Romy Rafael: Hypnotherapy's self-appointed PR manThe Jakarta Post - The Journal of Indonesia Today
: Hypnotherapy's self-appointed PR man
...Donning black attire from head to foot, gypsy earrings and headcover, and dangling a pocket watch, Romy Rafael, the rising hypnotist, mesmerizes the public through his new form of entertainment on a private TV station.
"I like to entertain, but I actually want more.I want to make hypnotherapy a recognized way of healing here," Romy
said, sipping his
ice coffee in a hotel cafe.
"When I arrived back after studying hypnotism in the United States, I found people here had a lot of misperceptions about it," he
said that in Indonesia people knew hypnotism as a means to commit crimes, for example, by putting people under a spell so they would do whatever the hypnotist wished of them.
"That's wrong.I can't hypnotize a person if he
does not want to be hypnotized," Romy
, who grew up in Surabaya, said.
Because of this image problem, he
has appointed himself to do the "PR work" for hypnotherapy in Indonesia. He
show on private station SCTV, called "Hipnotis", as one way to clear people's misperceptions about hypnotism.
Besides entertaining through his
TV show, he
also performs at special events such as company gatherings and product launches.
But for the longer term, he
has opened a hypnotherapy clinic in South Jakarta that has now been running for two years.
"I help people who want to stop smoking, stop abusing drugs, lose weight, revive from depression or set life goals," he
"Most of my clients come to me for help in getting out of depression or for goal setting," he
was currently carrying out therapy for four junior high school children to help them set their life goals.
"I knew what I wanted to be ever since I was in junior high school," he
said."I wanted to be a motivating speaker." He
later cited names like Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar.
"I knew them through their books since I was in high school," Romy
, the eldest of three children, said.
"I was into books because I didn't have a lot of friends.I spent a lot of time in the library," he
Taking another sip of coffee, Romy
, who is 180 centimeters tall and weighs 87 kilograms and appears to be in good shape (literally), recounted his
"I was being bullied at school because I weighed 90 kilograms when I was in the sixth grade," Romy
said."I started losing weight when I was in the last year of junior high school." From the books he read, he found out about hypnotism and later decided to be a hypnotist. "After high school, I enrolled at the Airlangga University in Surabaya," he continued.
third semester of studying management, he
decided to lie to his
parents, keeping the tuition fees for the next four semesters to himself, instead of paying them to the university.
"I made a fake proposal to my parents, saying that I needed Rp 50 million (US$5,500) to set up an Internet business with friends," he
With money from the fake proposal and the unpaid tuition fees, he
tried to make his
dream come true.He went to the United States, enrolling at the Hypnotism Training Institute in Los Angeles.
had a cousin there who he
could live with.
It took him three years and several part-time jobs, such as babysitting and collecting cans after sports events, to complete two courses on stage hypnotism and hypnotherapy.
Three years ago, he
came back to Indonesia and began to perform stage hypnotism for company events.
"I did not have a clinic back then.But I did hypnotherapy by going out to my clients, who knew about me by word of mouth," he
first client was a foreigner, a general manager of a hotel who he
met when staging a show at the hotel.
wanted to stop smoking.And he
did stop after taking my sessions," Romy
said that his
service cost US$200 for one session.
"Quitting smoking usually takes four sessions, while stopping drugs takes longer," he
acknowledged that not every client was going to be successful in getting what he
added, worked easily on people who had good imaginations.
"Accountants, lawyers, people who are stronger in the left brain, require more effort," he
explained that this was because hypnotherapy required a lot of imagining.
"I put suggestions, scripts, that are not real, into clients' subconsciousness," he