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What I have learned from my clients

Nov 06, 2019

Since becoming a therapist in 1995 I have continued to learn about my profession. I do this through reading, speaking with other therapists and attending Continuous Professional Development courses. I regularly attend conferences for hypnotherapists and psychotherapists and follow new research. I suppose you could say that I’ve aspired to become the best therapist that I can be so that I can serve my clients well.

My training was good and combined with the life skills I’d gained over years of working with people wanting to improve their situation, I had a good start. I’d had training roles in commercial businesses as well as my own, and my voluntary work in a Women’s Aid refuge where I lived and worked with women escaping domestic abuse opened my eyes and my mind. I learned how damaged people do damage, but also how wonderfully resilient human beings can be when given the right support.

Every day, I witnessed the strength and resourcefulness of the women who fought to rebuild their lives in the face of enormous adversity. I learned things about the human spirit that I never would have learned from any seminar, textbook, or training. I learned not to make assumptions about people and not to label them as this kind of person or that kind of person. I learned that I could learn something from everyone I met, whatever their schooling or background, whether they lived in large house in Chelsea or a caravan or squat.

Over the years that I’ve been a professional therapist I have continued to learn about human frailties and strengths and my clients have been the best teachers. With every client and every year that passes as a professional therapist I have improved my skills. Each client I meet and every client session that I have teaches me more. Every client that I see and every hypnotherapy student that I teach in my training school reminds me of the reasons I chose this amazing profession. If you’d like to make use of your life experience and train as a hypnotherapist, let’s have a chat. You can schedule a time here or email me at [email protected]

Does retirement present you with an opportunity?

Sep 25, 2019

October 1st is the International Day of Older Persons. There is a lot of talk from politicians about the ageing population and what initiatives need to be put in place in order to manage the changing demographics. It is estimated that by the year of 2050 there will be 2 billion people around the world aged over 60. But if you are over 60 (or fast approaching it) what does this statistic mean to you? The age at which you can draw your pension in the UK has been impacted by the ageing population and seems to go up as often as rail fares, so retirement may not be an option for you.

If you are able to retire with a state or private pension, what do you plan to do with your time? Many retirees say that they miss the social aspect of working and have too much spare time on their hands; these feelings of loneliness can lead to declines in health measures. Others need to carry on working in order to have a reasonable standard of living. Naturally, not everyone will have the stamina to do the sort of work they did earlier in their career, especially if the work is very physical or arduous. Lifting or moving patients in a busy NHS ward may be a bit of a challenge to a nurse aged over 60 and the resilience and energy required of secondary school teachers might be inconceivable at 65+.

What those who are over 60 do have is a wealth of life experience and this is often accompanied by a sense of perspective and mellowing. These attributes are welcome in the world of therapy and many people approaching retirement age re-train as hypnotherapists. Of course they need to be empathic, non-judgemental individuals who want to help others (young and old) to find solutions to their challenges. This is why hypnotherapy is a career that especially appeals to those who’ve been in the health service, social care or education.

Mature students, over the age of 50, make up almost half of our learners here at LHA. Some are a little nervous about returning to study after decades out of the classroom, but most are soon reassured that the work is manageable, as much of it is practical and there are no exam conditions tests. Unlike counselling or psychotherapy, hypnotherapy training is relatively short so you don’t need to commit to years of studying and exams in order to qualify. You can work the hours that suit you and earn a good hourly rate. Many students are surprised at the fees that can be charged for this professional service and this is a great benefit if you don’t want to commit to long hours or rigid work rotas.

If training to be a hypnotherapist is something that intrigues or interests you, why not come along to one of our FREE Discovery Days?

Why making time for yourself can be an effective therapeutic tool

Aug 21, 2019

In a few weeks we start the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy module of our hypnotherapy practitioner training. Solution Focused Therapy looks at the things a person can do to improve their quality of life; it is future-focused and positive in its approach.

During September there is a Day called “National Read a Book Day” which encourages people to unplug from their busy lives and spend some time reading a book. It can be something they’ve read before which really resonated with them, or something new that tickles their fancy. The point of the day is to spend some time engaged in an activity which is enjoyable and absorbing.

In the SFH module our students learn that changes need to happen outside of the therapy room, if a client is to achieve their goals. It’s not enough to just come for hypnotherapy and be passive, the client is encouraged to think of things that will make them happy and bring them closer to their goal and to take steps towards achieving them.

Many clients are not practising self-care when they arrive in our therapy rooms and this may be one of the first things you look to address as a hypnotherapist. In some cases their lives may be so full of obligations and chores that they’ve completely lost sight of activities that they do purely for recreation. One of the techniques that we teach that helps clients focus on activities that are pleasurable to them is a sensory awareness inventory. This can be especially useful for clients who come with anxiety or depression as it helps them connect in with activities, places and sensations that they enjoy.

