Since 1980 Andy Scarpati has owned a chain of comedy clubs throughout the Delaware Valley known as The Comedy Cabaret.  But by day Dr Scarpati and treats people using hypnosis. 

Dr. Andrew Scarpati (Dr. Andrew Scarpati)

Dr. Scarpati is a member of the Association of Counselors and Therapists and the National Guild of Hypnotists, an expert in subconscious programming and has extensive training in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). He is also the author of "Maximum Confidence," and has been featured on Channel 6 Action News, where he made reporter Don Pollock forget his last name.

It’s only natural that Dr Scarpati would be incorporating hypnosis into comedy. This Saturday night he will be doing a show at his Doylestown location bringing people up from the audience and hypnotizing them. I asked him some questions about hypnotherapy.

What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a non-invasive, non-medical, non-chemical approach of therapy that communicates with the subconscious mind to create new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors or feelings. Think of the hypnotic state as a focused mental state. A focused state of mind like daydreaming is a form of a focused mental state, as is prayer and meditation. In the hypnotic state we have a heightened sense of suggestibility and responsiveness. This suggestibility is the essence of the therapeutic value of hypnosis, in that it can help you change something that YOU want to change. if you go to a MD to stop smoking, what do they usually do? Give you a pill. If you are feeling anxious, what do they do? They give you a pill. To me, Hypnotherapy is a much better approach to change something.

Can anyone be hypnotized?
Yes, anyone with an IQ of 70 or above can be placed in a beautiful state of hypnosis, providing they want to. No one can be forced into it.

What credentials does a hypnotherapist have?
There are numerous organizations that teach hypnosis. Anyone can study and become certified by the various organizations. There are essentially 3 levels - basic, advanced and Doctorate. Bucks County Community College had courses in basic and advanced. I obtained my doctorate from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy in California in 1998.

Who could benefit from this process?
Anyone that truly wants to change something about themselves. On my web site I list over 40 ways it can help, such as fears, phobias, habit control, stop smoking, nail bitting, negative thought patterns, anxiety, improve self confidence, sports enhancement, basically any habit that you are not happy with about yourself.

What does a hypnotherapy session consist of?
Sessions are a totally relaxing experience. After we discuss your situation, I answer any questions you may have and we then proceed with a guided relaxation that will help you feel totally relaxed and comfortable. Thus you enter the heightened stage of suggestibility. The suggestions and therapy are tailored to your needs and success will be at hand.

Will a hypnotherapy session be covered by health insurance?
In general, health insurers do not usually cover alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy. However, there are some exceptions where a doctor can prescribe these therapies.

Have you ever been hypnotized? Do you believe that you could be?