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Why train as a hypnotherapist?

Sep 04, 2018

If you are considering training as a clinical hypnotherapist, you are likely to be a caring individual who is hoping to facilitate change in others and the world. Improving people’s lives will impact on the wider world, right? But not everyone who trains as a therapist is a quiet, modest person and that’s ok. Different clients will be drawn to different therapists as we all work in wonderfully diverse ways.

Your motivation to train for a career in hypnotherapy may diverge from others on your training course; some students will want to work in the voluntary or charity sector, others will want to work with burnt-out bankers and to charge ‘top dollar.’ The majority will probably want to earn a good hourly rate (full or part time) doing something that is mentally stimulating and emotionally and financially rewarding.

For many of our past students it’s been the blend of a flexible and portable career that can be pursued into older age that is especially appealing. This combined with the potential to earn a decent living doing something worthwhile is an important driver. To be a good therapist we need to love our job. It isn’t something that we can do ‘on automatic’ if we are to be effective in our work. The great thing is that our practice and client-base can be as diverse or as specialist as we choose. If you want to be a generalist and see clients with a wide range of presenting issues, that’s fine. If you choose to specialise in working with anxiety, weight management, addictions or sports, you can do that too.

Whether you specialise or are a generalist, when we work with clients we need to communicate our belief in their ability to change. We also need to believe in ourselves too and what we bring to our new vocation, regardless of our style or approach. Research has shown that the clients of newly qualified therapists achieve just as satisfactory results as those working with experienced therapists. Clients will respond positively to your positivity and your ability to address their issues and fears.

Being a hypnotherapist and facilitating life-enhancing changes for people who seek your professional help is truly one of the best jobs in the world. This is a great time to be a hypnotherapist; public awareness of the benefits of hypnotherapy is growing and it’s becoming more and more mainstream. If you’d like to find out more about our hypnotherapy courses, call us on 020 3369 3360 or book to attend one of our regular Discovery Days or Open Evenings.

The science of anxiety and how hypnotherapy can help

Jun 07, 2018

Stress and anxiety are often seen as a normal part of everyday life; a response to our modern world. But what is happening when we are stressed or anxious and what can we do about it? Well, the ancient part of our brain called the amygdala is stimulated when we are experiencing fear or anxiety and this is essential to our survival; a basic primitive response which keeps us alert to danger.

The threats are different now of course; we are no longer at risk of being attacked by wild animals. We do have other stressors though; attacks by terrorists, high house prices, work place worries or relationship woes. A lot of the things we fret about nowadays are not very serious in the bigger scheme of things and few are life threatening. Let’s take attacks by terrorists as an example; it would be very dangerous and frightening if we were to be confronted by a gunman or find ourselves in an area under attack, but the likelihood of this happening to any of us in the UK, is still very small. For some the fear of this or other forms of harm remain with them regardless of the reality.

The problem is that when our amygdala is activated, the responses from other areas of our brain are blocked. In this state it is unlikely that we will be receptive to new ideas or to adopting new behaviours. The challenge is that our over-stimulated amygdala will ensure that we remember to be afraid of all and any perceived threats. Blocked by the amygdala, the more sophisticated areas of our brain are unable to help us to rationally evaluate the threat level, so making any adjustments when highly stressed or anxious is very difficult. This is why so many people live with constant and unhelpful levels of stress, fear and anxiety.

So with this knowledge, how can we help our clients to make changes to their thoughts and emotions and cope better with modern life? For any kind of change to happen there needs to be new learning and new behaviour. Through a combination of different therapeutic approaches, we can help our clients to find ways to view things differently and therefore respond differently. When people are calm and relaxed they are more resourceful and able to make changes and manage life events. Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to achieve a calm and focused state of mind and self-hypnosis, which our students learn during their diploma training is an excellent way to restore equilibrium. As anxiety and mood disorders are so prevalent in modern society, we spend significant classroom time educating students on the symptoms and treatment methods that will help them to help their clients.

If you’d like to learn more about our training courses click here to download our prospectus.

What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Feb 25, 2018

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) has its roots in Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) which originated in the USA in the 1970s. Solution-focused hypnotherapy seeks to help people achieve positive change in their lives by focusing on how the client can find solutions to achieve their goals. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are always exceptions and that small changes can lead to big change. By focusing on exceptions, the client can begin to see that their actions, or inactions, directly affect their outcome. This understanding builds feelings of self-efficacy.

Most traditional forms of therapy look backward analysing problems of the past, believing that the answers lie there. SFH acknowledges past hurts and traumas but is underpinned by the belief that you get what you focus on; if a person focuses on what they don’t want they are likely to feel a lot worse than if they focus on what they want. Solution-focused hypnotherapy can help clients uncover skills and resources within themselves that will help move them away from their problem state.

Solution-focused therapy is goal and action-oriented; the client is encouraged to set clear, measurable and realistic goals and given support to start working towards meeting them. It is a client-led approach and questions like “what do you like doing?” and “what are you good at?” are used to help the client to change their focus. By switching their attention from their problem and towards activities that bring them pleasure and a sense of fulfilment the answer to the problem might be revealed.

