Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul
It's the middle of football season, and the head trainer for the New York Jets is pacing around his office. He's tried every drill he can think of, but his players just can't seem to focus. The phone rings. It's a woman--a hypnotherapist, she says. She thinks she can help the players get their heads back in the game. The trainer is familiar with strangers telling him how to improve his team--this is New York, after all--and he tactfully puts her off. That trainer had no idea what he was up against.
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A couple of months later, Donna Dannenfelser, Ed.D., a Long Island housewife-turned-therapist, is counseling pro football players in her home while her kids watch TV. The team starts turning things around. Fast forward a decade, and Dr. Donna, as the players call her, is advising high-profile patients and working as a supervising producer on a show based on her career (Necessary Roughness, Wednesdays on USA).
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