Why you might like being a Clinical Hypnotherapist

Actually, I don’t like being a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I love it!  Yet when someone suggested I might be good in this area back in 2006, I laughed out loud.  At that point I was a Marketing Manager within the financial services sector and had no inclination to become a therapist.  Ten years later and I just smile at the original suggestion and thank goodness someone did suggest it!

Main Reasons for loving my career

The main reasons are numerous but the top reason must be the reward!  Not financial (that’s covered further on down), but the reward of someone saying “You’ve helped me change my life forever”, or “I can’t believe I’ve done it”, etc, etc.  The list of rewards from customers’ positive feedback is huge.  I can sit there with a huge grin on my face at the end of a session!

Nicola GriffithsMaking a difference to people’s lives is also right up there from the perspective of not simply going into a 9-5 job making money for someone else.  In this career we actually make a difference to people’s lives.

Then there’s the variety of work, I never know what a customer will bring in next that needs sorting out.  There’s also the variety of clients – I’ve worked with children through to pensioners, business people through to sports professionals, parents, students, and more. I’ve even have medical professionals, psychiatrists and psychologists come to see me for help with anxiety and insomnia.

I can choose my own hours of work, within reason.  This means I can walk my dogs in daylight in mid-winter or spend a couple of hours with hubby sitting in the pub garden at lunchtime…over a coffee of course!

Then there’s the scope for expansion.  Not only do I see clients, but I run a health clinic, I was a Supervisor (helping hypnotherapists be the best they can be – but I’m now retired from that), and I teach hypnotherapy to students in Belfast, Manchester and Southampton.  When I trained as a hypnotherapist back in 2017, I never realised the variety of work I would undertake.  And there are still various other options I could take should I wish to!

On top of all that, once my business was established, the pay was very good.  This is not a key driver for me, but the mortgage still needs to be paid nonetheless.

There have been the occasional issues

There have been challenges along the way, such as when a self-employed business goes quiet and you need to focus on marketing to bring in the customers again, plus I was ill for a significant period of time and this meant the income stopped for a while.  But these issues are more than compensated for by the positives.  Plus, if I were still employed (and I say I’m unemployable now), there will always be negatives in any job.

Control of my life

Being self-employed definitely gives me a feeling of being in control of my life.  For instance, not having to ask anyone for time off for a holiday – I just decide when I’m going to go.  I’ll give my clients a bit of advance warning, and away I go.  As mentioned above, I can work when and where I want (within reason).  I also decide how much to pay myself – which is nice!

If someone had said to me early on in my life that I would have been a therapist, let alone a hypnotherapist, I would have laughed out loud.  I’m quite an analytical person and I saw hypnotherapy as up the fluffy end.  Just shows how wrong you can be.  Once I discovered hypnotherapy and started looking into it, I discovered ‘fluffy’ was simply not a word to use with clinical hypnotherapy.  I follow people like David Spiegel, Harvard’s Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, who’s an advocate of hypnosis.  In an interview in 2016, when talking about hypnosis, he stated:

““It’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies.”

Well, what’s not to like?

I now enjoy teaching hypnotherapy as much as seeing my clients.  It’s a joy to see the students develop and to

Alex & Nicola, Senior Lecturers at CPHT Belfast.
Alex & Nicola training at CPHT in Belfast

listen to the course feedback each month about how their clients have developed.  One of our students recently fed back on a client’s progress, adding at the end “Talk about being on a high, how amazing is that?  Wonderful this work we do”.

I can’t think of anything better to add than that!

So if you want to make significant changes not only to your life, but those of others, then maybe you should get in touch with us to find out more?  Give us a call on 0773 866 5172 or drop us an email at info@cphtbelfast.co.uk.

Nicola

We teach Marketing too!

Marketing your Hypnotherapy practice

We train our students to become very good clinical hypnotherapists, but we don’t stop there, we also include a marketing module within the course.

Marketing
Marketing!

As Nicola, one of our Senior Lecturers says, “It’s all very well being good at what you do, but unless people know what you can do, then you’re not going to get the clients”.

We see our Graduates succeeding when they employ the marketing techniques we teach them.  Most people track down therapists from an online search, however when it comes to hypnotherapy, the public may not realise the diverse range of issues we can help with, so they may not ‘Google’ it in the first place.  That’s why we tell our students to advertise in magazines; network with other therapists; put posters up plus a load of other ideas.

For instance, who knows that hypnotherapy can help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorders?  Whereas it is commonly known that we can help with fears and phobias, it may not be so well known that we can help with skin disorders or, at the other end of the scale, helping athletes get to the top of their game!

So that’s why we talk through in class, not only the technical side of how the brain works, how hypnotherapy works and all the technical side of things, but we chat through how to set up a business and how to market it! Oh, and we also make the whole thing fun, we know the brain will take information on in a better way when it’s having fun!

If you want to know more about how you can become a successful clinical solution focused hypnotherapist, get in touch. Call Nicola on 0773 866 5172.

 

Second Course of Hypnotherapy Training

Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD)

Since writing our last blog, six of our students from the first Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma course have received their Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD).  This is seen as the gold-standard qualification within the hypnotherapy world and awarded by the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

Well done indeed to those students who submitted a portfolio of work, including case studies.  The National Council for Hypnotherapy fed back that those portfolios were ‘Of a very high standard’.  We’re rather chuffed with you guys and gals!

