the Pacific Institute of Advanced Hypnotherapy
|Look outside and dream, look inside and awaken
the Pacific Institute of Advanced Hypnotherapy
|New Westminster, British Columbia
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Dr. Fred Janke
|# 102 – 631 Columbia Street, New Westminster,British Columbia
|Sherry Hood M.H.,C.CHt.
Founder & Head Instructor
I became interested in hypnotherapy after receiving life-changing therapy as a client. One day I picked up a newspaper and read
an article by a hypnotherapist that caught my attention. I had been struggling with the symptoms of a major trauma that
happened in my life when I was fifteen years old. I did not know if hypnotherapy could help me but I decided to trust my feelings
and go with it. I booked a consultation and from there I received six therapeutic sessions. I knew that my life was shifting after
the first session. I continued to make monumental progress through the subsequent sessions and beyond. Hypnotherapy helped
facilitate authentic healing in my life and it helped me to move ahead without the heavy burdens that I had been carrying for
At that point, I did not realize that I would become a Clinical Hypnotherapist let alone a Hypnotherapy educator. I simply felt that
my life was given back to me. I felt that I was just starting to live fully. In the same way when you purchase a new red car and
then see red cars everywhere, it seemed that every time I opened a magazine or a book, there was something about hypnosis or
hypnotherapy inside. The same thing happened when I switched on the TV or watched a movie. Hypnotherapy seemed to be
trying to get my attention everywhere I looked.
In a somewhat casual way, I began looking into different schools of hypnotherapy. At that time, there were only two local
schools. Both of these schools seemed to have their major focus in Neuro linguistic Programming (NLP), which I came to learn,
was only one branch of hypnotherapy. I wanted to learn a broader scope of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I sold my business,
packed my things, and left for Vancouver Island to study with Doris Gray, the founder of The Meridian Institute.
I felt that I had truly found my passion in hypnotherapy. I could not get enough of learning about the field. I gleaned every piece
of information that I possibly could. I read non-stop and I loved every moment of hypnotherapy school. Another student that I
met while taking the hypnotherapy course was also from out of town. Every night after school, we practiced hypnotherapy
together. The more immersed I became in the topic, the more energized I became.
Although I enjoyed my hypnotherapy course immensely, I could tell that there was much more to hypnotherapy than what I was
being taught. Practice was limited to working with other students in class but the sessions were mocked up 15 minute to half
hour sessions where we pretended to have certain problems. No actual therapy was ever practiced and most of the time we were
asked to “pretend” that we were in a state of hypnosis. Most of the handouts in the course were really just filler in the form of
jokes and unrelated material. The textbook that we used was photocopied from an original. I loved the information that I was
taught but I knew there was so much more to learn.
The real test came when I was just barely back home from my hypnotherapy training. A friend of a friend had lost her husband to
a sudden heart attack. This couple was in their mid forties. They worked as apartment managers together but added to this, the
woman was agoraphobic (fear of leaving home without a trusted loved one). Her husband had previously carried on all outside
duties as an act of love towards her. This in fact became a key problem when he passed away. She was left unable to cope with
all outside situations and added to that, her job as an apartment manager came to an end. This woman needed help fast. I
remember our first phone call. She said.. “I have no money”. I replied, “I have no experience”. We laughed and decided that we
made a good team.
I was well aware that I was not equipped to handle agoraphobia. In school, we had a short paragraph on fears and phobias and
were cautioned to avoid them as a client could abreact (an emotional and physical expression of symptom(s) while in a state of
hypnosis). Abreaction was talked about as something that is “scary”. We were taught to avoid abreaction at all cost and if a
client did abreact, we were taught to stop the session or move on to something else. I knew in my heart that this was not be the
correct way to work with someone suffering with agoraphobia and panic attacks or for that matter, any fear or phobia.
Fortunately, for me, I remembered that our instructor gave the class contact information for a respected hypnotherapist. I
contacted him but at the time, I did not know that he was a world-renowned hypnotherapist that had written hypnotherapy books
and was seen as one of the leaders in the field of Hypnotherapy. Through professional courtesy and kindness, he took me under
his wing and shared his information about fears and phobias, abreaction and panic attacks.
