Please be nice to the staff

They say “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. And when they say “others”, they mean front office representatives, too. Most of the time, let’s face it, they’re standing in between where we are and where we’d like to be.

Imagine having a calling to help people and a desire of wanting to do great work that made you feel satisfied and uplifted. But you had to focus on its organizational aspects, such as answering the phone or scheduling. You wouldn’t be able to do the actual work. And you’d end up frustrated instead of uplifted. Or even worse, what if you completely disliked going to work?

As a private practice hypnotherapist, hypnosis educator, life coach, and public speaker, my time is scarce. I have locations throughout the state of Georgia (Atlanta, Augusta, Blairsville, and Savannah) not to mention my time in virtual sessions. While many hypnotherapists can spend the time to pick up their own phone, that means, in all likelihood that they are not busy and are likely desperate for clients.

After driving back from Atlanta one day is when I knew I needed help. My business line rang through to my cell phone. I answered the phone and pulled over only to have someone end up being a jokester and didn’t schedule.

So I hired a personal assistant to answer my phones and schedule clients because although my online booking software has always been on my site, people seem to not want to use it. I purposefully added a booking site so people did not have to call me to book. The personal assistant I hired, I have been very close with for 20 years. We know each other very very well and I respect her. If she tells me a client needs to be seen within 24 hours as an emergency, I am going to listen to her. When you are speaking to her, you are effectively speaking to me.

Imagine my surprise when I was told some prospective clients were making demands on her or that were refusing to speak to her after they call the practice.

Most of them hangup. A lot more make demands of her to patch them through and when she can’t, refuse to leave a message.

Excuse me?

When you are talking to her, you are talking to me… to my representative so I wanted to take this time to discuss the situation.

1) She does not take orders from clients… she takes orders from me. Do you demand to speak to a doctor when you call a practice? Do you expect them to pick up? She was hired because I become unavailable and it is more professional to have someone pick up than go to voice mail.

2) I am probably in with a client. If I am in with a client, I cannot take your phone call. Sometimes hypnosis is like doing mental surgery. I wouldn’t want my surgeon to take a phone call when I am on the table. Would you? My subscribing clients will get a return call or text as soon as I am finished with the current client and can do it. They pay for that immediate service. New clients who are non-subscribers are called back if and when I have time

3) What makes you think she cannot answer your questions? I understand people want to talk to the hypnotist, Kathleen’s father was a lay hypnotist so she can answer many questions you might have. She can also answer any questions about me or my practice. She can tell you that I do not take insurance which seems to be the most popular question.

4) Why not leave a message? I cannot call you back if I do not know who you are. That is how this thing works.

Further, people tend to do even more than they’re asked when they feel appreciated. So, when you’re nice to front office representatives, for instance, it inspires and motivates them to do the same to you.

Moreover, remember they’re the only ones staying between where we are and where we want to be? Well, a milk-and-honey kind of approach enables not only their responsiveness but productivity, as well. And, then, a strong NO becomes a hopeful “Let me see what I can do about it”. Openness. We strive for leaving doors open.

On the more practical side of the coin, open doors foster connections. In a fully networked world, as our today strives to be, everything is about relationships. And exchanges are at the heart of any interaction. Whether it’s simply an appointment you’re trying to make, you’re exchanging a phone call for a slot of my time. Now, behavior impacts any interaction. If I’m nice to the front office representative, I might get a positive response. If not, well… you get the idea.

But, my favorite reason for being kind, in general, is Karma. If you treat my assistant badly, you will have a very upset hypnotherapist on your butt. When you talk to her, you talk to me.

Whether we’re willing to face it or not, we’re quite aware of our behavior. Our mind labels it, puts it in the proper drawer and adds a behavioral procedure to it. So, next time we’re in a similar context, we don’t really choose how to act but do it based on habit, past experience, and a mini-program our mind had designed.

If necessary, that will be one of the first things I work on with you, to erase a bad attitude simply so my assistant is not abused. If you don’t want to be nice to her, I really do not need you as a client.

Of course, now she doesn’t work for me anymore so I would like to thank the clients who caused her to have a near breakdown you guys are really something special.


Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia who was very protective of his personal assistant. He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype and Zoom. He can be reached at or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or go online to make an appointment.

