Let’s pretend that we just met at a friend’s house for drinks, play along now. Everyone around the room will undoubtedly ask the polite question – what do you do?
We have the accountant, the nurse, the carpenter, and the chap who runs his own town café. They love their jobs hopefully and their general business is understood by most of the population. Now ask me – I am a hypnotherapist, and that is the start. Lots and lots of questions. Now don’t get me wrong I love to talk about what I do, but sometimes you just want to switch off and relax. So, I admit to occasionally using the old distraction technique when asked. People are fascinated by the subject and that is not surprising – it is a truly fascinating job. So, allow me to give you a peek into what I do and why I do it.
Let’s be clear here, I will not be talking about the lovely Derren Brown’s mind control situations here, this is hypnosis for therapy, for clients that want to make permanent changes in their lives. The range of issues and conditions is huge – from phobias, depression, anger, pain management, and sports confidence to very specific problems around OCD and end of life care and PTSD – the list is endless and every week I can be presented with something new.
The journey of a new client
1. Clients usually come through references or an enquiry on my website. I will always call and chat with them on the phone so I can gather a little information about what they would like to achieve through sessions. I will put aside half an hour for this but don’t be surprised if it goes on longer as I try to answer all the questions a potential client has. By the way – no I cannot make you lose 4kg in a week or stop you from eating chocolate with a swing of my pocket watch (I don’t have said watch I am afraid)
2. We set up their first session face to face in the Rutland Square office or if more convenient we can do it online.
3. The session will be roughly 50 to 60 minutes long and there will be a lot of talking and questions. Clients might find that this is the first time anybody has asked them what they want to achieve and how they are going to use their skills and resources to get there. It can be thought provoking, but we keep it positive, and solution focused. Then comes the educational part where I talk about the science behind why we suffer from issues and what we can do to help. Clients usually find this fascinating and can relate a lot of it to what is going on in their lives. I may ask clients to visualise going through their day in the absence of their problem – what would you be doing differently, what difference would it make, how would you feel? These are questions designed to stimulate different parts of your mind and allow you to see the possibilities of change.
4. Now the part that clients really love – the trance session. Just you, me, relaxation and even some plinky plonky music if you like. At the end, you will come through it feeling refreshed and relaxed, and ready for the rest of the day.
My work deals with the present and the future, we tend to not delve into the past. There are plenty of excellent therapists that will assist people by looking into their past but for me, I find that our time together is best served looking at what the client wants now and how they are going to get there.
I explain this process with a metaphor: imagine you go on a trip to somewhere you have never visited before. Heavens forbid, but you have left your phone on the kitchen counter, so you stop a friendly passer-by and try to communicate where you would like to go.
“I don’t want to go to the supermarket as I went last Thursday”
“I don’t want to go to the train station as I just came from there”
“I hate museums, so I definitely don’t want to go there”
Quite rightly the stranger would probably ask you where you DO want to go, so they can get on with their day.
“I would like to go to the local Castle so I can take some photos.”
Now the friendly local can direct you on how to get there. We can relate this to how your mind works – it needs to know where it is aiming for so that it can look out for what might be useful in getting there, like the turnings on a road. Without direction, we can wander around aimlessly, never getting to our destination. It’s my job to act as a guide and assist clients in finding solutions to achieve their desired outcomes – to get photos of the castle in this example.
Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process where the therapeutic relationship really does matter, there must be trust and a commitment to change from the client and respect and belief of a client from the therapist.
This was not a job my career officer, back in the 1980s ever brought up with me – she had me down as an airport controller! I had to go through various jobs until I decided I wanted to retrain and do a job that brought science and hypnosis together to help clients. I can report that the decision to become a hypnotherapist was one of the best decisions I ever made. Yes, there are days when I feel a client is not making as much improvement as they want but the majority of my time with my clients is very positive and fulfilling. I have had the privilege of meeting so many interesting people and watching as they make changes every week. They tell me stories and how they have achieved things that they never thought they would. It may be how they managed to control their eating, climb a mountain, or maybe how they can now go out after suffering from PTSD for years
There are usually no big fanfares and emotional goodbyes after successful sessions together – rather clients disappear off to enjoy the changes and get on with their lives. This is my goal – help them find the solutions so I can disappear from their lives.
I leave no footprints.
After the last couple of years, of doing all sessions online, I am very pleased to announce that I have now opened a clinic in the very heart of Edinburgh – very close to the castle if you want to combine sightseeing.
Feel free to email/call to arrange an informal chat.
10A Rutland Square
07999 726 463