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Below is the part of the article that features an interview with Darren Marks and one of the users of  Harmony. To read the full article by Lane Florsheim on the WSJ website click here: https://on.wsj.com/2LgCHj2

Harmony Hypnosis Meditation app founder and hypnotherapist Darren Marks is one of a small wave of app founders, who are trying to move hypnotherapy further into the mainstream.

So, how does hypnotherapy work? “I give [patients] instructions to think about things, to imagine things in a particular way,” says Marks, who’s based in London. “And if they follow those instructions, they’ll go into what’s termed a trance state.” From there, Marks uses suggestion and imagery to work with patients. Whereas normally telling a stressed,  insecure patient she’s calm and confident wouldn’t be convincing, in this state, her critical faculties are relaxed so she’s more open to the suggestion. Similarly, Marks can tell her to imagine herself in a situation where she was anxious or worried but instead to picture herself as comfortable and successful. “The reason that kind of imagery is effective is because our subconscious minds do not differentiate between real and imagined experiences,” he explains.

Marks got the idea for Harmony after he started making recordings for some of his clients. He says the app has almost every technique he uses. “It’s as close as I can come to simulating what it’s like to see me for real,” he says.

Through repetition of these techniques, boosters say, hypnotherapy is like training your mind. Amy Chang, a 47-year-old CEO of a health e-commerce company in San Diego, dealt with issues related to loneliness for all of her life and felt frustrated that she’d spent “tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket” on therapy that ultimately didn’t work. She downloaded Harmony and in June 2018 became a lifetime member. She says that listening to a module on overcoming the fear of loneliness enabled her to reprogram her association with being alone to be a positive rather than negative one. “I love being alone now,” she says. “I don’t want to sit here and say psychotherapy isn’t helpful, because it is for a lot of things, but when it comes to something that’s been subconsciously wired from [a young age], [hypnotherapy] works so much better.”