Hypnosis and Anxiety

There are many different treatment options available for anxiety, but one lesser known form of therapy is hypnosis. Hypnosis can help reduce one’s anxiety, whether it’s caused by a mental disorder, stress, or a medical procedure.

The Mayo Clinic even mentions hypnosis on their website, hypnosis “help[s] relieve symptoms of many diseases and conditions, such as stress, anxiety, insomnia or pain. Hypnosis can also reduce anxiety before a procedure or surgery”. The Mayo Clinic uses hypnosis as part of their Complementary and Integrative Medicine program which uses a combination of conventional and alternative medicine to “promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellness”.

A group of researchers conducted an eight week trial comparing the effectiveness of hypnosis and meditation. During the eight weeks, they separated 32 adults into four groups: those who were responsive to hypnosis, those who were unresponsive to hypnosis, those who were responsive to meditation, and those who were unresponsive to meditation, the unresponsive groups operating as the control. The hypnosis groups completed a daily self-hypnosis exercise while the meditation groups were given a meditation relaxation technique. It was found that the meditation and hypnosis groups both reported near identical rates of decrease in their anxiety.

In a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, hypnosis was compared to “nonhypnotic behavioral techniques” in lowering pain and anxiety in children during painful and traumatizing medical procedures. In the study, children receiving lumbar puncture and children receiving bone marrow aspiration were given hypnosis therapy, nonhypnotic therapy, or no additional treatment as a control. It was found that hypnosis was almost twice as effective as nonhypnotic techniques when it came to reducing preprocedural anxiety.

Hypnosis is an effective way to reduce anxiety and pain. When used in conjunction with conventional medicine, hypnosis can significantly help anxiety and improve patient wellness.


Benson H, Frankel F, H, Apfel R, Daniels M, D, Schniewind H, E, Nemiah J, C, Sifneos P, E, Crassweller K, D, Greenwood M, M, Kotch J, B, Arns P, A, Rosner B, Treatment of Anxiety: a Comparison of the Usefulness of Self-Hypnosis and a Meditational Relaxation Technique. Psychother Psychosom 1978;30:229-242

Mayo Clinic, Hypnosis Retrieved May 6, 2017

Omsted, Richard W et al “Hypnosis and nonhypnotic techniques for reduction of pain and anxiety during painful procedures in children and adolescents with cancer” The Journal of Pediatrics 1982;101:1032-1035


Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia with an interest in anxiety.  He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype.  He can be reached at or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or call our receptionist at (678) 658-8483 to make an appointment.

Hypnosis: Myths and Facts

When many people think of hypnotism their thoughts go to Las Vegas shows, stage hypnotists, mass hypnotism and poor representations of hypnotists in the movies. Stage hypnosis, entertaining as it can be, can shed an unfavorable light on the process of hypnotherapy. When you see a dozen people acting out in what we perceive as ‘embarrassing’ according to the social code, how enthusiastic are you going to be about exposing yourself to someone you’ve never met before even if that person is a mental health provider? So I wanted to dispel some of the myths.

Myth : Trance is a mindless state.

On stage it’s often depicted as a mindless state where the subjects are just puppets exposed to the will of the hypnotist, when in reality it is something completely different. Most people have already experienced trance :.

Have you ever lost a few miles when you were driving in a car?
Have you ever lost track of time while doing something you were completely focused on?
Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie that you forgot about everything else around you that wasn’t taking place on screen?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you already know what it is like. These are all states of trance.

You will not feel drugged when coming out of trance, you are most likely to just feel relaxed.

Myth : You have to be stupid or weak-willed to go into trance.

Fact : While just a few centuries ago, people used to think hypnosis was only for the weak willed or stupid.  We know now that the ancient civilizations were right, everyone can enter trance.  In fact, generally the more intelligent you are, often the faster you will go. While it is true that a person needs to be open to suggestion to be hypnotized, if you are seeking out a hypnotherapist, chances are you are open to the idea.

Myth : Hypnosis can make you do things against your will

Fact : When it comes down to it, I can’t make you do something against your will or moral values. Hypnosis does not change a person, it just makes them more susceptible to suggestion.  If I could really control people, I would not be doing this job.

Myth : Hypnosis is a cure all.

