Let’s Research If Hypnotherapy Works?

Research Programme for our Students

One of the questions our students are likely to have to answer from friends and colleagues, both during and after their hypnotherapy training is “Does hypnotherapy work?”

It is tempting to answer with a very short and simple “yes!” followed by a torrent of personal examples which students at CPHT Belfast have quickly amassed.  But stories and anecdotal evidence is not solid evidence.

There is a huge amount of very good quality evidence already out there about the effectiveness of solution focused therapy and the benefits of hypnosis.  This is also supported by the latest understanding in neuroscience.  As with all things, it sometimes takes a little time for evidence to become mainstream and more widely accepted by the public and the medical fraternity.  That should not be an excuse to sit and wait though.

At CPHT Belfast we encourage all our hypnotherapy students to participate in a far-reaching research programme. This has already demonstrated the effectiveness of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

The Research Programme:

By definition, solution focused therapy focuses on solutions rather than problems. This presents challenges in trying to measure its effectiveness.  The moment you start asking questions about symptoms (which some research programmes encourage in order to identify improvements or otherwise) you are focusing the client on problems. Generally, our clients are already well practised at looking at their problems and this is something we want to change in order to see improvement in their wellbeing. However, CORP (Clifton Practice Outcome Rating Programme) has been designed to measure effectiveness whilst remaining positive and solution focused.

We train our students to use the software in a very simple way that fits seamlessly into sessions and benefits both the student and client. Students ask their customers to rate themselves against the following scales in the initial consultation and at the end of each session thereafter.

The seven scales:

1/ How positive have your thoughts been?

2/ How interactive have you been with others?

3/ How would you rate your level of activity?

4/ How would you rate your confidence?

5/ How well are you utilising your strengths and resources?

6/ How much have you achieved?

7/ How would you rate your level of happiness?

The software allocates a score out of 10 for each answer and the changes are measured over a period of time and illustrated in graph form.  Now both student and customer can easily see what has changed across the scales.

We generally introduce the programme in module 6 of the 10-month course. This gives students chance to get a firm understanding of how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works and get some practice under their belt before taking part. After all, once they start using the software their outcomes will feed into the overall research programme and compare their results against their peers (which at the time of writing includes more than eighty Solution Focused Hypnotherapists), so we want them to be on a level playing field from the off.

The Benefits:

Students quickly realise the power of being part of this exciting piece of research. Not only do they benefit as practitioners (being able to compare their results to the global results of the other participating hypnotherapists), but the clients benefit from being able to see their own progress. The clients then have an expectation of the

Hypnotherapy Research Programme
Improvement rating

progress they can make from past global results. They are also reminded of the areas they should focus on to maximise their improvements.

And to those that do not believe the anecdotes, our students can show and explain this research programme and its results!

Train to be a Hypnotherapist in Belfast and become part of this exciting research:

Would you like to know more about becoming a Hypnotherapist? Do you live in Ireland or Northern Ireland?  Train with CPHT Belfast and participate in this powerful research programme which is helping to change the perception of Hypnotherapy?

The Power of the Next Small Step

Clients and supervisees are often talking to me about the need to get things done. Getting started on that goal, big or small. Whether its clearing out the garage or starting a new career. What is it that seems to be holding us back. I’ll not get in to the neuroscience of why we might procrastinate here, but I will tell you about one of the most powerful tools I have learnt to help beat procrastination, at least some of the time.

Several years ago I was lucky enough to attend a CPD (Continual Professional Development) event at CPHT Bristol, where I trained to be a Hypnotherapist in the first place. The CPD was on Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Strategies. The highly respected lecturer, Matthew Dyson, asked the group the following question: “where do you get the motivation to get on the treadmill from?” The group gave several answers including: “by visualising yourself getting fitter”; “reminding yourself how good you feel when you are done”; “thinking about the guilt free glass of wine afterwards!” None of these were the answer he was looking for. As Matthew explained, “The truth is you get the motivation for getting on the treadmill when you get on the treadmill”!

The next small step

And it’s true of course, you get motivation to get up and do, when you get up and do.

Small steps make a difference.

