Hypnotherapy training progressing well

Would you believe we’ve already carried out our second weekend of hypnotherapy training in Belfast with our lovely bunch of students? Admittedly the start of the course was put back a week so as not to coincide with the start of school going back, so we only had three weeks till the second course weekend.

We’ve decided we’ve got the best students ever.  In the first month’s training they really got to grips with how the brain works and they were amazed at the long list of symptoms that we can help our customers with. We introduced them to hypnotherapy in that first weekend and had them practising on each other which caused some laughter.

In between the first two course weekends the students have been out practising guided relaxation with volunteers (mainly friends and family) with very good results.  We’ve also discovered they can certainly tell a yarn in the classroom!

Hypnotherapy Training Course at CPHT Belfast

In our second course weekend, we went on to explain brain research and the aspects of neuroscience that help us in understanding our customers. We also talked about different personality types, identifying a few characters in our classroom at the same time!  We had good feedback on the breakout exercises we did, one of which put the students in the client’s chair and gave them a whole different perspective.  It’s so easy to see things from just one perspective – switching it around to see things from the other side can be very helpful indeed both in training and in life.

On the second day of the weekend we introduced the Miracle Question – that got a few raised eyebrows I can tell you! It is one of the great tools we use, in addition to hypnosis, to help the client to move forward.

Between now and the next course weekend the students are out practising their Information Gathering techniques with friends and family.  This enables them to become adept at getting the information they need in order to progress their customers in the best way possible.

The best thing of all is we had so much fun, there was a lot of laughter in the room.  Learning becomes easier if you have fun!  We’ve even started interviewing for our next course starting in May, so Alex and myself will be out twice a month at that point – our airline is going to love us!!

Finally, we’ve discovered that Northern Ireland and Ireland seem to rather like solution focused hypnotherapy and its beneficial effects.

A Graduate’s Story of Training with CPHT

This is a lovely story from a CPHT Graduate, Michèle Lazarus:

Having had hypnotherapy for insomnia, I decided to train at the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training school (CPHT) as a hypnotherapist myself. That was three years ago and now I’m working pretty much full time in three different locations and loving it.

I chose CPHT because of its solution focused methodology. Its no nonsense, positive, goal oriented approach works time and again to help clients with an amazing range of issues. There’s nothing more exciting than facilitating clients in their journey towards making their lives happier and more fulfilling.


The training was interesting, informative and fun, and of course challenging at times.  We all looked forward to each weekend coming round in the month and missed it hugely once we’d qualified. Fortunately there’s a variety of Continual Professional Development workshops on offer from CPHT, so we continue to develop our knowledge and skills.


One of the best aspects of the training was its emphasis on practising with clients from the off. This was an incredibly helpful way of building our confidence, so the transition between being a student and a qualified practitioner felt relatively easy as we already had a substantial number of practice hours under our belt.


Three years on, I’m still on a learning curve so it’s never boring and I can honestly say there’s never a day goes past when I don’t  appreciate my luck to have found such a rewarding occupation.


Michèle Lazarus

An interesting hypnotherapy case study

Over the years I’ve worked with a large number of hypnotherapy clients who come into my clinic with all sorts of presenting problems.  The majority bring in the usual issues such as anxiety, depression or allied symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks or not being able to keep control of alcohol or food intake.

Sometimes there’s a case that’s unusual though.

A lovely lady came in with significant back pain.  She’d tried all sorts of treatments including private consultations in Harley Street, MRI scans, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy etc etc.  Then someone highlighted that it could be a psychological rather than a physical problem, and somehow she ended up in my client chair.

After six sessions of hypnotherapy she reported back that the pain had reduced by 75%.  We hadn’t actually talked about the pain directly, we’d simply worked to offload what we call the ‘stress bucket’ of life.  By reducing stress and teaching relaxation techniques we went on to almost completely rid the client of the pain.  She now realises that the pain is simply an alarm bell the subconscious is ringing to say “I’m in trouble”.

Frequently a symptom can be ‘rung’ as an alarm bell by the subconscious, especially insomnia or an addiction.  A client will often think of the symptom as being the actual problem, i.e. “I can’t sleep”, whereas Clinical Hypnotherapists know it can be down to something completely different – the stress bucket overflowing!

Rarely will a client understand this until it comes to the Initial Consultation.  Not only do we explain how hypnosis works, but we also explain how the brain works in a way the client can understand.  This explanation is based on the latest findings from the world of neuroscience.  Once the client gains an understanding of how the brain works, they are then on the pathway to taking back control.

