I count myself very lucky to have found a career that I am passionate about, and one that sometimes feels like more of a hobby than a job! Hypnotherapy is one of those careers that tends to spark people’s imagination, and I am often asked how I found my way into the career, and how others might be able to do the same. My route into the profession was an unexpected one- and just goes to show that although sometimes your career plans may not always turn out as anticipated, following your passions can lead you exactly where you may really want to go!
I have always had an interest in psychology and the power of the subconscious mind, and in the late seventies I became especially interested in the psychology of gambling. I was fascinated to understand how some people could be led to risk everything on the roll of a dice. To get more of an insight into this, I trained as a croupier and was quickly promoted to become the UK’s youngest casino manager! As a manager, I held and attended client dinners and had the chance to talk to and get to know the exact types of people who fascinated me so greatly! I gathered a huge amount of knowledge and understanding through having these conversations, all the while harbouring a secret desire to train as a hypnotherapist. From all I had read about hypnotherapy and hypnosis, I realised that this career path would allow me to gain an even deeper understanding of the subconscious mind, and use my skills to provide help for those not just with gambling problems, but with a wide range of issues and disorders relating to the subconscious. My job at the casino paid well, however, and making the leap to a new career and a potentially precarious freelance life seemed dangerous and frightening. A go karting accident on a staff team building day left me hospitalised and unable to work for five months, and suddenly everything seemed clear; I was going to follow my dream and train to become a hypnotherapist.
I gained my Senior Qualification in Hypnotherapy Practice (SQHP) as well as a Diploma in Advanced Hypnotherapy (Dip.Adv.Hyp), and started my practice in London’s famous Harley Street. People are drawn to a hypnotherapy career for a huge range of reasons- sometimes to help a friend or relative who is unwell, and sometimes purely out of interest in the vocation. Some practitioners work part-time alongside another career, and others train in hypnotherapy as an added facet to more traditional forms of talking therapies such as psychotherapy. Personally, I chose to enter the profession as a full time hypnotherapist working from a Harley Street clinic, treating clients between the hours of 7.00am and 10.00pm. I have always treated as many clients as I could in order to build up my experience and expertise. Having worked as a hypnotherapist for the last eighteen years, I am now lucky enough to run a busy and thriving practice!
I feel very fortunate to have found myself in the position I am today- with a career that I love and find so fascinating! But what about others who might be interested in starting a career or changing their career path like I did? I am often asked to recommend the best routes into a hypnotherapy career. Here is my guide:
How to become a hypnotherapist: Important Skills
There are several skills that it is important to have before embarking on a career as a hypnotherapist. If you are interested in following this career path, consider if you have the following in your skill set:
Listening skills- as well as being accepting and non-judgmental when listening to people
As most hypnotherapists, like myself, are self-employed or freelance, it is also important to have a certain level of business skill as gaining clients and organising the day-to-day running of your work are essential elements to becoming a successful practitioner.
Training and becoming a qualified hypnotherapist
Although there is no prescribed training path to becoming a qualified hypnotherapist, it is generally recommended that potential practitioners choose a course that has received accreditation from one of the major awarding bodies who regulate the industry. These are:
There are various different hypnotherapy courses available in the UK, including the popular HPD (Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma), a well-recognised diploma qualification. There is a wealth of accredited training courses in the UK, taking place in colleges and specialist training schools in locations all around the country! Many of these can be easily found online, however I highly recommend checking before you enrol on a course that it is accredited by one of these national councils. By doing so, you will gain a mark of approval that will allow potential clients to know and trust that you have received a proper training.
The training itself usually involves a mixture of practical workshops, written assignments and self-study. Courses vary widely in length and weekly time commitment, so it is relatively easy to find one that fits in with your lifestyle and requirements! Most courses require between 120-150 hours of classroom training in total. Different training schools offer hypnotherapy training in different forms and using slightly different techniques and methodologies, including traditional Ericksonian hypnotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy among others. With a career in hypnotherapy, it is important that you follow your interests and passions, so make sure to carefully research the different types of training available and ensure you choose the hypnotherapy course which resonates best with you. It is also important when researching different training schools and centres to make sure that the course you choose is taught by competent and experienced practitioners, as this is the best way to ensure that you will receive a high quality training. You should also make sure that the school you choose offers a good level of teaching time and contact with tutors so that you can feel supported in your training.
Why become a hypnotherapist?
I have found hypnotherapy to be an exciting and inspiring career, and I am so glad that I eventually made the leap to embark on a career that I find so fulfilling! My favourite thing about the job is that every day is so different from the last. I often have no clue what I am going to encounter from day to day and when meeting new clients- and to me, that is very exciting! I have always had a strong desire to learn, and I really do learn something new during each session. Recently, a client came to see me because of her debilitating fear of loneliness. During hypnosis, she expressed a vague memory of being in the womb with ‘something’ next to her. That ‘something’ then disappeared and she had a deep feeling of abandonment. The client spoke to her mother after the session, and discovered for the first time that, when pregnant with her, her mother had been expecting twins but had lost one of the babies to a miscarriage. Allowing clients to come to amazing revelations that uncover the workings of their subconscious minds is why I do what I do! Here are some of the best things about working as a hypnotherapist:
- Having the chance to help people with their problems
If you are a caring person, hypnotherapy could be the career for you. As well as being extremely rewarding to uncover and solve problems that clients may have been dealing with for years, the life of a hypnotherapist allows you to reach out and use your caring instincts in a professional capacity.
- Gaining a greater understanding and knowledge of the human mind
The human brain and human consciousness are some of the least explored and most mysterious topics known to man. In an era where our knowledge and understanding of the brain is beginning to grow, hypnotherapy offers a very unique insight into the workings of the subconscious. Through working with clients, the life of a hypnotherapist allows you to continually learn and expand your knowledge on this topic. Hypnotherapy can also be a very useful part of your professional development if you are looking for a career in psychotherapy, and can complement a professional psychotherapy career.
- Having the chance to hear a huge variety of human stories
For anyone who is interested in other people and their stories, hypnotherapy allows a deep-dive into some of the most unusual, difficult and taboo experiences of the human condition. There is no knowing who you might meet and what you might learn in the therapy room.
If this article has sparked your interest and you think hypnotherapy might be your passion too, I would highly recommend reading and learning more about it and even considering various pathways such as training on a hypnotherapy diploma. The other articles on my blog will give you a deeper insight into all different sides of the profession!