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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  —  A week into the new year, have you kept up on your new year’s resolutions? A type of therapy may help you stay on track.

There is a lot of hype around hypnotherapy to help break habits or change your lifestyle.

“It can be a really powerful thing,” Therapist Carrie Leaf said. Leaf practices family and marriage counseling at Advanced Wellness in West Des Moines, but she also uses hypnotherapy to help clients reach their goals of quitting smoking, losing weight, or feeling less anxious.

When you walk into Leaf’s office it is very warm, it smells like lavender, and the shades are drawn, it is very relaxing. Which is the perfect setting for hypnotherapy because it puts you into a meditative state. In that relaxed state, you are able to suppress the conscious mind of logic, reason and critical thinking — and tap into the subconscious mind which Leaf compares to a computer system.

“That’s storing pretty much everything we’ve ever experienced, everything that we know and it’s getting that set program,” Leaf said.

During the session you put on headphones and the therapist will add those motivational and positive suggestions for say losing weight.

“Picture yourself at that ideal weight, that ideal size, and imagine yourself already being there, kind of like the law of attraction, if I think it, if I see it is real, then I can attract that energy towards myself,” Leaf said.

This is really not all that different from stage hypnosis.

“They’ve bypassed that conscious mind of this is going to be embarrassing or what will people think, they’ve gone to that subconscious mind, they’re operating on what they’ve been told to do in that suggestive state,” Leaf said.

The only difference between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy is the intention.

“It’s for entertainment versus healing and growing,” Leaf said.