Fact :  It can be used for pain control, treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, sports psychology and even weight loss. It is not however, a magic cure.

Myth : One falls asleep during trance.

You won’t be asleep… at least not generally.  It is like that state right before sleep.  However, you’ll be in a state that allows you to truly listen and believe in suggestions which your conscious mind would subconsciously reject.

If you would like to learn more about other myths about trance, please visit my youtube channel Pre talk playlist.

Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia. He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype. He can be reached at  or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or you can book an appointment online.

A Lesson Learned – Clients with boundary issues

In this edition of “Letters to a Young hypnotist,” I want to briefly discuss a situation that I found myself in which I think others might be able to benefit from.

Not long ago, I found myself in a position where a client called the office and begged for an appointment. As it was reported to me, she was crying and hysterical on the phone. She obviously needed someone to talk to. We rearranged several clients because this person needed someone. I should have simply told the scheduler to just refer out, but I have a soft spot for crying women. I saw the client… it was a self esteem issue is how it was presented which is within my scope of practice. I should have known there was a deeper problem when she was booked for a 60 minute standard session and she claimed she was told by the secretary that she was supposed to get a consultation and a session on the same day, which is not something I do but used to do in the past. This was on a day that I was almost entirely booked, please note again that I moved around clients for her.

A few days later, I get a call which my secretary misses so it goes to my voice mail. I call the number back to respond to her voicemail but did not know how to hide my number (for the record *67 is apparently the way on some phones, not on iphone). It’s 9:30 pm and she wants an appointment that night… unless she had an appointment at midnight there was no way. Now she has my cell phone… whoops and now she starts texting me as early as 7 am to as late as midnight. I see her for another emergency appointment the next day because I had a cancellation and as a young hypnotist I needed the money. I also get bombarded with begs to do free brief handwriting analysis on three different people. I analyze two checks from two people only because they are related to what is being discussed and I did it for free.

And a few days later, same bull. She now wants to have an extended session immediately. The stress that happens every time she appears or rings, causes me to start shaking uncontrollably, but again I take it because I need the money

She gets scheduled and I mandate we have another person there partially because this woman ALWAYS ran over and did not appear to have respect for herself or others and I did not have a clock that I could see. I always used my fitbit but would only check when the subject was in trance in order to not break rapport. The client would refuse to do what I asked in and out of trance. I recommend she see a specific clinical psychologist and refer her. I know this psychologist and he is expecting a contact and can see her immediately and get the referral that day to me.

We make her next appointment three days from then, and she cancels it the next day and says she should have made it for that night. She gets upset and absolutely explodes on me when I ask if has been listening to anything that I’ve been saying about the issue which came forth, which was not a confidence issue. She is equally pissed that I am not catering to her schedule on a Jewish holiday when I am closed (which she could have easily seen on the schedule and I told her several times). She became highly abusive and I finally I had to ban her from the practice until such a time as she provided a psychological referral for herself.

The Lessons I Learned Included:

1) I do not need Emergency clients, and if I do, to charge them additional money.
2) I need to learn to block a number.
3) Extended sessions are helpful.
4) Keep a credit card on file to bill cancellations and surprise requests.
5) I need a clock over the client’s head or somewhere I can see it.
6) Let Kat return all calls.
7) If a client makes you shake, it’s a psych referral.

Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist and handwriting analyst in Augusta, Georgia. He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype. He can be reached at or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or call our receptionist at (678) 658-8483 to make an appointment.

A few clients wanted to give some reviews so here they are…

By “Ali”

“Mr. Marsh’s handwriting analysis was extremely interesting to read. I found myself rather astounded at the accuracy of the references he made to my own history with very little information provided on my part. Thank you for such a unique and enlightening experience. :)”

By Céline Seward

“Thanks Melvin for your help. I’ve really enjoyed the sessions. You’ve put me at ease every time, even the first when I was really nervous about it. Not only have we done those sessions we’ve had great conversations and I’ve learned a lot of other things from you as well. I do recommend Melvin if you’re looking to solve some fears or just to relax a bit.”

