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Monday, 8 September 2014

The Accidental Hypnotherapist

It always fascinates me how people get into a career as a hypnotherapist. Given that few children leave school with hypnotherapy as an ambition, most of us seem to come to it after we’ve done something else, and perhaps that's as it should be. It seems to me that a bit of life experience helps when you are supporting others through their difficulties.

In my case I left school with no idea of what I wanted to do with my life, and went into a clerical job in the civil service. I spent almost 15 years there but everything changed when my first daughter was born.

I took some time off to be with her, but in order to 'keep my brain in gear' for a return to work in the future took a couple of classes at the local tech. A law GCSE first (very useful, all about consumer rights) then a psychology one just because it interested me. Thanks to a wonderful teacher, the following year I found myself on a degree course, psychology and literature since they didn’t offer single subjects degrees part time. I pursued this part time for the next seven years; it should have been six but the arrival of a second daughter mid way through slowed things down a bit.
I did a number of temporary and part time jobs alongside my studies, including lollypop lady for my daughter's school. Great fun, but occasionally scary - if you haven't dressed as a lemon and stood in the path of oncoming traffic you'll never know.
At the end of this, both kids were in school so I wanted a 'proper job'. Problem was, I also needed the freedom to drop everything and run now and then; my eldest has Asperger's Syndrome and from time to time she required my presence at short notice.
I quickly decided the most understanding boss I could have would be me, and so began a quest for self employment. Unfortunately, despite my enthusiasm and shiny new degree, I found I had few saleable skills.
Around this time, my husband found an ad in the local paper for a hypnotherapy school. They must have advertised there before but we'd never noticed. I knew nothing about hypnosis or hypnotherapy and I’d never been hypnotised, but it was just down the road and it was holding an open day. I went along and got completely hooked. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since qualifying, I've taken further training in stress management, and that and the hypnotherapy have provided me with my only source of income.
Is it the 'proper job' I was looking for? Probably not in the traditional sense. At different times it’s enjoyable, fulfilling, frustrating, uplifting and emotional. It fills me with a huge sense of respect for my clients, who often come to face their worst fears and leave feeling empowered and self assured.
If it wasn't for my other half accidentally noticing that ad, I might now be back in a clerical position, probably enjoying it but never knowing what I’d missed. Instead I have this amazing job - I'm a part of people transforming their lives for the better and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
So how did your life's journey bring you to consider hypnotherapy as a career? DO post and let me know.

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Author: is Senior Tutor At Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training, which offers multi accredited hypnotherapy practitioner training in Wakefield and York, along with taster days and foundation levels. YHT also offers supervision and continuous professional development (CPD) courses for established hypnotherapists. Please contact Debbie to find out more.


  1. A lovely story which has some similarities to mine. I qualified as a hypnotherapist at the age of 59 after many years of struggling to learn self hypnosis. The training changed my life and now I get great satisfaction in helping others.

    1. Thanks Garry, I agree it's a great way to make a living. One of my clients, aged about ten, once told me 'You have the best job in the world' and I'm inclined to agree.