Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find frequently asked questions about hypnosis and integrative therapy.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.

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1. What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a trance state of deep relaxation and heightened imagination. It is a normal state that most people experience on a regular basis, such as when daydreaming or when "losing yourself" in a book or movie. Just as in these instances, you are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. This gives you the ability to focus on the problem at hand to the near exclusion of any other thought. Top

2. What is Integrative Therapy?

Integrative Therapy utilizes psychoanalysis, mindfulness, and Buddhist theories of change to develop a deep and complex understanding of our resistances, while using hypnosis as a powerful tool to promote meaningful change.
   Many times, we are not just suffering from one simple difficulty, but several ongoing problems that are intricate, interconnected, and complex. We may want to lose weight, but this is complicated by our negative self-image or problems in our relationships. We might want to quit smoking but find ourselves compelled to do so because of ongoing anxiety or low self-esteem. By combining methods in this way, we are able to work together flexibly and organically, striking a balance between deep analytic work to get to the root of the problems, while using hypnosis for specific changes along the way. Top

3. What type of hypnosis is practiced?

Our method utilizes Ericksonian hypnosis and is considered hypnosis for the "non-suggestible". This means that we do not merely practice hypnosis in terms of suggestibility, but in a way that enhances what you want to accomplish. You are the person who wants to change. Hypnosis helps you get in touch with that part of you that wants to change and quiets any thoughts that impede your desire for change. Thus, you end your internal conflict, as opposed to being a passive recipient of the hypnotist's will. Top

4. What does it feel like to be in a hypnotic state?

A hypnotic state is similar to a meditative state, where you have a strong internal focus and are very relaxed, yet you are in complete control. You may find yourself ‘lost in your thoughts’ in a serene way, such as when enjoying a peaceful daydream. Despite the conception of hypnosis, it is not like being asleep as you are aware of everything around you and could choose to open your eyes at any time. Most people, however, choose not to break the state as they find the experience enjoyable. Top

5. What is Dr. Lavelle’s educational background?

Dr. Sera Lavelle, Ph.D, CHt is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York State. She has received her M.A. in Psychology from NYU and her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University. Dr. Lavelle has completed her postdoctoral internship at Interfaith Medical Center and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University and Brooklyn College. Dr. Lavelle completed her Master’s Practitioner Training in Ericksonian Hypnosis through the NLP Center, and continues her education through workshops and practicums in Hypnosis through highly esteemed Hypnosis institutions.  Read more in About Us. Top

6. What is Dr. Kass’s educational background?

Dr. Noah Kass, DSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State. He received his dual Masters Degrees in Arts in Education Social Work from New York University and his Doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, where he received the prestigious Dr. Ram Cnaan award for meritorious achievement. He has certificates from both the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies and the Albert Ellis Institute in CBT and Rational-Emotive Therapy. He also has completed NYU’s Clinical Approaches to Addiction Treatment Certificate program. Read more in About Us. Top

7. What training is required to practice hypnosis?

As hypnotherapy is not a licensed profession, some hypnosis practitioners are practicing with very little training in hypnosis or mental health. It the opinion of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and NY Health Hypnosis & Integrative Therapy that those without thorough training in Psychology or Mental Health should not be practicing hypnosis.
   The problem with hypnosis practitioners treating people with no mental health training is that it enables them to falsely believe that hypnosis alone can treat many mental health problems and deter people from getting the help that they need from a licensed professional. Top

8. How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions and therapeutic work depends on the issue the person is aiming to address. Generally, short-term hypnosis is best for struggles such as smoking cessation, simple habits, and phobias and typically takes one to five sessions.
   For issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, and struggles that involve more than one issue, the client and therapist develop an ongoing therapeutic relationship utilizing hypnosis and integrative therapy where appointments can be set up weekly at the same time or flexibly according to the client's schedule. Top

9. What will my first session entail?

Your first session lasts 45 minutes and focuses on gaining an in-depth understanding of one specific issue of the client's choosing. The session starts with an overview of hypnosis and how it is used, followed by the opportunity to discuss any questions the client may have about the process.
   After the introduction, the client and therapist will have an intensive conversation about the client's specific issue, focusing on past failed attempts at change and reasons why the behavior persists. The therapist will then induce a light trance that allows the client to explore their unconscious for ways to change, while helping the client tap into their internal resources for making the change. From there, the client and therapist will discuss the best ways to work together going forward. Top

10. What is the rate per session?

NY Health Hypnosis & Integrative Therapy charges $225 for a 45 minute session. Regardless of insurance reimbursement, sessions are paid in full at the time of service. By requesting an appointment online, you are agreeing to the price to be paid at the time of service. Top

11. What forms of payment are accepted?

NY Health Hypnosis & Integrative Therapy gladly accepts all major credit cards, cash, or personal checks. Top

12. Are services covered by insurance?

NY Health Hypnosis & Integrative Therapy does not work “in-network” with any insurance company, however, many people can be partially reimbursed (60-100%) by their insurance companies if they have “out of network” coverage.
    Claim submission and reimbursement is between the client and their health insurance company, and regardless of reimbursement, clients are solely responsible for payment at the time of the session. Please see Rates and Insurance for more information. Top

13. How do I find out if my health insurance reimburses for your services?

To find out your benefits, go to your insurance plan website to find a summary of your benefits or call your health insurance provider. If viewed online, your plan will typically have a column for in-network and out-of-network coverage. Our services fall under the category of “out of network” mental health office visits. Please see Rates and Insurance for more information. Top

14. How do I make an appointment?

The fastest and easiest way to make appointments is through the patient portal or by emailing the practitioner. Please see the appointments page to set up your first appointment with Dr. Lavelle or Dr. Kass either via email or the patient portal. Subsequent sessions can be set up weekly or booked through the portal as best fits your schedule. Top