The range of issues we deal with as hypnotherapists is vast, yet the way we deal with those issues is reasonably straight forward.  So if you want to make a difference to people’s lives in a very positive way, get in touch and have a chat about how you could change not only their lives but yours too.

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.


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.


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.


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 CPHT graduates say

CPHT Hypnotherapy Training SchoolSometimes it’s the graduates who can make the biggest impression on a potential student considering a career in hypnotherapy.  So here are a few comments from hypnotherapists who have graduated from one of the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Practice (CPHT) schools of training.


“It just made so much sense!  I remember listening to the theory of how negative thinking programs our minds to respond through anxiety, anger and depression and the myriad of unwanted symptoms and behaviours that can result and thinking ‘why on earth didn’t I know this information years ago?!’  I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has been life changing for me both in terms of my own mind set and quality of life and in enabling me to begin a career that fills me with even more passion than I found in my previous career.” Anne – Banchory, Aberdeen


‘There is so much more to this course than I had anticipated. The course heavily focuses on the latest findings from neuroscience and the knowledge I have gained on how the brain works has been absolutely fascinating.

We were encouraged to start practising on clients right from the start so throughout the course clocking up many hours of client sessions. This experience was invaluable and gave me the confidence and the reassurance I needed to set up a practice on completion of the course.   My only regret is that I didn’t do it ten years ago!”  Kirstie, Glastonbury.


“Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a no non-sense approach to real hypnotherapy! It delivers on every level and you will feel confident.  There’s no need to worry about constructing endless ‘scripts’ and wondering if they – or you – will make a difference to your client.

The CPHT provided everything.  Information of how to deliver an Initial Consultation, How the Mind Works, language patterns (what I had been previously taught as a ‘script). The topics covered included stress, anxiety, depression, pain, weight management, smoking, OCD’s, phobias and many others plus the all important marketing! Fabulous!”  Cathy – Manchester.


I trained with CPHT several years ago. After extensive research I found it offered the best training available in the UK, it not only lived up to my expectations but surpassed them.  The training I received was certainly not ‘up the fluffy end’ – no swinging watches here! Having its basis firmly in science I was given the tools necessary to help people in a natural and effective way.

Qualifying with CPHT I have achieved the highest standard of recognition in the UK for hypnotherapy.  I have since become a busy and successful Solution Focused Hypnotherapist working and living in a rural area in three medical centres.  The work is highly satisfying and rewarding – I am living the life I love!” Heidi, North Devon.


“My experience with CPHT has changed my life.  Before I became a hypnotherapist I worked in sales and marketing. I was very stressed, negative, hated my job and was always a glass half empty guy. Everything was a chore and I never really seemed to accomplish anything.

Thanks to the teachings of CPHT I’m now a changed person. I’m very positive and solution focused. I now know what’s important to make life good and have a clear direction with passion to chase after my dreams and goals. I love working for myself and really enjoy helping other succeed in life.

I qualified in 2014. Quit my job in 2015 and now I’ve just opened my own practice for 2016. All this would of never happened with my old mindset.” Bobby, Cheltenham.

“Quite apart from the joy of seeing my clients’ lives changing for the better, from the day I started training with CPHT my own life moved up a gear.   Learning to understand my brain and how to adjust my way of thinking has made life smoother and happier for me.  The course was varied and interesting and I made some good friends.  The support we all offer each other and the ongoing training and supervision have added tremendously to my confidence as a therapist.  I started the course much later in life than most people and it has given me a sense of purpose.” Sarah – Cricklade, Wiltshire.

What struck me as I read the testimonials was the fact that some of the therapists come from rural areas.  This answered a question that some of our interviewees for the forthcoming Belfast course ask: “Will there be enough business for me”?  The answer is a resounding yes in our view.  If graduates can make a go of it in the country then that means there is way more potential in a city!  There’s a massive amount of anxiety in rural areas, towns and cities – the Government statistics show that in 2014/15 stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health*.

What else struck me was the difference the course made to the graduates’ lives, so it’s not just the clients that change! I remember when I trained in 2007, myself and my fellow students all felt that the course had a very positive influence on how we conducted ourselves and our lives.

If you want to make a difference and also feel different, do get in touch!

[* Health and Safety Executive ‘Work related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2015’]





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.


Focus on solutions

Over the last few days we’ve been inundated with enquiries for our Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma course. Possibly the surge in interest is because we’ve crossed the mental border into the new year and people have focused on what they want to achieve, seen the course starts in April and that’s prompted them into action? Perhaps they’ve realised halfway through the first month that life is still the same old, same old and they want to change?  Whatever it is, we’ve been benefitting from the action that some people are taking!

