Create Clarity and Calm

psychotherapy shaped by hypnosis, mind/body medicine and neuroscience

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Life is often confusing and painful.

Your lack of clarity can produce anxiety, depression, insomnia, physical pain and illness. They become a way of life, impacting the mental, social, physical, sexual and spiritual aspects of your living.

You need balance at the deepest levels of mind, body and spirit. You deserve not just psychotherapy, but therapy that crafts a well rounded and unique lifestyle based on the best of mindfulness meditation, hypnosis and cutting edge mind/body brain techniques.

Because deep within you lies the wisdom and experience to transform your life. And together we create a secure space to address your pain, and connect with your hidden strengths. Whether you choose individual therapy, hypnotherapy, our therapeutic workshops or my meditative hypnosis downloads, I offer you this opportunity to better focus your positive intentions.

If you are ready to make serious changes that will better prepare you for life's challenges, I'm looking forward to working with you.

When you are dissatisfied with the way things are, with the way you are, it means you are ready to evolve, to take a step forward.

You can adjust your perspectives. Discover potentials. Resolve painful issues and release the power to change that resides within. You can think, feel and live in ways that add balance and hope instead of pain and hopelessness.

Like all of us, your childhood was challenging and filled with difficult moments. It's meant to be that way. But sometimes, what was happening then felt frightening and insurmountable. As part of your hardwired program, the brain automatically created emotional and mental adaptations to protect you, to keep you moving forward. You may not remember when or how that happened. Yet they still may exert a powerful influence over your thoughts and feelings today. In fact, your current struggles may stem from adaptations that no longer serve you. Adaptations that once helped you, now hurt you. Surprisingly, they may be damaging physically as well as psychologically.

It's time to explore your inner world safely and deeply to release, regenerate and heal.

My approach offers safe access to hidden intelligence at the deepest levels. With a keen eye on the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, I help you craft an individualized, well-rounded and transformative therapy that combines the best of mindfulness meditation, clinical hypnosis and psychology.

It may not be easy. It takes courage to bear the truth of your personal story.

But from this truth comes new knowing. Freedom from frustrating, destructive patterns. And the opportunity to be at peace with yourself.

I work with adults and adolescents as individuals, couples, families and groups, and have been trained in the following therapeutic approaches:

  • Ego State Therapy
  • Clinical hypnotherapy (Ericksonian, Traditional)
  • Experiential (e.g., Gestalt Therapy and Psychodrama)
  • Cognitive Behavioral
  • EMDR
  • Mind/Body Medicine

I specialize in treating stress sensitive illness. Anxiety, PTSD, depression, dissociation, IBS and fibromyalgia are just a few examples of conditions that have responded favorably to my approach.

I have always provided distance therapy to non-local clients, first by phone and recently by adding the internet. I’m always looking for the means to safely and effectively reach out to as many people as I can. To accommodate the mechanics of communication, I’ve made some tweaks to my ‘tools’ that have allowed me to maintain creative and productive connections.

I also provide workshops and seminars, consultation, classes and professional training for psychotherapists and businesses, upon request.

More about my perspectives
Fees, Forms, etc.

I’m a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist practicing in Houston, Texas since 1989.

While I’ve been trained in different types of cognitive, behavioral and psychodynamic ‘talk’ therapies, I rely on clinical hypnosis, EMDR, and mindfulness training to insure deep long lasting change.

My orientation and experience in hypnosis led me to the profound understanding of the interconnections of mind, body and brain. Currently, I describe my expertise as the treatment of stress sensitive illness. My treatment approach allows me the freedom to address pain and imbalance whether the symptoms are primarily cognitive/emotional (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD, dissociation) or physical (e.g., IBS, fibromyalgia).

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis certified me as an Approved Consultant, their highest level of recognition, in 1999. I’ve conducted accredited hypnosis workshops and seminars for healthcare professionals and graduate students since 1990.

I’m enthusiastic about Stillstate Wellness, my research driven system of mental and physical exercises that maximize brain health. Because the sciences continues to provide new insights into the brain, the curriculum continues to develop. My workshops and retreats have been well received since 2009.

I also enjoy teaching and practicing Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. I was introduced to much of my personal practice of mindfulness, meditation and yoga in this multi-layered art. I earned my first aikido black belt in 2004.

I provide a safe, confidential relationship, so your therapy can be productive and minimally uncomfortable. Together we deeply explore your mental, emotional and physical distresses unlocking insights for immediate use. Often there are clues in your history, sources of suffering, such as adaptive mechanisms gone awry. We work to retool such mechanisms so you can recover your balance, move forward, and live a more satisfying and productive life. There's more to it than that, such as exploring how your environment and relationships hamper or support your healing process. We address all of it — all of you.

Typically, I use the framework of Ego State Therapy, developed by master therapists John and Helen Watkins. The tremendous flexibility of this approach helps address complex issues. Beyond that, I use ideas and practices from a variety of theories and traditions, combining them in unique ways. For instance, I’ll try interventions based in a cognitive-behavioral or psychoanalytic framework while supporting the process with mindfulness or hypnosis. The experiential learning afforded by these different types of trance adds depth and permanence to the work. In other types of therapies, life coaching and/or self help efforts, this crucial layer is often neglected. (It’s one of the reasons that I believe some DIY therapies found on the internet and in bookstores feel incomplete.)

I strongly believe that the healing process is co-created within the safe relationship between therapist and client. So I’m open to flexible and creative ways to address your individual needs and to promote healing and recovery in mind and body.

