Hypnotherapist and author Lisa Schermerhorn

Last year, Fayston-based hypnotherapist Lisa Schermerhorn self-published “In Every Belief is a Lie” – a text that explores how to uncover and release the limiting beliefs that people can hold about themselves, others, and the surrounding world.



Common limiting beliefs, she said, include ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I am unlovable.’ She explained how they can lead a person to live in a state of fear and constant stress, often manifesting as symptoms at the level of the body. As far as where they come from, “we are all programmed,” Schermerhorn said – by family, religious institutions, schooling, forms of media and other aspects of culture.

“We take on these beliefs and basically override our own intuition,” she said.  

Schermerhorn grew up in New Jersey. As a child, she had issues with learning and often felt lost in school, enrolling in summer school and trying to catch up. Her issues were never diagnosed and the insecurities that formed around them followed her into adulthood. At 38 years old, she was living in Duxbury, MA, when she entered into a state of crisis. “I didn’t want to be here anymore,” she said.

She started psychotherapy three times a week and out of desperation, began working with a hypnotherapist at the recommendation of a friend. Of the hypnotherapy she said, “it was really extraordinary. I saw how quickly the practitioner was able to get to the root cause of my issue, and I experienced a huge transformation.”

“I wanted to know what she was doing, exactly,” Schermerhorn said. From there, she became deeply interested in the role played by the unconscious mind in therapeutic settings.  


That was 23 years ago. She went on to study with practitioners across Massachusetts – becoming a certified hypnotherapist, then training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and various forms of energy medicine. She traveled to Italy, Peru, and Costa Rica in order to learn about indigenous traditions. “A lot of what we call ‘cutting edge techniques’ in therapy are actually taken from indigenous cultures, and repackaged,” she said.

Schermerhorn moved to Fayston in 2001 and started taking on clients. She described her work as helping people to gain clarity around limiting beliefs and other blockages, then releasing these in order to get closer to one’s goals and overall potential.

Most of her work involves facilitating clients to drop into an extremely relaxed state – one where alpha brain waves are dominant at a neurological level, and which could be considered a state of trance, she said. “It gets the ego out of the way,” she explained, allowing a person to access some of the emotionally-charged content that is not available to the conscious mind.

“We don’t need a person to re-experience something troubling,” she said, “but we just want to access the feelings that came with it, and we want to release them.” 

“People often don’t understand hypnosis,” she said. “They think it means I have the potential to control them. But I’m just asking questions during the session, which you yourself will answer internally. The unconscious mind has the answers to nearly everything. It will take you to the root cause of your issue.” 

Schermerhorn elaborated, “I have nothing against methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but there are things that just cannot be reached though the conscious mind alone.” She acknowledged that psychotherapy can be useful afterwards, in terms of understanding how to integrate the knowledge that emerged from hypno-work.

“When we identify our blockages, and release them, we shift how we see reality and actually start to attract what we want,” she added. “Our energy is so powerful.”