Again I won’t go in to the details of the neuroscience behind that, but it does remind us of the importance of simply focusing on the next small step.

Let me give you an example. I am a regular gym goer. I enjoy being at the gym. Notice I write “I enjoy being at the gym”. I often don’t enjoy getting there. Getting myself changed, ready, in the car and down to the gym with the thought in my head that I am going to put my body through its paces is often very difficult.

More recently I have chosen to simply focus on the next small step to get me there.

First I might simply focus on the task of getting my trainers on. Then I focus on finding the car keys (why does that always take so long?). Then I focus on the job of getting in to the car. Throughout this whole process and on arrival I am telling myself: “just ten minutes and then you can go home, just ten minutes!” I stick out 5 minutes and then 10 and then, usually, the strangest thing has happened. Now I am warmed up, my heart is pumping, I am becoming less stiff and awkward, energy is returning, and the oxygen to my brain increases. I am building up momentum, I have got myself on the treadmill and that is where I find my motivation!

Now that I am there and have done my 10 minutes its rare I do less than 50, but my intention on arrival is always to do only 10.

The same principle can be applied to anything. We know the primitive brain can over-inflate the size of any task and underestimate our ability to achieve it. By focusing on that next small step with the understanding that we can stop and go home at any point we can gently steer ourselves more towards those activities which lead us to our goals and further from those that don’t. Just one small step!

Are you thinking of becoming a Hypnotherapist? Do you live in Northern Ireland and want to train in Belfast? I wonder if your next small step is simply to complete this application form: cphtbelfast.co.uk/application-form/… After all a “journey of a thousand miles starts with just one small step”- Lao Tzu.

Why You CAN Be a Full Time Hypnotherapist by Training at CPHT Belfast:

Many people seem to think that it is only possible to make a part time living out of being a Hypnotherapist. The main argument for this seems to be that it is too difficult to find enough clients to sustain a full time practice. This has not been my experience and I know many colleagues who have built equally busy practices.

Having the Right Tools:

Of course finding clients, as with any business, is often the biggest challenge a Hypnotherapist may face, especially to begin with. However, with commitment and a willingness to learn three or four marketing tools (at Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training Belfast we include marketing modules on our course) it is eminently possible to build a very busy practice.

Using Hypnotherapy With Those With Clinical Conditions:

In addition, solution focused hypnotherapy is a modern approach which does not just try and use hypnosis as a magic wand for everything. There are some traditional forms of Hypnotherapy which rely very heavily on hypnosis and suggestion therapy in order to help people. This traditional form of Hypnotherapy may promise to fix conditions within a very short number of sessions (perhaps in as few as three or four). Some conditions can indeed be helped with only a few sessions. Specific fears and phobias can be dealt with in handful of sessions. Helping someone stop smoking in just one 90 minute to two-hour session is also possible.

However, we know that clinical conditions such IBS, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and addiction (to name just a few) can rarely be miraculously overcome in one to four sessions. To suggest so would be to misunderstand the nature of these debilitating conditions. On our Belfast based hypnotherapy training course we train our students to help people who suffer with these conditions whilst making it clear that in order to do so customers will have to come and see them for ten to twelve sessions and sometimes more than that. This is still extremely brief when you think that some people might see a talking therapist for many years.

Restrictions on Who Can Have Hypnotherapy:

I have also met some Hypnotherapists who have been told by their training schools not to treat people who are taking certain medications, such as anti depressants. At any one time up to 50% of my current clients are taking some kind of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication. I can see how this would handicap a new Hypnotherapist in trying to build a full time practice. Fortunately, I trained at the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training school in Bristol, where I was equipped to deal effectively with people who are on these medications. We do the same at CPHT Belfast. It is often these people who need our help the most so it is nice not to have to turn them away.

Success Attracts:

Solution focused hypnotherapy also has a remarkable success record. And when something works the word soon gets around about it, which makes marketing easier and your client list longer. At the moment there aren’t many in solution focused hypnotherapists in Belfast, Northern Ireland or Ireland but we are working to change that.

So perhaps the reason solution focused hypnotherapists can build full time careers, out of doing something they love, is because they are able to treat more people, for more sessions, more effectively than those hypnotherapists who seem to think that it is only possible to do it part time.