Armed with new information, I headed into session work with my first client. We worked together in six sessions in what now
takes me one or two sessions to complete. I took the work very slow and was thrilled and somewhat shocked when changes
began to take place. On session two, my client was able to fly half way across the world to visit her daughter. She secured a job
in a busy mall and began settling into what is considered a “normal life”. Now my interest was piqued and I began studying and
learning with fervour. My practice started to grow and before long, I was working full time in hypnotherapy. I learned from each
client situation and I still do to this day. I studied and learned from many courses, books, in person and even online learning for
A few years into full time practice, I decided that I would one day open a hypnotherapy school. I set a goal of ten years of full
time practice before I would be qualified to begin writing a curriculum. I knew that there was a major need for quality
hypnotherapy education. There is no standardization in hypnotherapy and consequently, anyone can open a school and make any
claims they want with nobody overseeing any of it. It takes time to learn a craft to be able to deliver it to others. My
Hypnotherapy teacher (Doris Gray) was selling Meridian Institute with retirement in mind. She approached me several times to
buy her curriculum but I knew that I did not want to teach what I had learned at Meridian. I wanted to write my own work. She
told me that I was the only one that she really wanted to carry her schools on but I wanted to make a mark for myself and I was
not happy with the curriculum at Meridian. I knew that I would have to re-write it entirely. It was sold later to one of her former
students who re-named the school and moved it to Surrey B.C.
I began writing the first level of my curriculum at the ten-year mark when suddenly my beloved teenage son David was
diagnosed with brain cancer. As you can imagine, this was like suddenly being thrown into frigid water.. A complete shock to
everyone. This news came in the form of an emergency phone call. David was working in a group home for adults with
disabilities. He suddenly had a grand mal seizure and was taken to Peace Arch Hospital emergency. By the next morning, David
had a CT scan. I was given the news that he had a 7 cm tumour on his left frontal lobe that was pressing his brain to the right
side of his skull. He needed emergency surgery to save his life. How could my beautiful, healthy, teenage son suddenly be in this
life and death situation?
Immediately after David’s first emergency surgery, I was told that David’s tumour was indeed cancer. The neurosurgeon said
that he could tell it was a very fast growing cancer that had probably only been in his body a matter of weeks. He gave David
twelve months to live before the tumour had even been sent to pathology. I set all of my work aside, scheduled all of my clients
with another hypnotherapist, and all of my energy was directed towards my son. During this time, David had three major brain
surgeries, a year of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments (his lifetime limit). He passed away after fifteen months with
glioblastoma multiforme grade 4. He went through so much but his quality of life was excellent. We worked through many
symptoms, brain surgery deficits and problems using hypnotherapy. David became an expert at using his mind to his best benefit.
He even returned to work as an Easter Seals camp counsellor a couple of months before he passed away.
David died at home surrounded by his friends and family. He is an inspiration to everyone and I truly view him as my hero. He
never felt sorry for himself. He was a kind, gentle, loving human being. The wisdom that David had for someone of his age was
incredible. He asked me to promise that I would carry on writing the curriculum for my school and that I would open it someday.
David knew that this was my dream and my passion. I made that promise to David and although it has not always been an easy
journey, it is not difficult to reach back and remember what David went through in his life. This gives me all the strength I need to
During the time that David was ill, all of the rules for opening a school had changed. I was told that I would now have to travel to
Detroit Michigan and purchase a curriculum and take a hypno-analysis course in order to open a school. I was not very happy
with that news but it seemed that there was no other way. I paid $5000,00 US funds for the curriculum. The first two levels
arrived in the mail and to say that I was disappointed would be mild. The curriculum was not something that I would ever want to
teach. They would not send me the third level until I went to Michigan to take the hypno-analysis course. I did so at great
expense and took a course that was not professional or of quality. While in a meeting, I told the facilitators that I did not want to
teach their course. They smiled and said, “You don’t have to. Once you have bought our curriculum, you can do anything you
want. It is just a formality”. I was disgusted and filled with anger at being told that I had to buy this curriculum to open a school.
I had spent so much money and had lost valuable time writing my own curriculum in jumping through all of these hoops. To this
day, I do not think these people can grasp why this was unethical or why I might be unhappy or even upset about this. Again,
there is nobody watching over these unethical practices.
By the time I returned home, I was feeling very upset. Every time I set out to work on my curriculum, I would become tired and
could not continue. I would get up at 5:00 AM to begin writing and almost be falling asleep as soon as I began. I ended up
seeking a hypnotherapist to help me release this pent up anger so I could continue writing my curriculum. Once I released these
issues, it was as though I was on fire, unstoppable.
The curriculum took me just over three years to complete. I poured my heart and soul into it and feel very proud of what I have
accomplished. I have been encouraged to publish my curriculum as a hypnotherapy textbook. Along with the curriculum, there
are over 500 relevant handouts that I have written. I produced an excellent power point that runs throughout the entire course. I
show many hypnotherapy DVD’s, including surgical procedures using hypnotherapy, pain management techniques, therapies and
much more. I teach through lecture, demonstration, class practice, experiential training, questions and answers, videos and more.
