Boise hypnosis center shuts down

The Positive Changes office on Emerald Street just east of Milwaukee Street was empty Friday afternoon.
The Positive Changes office on Emerald Street just east of Milwaukee Street was empty Friday afternoon.

A hypnotherapy office shut down suddenly last week after its owner filed for bankruptcy.

The Positive Changes office on Emerald Street in Boise was dark and empty this week, with no signs or notices posted regarding the closure.

In its bankruptcy filing, the company reported total debt in the range of $500,000 to $1 million. The Boise office had a net loss in January of $43,552 and in February of $32,319, the filing said

The office was one of four Positive Changes locations owned by a franchisee, Spokane-based ET Research Inc. The other offices were in Bellevue and Spokane, Washington; and Beaverton, Oregon.

Positive Changes Hypnosis Centers is an Iowa-based national network of centers that offer hypnosis for issues such as weight loss, smoking cessation and stress and anxiety.

A recorded message on the Positive Changes national headquarters’ phone number Friday said the company learned April 20 that ET Research had filed for bankruptcy. ET Research had “more than 1,200 individual and corporate creditors,” according to the recorded message.

Clients of the Boise office who paid money for services they have not received can contact the bankruptcy court for the Eastern District of Washington by calling (509) 458-5300 for more information, the message said. The reference number for the bankruptcy case is 17-01203-FPC7.

“During this time, we suggest that you download all MP3 files from your library to your own device,” the message said.

Meridian resident Colleen Carrera said she drove by the office last week and talked to three customers who had shown up for appointments, only to find the office closed.

Carrera said she “had wonderful luck” as a former patient of Positive Changes. She lost 47 pounds three years ago as a patient there, she said.

“A lady said she paid, two months ago, $500, and of course she hasn’t gotten $500 of services,” Carrera said. “These people losing their money and losing the benefit of the program is nerve-wracking.”

One local hypnotherapist issued a news release in light of the closure, saying other Boise-area hypnotherapy practices are thriving.

Jessica Hixson, owner of River Valley Hypnotherapy in Boise, said her business has “seen a steady and reliable revenue increase” in each of the seven years since it opened.

“I feel terrible for these [former Positive Changes clients] and I would be happy to give them a significant discount for my services if they wish to continue their work,” Hixson said.

Related: Hypnotherapy gains ground in Boise area

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @audreydutton