Are you considering building a full or part time career as hypnotherapist? Are you in Belfast, Northern Ireland or Ireland? Please contact us for further information. Our next hypnotherapy training course starts in Belfast in September 2016.

Why I Love Being a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist

I became a hypnotherapist back in 2011 at the age of 35.Alex Brounger - Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

I can safely say it has been the best job I have ever had.  I have had some jobs that paid me more money, but none have been as rewarding and enjoyable and here’s why:

Job Satisfaction:

Nothing can beat it.  There is no greater satisfaction in life than being able to give hope to people who have “tried literally everything else” or who have been told “we don’t know what it is”.  So often in these situations I have been able to provide positive and effective support which my clients say has been life changing for them.

It is also incredibly rewarding to see people, who are perhaps struggling with conditions as debilitating as anxiety, depression, IBS or panic attacks, finding a new lease of life when they realise that there is a way to overcome these conditions for good.  Whilst we don’t have magic wands, and we do require client commitment, it is always wonderful to help someone who has been working so hard to cope in the past become so much more independent, positive and confident.

Learning:

There are always huge opportunities for learning in this job.  Whilst the training I received at CPHT Bristol, and the training I now deliver for CPHT Belfast, is comprehensive and contained everything I needed to become “a complete hypnotherapist”, there are always new developments and broader understandings to be found.

I have always enjoyed being part of peoples’ learning processes too.  Much of what I do in my clinic is about allowing my customers and clients to learn different ways of thinking and doing.  By bringing hypnotherapy training to Belfast, Nicola and I are bringing it to a broader platform.

Flexibility

Being self-employed has its ups and it downs of course, but one of the things I enjoy most about my job is that I can make so many choices based on what I want. 

I can choose when, where and with whom I want to work with far greater flexibility than any job I have had before.  Generally speaking, the harder I work the busier I become and so I have a high degree of control over my work life balance too.  If I only want to see clients on two or three days a week I can make that decision.  If I want to work full or part time I can make that decision too.  If I want to take a week off I don’t have to fill in a form and give it to the HR Director.  I can make my availability fit around days I need to take or pick up my children from school.  Of course we have a duty to our clients to be consistently available to them but we have a great deal of control over when this should be.

Meeting People:

I am often amazed at the broad variety of people that access my clinics, with a very wide array of symptom sets.  All have their own fascinating stories to tell and I am always fascinated to see their often extremely rapid progress in overcoming some extraordinary situations and symptoms.

In addition, the solution focused hypnotherapy community is a supportive and positive one.  Attending professional development events packed full of solution focused hypnotherapists (particularly those held at the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training HQ in Bristol) is always an enjoyable experience.  Each one of us is passionate about what we do and working hard to implement the principles of this fantastic model into our own lives.

Neuroscience:

I talk about the brain all the time with clients and potential clients.  I am still fascinated by it and have been for a long time.

Whilst we have hardly scratched the surface in our understanding of this amazingly complex organ, we know enough to know what is the right or wrong thing to be doing.  At Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training Belfast, we are also proud to be continually updating our course (along with the other CPHT Hypnotherapy Schools) when new developments come to light. Running CPHT Belfast now allows me the opportunity to discuss this subject in a bit more depth than I might usually with a client.

If you are looking for a rewarding, flexible and empowering career and would like further information on training in Northern Ireland to be a hypnotherapist then please do contact us.

 

What is Hypnosis?

Alex, a senior lecturer at Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training Belfast, explains a little bit about Hypnosis in this short video:

Hypnosis is not weird or magical, but it is powerful. It is just simply the contrivance of the trance state, and when used effectively, hypnosis can help people change their mindset far quicker than they might without the use of this wonderful therapeutic tool.
Watch the video to find out more. If you would like to learn how to use this natural and wonderful technique to help others overcome a wide variety of conditions then contact us for further information.

