Hypnotist Of The Year

My Friends,

I am entirely pleased and somewhat screwed up to announce to all of you that I have received a new distinction from the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, and from the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association. I am this year’s Hypnotist Of The Year. This was conferred upon me on May 18 at the annual conference, along with 7 other honorees in other categories, and it was a total surprise. All awards are given without advance notice.

It had been a rip-roaring busy few weeks, and I made sure to schedule two days off before the conference began. I did get some good relaxation and fun in the sun, playing in the waves at the beach, dipping in the pool, enjoying the hotel amenities, and eating good food and taking good care of myself. I even got a manicure. Even so, my mind was preoccupied with the two classes I was to teach, and a few conference responsibilities that I had accepted.

Every year at the banquet, I watch and listen as highly respected hypnotists receive honors and say a few words, and I am always impressed. I always wonder what it might be like, and I always take in stride that I am paying dues every year, every day, every session with every client. Every year it is a pleasant daydream to imagine myself on that stage, smiling, accepting and receiving, and saying a few dignified words.

As the awards part of the evening continued, I was still busy with a few details, and also a bit distracted by my lovely dinner date, and so I was completely disoriented as I heard our host, Robert Otto, describing me as he was about to announce the Hypnotist Of The Year. I simply didn’t know what to say as I rose to accept the award.

I admit that part of me is embarrassed to announce to all of you that I have this distinction. I know that there are fabulous hypnotists in this and other organizations who have been practicing decades longer.

On the other hand, I’ve been working my ass off to gain mastery, and I am happy that I know what I know. Several times, I have put everything else in my Life aside in order to learn new techniques and principles and ways of helping my clients to succeed. I have gone off on learning tangents for weeks at a time and I’ve attended more seminars and workshops than I can count. I’ve given away a hundred sessions for free, just so I could keep working and learning and accumulating clinical hours. I am very proud to say that I have never turned down a client in need. They must pay something and I don’t work for free anymore, but if they need me, we work out a deal.

So there I was on the stage, accepting the award, stammering my Thank You or something close to it, while holding the beautiful plaque that I had dreamed of holding one day. The irony of my ineptitude of the moment is that I had spent the previous day teaching an 8-hour class on Advanced Presentation Skills. Homina homina homina.

This morning on the drive to my office, after a full week away, I could feel a difference in my attitude and personal and professional resolve. I know what the true value is of this award: It’s for my clients. If this award causes my clients to believe that I am more competent, more effective, and more intelligent because of a plaque that hangs on the wall in my office, then their success will be greater and more powerful. Simple as that. This award is for them. That’s why I do this work, and I am very happy that I learned what I know for their sake, and not to win an award.

And so, as I resume my business of Helping People, I do so with the intention of remaining balanced and grounded, thinking clearly, and maintaining perspective, and I will be using Humor along with everything else. Humor gets me through a lot of things! Here, then, is a piece I wrote on Facebook about an hour ago. Enjoy!

Man oh man, what a terrible trip I had on the way home from Daytona Beach. Everywhere I went, people were staring at me and pointing and aiming their cell phones, trying to get a shot of the HYPNOTIST OF THE YEAR. I am so happy to achieve this recognition from my peers, and I am grateful. It’s just that I wasn’t prepared for this level of fame and notoriety.

At first, I was signing autographs everywhere I went, and it is great to get the best table in every restaurant and I haven’t paid for a thing since I became known as the HYPNOTIST OF THE YEAR. By the time I got to the airport I started to get really irritated and a little paranoid. I was dressed down, baseball cap pulled down over my shades, but apparently, the HYPNOTIST OF THE YEAR doesn’t blend in.

One guy in a suit spotted me at the security checkpoint and I did everything I could do to get ahead of him, just about running to the gate to catch my flight. He stayed with me all the way, and when he started motioning to the airport police, I slowed down and gave in—no autograph should cause so much trouble.

I finally stopped as airport security, Florida State Police, and the guy in the suit and about three dozen passers-by all closed in on me with ball-point pens and smart phones. The guy in the suit reached into his coat pocket and pulled out something, and as I braced myself to sign one more autograph I sputtered, “YES! YES! I AM THE HYPNOTIST OF THE YEAR!! MUST YOU KEEP ON HOUNDING ME LIKE THIS??” He looked right at me, handed me the object and said, “You left your cell phone back at the checkpoint.”

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4 Responses to “Hypnotist Of The Year”

  1. Very amusing, James and congratulations. Well deserved!

  2. I am so happy for you and the well deserved award James! Also thank you for your compliment. I loved the humor of this article also ;-)) It was so good to see you at the conference!

  3. I think it’s so well deserved. I see all the work you do and the event you put on promoting hypnosis. You should be proud!

  4. Mister James Guinta ,

    So proud of you an you know your buddy up in heaven is really proud of you, Well he’s the one that got you started in this in the first place ha. Keep on Keeping on i know you will. Again GREAT job.

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