Chic Spotlight: Leslie Riopel, Clinical Hypnotherapist

Chic Spotlight: Leslie Riopel, Clinical Hypnotherapist

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Owner of Sweetdreams Hypnosis Leslie Riopel (left) with sister 
partner Cynthia Morris (right).

Cincy Chic: Tell us about Sweetdreams Hypnosis and your role there.

Leslie Riopel, ACHT, Clinical Hypnotherapist: Faced with job elimination in 2009, working 16 years at a large financial institution, I decided to go back to school to pursue my Master’s Degree in Psychology Health and Wellness. I have been interested in and studying various methods of holistic healing for as long as I can remember, so in many ways, this was a natural progression, because the study of the mind has always been my true passion.


Determined to make “sweetdreams” out of sour grapes per se, I felt I had two choices after having my job eliminated: feel sorry for myself, or pursue my dreams. The choice was an easy one. Since no companies were hiring anyway, I figured I might as well find something fascinating to do with my time, because I am certainly not one to sit around and watch the grass grow.


Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with my weight and my appearance and I had spent many lonely years being painfully shy and not getting the most out of life. To quote myself from my website: “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I eat, how I eat or how it looks on me.” So, I can definitely relate to women who have struggled with their weight and their body image and I am determined to help people find a better way to overcome these things.


Thanks to Hypnosis, I have since conquered my weight loss and shyness challenges, but I can certainly empathize with those who have spent a lifetime obsessing with things like their weight, their addictions or any other kind of negative thought pattern that impacts their life. After going back to pursue my Master’s degree, I decided to become a Clinical Hypnotherapist so that I could continue to help people, much the same way that I helped myself overcome challenges.


I formed Sweetdreams Hypnosis in 2010, determined to help everyone I meet overcome challenges they have spent a lifetime fighting. My sister, Cynthia Morris, who is also an RN, had spent the previous year caring for our father, who has Progressive supranuclear palsy and he needed 24/7 care at home. After he moved to a Care Center, she was ready for a change as well so we decided to go into business together. Today, my sister is my business partner and also a Clinical Hypnotherapist who happens to specialize in Addictions. We definitely feel like we have chosen a unique way to help people.


Cincy Chic: What inspired you to open Sweetdreams Hypnosis for business?
I have always been interested in alternative therapies and I am always on the lookout for unique ways to work through challenges. I liked hypnosis as an alternative therapy because it is a quicker and easier way to overcome challenges and make improvements. I had spent years meditating but always had trouble turning my mind off and reaching the alpha brainwave state, and I found that hypnosis offered a much quicker way to get there.


I was inspired to begin my own business for several reasons. To begin with, I was ready for a change and I liked the freedom and flexibility that being an entrepreneur offered me. I really didn’t want to go back to what I had done before, because I was burnt out from many years spent in the corporate venue, and I was longing to do something that would make a difference.


Much of my previous career was spent working with large groups of people in terms of managing large projects, so I really felt like I need something that allowed me more personal contact with people. I had a desire to be of service as well and I really just wanted to move to something that I felt would make more of a difference. In many ways, much of it was a personal challenge, because I really wanted to further develop my people skills and do something that could help people on a more personal level.


Cincy Chic: Why did you get interested in Hypnosis?
After beginning my Master’s Degree, I began to realize that Hypnosis was often used in place of more traditional type therapies and many Psychologists were also using it as part of their normal practice, with some amazing results. I began to study Brian L. Weiss, MD, who has written several books on Regression Therapy and how it can help people overcome challenges, and I just became fascinated by the concept and decided that I needed to pursue my passions and do something I loved, as far as my career goes. This aspect of Hypnosis is fascinating and intriguing to me, and I found that I wanted to learn more about it. It just felt like the right fit for me, because it allowed me to blend my passions into something that I could actually make a living out of. I really feel like this is what I was always meant to do, because I look forward to each and every day, because what I’m doing, doesn’t feel like work at all. I also have a passion for writing, so I created a Blog (, where I could share interesting and intriguing stories with people on how Hypnosis can change your life, so much of what I do every day involves writing and creating things that motivate and inspire people, and my blog allows me to do that.


Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is meeting new and interesting people every day. I find I love to hear their stories and it is very interesting and challenging finding ways to help them, through Hypnosis. I truly believe that we all have the capacity to make incredible changes in our lives, if we could just get out of our own way. Our learned thought patterns, which are embedded into our subconscious mind from childhood, have a huge impact on the way that we live. Many times, people don’t even realize that their thought patterns have such an impact, but whatever has been drilled into your mind, from an early age, is truly what you believe.


If you were always told you were a “fat child”, or a “dumb child”, or a “shy child”, that is what your subconscious has been fed, therefore what it believes. The subconscious mind is like a tape player whose sole job is to record, then play back, whatever you encounter or experience throughout life. The conscious mind is the gatekeeper, and the conscious mind’s job is to maintain the status quo and keep things the same all of the time, so it is very difficult to make changes using the conscious mind. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination, so this is essentially why hypnosis works so well.


Therapy is great, for some people, but it is a very long, cumbersome experience and repetitively looking at and examining what is wrong with your life, sometimes just brings you more of the same, much like in the law of attraction. Hypnosis allows us to in essence do a software upgrade, for the subconscious mind, replacing old tapes with new ones. It’s really that easy. Repetition is really the key and bypassing the conscious mind, is the quickest way to get there.


Cincy Chic: This is our "Au Naturale" issue. So tell me about how hypnosis can be a more natural approach to resolving issues such as smoking cessation and weight loss.
Hypnosis works wonderful for things like smoking cessation, for example. It is actually one of the best ways to quit, and it has the highest success rate when you look at the studies. Compared to traditional methods, Hypnosis has absolutely no side effects and no withdrawal symptoms, which is amazing when you think about it. I had a client who stopped smoking after just two sessions, with no withdrawal symptoms and no side effects whatsoever. He equated it to flipping a switch in his mind.


Weight loss is also one of those things that is difficult to overcome, because we often think of ourselves in terms of how we have trouble overcoming things, so in many ways, we expect to fail. Hypnosis allows us to set our mind up for success, and with a few brief suggestions, we can help your mind turn the corner, so that you begin to think and feel like a thin person who has no trouble achieving and maintaining your perfect weight.


Repetition is the key here, because success must be accompanied by a determination to succeed. In other words, coming in for one session, probably won’t quite cut it for weight loss in the long term, but with patience and determination, you can succeed. I now provide all of my weight loss clients, with a follow-up CD that they can listen to on their own, because I find that it takes time to retrain the brain to accept new things.


Cincy Chic: Tell me more about the Hypnosis process. Do you do one-on-one, group sessions, classes, or all of the above?
We use a progressive relaxation induction method, so you can be assured that you will have no problems getting Hypnotized, because this method works for just about everyone. We essentially lull you into the Hypnotic State. We do individual sessions, but group sessions are available if you have an issue that multiple people can share, as in weight loss or past life regressions. We are also available to speak at events to help educate and enlighten people about Hypnosis.


Cincy Chic: Where can someone go to learn more about you and what you do?
Visit our Web site for more information at or call us at 1-800-385-0765. Our office is located in Loveland, Ohio at 600 West Loveland Avenue, Suite 7E. I also see clients in my home office in Independence, Ky.


Visit my blog at to read more about how Hypnosis can help you in just about any aspect of life.


Cincy Chic: And this is a question we always ask: What do you love most about Cincinnati?
I like the small town feel of Cincinnati and I think it is great place to raise a family. We have everything a big city has in terms of culture, educational institutions, and activities and I have always been proud to say I am from Cincinnati.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl