History of Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis has been studied and practiced for over 3,000 years, but it was not until the work of Dr. Franz Mesmer in the 1800's that Hypnosis came under scientific scrutiny. Hypnosis during this period following the work of Mesmer was referred to as Mesmerism. In 1848 another pioneer in the field, Dr. James Braid, coined the term Hypnosis. Doctors Sigmund Freud, Milton Erickson, and John Kappas used Hypnosis in their practices and conducted clinical studies of its efficacy, greatly contributing to the scientific understanding in this field.

In 1955, the British Medical Association recognized Hypnosis. In 1958, the American Medical Association approved a report on the medical uses of Hypnosis. Then, in 1960, the American Psychological Association endorsed Hypnosis as a branch of Psychology.
Hypnosis is highly effective in treating a wide range of issues from weight loss to smoking cessation, stress, anxiety, lack of motivation and concentration, procrastination, fears and phobias, low self-esteem, insomnia, addiction issues and managing chronic pain.

Since the founding of the Atlanta West Hypnotherapy Clinic by Laura LaRain, PhD, C.Ht in 1978, our clinic has successfully used hypnosis to help individuals, couples, families, and children make positive and effective changes to their lives.

Dr. Laura LaRain, C.Ht
Certified Hypnotherapist


Dr. Laura LaRain is the Founder and Director of Atlanta National Hypnotherapy Institute and Atlanta West Hypnotherapy Clinic. She has been a student and practitioner of Hypnotherapy for over 30 years.

Laura began suffering the symptoms of SLE (Systemic Lupus) at the age of 14. The symptoms of SLE are so diverse and varied that doctors were unable to diagnose the illness. She suffered for years fighting infections, loss of vision, lack of energy, lowered lung capacity, multiple hospital stays, and the debilitating side-effects of a multitude of prescription drugs. Determined to live a full and healthy life to raise her 2 young children, Laura abandoned most of the prescription drugs and started a rigorous program of juicing. At the same time, she came upon a book on self-hypnosis and began to give herself suggestions of health and healing.

It wasn't until Laura was in her late 20's that doctors were able to properly diagnose her illness. The doctors told her the disease was in the later stages and, at the most, she had 3 years to live. Unwilling to accept the dire prognosis and treatment of the symptoms offered by traditional doctors, Laura began to study Hypnotherapy in earnest.

She studied under Dr.'s Kappas, Hodges and Sommerman in Georgia. After receiving her certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Laura founded
Atlanta West Hypnotherapy Clinic in Marietta, GA in 1978.  She went on to earn her doctorate in Suggestibility of the Brain from Hypnosis Motivation Institute(HMI), and  in Hypnotherapy from La Salle University.
Her struggle to combat the symptoms of SLE is ongoing. Eight years ago, the disease caused her to become partially paralyzed and in a semi-unconscious state for 3 weeks. A student of Dr. Larain's, Laura Pagano, made a Hypnosis recording and played it repeatedly for her in the hospital. The recording talked about beautiful, blue healing cells floating through her body, healing damaged cells, and restoring her body to health: the only memory she has of those 21 days.

40 years after being told that she has 3 years to live, Laura saw her children grow into adults and she has helped thousands of people with many issues. She credits Hypnosis for her life.

Laura's work and practice have led her to being recognized nationally as a leading authority in the field as well. Today, Laura continues to use Hypnosis to enhance her life and the lives of others, and never fails to be amazed at the positive benefits that Hypnotherapy can bring. She is an active Hypnotherapist helping people daily, and tirelessly promoting understanding and education in the field.
Carmen George, C.Ht
Certified Hypnotherapist

Carmen George is one of Atlanta National's successful graduates. She continued her practice upon graduation and worked closely with Dr. Laura LaRain.  She holds a Medical Degree from the National University of Mexico as well as a Master’s Degree in ‘Clinical Hypnotherapy’. She is also a member of the American Association for Professional Hypnotherapists (AAPH). After graduating from the National University of Mexico, Carmen worked for two years at the Mexican – American Commission for the Eradication of the Screwworm (Cochlyoma hominivorax).

In 1986, Carmen immigrated to the US and worked extensively in cancer research as a Cryopreservation Specialist at The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. She moved to Atlanta in 1992 and became a fulltime mother.

Carmen became very interested in Alternative Medicine and pursued certifications in several modalities: Yoga (Mexico and US), Reflexology (US), Colon hydrotherapy (US), Clinical Hypnosis (US), and Therapeutic Yoga (India). Carmen has worked with Atlanta West Hypnotherapy Clinic for 10 years and is currently our Senior Hypnotherapist. She is also Director of Spanish Instruction at Atlanta National Hypnotherapy Institute.

Clay Champey, C.Ht
Certified Hypnotherapist

Clay Champey is a successful ANHI Graduate. He recently joined the team at Atlanta West Hypnotherapy Clinic and is now building his practice here. Clay loves to help people using hypnosis to reach their goals and desires to specialize in assisting clients using hypnosis to help break addictive behaviors.