Tall, graceful, with a gentle smile, hypnotherapist Danijela Radonic Bhandari (38) is someone who puts you at ease instantly. The effervescent lady has a mission on her hands, to spread awareness on hypnosis and give it due recognition as a form of psychological therapy.
Having been through some harrowing times as a teenage Serbian refugee being brought up in Croatia, she believes that war and pain were the catalysts that made her take to spiritualism and alternative medicine. The lady, who has made Bangalore her home for last one year, remembers how she picked up the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse when she was still in primary school and went deep into the world of prayer, meditation and humanitarian service. After medical school, Danijela worked in a dental clinic for eight years but always wanted to know more about alternative medicine. Exploring better prospects she moved to Dubai and then to Nepal where she would sneak time out to study healing courses, while continuing with her regular job. She also did a course at the Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine in Kolkata.
She was managing one of Nepal’s biggest spa and holistic centres before moving to India. Fate took a harsh turn when she was diagnosed with acute arthritis. Danijela opted for homoeopathy and hypnotherapy to rescue cure herself. The therapy worked beautifully and the pain vanished miraculously. This inspired Danijela to do a course in clinical hypnotherapy in New Delhi at the Indian branch of the California Hypnosis Institute.
“Going through hypnosis and doing the intensive one year course have made me learn more about myself and now it’s my turn to spread awareness about this much misunderstood therapy. Unfortunately, magicians and so called mass hypnosis have given it a bad name and there is fear attached to it,” says Danijela.
Being a practitioner of regular meditation and visualisations, Danijela holds free meditation sessions at her home every Thursday. She combines some spiritual practices with her clinical hypnotherapy sessions. Her gentle sense of humour, compassion and sensitivity makes her session productive and joyful for her patients.
Danijela is eager to dispel some popular myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. She says it is a completely safe and harmless form of psychological therapy. It is a state of altered awareness, not sleep or unconsciousness. Your conscious mind gives a large degree of control to your sub conscious mind. You are in control of your body and mind during hypnosis. It is officially recognised and approved by the British Medical Association and American Medical Association.
Danijela says hypnosis relaxes you completely and many feel a deep inner calm. “Deep hypnosis is similar in many ways to the kind of profound trance felt by yogis or meditation experts. The best way to learn about it is to experience it,” she says. It is a branch of psychotherapy; it is not an occult or esoteric science. Registered clinical psychotherapist sometime uses hypnosis as well to achieve results and breakthroughs with patients. Danijela uses an integrated approach and combines direct verbal suggestions or visualisations and even past life regression techniques.
The most common fear is that someone will get ‘stuck’ in a hypnotic state. What if the therapist gets a heart attack during a session? “You never get permanently stuck day dreaming, do you? Everyone comes out of hypnosis in a relaxed state, no matter what. People fear that they are going to expose themselves by spilling the beans, so to speak, but that is not the case. A client has the freedom to speak aloud or remain silent during sessions. Anyone who is capable of focused attention and truly wants some help in their life can and will get hypnotised. However we hypnotise only those who want it,” asserts Danijela.
Hypnosis can even be used on older children to help alter or improve their study habits; it is commonly used by her to sort out relationship issues, all kinds of addictions and more.
She uses a voice recorder to record what has been said by the patient. Getting to the point of origin of the problem and removing deep set fears helps in healing.
The mind is a very powerful tool, make it your friend and trust in the process of life. Trusting one’s therapist is vital and one can be assured of total privacy and confidentiality.
Wife of a jet setting hotelier, Ranvir Bhandari, Danijela manages to balance her work and inner life with parties and hectic socialising, with amazing grace and elan. She turned vegetarian a decade ago and you will find her holding a glass of chilled green tea instead of white wine at many a party! When she’s not hypnotising people, she likes to go scuba diving or dancing. Making time for social work and charity is also what Danijela does on a regular basis. Being a former refugee, she knows what it is like to have nothing literally overnight.