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First Citizen helps all day long

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jean Jackson, a hypnotherapist and avid member of several organizations around Tigard and Washington County, has been named First Citizen by the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce.Jean Jackson isn’t just a go-getter, she’s what you might call a go-giver.

During her day job, the Tigard hypnotherapist helps people move past issues in their daily lives. And outside of the office, her devotion to helping people in need is practically all-encompassing.

Jackson, 52, is an avid volunteer with Tigard Kiwanis, and the Tigard/Tualatin Relay for Life. She cooks meals once a month at the Good Neighbor Center, Tigard’s local homeless shelter on Southwest Greenburg Road, and has spent countless hours volunteering for the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce.

As a board member of the Washington County Loaves and Fishes Center in North Plains, Jackson delivers hot meals to the elderly all across the county. She also volunteers to sit with patients diagnosed with terminal cancer, helping them to embrace their transition into death.

So it was little surprise when Jackson was named the winner of this year’s First Citizen Award by the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce.

The award, given to those who have devoted themselves to giving back to the community, is the chamber’s highest honor.

As First Citizen, Jackson will be recognized during the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Shining Stars fundraiser later this month.

Make a difference

Jackson admits her career is far from the norm. In truth, hypnosis isn’t what most people associate with the practice from films or television, she said.

Far from a parlor trick, hypnosis is used in behavior modification therapy for people hoping to lose weight, quit smoking or change some other aspect of their lives.

“It’s about letting people get unstuck,” she said. “It’s about behavior modification. They want to lose weight, but can’t. And in reality, it has nothing to do with the weight — there is an underlying current behind it that’s stopping them.”

Through hypnosis, Jackson said, she is able to access parts of the subconscious that may be inhibiting people from accomplishing their goals.

“Once the conscious mind is out of the way, you can start communicating with the part that’s real,” she said.

Jackson compared the mind to a computer.

“The icons on the desktop, that’s your conscious mind,” she said. “You can choose what you focus on. But the hard drive of the computer, that’s your subconscious, and it remembers every smell, every sight, everything you have ever experienced.”

She began hypnotizing friends, family and co-workers in her spare time, helping them to get through issues in their lives.

“Soon it was a very full-time hobby that I wasn’t getting paid for,” she said.

Jackson decided to start her own clinic, Becoming You Hypnosis, in 2009, and it soon outgrew her home office.

Now located on Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Jackson employs two other hypnotherapists and a massage therapist.

“I can really make a difference on a full-time basis,” Jackson said.

Tigard’s ‘poster child’

Jackson isn’t shy about her love for her community. A Tigard resident for 28 years, Jackson said she couldn’t think of another place she would rather live.

“I know how cheesy this sounds, but Tigard really is a great place to call home,” Jackson said, reciting the city’s motto. “To me, your home is your first community. It’s your school, or the city you live in. You have to feel at home in your home, and that’s why I belong to all those groups. I want to build my home and feel good when I drive down the street and know that I have made a difference.”

The self-appointed “poster-child” for Tigard, Jackson said giving back to her community is a way of saying thank you.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Jackson. She was almost homeless at one point, she said, but was able to turn her life around thanks to the generosity of her community.

“Nobody told me ‘no’ when I needed help, and I’m not going to tell anyone else ‘no,’ either,” Jackson said. “If I have the financial ability and physical ability to be there for someone, I’m going to do it, because I don’t know where I would be if they hadn’t done that for me.”

The First Citizen award is one of several awards handed out by the chamber and the city of Tigard during the annual Shining Stars awards ceremony, including Tigard’s Exemplary Citizen award, which has yet to be named.

Shining Stars is set for Friday, April 26, at Embassy Suites near Washington Square. For further details, call 503-639-1656 or visit tigardchamber.org.



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