernandez, Grosshuesch felt confident to change the things that were making her unhappy.
One of the common myths about hypnotism is that the hypnotist will force you to do something against your will. Not so, Fernandez says: “I cannot give you any suggestion that you don’t want. If it goes against your beliefs, or ethics, or morals, you won’t do it. “
An appointment with a hypnotist is a very personal affair—the techniques used are individualized to suit that particular client’s needs. Fernandez says that anyone interested in finding a hypnotist should look for Guild certification.
Fernandez offers two free classes per month, including an introduction to hypnosis workshop.
“My goal with having the center is to really elevate the level of the profession of hypnotism to a point where people think of it first, before they go and take those opioids,” Fernandez says.
As for risky side effects? There are none. The worst thing that can happen is that it won’t work.
“Whatever you convince yourself of, you can un-convince yourself of,” Fernandez says. “That is the key. My clients leave here different people. I can’t think of anything I could do that would be more awesome.”