John Kappas attained his orientation to hypnosis from stage practice whose exponents assumed that only half the population could be hypnotized. Through practical experience, Kappas realized that direct suggestion was resisted by the half of the population that is left-brain dominant (analytical). This led Kappas into a lifetime of study of suggestibility, drawing upon personal experience treating tens of thousands of clients. Those cases covered both behavioral and psychological disorders. In recorded training seminars from the seventies, Kappas frequently stated that psychosis was due to hypersuggestibility - a chronic state of hypnosis - that makes the client unable to distinguish real and imaginary experiences.
The dominant factor in suggestibility is brain bilaterality (left/right dominance, generating respectively the "Emotional" and "Physical" patterns of behavior). Kappas saw hemispheric dominance as arising from nurturance, with natural complementarity arising between mother and infant. Preferential laterality carries through to our mature relationships, where we seek similar friends but complementary partnerships. Unfortunately, dysfunctional partnerships tend to exacerbate laterality, leading to alienation. Extending these insights to sexual behavior, Kappas was a successful marital therapist.
Kappas characterized hypnosis as a state of mind - our ideal learning state. Kappasinian therapy is built upon theories of personality development, most respectably the Ericksons' Stages of Development. The stages are extended with accessible theories of the subconscious and mind-body syndromes. These elements are introduced in dialog to increase client receptivity to suggestion.