By Rae Rempel

“Melvin has empathy to spare for those who don’t know they need it, he offers a unique perspective and open mind, keeping things comfortably casual yet professional. A friend with a skill set he knows how to utilize to help you help yourself, no matter where on this planet we find ourselves.
He agreed to assist me with a unique and personal case and helped me see from outside my perspective.
Extremely friendly and a definite thumbs up-I recommend him!”

What does your handwriting say about you?

Handwriting analysis is the use of handwriting samples to give insight into the personality and mind of the writer. While it is traditionally done with cursive, print scripts can be analyzed as well for those who might have limitations with cursive writing.

One of the earliest mentions of handwriting analysis come from 1265 when Roger Bacon wrote that handwriting reveals personality traits of the writer. The name of the science that has grown from those roots is “Graphology” and this name was given by Abbe Michon in 1872. Since then, handwriting analysis has grown into a valuable science used for a variety of purposes every day worldwide. It can be used by psychologists and psychiatrists to evaluate patients and their progress or decline or by police to help eliminate suspects from cases. Employers may also seek handwriting analysis to help pick which candidate is right for the job.

Why explore handwriting analysis? Analysis gives a window into personality traits and mental factors that are revealed through handwriting samples. Studying handwriting can show permanent and fluid features that your life and health which have been influenced. While your moods and health may change, a part of your handwriting stays the same, just as a part of YOU always remains the same. Some brief analysis can reveal things that you might not even expect to be tucked away within it. It could possibly reveal which parent was or is the more loving parent. It could reveal parts of your personality that you didn’t even realize were there. A more advanced analysis could give you keys to inner growth or even keys to better health and better success with your life. Are you ready to find the secrets that are hidden in your very handwriting?

If you were to have someone analyze your handwriting, it could mean a wonderful new chapter of your life opening. It could help your health and progress in many endeavors. It could also allow you to learn about things that you might need to work on from your past to have a positive impact on your present and future. How useful would it be to have analysis teach you that your childhood has issues that you didn’t know about in the first place and allow you to seek additional assistance? What if you found out through this analysis that there were personality traits that were holding you back from the big promotion you have dreamed of? And if that person was to help you through analysis, they might even be able to help you learn how to correct not only your personality traits but the traits in your writing that had shown them these important things? You might also be able to learn this gift and this art form so that you can spread the gift of handwriting analysis to others around you and this fine tradition of work and art combined can not only continue on, but grow and teach us even more about who we are on the inside. Will you have the courage to take the first step in learning so many things?

Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist and handwriting analyst in Augusta, Georgia. He can be reached at or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or call our receptionist at (678) 658-8483 to make an appointment for hypnotherapy or email him for a handwriting analysis.

Hypnosis and Stress

Most people have experienced stress at some point in their lives. You know, a presentation coming up for work or school that you have to prepare for and present in front of a number of important people on a certain date. Or maybe you are experiencing some kind of relationship or financial problems that have you worried. There are many things in life that are stressful, whether they are short-term problems or long-term ones. Most of those problems cannot or will not go away. So you have to figure out how to deal with or eradicate the stress and still accomplish what needs to be done. One way of accomplishing this is through hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy, in this instance, is using hypnosis to work through stress. To use this method, the person who is stressed would have to attend at least one session, dealing with stress, with a certified hypnotherapist. The therapist would aid the patient in finding a source for the stress, if it is not already known. Next the therapist leads the patient through progressive relaxation and then through facing the cause of the stress in order to overcome it. There is no danger or harm that can come of the hypnosis used. Rather, many people have found hypnotherapy to be helpful in dealing with stress.

Scientific studies report that hypnotherapy used to decrease stress has been successful. Multiple experiments have tested on this subject and have concluded that people who have had hypnotherapy before a stressful event experienced significantly less stress than those who did not. In the tests, hypnotherapy was used to help people who were diagnosed with anxiety symptoms, others before and after surgical procedures, students preparing for exams (they also showed improvements in test achievement), and music students performing on stage.

Every individual is unique and reacts differently to stress and the hypnosis.  If you are facing a stressful event, or struggle with stress in general, hypnosis is a viable option to consider. Why not become one of the many who have found success stories using hypnotherapy to overcome stressful situations?


Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia with an interest in stress and anxiety.  He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype.  He can be reached at or afterhourshypnotherapy @ or call our receptionist at (678) 658-8483 to make an appointment.