Our students experience hypnotherapy session daily in our morning group sessions. I feel it is very important to receive
hypnotherapy in order to relate to clients but also to learn through osmosis. When one is receiving hypnotherapy, they are also
learning how to deliver hypnotherapy. Our daily public clinic at the school serves as a mandatory (In house) practicum. We offer
hypnotherapy sessions free of charge. I incorporated this into the curriculum from the very first course I taught and it has
continued to grow into a very popular program. Our students are in school from 9:00 – 6:00 daily. For two hours of their day,
they work in the clinic with real clients, in real hypnotherapy sessions. The students work with two clients per day and this
allows them to put into practice all of the techniques as they are learning them. They are able to graduate with confidence and
skill through the experiential training. We book and screen all of the clients for our students. The course sessions book up very
fast and if a client hesitates to book as soon as the course appointments become available, they will have to wait until the
following course to make an appointment.
The course consists of three levels within one course; hypnotist, master hypnotist and clinical hypnotherapist. There is an exam
for each level and a diploma for each level. Many of our students certify through the International Medical and Dental
Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) but this is not mandatory. If a student chooses to certify, they take the exam at The Pacific
Institute of Advanced Hypnotherapy (PIAH). I grade the exams and send them into the IMDHA with the student’s money order for
$159.00 US and the IMDHA issues the certification to the student.
I have built my reputation and the schools reputation on transparency and trust as well as an excellent curriculum and learning
experience. We do not make claims that are not true and we feel it is highly unethical and a conflict of interest for a school owner
to start their own association. Some of these schools have done just that and then they try to mislead the public into thinking that
the association is somehow a regulatory body. There is no regulatory body in hypnotherapy. There are associations, all of which
are privately owned businesses. Another thing that you will notice is that schools that are promoting these associations do not
mention that these associations are their own privately owned businesses.
In 2009, I was appointed as a Clinical Lecturer for The Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta. In 2010, the course
curriculum that I wrote and teach became a recognized medical elective for postgraduate residents (physicians) from The
University of Alberta. I am very proud of this indeed. PIAH is the only hypnotherapy course in North America that is a recognized
Dr. Fred H Janke is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and a Program Director at The University of Alberta. Dr. Janke also
maintains a family medicine practice in Alberta. We have conducted a pilot study through The University of Alberta using my
smoking cessation intervention. I teach this same smoking cessation intervention to my students. In addition to this, we have
presented together at two National medical conferences on Hypnotherapy and Medicine and Hypnotherapy and Pain Management
/ Surgery. We have plans to present at future conferences to help educate the medical community about hypnotherapy and how
it can be an amazing complementary modality in medicine. Dr. Janke and I have co-authored many articles for publication. We
are regular contributors to “Unlimited Human” magazine and we had an article published in “Family Health” magazine.
I continue to build bridges with honesty, trust, and transparency and with a passion to educate hypnotherapists in excellence. I
hold a monthly educational gathering at the school for our students and graduates and we have an online mentoring group that is
for PIAH students and graduates only (by invitation). It is a safe place for our students and grads to ask questions, discuss
hypnotherapy and form bonds with other grads from the course. I have an ongoing commitment to the people that take my
course, that I will continue to be there for them, mentoring and assisting as I can.
Amanda Branscombe teaches all of our part time courses. Tom McKinnon came on board in 2013 as a part time teacher and I
teach all of the full time courses. I co-teach with Amanda with her part time students on occasion.
I consider every student an extension of PIAH. It is very important to teach our students with passion as they carry on our name
and reputation with them. It is exciting to watch students grow in the field of hypnotherapy and to see all of the healing and
empowerment that they are able to facilitate with their skills and expertise. We teach the many varied techniques and methods
of other well-known hypnotherapists but more importantly, we teach and guide our students to be authentic and original. An
excellent hypnotherapist is creative and can view situations through a clients eyes. We train our students to think on their feet
and work with a client to discover methods that are personal and impactful to each individual. These skills allow a hypnotherapist
to work with excellence and facilitate powerful, positive change.
We require a student interview before acceptance into the PIAH course. It is important that we are a great fit for the student but
also that the student is a great fit for PIAH. I am thrilled to meet with you for a student interview and we encourage you to
explore and visit other schools to find the one that fits your needs and that you feel comfortable with. It is important to ask
questions and to receive appropriate answers. Remember, you are also interviewing the school.
I teach six full time intensive courses per year. In between teaching, you will find me back in my private practice working with
clients. I feel that it is very important for a teacher to continue working within the field of hypnotherapy. I consider it a great
honour to teach and practice in this precious field of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
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