Machenberg is a licensed hypnotherapist in Los Angeles. “My children are able to use logic and reason,” she told ABC News. “They have a form of diligence or perseverance that you don’t see in other children.”
Machenberg’s 17-year-old daughter, Rayna, said her mom’s mind control methods have never been a secret, and they’ve had a positive effect on her own life.
“Being able to push back on stress and think about it deeply and do self-reflecting was a skill that I’m really grateful that my mom taught me,” she told ABC News. “I think it still influences me a lot today and helped me develop into the person I am right now.”
Machenberg’s son, Jake, admits he hasn’t always enjoyed Mom’s mind games.
“It could get a little crazy when she tries to kind of hypnotize us at every single possible situation that she can. It could get a little overbearing ― she gets in your head,” he told Barcroft TV. “But as far as things like getting into college, I think it was an advantage. ... I think it’s helped me, you know it’s helped me have control over my own mind.”
Machenberg is now charging $125 for hypno-parenting classes, but some experts are skeptical about whether it’s appropriate for kids.
ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser told Good Morning America that while hypnosis can work for shaping behavior, there isn’t enough evidence on whether it’s good for children.
“The evidence on the clinical use is really, really strong. I haven’t seen that kind of evidence for parenting and that bothers me a little bit,” said Besser, whose parents were both clinical hypnotherapists.
Besser stressed that hypnotism should only be performed by trained professionals and suggested parents stick to other strategies such as praising good behavior, and staying consistent on discipline and expectations.