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!

Anxiety – what you can do about it

I’d say the majority of clients I work with come to see me because of anxiety in some form or another.

Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways: nervousness; panic attacks; insomnia, overly worrying about something that may never happen, etc. It can have a crippling effect by bringing on range of symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin complaints or negative patterns such as over-eating, drinking etc.  The symptom list of how anxiety can present itself is pretty long.

Anxiety can build up over a long period of time without us even realising it, alternative it can come on suddenly as a result of something such as illness or a change of circumstances for instance.

Anxiety

At the extreme, people who’ve been fully in control of their lives suddenly find they can’t leave their own home; can’t work; can’t drive their car etc.  For some it’s simply a matter of feeling negative or under-confident.

Case study:

Annie (name has been changed for confidentiality) arrived at my clinic having had panic attacks come on over the previous couple of weeks.  She’d been stressed at work with a heavy work load, her husband had just been posted overseas plus she hadn’t been very well a few months previously.  

In the Initial Consultation, as I explained how the brain works, I could see she began to relax and then through a few tears she said “So this isn’t me, I’m not going mad”?

The brain is a funny and complex thing.  It has its own way of ringing alarm bells when it’s had enough of dealing with stress or anxiety and can suddenly change its pattern of reaction.  Previously we might have been able to deal with whatever life threw at us, but all of a sudden it all becomes too much.

By teaching clients very basic relaxation and breathing techniques, we start the process of taking back control. The hypnotherapy allows guided relaxation showing a preferred future and because the subconscious part of the brain, the part that’s in charge of our reactions (i.e. the anxiety), doesn’t understand the difference between imagination and reality, the guided relaxation starts to bring calm and control back into our lives.

The number of people suffering stress and anxiety these days is staggering.  However people rarely talk about the negative symptoms they’re suffering.  Once you do start talking about it, you might be surprised how many other Insomniapeople have suffered the same!  Insomnia can frequently be anxiety peeking through, and how many of us suffer from sleepless nights?

If you’re suffering from anxiety try not to focus on it.  I know this sounds ridiculous if you’re anxious, but the sooner you distract the subconscious mind onto something more positive, the better you’ll feel. Using a breathing technique such as breathing in to the count of 5 and breathing out to the count of 7 helps regulate the breathing if you’re having a panic attack.

Avoiding alcohol can be very helpful! Watching good things on the TV, comedies etc, rather than watching the news is also very helpful indeed.

Alternatively, if you suffer from any form of anxiety or know someone who does, then get in touch with us here at CPHT Belfast.  We have students who are currently helping clients, free of charge whilst they are students, and they’re having good success in helping people overcome negative thinking and anxiety. Our contact details are at the top of the home page of this website.

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

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.

 

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