Why I decided to become a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist in Bristol
Let’s admit it, hypnotherapy is an interesting phenomena. Stage performers, Derren Brown being the first that springs to mind, have built huge success on the use of hypnosis to achieve mind-boggling results. Only recently, I watched an episode of his ‘The Experiments’ series where he successfully orchestrated a mock-assassination of Stephen Fry. This was done through the use of hypnotic suggestion on a regular-Joe he picked out as his ‘Assassin’. It is an outstanding piece of television. Although his techniques are exaggerated for dramatic purposes, the fact remains that his achievements are a tribute to the power of hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is undoubtedly less showy, but the results are just as outstanding. As an example; virtually every Stop-smoking campaign orchestrated by the NHS focusses on how difficult it is to stop, even directing smokers to try nicotine replacement products in their effort to ‘quit’. Yet, a person can be hypnotised to stop smoking, can suffer none of the dreaded ‘cravings’ and live a life smoke free with no fuss whatsoever. It doesn’t take a scientist to see that this hypnotherapy lark Really Does Work!
My interest in hypnotherapy started long before Derren Brown bought it into the limelight of popular culture. Me and my best friend used to spend hours lying on my bed, listening to multiple youtube videos, discussing at length how they altered the way we felt in the immediate aftermath. I have suffered for many years from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and OCD. I cannot remember a time when I was not affected by an overactive ‘worry’ gene (not the medical term obviously). I can honestly say that these days we spent were some of the very few where I felt distanced from my own anxiety. I was able to relax, and let go. I’m sure anyone reading who suffers anxiety will understand, but for those of you who don’t, letting go is a very difficult thing to achieve and comes with its own veritable treasure house of issues for the anxiety sufferer.
My personal experience with anxiety
Without delving too deeply into my own issues with anxiety, it has been a struggle. I finally sought help during a particularly difficult time approximately 4 years ago. I was studying for a masters degree, working full-time and attempting to maintain a social life, as well as a long standing relationship. Needless to say, it was all too much for me.
The above may seem to be off topic, but it is very important in my own timeline of deciding I wanted to study hypnotherapy. I have an overwhelming desire to help other people who are in the same, or similar, predicament that I was in those years ago. I would not presume to argue that I have suffered anxiety to an extreme level, but I would argue that I understand it. I know how difficult it is for someone who suffers from anxiety to relax and lead a fulfilling life. This, more than anything, is the contributing fact that has led me to my current professional endeavour. If I can help just one person to deal with their anxiety, I will feel that I have made a momentous achievement.
Why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy
I am currently in training at the Clifton Practice, a training institution which is at the forefront of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy training. The key term here is ‘Solution Focused’. I have learnt through my training how important it is, for people suffering with mental illness, to look towards the future. There are many people who go in for counselling, and ok, it works for some, but there is a wealth of medical research which now argues that rehashing old issues and discussing past traumas, is both harmful and counter-productive. It makes sense really if you think about it; when you think about a time in your life when you were sad, what happens? You become sad. Is this helpful? I would be inclined to say, no. This is why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy really spoke to me. As someone who has suffered from mental health issues, I know that when I was at my most anxious and depressed I spent a lot of time thinking negatively. I would negatively introspect about my life; things I had done wrong, people I had upset, bad choices I had made, and so on. None of this helped me; In fact, I would say it was detrimental to my health. One of the reasons Solution Focused work is so powerful is because we accept a person for who they are. There is no need to delve into a client’s past to find the root cause of their problem; the important thing is that they recognise they have a problem, and they want help getting better. Getting better is the focus.
You are familiar with the saying “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”. This metaphor sums up better than I ever could exactly why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can have such a permanent effect on people. Me and my clients create an alliance against mental illness; They come to me for help with a willingness to change and I give them the tools they need to make change happen. As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I am not interested in helping someone overcome one cycle of depression; I want to help them kick depression forever!
What Hypnotherapy can treat
Obviously, as I mentioned above, hypnotherapy is not exclusively used to help treat anxiety. It can also achieve positive results with conditions such as depression, phobias, and less obvious issues such as blushing. It can increase confidence, eliminate addictions, and reduce the father of all ills; stress. This is part of the appeal of hypnotherapy; that it is able to help with such a range of issues. Hypnotherapy utilises the brains ability to cure itself and it is truly amazing how successful this can be. It is an empowering methodology and one that I am passionate to explore.
I currently work as a Finance Administrator. It is not my passion. There is not enough money in the world that you could pay me to sit and input data into spreadsheets for the rest of my life. It is just not my thing; I am a people person. Hypnotherapy aside, there is something hugely inviting to me about the type of profession that lets me talk to people, about ‘people’ things. This is another reason behind why I started to train. Along this same vein, I also do not like working for other people. Some would say that I have a problem with authority but I believe that it is because I am independent and do not wish to have my actions dictated by another. Becoming a hypnotherapist will enable me to be my own boss; I will be able to decide my own hours, my own workload; my office; my marketing techniques and so on. There is no limit to how far I can take myself, nobody sat above me stopping my advancement. The above are not romantic reasons, but they are reasons nonetheless. Put honesty, I would never have decided to study hypnotherapy if the above ideals did not appeal to me. There is no sense becoming self-employed if you are unable to organise and manage yourself. Likewise there is no sense in choosing a career where you have to work closely with people if you find social interaction a bore. It is the make-up of my personality that attracted me to the course in the first place, and above all else, I love the idea of helping other people that need help.
Hypnotherapy can make a huge difference
Imagine helping someone to stop smoking. A qualified hypnotherapist will help many people over the course of their career stop smoking. Added to this, roughly 50% of smokers die from smoking related diseases. It is a fair certainty that when I am qualified I will help someone to avoid contracting cancer or another fatal illness. This could add years onto their lives. Imagine what a person could DO with those additional years. They could mend a relationship that has deteriorated. They could live to see their children get married. They could live to see their children have children. This is how I like to envision why I am training; It will be the most fulfilling job in the world if I can say that I have helped people in such a way. This is why I am training to be a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist.