However I thought today that it might just be nice to share the story of how I became a hypnotherapist.
I was working as a manager for a private day nursery in Hertfordshire when I first came across NLP. I’d seen someone using it on TV and having just had very slow dialup internet installed at home, I started to research more about it. It seemed to have close links with hypnotherapy which fascinated me.
I bought some books about hypnotherapy and read them several times over. I was unhappy in my job and was looking for a new career so I began to wonder if I could make a business as a hypnotherapist.
I booked onto a course which covered both NLP and hypnotherapy, though I’d later go on to redo my NLP training with another provider. The hypnotherapy I felt pretty comfortable with though, so when my training was over I set up a website and got an advert into the yellow pages.
I was still managing the nursery during the day and I must have got my timings right because the yellow pages advert went out shortly after I passed my course.
A few weeks later I was at work, and a lady left me a voicemail message saying she had seen the yellow pages advert and would like to bring her son to see me. Yay! My first paying client!
There was only one catch. He was going to see me for an addiction. To heroine.
Back then I was working out of the spare room at my mums house! So I was a long way off from buying the building we are now based in, in Hertfordshire.
I had ‘done up’ the office so it looked like a proper working little working office with a filing cabinet for my notes and a comfy chair for the client. I’d also put together a medical history form, consultation questions and evaluation sheet for use with each patient.
But seriously a heroine addict?! Talk about jumping in at the deep end!
I did some research about heroine addiction and downloaded some hypnosis scripts (which I read and realised they were not that amazing so later started to write my own.)
The young man and his mother came for the consultation. I was really rather pleased to have got that far and didn’t expect them to become paying clients. In fact, I was sort of hoping they wouldn’t, as I wasn’t sure if I was really ready to cope with a challenge of that magnitude.
When I got to the end of the consultation I said “Now you have a couple of choices. You can go away, have a chat and a think about what you want to do next and let me know, or I can get you booked in for your first session. Which would you like to do?”
They looked at each other and nodded and the mother said “We’d like to book a session please.”
I kept saying there was no pressure and that they really could discuss it first – you’d have thought I was talking them out of it! But they insisted on booking in and the young lad came back for his first session.
I probably saw him 8-10 times over the next few months. It wasn’t all plain sailing, he fell off the wagon after he’d got cleaned up but it turned out that this give him some real leverage as he was so disappointed in himself that he never wanted that to happen again.
I wouldn’t recommend a heroine addict as a starting block for your career in hypnotherapy, but for me it did give me a huge confidence boost, because I decided that anything else wouldn’t be as severe as that. I was wrong of course because I’ve worked with some really traumatic cases since then, but having that first big challenging case was a huge leap forward.
Eleven years on and hypnotherapy still fascinates me. I still love to see the reactions of people after a session and to hear about their own unique experience of hypnosis. I use a lot of that feedback in the hypnotherapy training (for those who want to become a qualified hypnotherapist) because for trainees there is a lot of reassurance in hearing about the many different ways their clients might respond.