By making a change in their behaviour, the client opens up the possibility for a change in their thoughts and feelings. When you adopt a solution focused approach with a client you can help them become clear on what would be happening in their lives at the time they decide that their presenting issue has been resolved. Using careful questioning and listening you are taught to draw out what the client believes is their solution and can help them learn the skills to take themselves there.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions as it empowers clients to find their own solutions, including taking more time for themselves engaging in activities that they find enjoyable or relaxing. For more information about completing the LHA Practitioner Diploma why not join us for a FREE Discovery Day?

Want to know the secrets of effective weight control?

Jul 20, 2019

If you’ve looked at a magazine in recent years or listened to the radio you’ll know that the dieting business is very big indeed. We frequently hear about new celebrity diets and weight loss programmes that are dressed up as nutrition advice. The plethora of information on what helps us to lose weight healthily is often conflicting and the benefits of any particular approach are not always clear or fully explained.

Weight loss tips may include avoiding eating carbs after 6pm, not mixing carbs and protein or ‘fasting’ for certain days of the week in order to ‘detox’ our bodies. Advice from public health officials tends to be more ‘conventional’ - to always eat breakfast or to count calories and so on. In the UK waistlines are expanding every year even as hundreds of articles about the latest celebrity endorsed plan are published in tabloids, magazines and online.

There is clear evidence that diets don’t work long term.95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it within 1-5 years. This means that we need to approach weight loss from a different, more holistic perspective. What’s missing in both the commercially driven communications and the advice from the NHS is the idea of listening to our body’s own messages. Our bodies will usually try to signal that we’ve had enough for instance, or to crave fresh fruit or water, but these signals are all too often ignored by us or simply not recognised.

Therapists will see many clients who want help to lose weight with hypnotherapy and in our Solution Focused Hypnotherapy module we teach techniques for effective ‘no-diet’ weight loss strategies. You will be able to help your clients become more attuned to their bodies as well as any associated emotional matters relating to food and eating decisions. You’ll learn how to empower clients to make the changes that they want in their lives.

By working to increase their self-esteem you can enable clients to feel good about themselves and not see or judge themselves in terms of their size, shape or weight. When you help a client ditch the diet mind-set you can help them focus on making healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle that will remain for the rest of their life. Rather than just reducing calories and battling hunger pangs, hypnotherapy can help people to learn about how their body works.

It may be that part of your treatment will involve you teaching your client stress management techniques or emotional regulation. This will help them to deal with life events and challenges without reaching for sugary sweets or creamy cakes. This is because the stress hormones that put us into a fight or flight mode are reduced.

You can also use cognitive behavioural techniques taught in the Hypno-Psychotherapy module to help your client become aware of the reasons that they unconsciously eat. Perhaps they struggle to put the bag of sweets away before it’s empty or they eat to stuff down feelings. When they work with a hypnotherapist they can start to uncover the why’s of these behaviours and you can teach them new and healthier strategies for dealing with their feelings.

If you’d like to empower clients and help them change lifelong patterns of thinking and eating, request a prospectus here or book for our next Discovery Day here.

The next Solution Focused module starts on the 7th September in  West Yorkshire and 12th September as a weekday module in London.

Independence Day

Jun 29, 2019

Are you enjoying your life? For most of us this is a question that requires some thought. If I narrowed my question down, would you say that you are doing something you chose to do (and love) or just found yourself where you are? Do you wish your week away and live for the weekend? Maybe you are missing out on enjoying 'now', watching the clock at work or waiting for that weekend away or foreign holiday to bring you that spark of joy? As we head towards the USA’s Independence Day it might be natural for our thoughts to turn towards our own lives.
Perhaps the most important question is: Are you happy with where life is taking you? Do you feel as if you have independence? If the answer to this is 'No' then you certainly won't be alone, but are you waiting for something to change or are you planning to act? Are you allowing life to just 'happen to you' or is it time to put yourself in the driver’s seat. The reasons that we live our life the way that we do can be complex.
If you’re reading this article you’re likely to be interested in how the human mind works. Perhaps you’ve been considering taking the plunge and retraining for a new career, but uncertainty or fear of change has prevented you from following this through. Our life experiences shape the way we view things and therefore our decision-making strategies.
How you see your future is affected by your beliefs. Many of us carry around ‘baggage' and have unconsciously made limiting decisions about ourselves. It is these decisions that so often prevent us from creating the future that we want. It doesn't have to stay that way though. Once we become aware of our self-imposed 'blocks' and appreciate our role in their construction, we can set about changing or removing them or getting help to do so. Once we decide that our goals and dreams are attainable we can start taking effective action towards achieving them.
The great thing about working as a hypnotherapist is the change we help our clients to make. Witnessing our clients re-assess old perceptions and move towards the future they want is a very rewarding experience. If you’d like to help people to find their freedom from a life or career they haven’t chosen or no longer want. Independence Day is upon us and new opportunities await all of us who want to reshape our lives.

For more information about training as a clinical hypnotherapist at the London Hypnotherapy Academy request a prospectus here or book for our next Discovery Day here

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