CPHT is an established Hypnotherapy Training School which is extending its Hypnotherapy Training in to Belfast and Northern Ireland. We train people to become fully qualified Hypnotherapists in our Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD) course in Belfast.

www.CPHTBelfast.co.uk

Hypnotherapy Training – Hypnosis

When I first started my Hypnotherapy training this was the area that I was the most fascinated by. I’d never been to Alex Broungersee a hypnotherapist and had never been hypnotised before I started training with David Newton at CPHT (Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training). And so it was with some excitement, and a bit of trepidation, that I took my seat with the rest of the trainees on that first weekend back in March 2011 to experience for the first time that wonderful state we call hypnosis. And what a wonderful state it proved to be. When I go in to a state of hypnosis I usually experience a feeling of complete relaxation and will often experience an explosion of colour under my closed eye lids. And that, despite sitting completely upright in a chair, is exactly what I experienced on that day. However, as we went round the room afterwards to describe what it was like it quickly became apparent that the experience of hypnosis can be very different between individuals. I also learnt that it can be very different for the individual each time they do it.

Since then I have hypnotised many hundreds of people. When asked to describe their experience of hypnosis, some will report a heavy feeling (or numbness) of arm and legs or even their whole body. Others report a feeling of lightness or even having dreamlike hallucinations. Others might just say it feels the same as if they were lying on their bed listening to music. Some will report that they don’t remember a thing I’ve said. All of my clients report that they find the experience enjoyable and pleasant which is exactly how hypnosis should be for our clients.

Hypnosis whilst not being a magic wand is, when used correctly, enormously powerful. There are certain conditions (overlooked by some hypnotherapy models) that need to be met in order to maximise the effectiveness of this wonderful but often misunderstood therapeutic tool. These conditions and the process of hypnotising people are introduced on the first weekend of our Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma Course allowing our students to go away and practice straight away. As a result they quickly experience the buzz of helping others experience this beneficial and enjoyable state.

The fact that we encourage students to practise hypnosis outside of the training room so early comes as a surprise to some. That is before they realise what hypnosis is and, probably more importantly, what it isn’t. It is not mind control, it is not magic and it is not rocket science. Despite what you may have seen in the latest blockbuster action movie or read in the most recent best-selling novel, hypnosis cannot be used to motivate people to do something they do not already want to do.

Hypnosis is the contrivance of the trance state. Trance is a very natural state we all go in to on average 6-7 times an hour. We can go in to that state for a fraction of a second, as we recall a name or a memory, for a few seconds as we absorb some new piece of information or for minutes at a time as is normally the case during hypnosis. Hypnosis is often described as a state of focused attention and so we can say that we go in to that trance when we are watching a film, reading a book or driving a car. As an effective Hypnotherapist the trick is to help clients use this state in the best way possible to help them achieve their goals.

If you are interested in learning the art of hypnosis, as well as the many other therapeutic tools we use which enable you to become a “complete” Hypnotherapist, why not contact us to find out more about Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma Course?

Hypnotherapy Training – The Miracle Question

I was lucky enough to be working with a group of qualified Hypnotherapists over the weekend, helping them to better use one of the major tools of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: The Miracle Question. It can be asked in many different ways, but it does take practice and experience on the part of the therapist to be able to use it confidently and effectively.

In its basic form it involves asking the client what life would be like if a miracle happened so that the problem that made them seek therapy in the first place had completely disappeared. Of course it is not just as simple as asking one question, there are follow up questions ultimately leading to a “next small step”. For many it is not an easy question to answer, partly because clients have often been so held back by a problem in the past that they can’t see beyond it anymore.

However, at CPHT Belfast, our experience, knowledge of neuroscience and understanding of what makes truly effective Hypnotherapy shows us that it is important for the client to start seeing beyond the problem and it is our job to help them do that. The Miracle Question serves this purpose nicely. In addition it enables the client to start building a picture of what a more positive future looks like so that they can start working towards it, within the realms of what currently feels possible for them. As these changes take hold, anxiety levels fall and confidence levels increase, often the miracle happens and the problem disappears or becomes less prevalent.

During the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma course at CPHT Belfast, we equip our trainees with this wonderfully powerful therapeutic tool which can literally encourage Miracles to happen in front of their very eyes.

If you want to see miracles unfolding in front of you, why not train as a Hypnotherapist at Northern Ireland’s premier Hypnotherapy Training School. Please contact CPHT Belfast to find out more.