A decade and a half ago, finding reviews for hypnosis training online took a bit more effort than it would today. Having a penchant for quality, I wanted training worth my time and money. Knowing that reviews in open forums were often self-serving, I specifically sought out negative reviews. The review that sold me described a week-long class that had so much content that the students simply could not take it all in. Then I discovered that this class was available a mere 30 miles away; I wouldn’t have to pay for travel or hotel! Add to that a discount on the full video training library for taking the live class and the deal was sealed!
On day one, Jerry Kein introduced himself, a short 60-something gentleman full of stories, stories that made points and reinforced the lessons! The office he took clients by the railroad tracks. The woman possessed by the spirit of her late husband. The judges’ office outing to a swingers club. His heart attacks. The challenges fellow hypnotists put each other put to. The hypnotic bind he used to ruin another hypnotist’s stage show. His own weight and smoking issues. The hypnotic coma or Esdaile state and a deep hibernation state that a colleague’s wife managed to achieve. Recording Dave Elman’s seminars and recounting Elman’s stories. I have no idea if all or even if any of the stories were true, but they have stuck with me for 16 years because Jerry told them all in an affable and engaging manner reminiscent of a carnival huxster.
On day two, the world changed. The Twin Towers fell. The Pentagon burned. The skies went silent. The huxster turned healer took on the role of preacher. “There are people out there who need healing,” Jerry said. “They’re gonna need what we can do, so let’s do it.” Class resumed. As the world feared and the people mourned, we learned how to heal and to help forgive.
How fortunate I was to live within driving distance. I was able to return home each day to my pregnant wife as we wondered what sort of world we were bringing our son into. How fortunate I was to have a class to attend so I could not spend all day watching the horror replaying on the television. How fortunate I was to already have many years of experience and confidence in my own abilities. It seemed to me that’s why Jerry chose me for the target of light-hearted teasing and the subject of more challenging demonstrations. Laughter was what we needed. Knowledge is what I gained. Even now it feels like I learned more in those seven days than any other week in my life, and I have been able to apply that knowledge repeatedly ever since.
On day seven, we took our test, posed for our class picture, and I picked up my new video collection. My how young Jerry was in some of those recordings! His mannerisms remained the same, though, always saying “y’see” and referring to Cleveland as someplace ever farther than B.F.E.
As I encountered more of Jerry’s students online and at conferences, I heard from other hypnotists “Oh, you’re one of Jerry’s kids.” The moniker “Jerry’s kids” took on a whole new meaning, one that we all adopted proudly, and some quite loudly. Some of Jerry’s kids have become very successful, and others have gone on to other passions. I have not made a full-time career out of hypnosis, at least not yet, but neither have I dropped it altogether. Hypnosis remains my passion, and my learning continues still.
There is an indescribable joy that comes from helping a wounded heart to heal, to grow, and to blossom again. Two days ago, Jerry left us for his final trip to Cleveland. Jerry’s kids still remain, and we will continue to bloom. There are people out there who need healing, and thanks to Jerry we can do it.