Apparently Dale “Doc” Dougherty isn’t just the newly named director of the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department, but he’s also a master hypnotist.
“I’ve been doing it about eight years now, but I don’t bring it into the workplace,” Dougherty said. The lone exception, he said, was during his stint as a consultant for Notre Dame University. He took some time to help members of the Notre Dame golf team, who Dougherty said initially were skeptical about hypnosis. He made believers out of them.
“I joked with them they’d never make another three-foot putt again,” Dougherty said.
While he focuses his efforts on helping people overcome anxieties, fears and phobias, Dougherty said he’ll take the stage every so often and have some fun. But it’s good clean fun.
“My kids can see anything I do,” he noted.
Dougherty even has his own Web site: www.masterhypnotistdoc.com.
Master hypnotist sees answer to challenges of raising children
By Julie Houston-Trieste Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
At 37, Royal Palm Beach resident Dale "Doc" Dougherty says he's done it all - coached football, worked in sports promotions, fathered five children and was even a model.
So one could say he's a jack-of-all-trades, master of ... hypnosis? That's right. After seeing a hypnosis stage show in 1990 while attending Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Dougherty's interest in hypnosis was piqued. It wasn't until six years ago, though, that he started attending classes to become a master hypnotist. Once accredited, he took various seminars and honed his skills. "I started trying out what I learned, and it was awesome," Dougherty says. "This actually works!"
In addition, Dougherty is trained to host comedic hypnosis stage shows that have participants behaving in a silly manner and to help people stop smoking, overcome fears and phobias, and help athletes improve their performance.
When Dougherty's wife Alexendrea was pregnant with their third child, the couple realized that hypnosis could help with labor.
So Dougherty started studying, practicing and teaching hypnobirthing. "I guess it was our babies and talking to other couples (who were expecting) that got me interested in it," he says. Hypnobirthing teaches expectant mothers and their partners to use nothing more than the power of the human mind, relaxation, breathing and visualization during the delivery.
Yep. No drugs, no screaming and no pain.
Dougherty's wife has delivered three children using the techniques and through his classes he estimates that about 40 couples have had relaxing, painless birth experiences. "Put it this way," Dougherty says. "I've never had a student this didn't work on." He trains the pregnant woman and her birthing companion to get her in the state of hypnosis during delivery.
Dougherty says during hypnosis mothers are in a state similar to a daydream and their subconscious turns fear and pain in to relaxation and pressure. "It's all about changing perceptions," Dougherty explains.
But the birth experience isn't the only place Dougherty is looking to change perceptions. His new goal is to change the way Americans parent their children. Dougherty is self-publishing what he calls a "handbook" called, Discipline of Yesteryear: The Way America Used to Raise Its Children ... And Should Again.
Dougherty stresses the importance of a family taking the responsibility of raising their children, having children address all adults with a formal 'Mr. and Mrs.' and parents setting the examples they want their children to emulate. And yes, he also is an advocate for the spankings and punishment he and his wife received as children.
"It's important to set the tone with your child while they are still a baby," he explains. "It breaks your heart in the beginning, but once you set the tone for what is expected, you can love them and hug them all day long."
Dougherty and his wife met on a blind date in 1994, "And we haven't been apart a day since," he says. "We talked on our first date about how we both wanted a lot of children." The couple is well on their way of meeting their goal with Alexis, 7, Micayla, 6, Colton, 4, Carter, 3, and Larissa who is almost 2.
One room in the home is a dedicated classroom for the children, who are all home-schooled. Dougherty says because of the discipline that the children have known their whole lives, they receive compliments in public for how they behave in restaurants, stay out of danger in parking lots, use the buddy system and shake hands with adults they meet. "I had an elderly woman approach us in the Olive Garden in West Palm Beach to compliment us," Dougherty says. "She said, 'I haven't seen children this well behaved since ... well, I was young.' I took it as a compliment and knew I had to write this book."
Dougherty says that publishing the book has taken a large personal investment and while he hopes it's profitable, it's the message that is most important. "At the very least I'll keep copies in my car and hand it out to the parents of unruly children," Dougherty jokes.
Because, as he stresses in his book, "If you don't train your children, your children will train you."
Hypnotist helps with confidence Student taps minds of individuals, athletes
by:Lindsay Sena Notre Dame Observer
So you want to quit smoking, conquer stage fright, improve your athletic performance and gain self-confidence? Notre Dame MBA student Dale "Doc" Dougherty might be able to help with a few sessions of hypnosis.
A certified hypnotist, Dougherty said he became interested in the practice after seeing a stage show in 1990 and has practiced it for seven years. He has hosted numerous hypnosis workshops at Notre Dame, working with both individuals and sports teams.
He held one such workshop, the last beginner's session of the semester, Tuesday in the Mendoza College of Business to help students improve their study habits and test-taking and memorization skills.
Dougherty kicked off the session with a few brief meditations, asking participants to visualize relaxing settings. Contrary to stereotypes created by hypnosis stage shows, Dougherty said that your mind still has a moral code under a hypnotic trance.
"You totally have control over yourself," he said. "You can't be made to rob a bank unless you rob banks in your everyday life."
Hypnosis produces a temporary condition of attuned responsiveness at the subconscious level, giving Dougherty an opportunity to present positive thoughts and values to the hypnotized mind.
"Ideally, the positive suggestions will replace the negative suggestions that are keeping you from reaching goals of self-improvement," Dougherty said.
The best way to view hypnosis, he said, is as a state of "intense relaxation and concentration, in which the mind becomes remote and detached from everyday cares and concerns."
"You aren't asleep or unconscious," he said. "You are in an alternative state of consciousness in which you let things happen through your subconscious mind, rather than trying to make them happen with your conscious and critical mind."
Sophomore Malia Makowski said she was hesitant to try Dougherty's methods.
"I was skeptical at first about trying hypnosis after everything I've heard about it," she said at Tuesday's sessions.
But she was pleasantly surprised by the level of relaxation and harmony she reached with Dougherty's exercises.
"Even if it doesn't help my studies, it really helped me relax. I'm definitely going to try and make another one of [Dougherty's] sessions," she said.
And stressed students aren't the only ones taking advantage of Dougherty's services.
Dougherty has begun working with the Notre Dame's Women's golf team.
"Sports are 90 percent mental. You spend four hours a day working physically but do nothing to help the mental game," he said. Sports hypnosis can assist with pain management, the ability to eliminate outside distractions and anxiety control, Dougherty's Web site says.
"You change your mind, you change your perception, you change your entire life," he said.