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Getting Sleepy...

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One thing the folks at Dweck! don't need is to be put in a hypnotic trance. Shoptalk shudders to think of how many more three-eyed cows and terrifying overgrown squirrels might crop up in its advertising.

And yet Newton Meyers, a hypnotherapist from New York's Pratt Institute, was invited to the shop recently to let staffers test-drive his creative visualization techniques.

Meyers asked staffers to think of a question, then sent them into a sleeplike state. Next he asked them to visualize and draw three pictures. "Will I ever return to the South?" querried one writer, who then sketched a cow (presumably with only two eyes), a can of tomatoes and a church steeple. Meyer's interpretation: "If I'm willing to go along with the small-mindedness of the South, I can return. It is the home of my sacred childhood."

With results like that, Meyers is sure to be a major hit at New York shops, particularly ones with packaged-goods accounts. "Trance supercharges [people]," he says. "They'll throw inhibitions to the side and work from the gut."