At my first meeting with any client, the client generally has a lot of questions about how I work and how hypnotherapy could help them. I always enjoy answering these questions, and supplying useful knowledge that people aren’t getting from the media. My clients’ questions are always relevant and intelligent.
Outside of work, though, I do get asked some silly questions by people whom I meet. The one that quite annoys me is “does it work?” I mean seriously, would I have been doing it as a job for 23 years if it didn’t work? what job satisfaction could anybody get from that? and why would I get so many clients referred to me by their friends and family whom I’ve previously helped, and people whom I’ve previously helped coming back for help with a different problem? Quite apart from the scientific evidence- scientists have been studying hypnosis and its benefits since the Eighteenth Century.
The other old favourite is “can you make me cluck like a chicken?” Of course people are usually joking but one or two are asking seriously. So let’s get this one straight.
No, I can’t, in fact I can’t “MAKE” you do anything, and neither can Paul McKenna, despite what it says on the covers of all his books! Hypnosis is a powerful tool to help YOU make the changes that YOU want to make. The willingness to change has to be there already.
That doesn’t always have to mean 100% willingness. Change is scary. A problem you have had for many years becomes your “normal,” your comfort zone. Even prison can become a comfort zone if people stay there long enough.
That’s why the first step in successful therapy is realising how much better and bigger life is going to be, once you’ve cleared away the problems that have limited your life.
I’m sometimes contacted by people who want advice about training as a hypnotherapist. Many of these people are very disappointed in the hard facts I’m able to supply. They’ve read the seductive adverts from the various training schools, which tell them that hypnotherapy is one of the “fastest growing” professions. But what is actually meant by this? To be sure, the number of qualified hypnotherapists is growing very fast indeed, but how many of them actually practice, and how many of those remain in practice for any length of time- even long enough to gain real confidence in their abilities?
The truth is that hypnotherapy in the UK is a “saturated market.” Many people will deny this, but you’ll generally find they’re running training schools and therefore don’t want to put off potential students.
Today I surveyed the websites of the 28 institutions listed on the National Council for Hypnotherapy’s website as having been approved to offer the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma. These are by no means the only hypnotherapy schools, just the ones that have sought and obtained NCH approval. These 28 institutes are this year offering a total of 45 diploma courses. Let’s suppose that six people graduate from each course (a conservative estimate, as some have far more). 45 x 6 = 270 newly-qualified hypnotherapists per year. Let’s suppose that each hypnotherapist would reckon to stay in practice for 20 years on average (I began practicing aged 38, I’m now 60 and have no plans to retire). So 270 x 20 = 5,400 hypnotherapists practicing in the UK, if they all remained in business. How plausible does that figure sound? Well, Devon contains about 1/60 of the UK population, so 5,400 divided by 60 = 90! I invite you to spend a while on Google and see if you can find ninety hypnotherapists practicing in Devon! Even those you do find are mostly part-timers, although this will not be apparent from their websites.
The fact is that the majority of hypnotherapy graduates never practice long enough to become proficient or to make a full-time living. The great majority will quit after one to three years. Some won’t even stick out their first year, and many- perhaps the majority- won’t even attempt the daunting task of setting up their practice.