Next course is already up and running

Not being ones to hang around, our next course is on its second month. Already the students are working with volunteers and feedback has been very good indeed.  The students have been somewhat surprised at how they have noticed a difference to people suffering from all sorts of symptoms so early on in their training.

Next month they will start working with people who have anxiety and depression.  Not only does this mean that people volunteering to work with the students will hopefully feel better, but it adds to the students’ confidence as they see how empowering hypnotherapy can be.

CPHT Manchester

Nicola GriffithsNicola, our co-lecturer at Belfast, is now also running the CPHT Manchester school of training and their next course kicks off in February.  So if you know anyone in that area who wants to make a significant change to their lives, and to the lives of others, then do get in touch! (www.cphtmanchester.co.uk)

Finally, if you feel you could benefit from feeling better in some way, do get in touch with us.  You could work with one of our students on a voluntary basis or we could put you in touch with one of our graduates who have some good experience working in these areas.

Nicola and Alex

www.cphtbelfast.co.uk

 

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.

Hypnotherapy with us is fun!

David Newton, Founder of CPHT
David Newton: “It has to be fun”.

As David Newton, founder of CPHT, is always saying: “It needs to be fun” and “We need to get on with it”.

If we were to take these two sentences and put them into practice with regards to our whole life, wouldn’t life be different?  Sometimes this isn’t always possible, but when it comes to training at CPHT Belfast we really do like to ‘get on with it’ and have fun.

Are all courses this much fun?

One of our students asked “Are all courses this much fun”? Our answer to that was “Yes, but the people from NI and Ireland seem to laugh more”!  On occasion there were absolute tears of laughter.

In addition to this there was also a great deal of concentration.  Especially in the early days as the students were getting to grips with neuroscience and how the brain works. However, we’d encourage them with words such as “Sometimes we just need to get on with it”.  Or we’d lighten it with one of Alex’s great drawings!

Alex’s drawing of the brain, nick-named ‘Paul’ by students on course 1.

Why do we sometimes have to ‘get on with it’?  Well the subconscious mind is an absolute professional at procrastination.  This isn’t a recent development, the word procrastination has been in the English dictionary since the 1600’s.  We suspect it was around well before then too.  Therefore gentle encouragement to get on and do something, or even simply start a process, can be very useful.

By not over-thinking things and taking the mental attitude of ‘yes I can’, we allow ourselves to concentrate more easily on what is being said.  Whether that’s about the chemicals in the brain; the physical symptoms of stress; the signs of depression.  All the things that make a CPHT Hypnotherapist knowledgeable, even in the early stages of their 10-month gold-standard diploma course.

Fun and laughter is good for the brain.

We encourage our students to transfer the fun to the therapy room so the client can benefit. Nic can recall coming down the stairs at a clinic with her client when the receptionist turned round and said with a smile: “I could hear you laughing down here, it’s not supposed to be fun you know”.  Ah well, that’s the good thing, yes it is – that’s how the brain learns more easily.

Take any child at school, they will do better in a subject if they’re enjoying it.  In therapy sessions with solution focused hypnotherapy, the brain can learn that it can laugh, despite what’s going on around it, and then not only can it overcome issues more easily, but it can come up with the correct assessment of any given situation and each individual can arrive more easily at the right solution for them.

One of solution focused hypnotherapy’s tenets is ‘find what works and do more of it’.  This can then help change negative beliefs and negative patterns of behaviour.Alex and Nic having a laugh whilst lecturing.

So keep smiling, it’s proven to be very good for you, and if you want cheering up, then perhaps it’s time for a change of career so have a chat with us! 😉

Nic and Alex

Tel: 0773 866 5172 (Nic) or 07917 415926 (Alex).

 

Hypnotherapy Practitioners Graduation

They’ve done it!

The Graduation Group!

Our first ever course in Northern Ireland has graduated and we’re so very proud of them.  It was rather a good final weekend with a fair bit of work undertaken and a little bit of partying going on as well.  It’s good to have fun, it helps the brain to learn you know! Our lovely students – or graduates as we can now call them – have their certificates for the Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (DSFH).

We also celebrated the first ever Solution Focused Hypnotherapist in Ireland (as we already had one in NI who had trained at our London school).  John Hand is based in Dublin and has been an excellent student.  He was grinning like a Cheshire Cat when receiving his certificate.

John with lecturers Nicola and Alex.

The majority of the students have now handed in their portfolios, a significant amount of work which includes case studies, video and audio recordings.  These portfolios will be marked over the coming months and if they are up to standard then the students will get the further qualification of the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (nationally accredited by the NCFE) and seen as the gold-standard qualification in the hypnotherapy world.

They have been helping people overcome so many different issues, from insomnia and anxiety through to sports motivation and weight loss, and they can now go from strength to strength as they widen their client base.

We wish them much success and we look forward to welcoming the next group who start in September.  Let’s hope they have as much fun as the first group!

Scientists discover how hypnosis actually works

We just love Stanford University!  They do a lot of research on what happens with hypnosis.  In fact there’s buckets full of research going on about hypnotherapy as scientists glimpse how it affects the brain.  And it’s all good stuff.

A group of researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine just used brain imaging to see what was actually happening to people while they were under hypnosis.

Stanford psychiatry professor David Spiegel, reported “That [hypnosis] has therapeutic potential. You can get people to shake up the way they react to problems and approach them from a different point of view.”  He added “”It is a neurobiological phenomenon.”

If you’d like to read the full article, just click on the link below:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/28/youre-getting-very-curious-scientists-discover-how-hypnosis-actually-works.html

We love it!

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