Clients come to therapy with certain motivations and goals. My first order of business is to honor that. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about my own therapeutic intentions. After decades of practice, I’ve come to understand this: difficulties arise when conflicting internal viewpoints clash. Whether it’s head versus heart or conscious versus unconscious, we must continually strive to create and maintain internal harmony. Sounds a bit like Eastern philosophy, doesn't it?

Actually, Eastern mystics and traditional Oriental medical practitioners have always emphasized the importance of harmony. They view disease and pain as indicators of imbalance. The Western healing tradition looks at things differently, but the result is the same: when we feel conflicted in our feelings, thoughts or behaviors, we are clearly out of balance. Psychotherapy gives us an opportunity to restore balance within the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and sexual aspects of our lives.

First, let me clarify my definition of ‘trance’. Interventions that shift the brain from ordinary, logical processing to something more centering and intuitive, I call trance. Whether it’s guided meditation, relaxed visualization, EMDR, or hypnosis, brain waves change to introduce a more expanded, less linear processing system. More information is accessible and change becomes easier.

Trance is useful especially when physical symptoms are involved. As I mentioned elsewhere, trance supplies a crucial experiential element that allows the therapy to be more robust and powerful.

Hypnosis specifically, helps to identify sources of conflict and can also harness a person's inner strengths to help resolve these conflicts. I have generally found it to be an efficient method of dealing with processes outside of conscious awareness. Those processes, often under-recognized, can drive our thoughts, feeling and behaviors. Hypnosis is highly effective in surfacing the hidden logic of our painful habits and patterns.

In the last 35 years, I have received training in a great many therapies, each with strengths and weaknesses. Seeking exposure to a variety of spiritual traditions also has expanded my perspective. Thus I am gratified to see spirituality and some spiritual practices increasingly validated in the helping professions. (A good example is mindfulness meditation. Research demonstrates that this spiritual tool is beneficial to positive brain change.)

Further, I have learned tremendously from my clients and continue to do so.

My training in clinical hypnosis has led me, like many others, to realize the intimate relationship between emotional and physical health. We are just beginning to really know how much attending to our emotions can help repair our bodies.

These influences inform my therapeutic practice every day.

My lifelong interest in the martial arts has led me to Aikido, a non-violent, defensive art that emphasizes harmony in mind, body and spirit. It inspires me to practice what I preach.

On other fronts, advances in neuroscience are particularly exciting: new discoveries regarding brain development, function and plasticity will affect how we address the human mind/body and its capacity to heal and grow.

But in the end, the most influential forces are the ones most personal to me: my family and friends. Striving to be a sensitive husband, father and friend always makes me a better therapist. It really is all about balance, isn't it?

Evolving the brain for resilience, clarity and calmness.

Evolutionary psychologists tell us that the human brain, unchanged for 50,000 years, is hardwired to survive by relying on suspicion and vigilance. In the 21st century, those primitive reactions to unpredictable circumstances compromise cognitive, emotional, sexual and physical health.

Current research validates the health benefits of the distinct but overlapping practices of hypnosis, meditation, yoga, and mindful martial arts like aikido. They create certain configurations of brain, mind and body that counter stress--we call them stillstates. Stillstates initiate and promote positive neuroplasticity--the ability of the brain to grow and repair itself. At Stillstate Wellness, we seek to ‘evolve’ the primitive reactive brain to master the stresses of 21st century living. To guarantee health and peak performance, start with the brain.

Stillstate Wellness workshops were founded on the science of brain change. "Neural friendly" approaches were carefully selected and adapted from mindful meditative and martial arts to create a flowing system of mind, body and brain training. We believe that with regular stillstate practice, a life of balance, ease and resilience is inevitable.

Find the next workshop here

Are you intrigued about the documented benefits of meditation? Does the possibility of overcoming unconscious obstacles make self-hypnosis appealing to you? Do you believe you could benefit from some centering, disciplined practice but somehow can't seem to make the time?

Look no further.

Find a private spot to relax and listen

For the past twenty years, I have been examining the neuroscience of meditation, hypnosis and brain entrainment, carefully crafting recordings that include updated and essential tools to efficiently change the brain...and still be ‘user friendly.’

The result? A library of brief and portable MP3s that combine the best of hypnosis and meditation. Unlike other programs that offer formulaic instructions which may or may not fit for you, these recordings encourage you to intuitively choose your own wise path and pace, creating a unique, individual healing experience. With every repetition, you effortlessly learn to adjust your brain state while accessing a powerful tool of creativity and change: your unconscious mind. Using hypnotic meditations to challenge habitual viewpoints and unwanted behaviors is an economical and efficient way to make physical, mental, and even spiritual changes.

Find the collections here

Our satisfied clients consistently reported these advantages to using our MP3s:

  • they are portable, brief--can be used anywhere, anytime.
  • they are designed to interact with your personal life events, so a single trance can be almost endlessly replayed with different results.
  • they are especially powerful in conjunction with most forms of mind/body work, such as: individual/group therapy or counseling; body work; energy medicine; 12 step programs; meditation of all types; yoga; tai chi; chi gung; and aikido to list just a few.
  • they are focused peak performance tool (for physical/sports, occupation academics, etc).
  • they are potent adjuncts for most diet, smoking cessation or other habit management. programs

My sincere wish is, that in time, the trances will inspire you to listen regularly—and in so doing, naturally discover the benefits of this centering, disciplined practice.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free thirty minute consult, please email or call me.

James Matson, LCSW
9100 Southwest Freeway,
Suite 122
Houston, TX 77074

Office Hours:
10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.