Hypnotherapy is a highly diverse profession, with many different models of therapy and approaches. If you want to work in the field of clinical hypnotherapy, potentially working alongside mainstream health professionals, such as the NHS, you need to be sure your training will set you up for that. The trouble is, you almost need to be qualified to understand what the glossy websites are actually saying!
However, a few specific questions can help you see if the course you are being offered is the right one for you and whether you’re going to get the training you need to support you in becoming a professional hypnotherapist.
Does my lecturer have a therapy practice? Can I look them up online?
The struggles people are facing have changed hugely over just the last couple of decades, with people seeing hypnotherapy differently, understanding what we offer more and even the problems they face are changing. If your lecturer isn’t aware of these changes and the strides being made every day in the field of brain science, how will they be able to support your development as a credible and current hypnotherapist?
Look for a school that’s lecturers are also successful hypnotherapists; you may need to ask who will be teaching you to find out. Ask yourself if they seem credible, professional, successful and up to date because their experience and case histories will help you understand not just the academic side of hypnotherapy but its practical applications too.
Will we do regression or past life regression therapy as part of our training?
Whilst regression is still used successfully by some practitioners we know there are less invasive, less risky ways to treat those issues. In the wrong hands, regression can actually cause more trauma and, due to advances in the field of neuropsychology, hypnotherapy has moved on.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, you will not be using past life regression; a form of regression based on the belief that current issues can be from past lives. This is holistic and spiritual in approach, and not something used in a clinical setting. In the same way, as clinical hypnotherapists, we do not use stage hypnosis techniques as part of therapy.
Do you use hypnosis alongside a recognised model of therapy?
As a clinical hypnotherapist you will be working in the area of mental health; as such, you will require a model of therapy to support your work. When you realise hypnosis is the conscious and subconscious parts of the brain working together to solve a problem it is important we, as therapists, know how to work with both parts of the brain confidently and safely. A reputable therapy model will help you do this and it is worth investigating what your chosen school offers and whether you agree with the model of therapy on offer.
How practical is the course? How much will I practice in and out of class?
As a practitioner of hypnotherapy you must practice. Academic learning supports the theory behind the practice, but you must have access to a safe environment in which to practice with real clients so that you can see what it is like to support someone engaging in therapy. This means practice sessions in class and supported practice between learning days. A minimum of 50 hours practical work is required for most reputable courses so it is important to ask about the practical side of your training too.
What kind of research backs up what I‘m being taught?
Modern hypnotherapy now works alongside mainstream medicine which means we need to be able to prove what we do works. For over a century hypnotherapy has been striving to prove its efficacy and now, because of modern brain imaging techniques, more interest in the subject and neuroscience, we have been able to prove not just how hypnosis works, but more importantly why. You will need to be able to prove this to your clients too, so ask your potential training provider if they can explain it to you.
What training will I have around mental health?
As a clinical hypnotherapist you will very likely see clients with mental health issues, ranging from anxiety and depression to OCD, PTSD, social phobias, eating disorders, addiction, past trauma etc. Without a proper understanding of not just the limitations of the work we do but how to support someone with a mental health struggle you cannot hope to practice safely or well. It is becoming more and more important, particularly as we move away from being known as just the person you go to see when you want to stop smoking, or biting your nails. Ask your school what support and training they offer.
Working as a clinical hypnotherapist is one of the most rewarding careers you can have and times have never been more exciting, because, more and more, you will being seen as a practical professional who delivers life changing and long lasting results for your clients. To do that, you need to have the right training to set you on the right path. As the questions; train with confidence.