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

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!

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.

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!