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.

Belfast Venue Announced

We’re very pleased to announce that the 2016 CPHT Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma course will be run at the Source Wellbeing Centre in Beersbridge Road.  We could see the Harland and Wolff gantry just down the road, but that wasn’t what decided our venue!  The main reason for choosing this delightful clinic was the bright and airy space in the training room, plus the welcoming feel the rest of the clinic had.  Another reason was the space to relax between lectures and it’s central location to Belfast.

One thing to bear in mind is if you don’t come from Northern Ireland and have an interest in the course, then we offer a postcode discount when students travel from afar.  Mind, we only offer it for this first course, so get in touch soon!

Meanwhile, this last weekend, Alex and I attended CPHT in Bristol to remind ourselves of how the second month’s course was delivered.  The students there learned about personality types which is very helpful given the array of different personalities they will deal with once qualified.  They also had an exercise in information gathering in order to really understand the client at the initial consultation.  Last month we covered the huge variety of conditions we can help with as hypnotherapists, anything from insomnia and IBS through to anxiety or confidence building. The list is significantly long!!  This month we covered more indepth aspects to these issues plus really started to get into the neuroscience of how the brain works – quite fascinating even for those who have no previous knowledge.

Alex and myself came away buzzing as we always do.  We trained some years ago and it’s always good to be reminded of the basics.

CPHT Belfast
Delegates at CPHT Bristol this weekend.

We’re now champing at the bit to get the CPHT Belfast course up and running in April!  Interviews will be taking place mainly through Thursday 3rd March to Saturday 5th but we will be carrying out a few prior to that too.  Get in touch if you have any questions or want to know more about the course itself.

A great trip to Belfast

A great weekend has just been spent in Belfast.  We met so many great people who helped us in various ways and we are now progressing nicely with setting things up for the launch of the first CPHT Belfast course in April.  In fact things progressed so well we were able to take some time out for sightseeing and taking photo’s!  Nicola was pretty impressed with the Belfast City Hall and lunch with Alex’s wife Michele at the Harlem Cafe was delicious – it’s an amazing place.

Belfast City Hall  Harlem Cafe

This week we will be deciding on which of the venues to go ahead with that we visited and to plan our Open Day in February.


Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma course arrives in Belfast!

Well, this weekend we arrive in Belfast on the start of our journey setting up CPHTBelfast!  Although this is the first visit to Belfast for Nicola, Alex is a seasoned visitor given his wife comes from NI.

We’re coming over to check out our shortlist of venues for the course that commences in April and we’re rather excited.  We’ll also be having coffee with a the people who have expressed an interest in the course so far.

As Senior lecturers for the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) in Belfast, we will be hosting informal chats on Sunday 18th October to answer any questions you have about our Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma course.

So if you’re interested in signing up to the course, would like to learn more about the content, or maybe how training as a Solution Focused hypnotherapist could change your future, get in touch.

Nicola and Alex run their own successful practices with thousands of client hours experience.  Nicola was instrumental in setting up the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy back in 2010 and runs her own Hypnotherapy Centre in Cirencester whilst Alex has two very successful practices in Gloucestershire.  We can therefore give you first hand advice about the career opportunities and potential earnings available on completion of the course.

So who knows, maybe one day you’ll be explaining to a client the difference between the conscious and subconscious mind and how you can take more control than you ever realised?

If you would like to attend we highly recommend you send an email to info@cphtbelfast.co.uk so we can make sure you have the opportunity to speak to us as we will also be running interviews on this day.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Nicola and Alex

Read more about us here

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

I am often asked the question ‘What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?’

Well, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a model of excellence that uses interventions that are effective. It will use the very best procedures that science and research prescribe. In reality though its core philosophy is very much based on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the basic tenets of SFBT.

Hypnotherapy, and SFH is no exception, has a history of being associated with many forms of therapeutic practice. Often, but not always, this can be a force for good. What follows could be described as the foundation philosophies on which SFH is built. Dr James Braid (1795-1860), who could be thought of as the inventor of modern hypnotism, successfully created a blueprint that could be described as the original hypnotherapy model.

“He was best known in the medical world from his theory and practice of hypnotism, as distinguished from Mesmerism, a system of treatment he applied in certain diseases with great effect.” (Obituary. The Lancet 1860)

Braid’s influence and success was very much a result of his empirical and scientific approach. In effect he said that the clinical progress should be verified by research and related to the latest understanding of psychology. He attributed the success of trance to ordinary psychological or physiological factors such as focused attention, expectation, motivation and endeavour. SFH is very much based on Braid’s basic premise that mental focus on imagery and language mediates the physical and psychological effects of dominant ideas.

It would have appeared sensible to consolidate the work done by Braid and to capitalise on what worked. This was not to be the case. In late Victorian and post Victorian times ‘wackiness’ once more sabotaged the credible scientific clinical practice. Even worse, in the late 19th and most of the 20th Century the pseudo-scientific ‘hi-jacked’ hypnotherapy and kept it in a state, often a delusional state of stagnation.

Fortunately, as Robertson says in the ‘Complete Writings of James Braid “The Father of Hypnotherapy in the 21st Century”, “Braid’s ‘Common Sense’ and empirical orientation have become fashionable once again”‘.

Hypnotherapy was partially rescued from post-Victorian ‘quackery’ and later from Freudian ‘analytical’ theory by psychiatrist, Milton H Erickson. He practised as a hypnotherapist from the 1940’s until his death in the early 1980’s. Erickson’s ideas reached far beyond hypnotic technique. He posed radical ideas regarding the role of therapist and the competency of clients. Milton Erickson was convinced that everyone has a reservoir of wisdom and competency and emphasised the importance of accessing client’s resources and strengths. Major interest in his work gathered momentum in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Erickson’s success and creativity spawned a variety of approaches. There was in particular great interest in one of his primary approaches entailing first learning the problem pattern and then prescribing a small change in the pattern.

Steve de Shazer’s first contact with psychotherapy happened when he read ‘Strategies of Psychotherapy’, the ideas and work of Erickson by Jay Haley. It has been said that this book coupled with the work of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Paolo Alto, formed the foundations for what would later be called Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).

The basic tenets of SFBT are well known and are different in many ways from traditional forms of treatment. It is a competency based model and the focus is on the clients’ desired future rather than on past problems or current conflicts. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are exceptions and that small changes can lead to large increments of change. The setting of specific, concrete and realistic goals is an important component. In SFBT it is the client that sets the goals. Once formulated the therapist will use a number of specific responding and questioning techniques to assist the client construct the steps that may be required to reach the ‘preferred future’. Solution Focused Hypnotherapists note Steve de Shazer’s often repeated assertion that solution work is “the same whatever problem the client brings”.

In the 1990’s modern technology led to what some have referred to as a sequel of the Copernican revolution. MRI, PET and CAT scans can photograph the brain. Electronic microscopes, the nuclear tagging of living human molecules and other biochemical investigative techniques, enable scientists to have an ever increasing understanding of how the brain works. With at least 500 therapeutic methods, all proffering special theories, techniques and philosophies, psychotherapy could be described as bordering on dysfunctional. The neuroscientific revolution beginning in the 1990’s and progressing with ever increasing vigour into the 21st Century has begun to give the field uncharacteristic coherence. Certainly the days when therapists could make things up have gone.

“For future generations of therapists training will certainly change” says Mary Sykes Wylie and Richard Simon, (Discoveries from Black Box 2002), “Curricula will have to face the accumulation of knowledge coming from neuroscientists… having an understanding of such clinical relevant areas of knowledge as neural networks and brain structures”.