I’ll admit it, for the first few years after I completed my training as a hypnotherapist, I would cringe if anyone asked me what I did for a living. Not because I’m not incredibly proud and happy with my career, but because I would quite often be faced with stupid comments and questions. Now don’t get me wrong, I love talking about my job, I am enthusiastic about helping people and a complete geek when it comes to chatting about how the brain works, I can talk about it for hours… try me! But often when you say you’re a hypnotherapist, some people take it upon themselves to ask the most silly, and dare I say it, clichéd questions. I do dare say it because speaking to my peers; we’ve all had the same questions asked on numerous occasions.
That being said, I don’t want to discourage people from asking questions, as it’s human nature to be curious and it’s also a brilliant subject and I want you to know more. I am very proud of being a hypnotherapist and am happy to share my knowledge. So, with that in mind, here are a few dos and don’ts if you meet me or another hypnotherapist at your next social gathering:
Please don’t ask…
So can you really hypnotise people?
Yes. Otherwise I would be a lollypop lady, or a ballerina. What you’re trying to do is find out if hypnosis is real or not; but it comes across as if you’re asking if I’m a fraud or not. This is rude. You’ve just told me you’re an accountant and I haven’t asked you if you can really do maths.
Can you turn me into a chicken?
Oh my God, this is so original! No hypnotherapist has ever heard it before! No. Nobody can turn you into a chicken, stage hypnotists can maybe make some people think they are chickens for entertainment purposes, but I’m not a stage hypnotist. This question is based on your own misconceptions about hypnotherapy and not on any willingness to understand what I do. When my job revolves around helping people overcome such things as anxiety, depression and trauma; it’s pretty irritating to be constantly asked about chickens.
I don’t believe in hypnosis.
Great, I don’t believe in quantity surveying. Next.
Can you make me stop eating chocolate?
Now this question isn’t too bad, depending on how it’s delivered. If you actually want help with a food addiction or compulsion, or are looking for help to lose weight, then I am happy to give you my business card and you can come and book a consultation, as hypnotherapy is excellent for making long term changes to your health. Am I going to take you into the kitchen, wave a magic wand and “make” you stop eating chocolate? No. No more than I’m going to “turn you into a chicken”. Also, chocolate is great!
Can you make my husband stop smoking?
I can’t ‘make’ anyone do anything, especially if they do not want to do it. If your husband wants to stop smoking, and needs help, then here is the ol’ business card again, but he has to call me, not you, I’m afraid.
How much do you charge? Wow, that’s expensive!
It’s really not. I have completed years of training and professional development to get me as qualified as I am. I spend time outside of my hourly rate on admin, writing up client’s notes, writing hypnosis language patterns (often tailor made to specific clients), studying, doing my own marketing, accounts and business plans, making hypnosis tracks and courses. Hypnotherapy is life changing and worth the money, if you want to find something cheaper or free then be my guest, but my rates are what they are for a reason. Also, if you don’t question other professionals’ rates of pay, please don’t question mine.
I went to a hypnotherapist once and it didn’t work.
Alas, I am not responsible for all the hypnotherapists in the world. You’ll find good and bad in every profession and I’m sorry you had a bad experience, which could have been down to a number of factors, but that really has no bearing on my practice. I am happy to give you advice on how to find a good one though.
Please do ask…
What kind of things can you help with?
Hypnotherapy can help with so many things that asking me this is joy. I don’t mind specific questions about conditions if they are genuine either, as I will either have treated someone before with such a thing, or not, in which case I would be interested to discuss if hypnotherapy can help.
How does hypnotherapy work?
Pull up a chair, top up our drinks and let me tell you all about the wonders and workings of hypnotherapy!
What’s been your most interesting case?
Now I have very strict ethics when it comes to confidentiality, so never expect names, places, ages or even the gender of my clients but I do love an interesting case (especially phobias), I’m also immensely proud of the work I do, so enjoy talking case studies, as long as you realise that I have to protect my clients above all else.
Is hypnotherapy right for me?
An excellent question, and something everyone should ask before deciding to see a hypnotherapist. I, and I imagine most hypnotherapists will be happy to advise you.
Can I come and see you?
Yes. Yes you can. Here is my card.
If you have a burning question to ask me about being a hypnotherapist, or hypnotherapy in general (and it’s not in the don’ts) then please feel free to ask in the comments section!