Mind Matters Hypnosis Center on Park Road in West Hartford can help cure bad behavior through hypnosis.
By Tracey Weiss
When Antonio Carletti found himself drinking too much, he sought help to control his habit. “I drank wine for lunch. I drank too much. I like to drink wine, so I just wanted to control how much I drank.
“So I went to see Calypso,” he added. “I quit drinking on September 14. I have no desire to drink – none. If I had red wine now, it wouldn’t taste. She made me stop. I will sue her,” he joked.
By “her” he is referring to Calypso Portugaels, who is one of the many certified hypnotists who own Mind Matters Hypnosis Center. Before moving to town four years ago, Mind Matters was in Avon. Founded in 2002, Mind Matters also has offices in Guilford and New York.
Portugaels hasn’t always been there to help people through hypnosis. Before becoming a client, she was skeptical about hypnosis.
“I was in so much pain,” she said. “I was desperate. I had tried everything and anything; it was my last resort before the operation. I had seen many doctors and I knew it wouldn’t work.
It turns out that she found a business card that a friend had kept. After the first session, she said, “I didn’t think it had done much. After the second session, my life started to change so much. Personally, it was a piece of the puzzle that helped me build from the outside in. I was able to heal the very heart. I haven’t suffered for years. It was hard to believe that I could heal through the power of my own mind.
Definition of hypnosis
“We all have this view of what hypnosis is in movies,” Portugaels said. “Somebody snap your fingers and you’re fixed.”
The Mind Matters website explains what hypnosis is and how it works: “Hypnosis is a conversation with the subconscious part of your mind – behind the scenes of the brain. It is the thoughts or beliefs that often dictate our perceptions , our emotions and our behaviors.
Hypnosis is not mind control and is in no way dangerous. During a hypnosis session, your hypnotist guides you into a heightened state of awareness. You are in complete control during your session, you hear and remember everything, and you actively participate in your process.
Hypnosis allows you to bypass the conscious level of your mind in order to access your subconscious. The subconscious works much like a computer, running on the software of thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions.
Through hypnosis, you can become aware of your unique programming and make the updates and changes that will allow you to live a life full of potential.
“Anyone can be hypnotized”, according to Portugaels. “You have to know how to count from 1 to 3,” she joked. She sees clients of all ages; in fact, his youngest client is 5 years old.
The most common use of hypnosis in practice is for weight loss. “We go further to find the reason for the behavior,” Portugaels said. “It’s about learning your relationship with food and what it means to them.”
Ilona Pomeroy went to Portugaels to lose weight.
“Like most people, I was skeptical,” she said. “My doctor suggested I give it a try, so he legitimized it for me.
“It was a fascinating experience. The results are incredible. The first experience, I felt it was happening physically. Tears were streaming down my face. I was fully aware the whole time that I constantly interacted with Calypso – you are participating in it.
“I love ice cream. My husband loves ice cream and he has to have it in the freezer all the time. Since she started at Mind Matters, “I’ve only had ice cream twice since October. I don’t care anymore. I have a physical reaction to it now.
“It’s a strange and powerful thing. I’m in my late 40s and wish I had known this 20 years ago. It would have changed the trajectory of my life. I can’t say enough good things about it.
All of Mind Matters’ hypnotists, including Alicia O’Hara, Elizabeth Hamilton, Shonda Howard, Elaine Jansen, Lisa Zaccheo, and Ginger Summa, have specialties. Common reasons people come are to quit smoking, deal with addictions, phobias, anxiety, grief, insomnia, sexual performance, and preparation for surgery, among others.
“Because of COVID, the amount of anxiety we see in everyone is increasing,” Portugaels said.
They have always done remote work too. “In the northeast, we work with people who are snowed in or who don’t leave their homes because they are agoraphobic,” Portugaels said.
Best Side Effects
Hypnosis had more than one positive effect on Carletti. “I’m so much better at not putting things off,” he said. “Calypso is so good. She changed my life. My mind is sharper. Hypnosis is amazing. Thanks to her, I also started to meditate. I’m drinking too much soda now but I’m not going to tell her.
“That’s the best, when people heal they never thought they could get it,” Portugaels said. “The next thing, they don’t have migraines or someone comes to quit, and they feel happier than they have in years. Healing was inside of them from the beginning.
The cost of each session is $250. “The first session lasts two hours and the second up to 90 minutes,” Portugaels said. Most results come after a few sessions, depending on the problem, she added.
There is also no judgment. “We have strong values as a small business and we uphold them. Kindness is one of those values,” she added.
In fact, the Mind Matters website clearly states, “We take an active role in solidarity with people with marginalized identities. We are committed to fighting racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and anti-fat bias. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, and we see that as a strength, not a weakness. Our offices employ staff who foster a positive and inclusive environment for all clients.
All are welcomed, respected and valued here. Together, we claim the world we want to be in with an ongoing commitment to strengthening equity, inclusion and diversity.
“We see people as part of a system in place and we have to help them see this place in the world,” Portugaels added. “We are the sum of everything we go through. I love the people I work with and that made me love people so much.
For more information, go to www.mindmattershypnosis.com or call 860-693-6448. The office is at 363 Park Road in West Hartford.
A version of this article also appeared in the April 2022 issue of West Hartford LIFE
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