What does it actually feels like to work as a hypnotherapist? Well, when it comes to job reward and satisfaction it has no equal, as far as I’m concerned. Whether you are simply helping an 80 a day smoker to quit smoking overnight, releasing somebody from a phobia or a fear that has been controlling their life, improving somebody’s sporting performance, or helping an individual to enhance his or her career prospects in some way, it always feels good. You do definitely get used to it, and quite quickly as a rule, though it never becomes quite routine because you are always dealing with people, and people are quite different from each other.
Imagine if you were suddenly able to find a solution for a problem that has been plaguing somebody for months, maybe even years. They have assumed that they just had to put up with it and make the best of things – and then you help them to make a change, a change so pronounced and dramatic that it begins to seem to them as if the problem never really was that bad in the first place. They can smile again, and enjoy life again. You might imagine that your job satisfaction would be fairly high. Well, that’s life for the successful hypnotherapist – and that same sort of scenario happens over and again.
One thing though, that can seem a bit strange, at first, is when you talk to a client that you have taken into a good working state of hypnosis, because they can seem completely disinterested in anything that you have to say or do. But you even get used that after while, especially as you begin to gain confidence from the hard evidence that your work is producing beneficial effects. By hard evidence, of course, I mean the fact that clients keep on telling you that they feel much better.
A ‘professional’s professional’
A working professional hypnotherapist should at all times attempt to be a ‘professional’s professional’. That is, the manner of presentation, dress, conduct and general way of being should be such that nobody would ever doubt that here was a professional. This does not mean being ‘stuffy’ or exceptionally conservative – far from it, for that would make it more difficult, maybe even impossible, to establish a good rapport with the vast majority of my clients, and rapport and empathy is a large part of what the job is all about.
What it does mean, is that if I knew there was a camera recording my every move and every word, there would seldom be anything on there that I would fervently wish to erase. I would be happy for anybody, peers, clients or prospective clients, to view any part of that film, safe in the knowledge that any criticism could only be minor and that there was nothing, but nothing, about which I would feel uneasy, or worse, ashamed. Such confidence comes with experience.
A professional hypnotherapist should always appear to be relaxed and at ease while with a client. There will be times when a hypnotherapist does not feel anything of the sort – perhaps due to problems in their own personal life or some other event which has absolutely nothing to do with the client – but this must never be evident. The client is paying me to do a professional job of work and that is a contract which I must not break.
Any negative thoughts and feelings in the working therapist’s personal life, any domestic trials and tribulations, are put ‘on hold’ by the true professional and ‘shelved’ so completely that nobody would ever guess there was anything wrong.
The consulting room must be a haven of calmness and stability, for both myself and my clients, a place that is always both relaxing and welcoming. Clients always need to feel comfortable and at ease enough that by the end of their first visit with me, they are beginning to feel that they have found not only a gem of a therapist, but someone that they can view as a friend, too. That is rapport.
When these things are right, the all-important business of healing, the very reason for my existence as a hypnotherapist, can readily take place. Yes, all right, I want to earn some money too, but unless I do some actual healing, I am not going to earn very much.
The qualities needed to be a hypnotherapist
In addition to having a genuine wish to help others, there is truly only one essential facet of personality that you need to be a good hypnotherapist, and that is what you might call life experience, along with an interest in what makes people tick. If you have got a few summers behind you that is actually going to be an advantage. This doesn’t mean that you cannot be successful if you are still very young, only that you might have to work a touch harder to find success – but then if you are very young you have plenty of time to do it. One of the great things about hypnotherapy as a career, is that you can bring every resource that you possess into your therapeutic endeavours.
Hypnotherapists come from all walks of life. Shop assistants, lorry drivers, welders, ballroom dancers, housewives, house husbands, those recently made redundant, the unemployed, or simply somebody who fancies a change of career. For those who get it right, who study diligently, and maybe even allow themselves to question some long held beliefs about themselves, it can turn out to be best career that they have ever had!