Dr. Hanakawa's compassion and absolute support in our therapy enabled me to go through my most difficult and painful parts of my past, allowing the profound and dynamic healing of AEDP therapy to take place.
I was not sure what to expect. I didn't know if the feedback was the music, the designs of the screen or some current through the nodes on my head. The first session was the most powerful for me. I came in after work and felt tired and tense. I found my thoughts going to various moments of "trauma" throughout my life, including memories of 9/11 which I only saw on TV and read about even though I was in Manhattan on that day. By the end of the session I felt a calmness and a sense of happiness. I felt I could not stop smiling. This sensation repeated itself at end of second session but I don't think I felt it as intensely after that. The subsequent sessions were relaxing but did not bring up conscious memories of trauma nor provide the same sense of joy. Nonetheless I felt grounded, more mentally coherent, and focused after each session. I especially loved the music. I now know the feedback is not the music, however the sounds were so soothing and some even primordial, that it sparked a feeling of connection with my core being in particular and human experience in general. Something like a Jungian collective unconscious going back centuries.
Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy
I had AMAZING THERAPY SESSIONS with Dr. Hanakawa to get rid of my PHOBIA and anxiety around it in seven sessions!
I just wanted to thank her and share this experience with others so that others like me feel easy to at least try it out instead of suffering through it!
She is not only a skillful and knowledgeable therapist, but her personality is down to earth, genuinely sweet and kind. She seems to like eating healthy diets, meditate, and study constantly to keep up to be a good therapist (I cannot listen to a doctor who is fat and tells me to be healthy, you know?) so that I can talk about both psychological (phobia or stress) issues as well as physical concerns (I do not like psychoanalysts who think every physical symptom comes from psychosomatic symptoms). I was surprised that it did not take much time for me to relax and trust her.
I used to have very bad hemophobia (afraid of blood), and I tried all kinds of therapy to get rid of it over many years. I used to faint by just drawing out my blood; CBT and other psychotherapy reduced my symptoms and cognitive fear, but I was still physically shaky whenever I was around blood (even cooking meat was hard).
Since I was working in the mental health industry for several years, I've worked with several top psychiatrists who also did psychotherapy, PsyD., counselors, and clinical social workers... I myself had a great psychoanalyst mentor (Ph.D., who went to the same school as Dr. Hanakawa) for 4 years, and I thought I had quite bit of insight.
My ex-mentor figured out that my phobia started through some event during my childhood, so she recommended me to find a Japanese speaking psychologist who could do hypno-therapy (She said it is more effective to use the language that I was using as a child). There are many Japanese clinical social workers in NY, but not many Ph.D.s... It would have been fine with other people, but it was a problem for me because I know the difference in their training. Then, one of my friends, who works for a Japanese newspaper company heard good things about her, and introduced me to Dr. Hanakawa. So I went to see her.
I am a very scientific type person, so I must say I was a bit skeptical if this therapy would work or not after trying so many other things. I heard some phobias are innate (such as blood, heights and snakes, etc.), so I thought talking about traumatic views I evidenced (which was not that serious anyway, I thought) would not benefit me as much.
Oh, Boy, I'm so glad I was wrong though. She guided me into a meditative state, and took me to my childhood event. It was a totally different experience to see the event from a 5-yr old's eyes, and it gave me a new perspective that I did not have before. We worked on it over a month or so, and I started to feel lighter almost immediately (of course, it put me up and down a bit as I was learning new things about my past that I was not facing, but Dr. Hanakawa was there to support me).
One day, I was watching a bloody surgery video as part of CBT exposure therapy technique. I used to push myself to watch them more than 15 minutes, but I always got pale and felt sick. It became easier, and now I can watch them with absolutely no symptoms!
She said the speed of therapy is really depending on the patient's condition, type of therapy, and previous exposure to psychotherapy. I assume it was very quick for me because I already had previous therapy experience, had some insights about myself, and meditate regularly (it helps to get hypnotized). So please don't get frustrated if your therapy takes little longer... you will be in good hands! :)
Dr. Hanakawa is a true gem of a therapist, and I am so grateful for the profound healing I have experienced since I started seeing her about 7 months ago. At the time, I was struggling with a myriad of psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and disordered eating. Having seen these issues resurface in cycles over the course of my life, I knew that they ran very deep and that I needed some serious cleaning work to do in the subconscious. I found Dr. Hanakawa after googling hypnotherapists in NYC. One phone call with her and I knew she was the therapist I was looking for—she is very sweet, gentle, and reassuring, and immediately put me at ease.
Each of my hypnotherapy session with Dr. Hanakawa felt like a magical journey into my subconscious. Dr. Hanakawa was the ever gentle and helpful guide, following me along with an open mind and infinite patience. She created a safe space for me to share everything and anything that came up for healing. Each time, I experienced deep emotional release as well as profound moments of comfort and gratitude. Throughout our sessions, Dr. Hanakawa invited me to get in touch with what she calls my “inner wisdom”, and I found this to be so effective in helping me learn to love and develop trust in myself.
Dr. Hanakawa also offers a modality called neurofeedback, which I opted in to add to my hypno sessions. I found that it really helped me relax and enter deep meditative states quickly.
Overall, Dr. Hanakawa is the best hypnotherapist I could have ever asked for. She is gentle yet effective; she has the most soothing bedside manners; her professional conduct is nothing short of impeccable; she is really dedicated to helping and empowering her clients; and above all, she helped me heal my mind at such a deep level. My heart feels much lighter, I am learning to love and accept myself, and I feel so much more gratitude and appreciation for everything in my life.