One of the most common questions used in solution-focused hypnotherapy is the ‘miracle question’ which encourages the client to imagine a time in the future when their problem has gone and asks them to think about what would be different, who would notice and how would they notice? By inviting a client to imagine this ideal future they can start to believe that their desired changes are possible. Encouraging them to create this future allows them to move into a state where they are more resourceful and this can be reinforced in hypnosis. Simply being in hypnosis reduces stress and anxiety and a hypnotherapist can invite the client to explore their inner world and tap into their internal resources. The client can begin to focus on the positive aspects of their life, encouraging a shift in perspective.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process between client and therapist. Change happens because the client wants it and consciously works towards it with the support of the therapist. Because SFH focuses on action, positive changes are usually noticed quickly; we learn and reinforce skills by doing. This, in turn, builds confidence and self-esteem and helps move the client into an ever more positive, resourceful state. 

Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy forms part of the London Hypnotherapy Academy diploma course but is also open to counsellors and coaches as a stand-alone training module.

Could re-training as a hypnotherapist offer the control you need?

Dec 04, 2017

It is more than a year since the world woke to the shock of Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States. For many in the US, UK, and Europe this was scary news and followed the earlier shock of Britain voting to leave the EU. A sense of fear and uncertainty prevailed for many as these elections threatened to shake up the world as we know it. Things will change, there is no doubt about it, but how they will be, no-one can be sure.

Fretting and unsettling speculation about the future has a cost that goes far beyond the nation’s financial health though. Continuous stress is harmful to our minds and bodies. Negative or provocative posts on social media only exacerbate anxiety amongst those who are worried about the future, especially as Trump takes an increasingly warrior-like stance against North Korea. Long-term, continuous stress takes a toll on us and its impact on the body and mind is not inconsequential.

Uncertainty causes low-level stress; the sense of insecurity and perceived lack of control negatively affecting those for whom a feeling of control is important. Control is a perception though; in truth, we have little control over anything except the simplest of things in our life. We can control when we go to bed, what we eat and how we dress, but most things from the weather to the value of the pound, are outside of our influence. For some, having a job offers a sense of security, while for others, self-employment provides a better sense of protection from the impact of others' decisions. Starting a business could be considered scary, but it also exciting and offers the prospect of working flexibly without the threat of age discrimination.

If you are one of an increasing number of individuals who considers the challenge of Brexit as an opportunity to grow, re-training may be an attractive option. Self-employment and the ‘gig’ economy is becoming more and more popular, either because of a lack of attractive vacancies or the appeal of flexible working. Traditionally home-working has been poorly paid, but setting up a therapy practice from your house or flat can be rewarding both financially and in job satisfaction terms.

Just as for happiness in life, as a self-employed therapist, you will need to be resilient, resourceful and have a positive mindset, but if the idea of running your own business is more appealing than the alternative, why not re-train? Few of us have any influence on the world economy or politics, but we can make choices about what we do and where we focus on our energy. 

Coaching v therapy

Oct 13, 2017

A Hand up?

There are lots of misunderstandings about coaching and what it is. Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between training, mentoring and coaching, especially in the workplace. Coaching isn’t about teaching or supervising and doesn’t involve ‘telling’ a person what to do or giving them advice. It is about finding direction, developing potential, creating a vision, and planning steps to reach a goal.

So who has coaching? Potentially anyone. Coaching involves a series of focused conversations between a coach and their client or a team. Whether it involves a group of individuals or one ‘coachee’ the process and purpose is similar and is intended to help them to progress in the future. It is a future-focused approach and is about setting objectives to reach goals that the individual or team wants to achieve and helps them to improve their performance or develop skills or expertise.

In the corporate world coaching is commonplace and is used to help improve an individual’s performance. It can also help teams of employees work more effectively to increase productivity or morale. It is (or should be) an empowering experience which helps people to reach their potential individually or as part of a team. Coaching doesn’t focus on problems and isn’t counselling, therapy or training; it is developmental.

Everyone in an organisation can benefit from coaching, from management teams to apprentices. When a company invests time and money into the workforce, personnel are generally happier and more fulfilled, productivity often improves and staff retention increases. Coaching improves communication and helps staff feel valued and improves self-belief and aspiration.

Outside of the corporate environment, it is becoming increasingly popular for individuals to seek the help of a coach. This may be to help them to achieve fitness or health goals, to get a better work/ life balance or to find direction in their life or career. Couples may seek the assistance of a coach to improve their relationship or communication style. Coaching is becoming more and more mainstream and appeals to people who want to make changes, but don’t feel they have a problem that needs therapy or counselling.

Whilst coaching definitely isn’t a form of therapy, it can be combined with therapies such as hypnotherapy, to support a client who wants to make changes in their health, well-being or fitness. By helping a client to set goals and plan steps to change, a therapist with coaching skills can encourage commitment to a process and personal responsibility.