Focusing on solutions allows for action to be taken.  Although Alex and myself were happy with the trickle of enquiries we had about the course last year, we knew we’d see an upturn as we stepped into the actual year of the course (admittedly we did have our fingers crossed too).   As we get closer to our kick off date we expect the momentum to continue building, prompting those people who’s subconscious might have had them procrastinating into taking action.  It’s amazing what a deadline will allow us to achieve.

As senior lecturers at CPHT Belfast, we understand how the brain works – we were well taught on our Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma course!  This enabled us to look generically at how our enquiries might come in and to not panic last year!  On our course, students learn the importance of focus and making sure that the focus is on the positives not the negatives.

Focus on the solution

A significant part of the Diploma course is talking about “What’s been good” and then focusing on ‘where we want to be’ rather than where we are now or where we’ve been.  Why do we focus on what’s been good?

Two main reasons:

1) If we focus on what’s been bad we magnify it.  This makes it more difficult to deal with as we empower the problem by making it larger than it really is.

2) If we focus on what’s been good (despite any difficulties) then we move to our positive prefrontal cortex within the brain which empowers us rather than the problem.  We then actually change the way the brain works which gives us more control!

The majority of our clients come to us with problems that have them disempowered. Whether that’s anxiety, panic attacks or phobias or general lack of confidence and negative beliefs.  These problems can end up wrapping us around their little finger and thereby bring on both mental and physical negative symptoms such as insomnia, loss of control (eating too much, smoking, drinking too much alcohol) or things like Obsessive Compulsive Disorders etc.

Neuroscience shows us that if we focus on how we want to be, the brain is much more likely to get on board and help us achieve that.  They call it Neuroplasticity, explaining that our brain is like Play-doh, we can mould it to be how we want to be as long as we show our brain what it is we want.  As we then step into a more positive future, the negatives symptoms fade into the past.

So, we need to focus on what we want.  We need to focus on what we want to do and how we want to be.

If you want to learn more about the very well established CPHT Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma and what we teach on this great course, then do get in touch.  Email us at info@cphtbelfast.co.uk to ask any questions or come along to our Open Evening on Thursday 3rd March at the Source Wellbeing Centre in Beersbridge Road, Belfast. We’ll be there from 6pm to 8pm!

Nicola Griffiths

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?

The beginnings of a Hypnotherapy career

When I first signed up to the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) course back in 2007 to start my hypnotherapy career, I had no idea where it would lead.  I can remember that very first day when we had to stand up and introduce ourselves.  The first persoNicola Griffithsn was a 6′ plus giant who advised us he was going through medical school to become a doctor, the second person was a psychiatric nurse, I was the third and by this time I was seriously beginning to wonder if I was on the wrong course? Maybe it was designed purely for the medical profession and I’d slipped through the loop?  So with wobbly knees I stood up and introduced myself and the fact that I was a marketing manager! Imagine my relief when the next person said she was a policewoman, the next a journalist and the following a housewife, and so it went on.

Eight years later, I run my own Hypnotherapy & Health Centre in Cirencester, I’m a part-time hypnotherapist and part-time lecturer and part-time supervisor – add all those together and that’s a very full-time job!

This career has brought me in a very good income, plus I’ve met some amazing people and most importantly of all, I’ve helped a lot of people sort their lives out.  I never know what problem a client will walk through the door with next: self-confidence issues; Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); anxiety; panic attacks or phobias, etc, the list is very long!  Yet as a properly and highly trained Clinical Hypnotherapist, I’m confident I can help with the vast majority of my clients.

At CPHT Belfast, we train our students to become proficient in their skills right from the off.  Within days of starting the 10-month diploma course, we’re encouraging them to work with family and friends using guided visualisation techniques.  As the months go by, the students widen the parameters they are working within to help with fears and phobias and then anxiety related issues.  By the time they graduate we expect them to be established in their new practice and seeing clients regularly each week.

As the students get up and running through the course, they bring in their queries so the whole group learns from the questions raised, thereby expanding their knowledge rapidly.

In addition to all this, both Alex and myself are experienced marketing professionals.  We know the benefits of marketing a practice successfully in order to obtain clients.  There is a module on the course dedicated to this alone!

Once graduated, we then provide ongoing supervision.  This is a requirement of the Professional Associations’ Code of Ethics.  It also allows the qualified therapist to continue increasing their knowledge; to deal with more complicated issues; to encourage support from other supervisees and to have fun.  After all, learning becomes much easier when you’re having fun and that’s why we encourage laughter during our courses and the supervision thereafter!

Back in 2007 I started out with very tentative steps not having a clue whether or not I was doing the right thing.  I knew nothing about hypnotherapy yet within days I knew I’d come across something very special.  Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.  When it works out you never look back!