This is one of those blog entries here on my main hypnosis blog that is aimed at fellow hypnotherapists. I know plenty of hypnotherapists read my blog, and this one is for you guys.
I became a hypnotherapist because I really wanted to share hypnotherapy with others. I had experienced great amount of personal gain from hypnotherapy and I could not imagine anything more wonderful than earning my living helping others in that same way.
Having done that since 1997, I have found that not all days are equal. Look at the reality of a hypnotherapist’s typical working day – sat in a relatively small room with people who are ill, depressed, anxious, worried, fed-up, unhappy, traumatised and looking to draw upon your skills, knowledge and experience as help.
When we are not working with those people, we are often writing, researching, doing PR, networking, studying, accounting, marketing, advertising and preparing clients notes and treatment plans.
It is very often hard work. And at times, the financial rewards are not always comparable to those who work for large corporations doing very important things for global financial organisations and so on…. However much love us hypnotherapists may have for helping others, it can be tough on us at times. We often have to work hours to fit in with clients’ work schedules rather than our own… We can feel burned out, or just a bit deflated on a day-to-day basis.
I know you are thinking those words “physician, heal thyself” and we all ought to offer ourselves up some of the medicine we readily dispense to our clients. Though giving a self-pointing-full-blown-therapeutic-treatment-plan is not always as easy to apply to oneself, is it?
So what to do?
As hypnosis professionals all already know, there are ways we can enhance our daily enjoyment of our work, this article I am sure is just a good nudge, a kick up the backside to those of you who need reminding about how to ensure you spend more time smiling than finding your work a chore.
Much of our work satisfaction begins with us changing our perspective. If we continue to focus on facets of our daily regimen that we find to be dissatisfying, then heck, we miss the joy, wonder and beauty in the wonderful work we do. Let’s make no mistake – us hypnotherapists do something incredibly wonderful, worthwhile, valuable and beautiful.
You can affect that perspective and advance your enjoyment of being a hypnotherapist on a daily basis, by doing some of these things… Though if you do all of them, you’ll just be tingling with uncontrollable joy throughout!
1. Engage with other members of the human race:
When I was writing my most recently published book, upon getting home from the office one Friday evening, I told my wife that apart from her and my clients that week, I had spoken to no other human beings. Sure, I had shared emails and texts, but not had any real-life human interaction at all for an entire working week!! Hahahaha. That is crazy.
What’s more, training for marathons meant I was running alone, I worked in my garden alone, all my communications with the team here at the school were by email…. I spoke to hardly anyone for a whole week!!
Being a talk therapist of any kind can be lonely enough. Therefore, make sure you engage in regular supervision and communicate with your supervisor, attend peer support groups where you get to run shoulders with fellow professionals, meet with colleagues regularly, form think tanks and groups of like-minded folks.
Punctuate your working week with some real-life human interaction, it is healthy for us on many levels. Speak to other people in your building whenever you get the chance, so much better to small-talk regularly than to grunt, avoid eye contact and walk around the building with subterfuge.
Also, I would like to add, that having a good support network of colleagues, friends and family, along with some good, positive influences in your life is a great help. If you lack human interaction, it’ll be particularly problematic if you only ever come into contact with negative people – clients or not.
2. Have regular rest intervals in your day:
Hypnotherapists often have back-to-back clients, without enough time to gather themselves in between clients, especially if they hire the room space.
Also, getting bogged down with long written articles, planning client sessions, writing up case notes, replying to emails… We then end up eating lunch at our desks, and even put off going to the toilet until a couple of clients later so that we can send our previous client their homework notes before the next one comes in! (Maybe that last one is just me!??)
Having a brief break is healthy for us and it is important we get a break at regular times throughout our day – if nothing else, it is client-centred because you’ll be doing your job better having derived the benefits of taking breaks.
Go and breathe some fresh air, take a short walk outside or around the building. Change your scene. Be stood up (the virtues of which I have written about here, it is evidence based & good for health to be stood up more often) and engage in some action and motion throughout your day.
When you get up and about, you give your mind an opportunity to rest. If you are really, genuinely unable to leave your office space (you are chained to it in some way; metaphorically or in real terms), then take some time to stand up and imagine being somewhere else – I’ll mention this again later.
If the worse come to the worse, you can find at least two minutes of time walking to and from the toilets, right? Though if that is genuinely the only way you can engineer a break into your day, you need to call me for us to look at the reasons why you have so little autonomy in your working role despite being self-employed!
3. Create a work space that makes you smile:
I am a geek who smiles at geekish things. As I look around my office, let me tell you some of what I see – a Jason & the Argonauts ceramic coaster, a number of 1890s Stage Hypnosis Posters, a Doctor Who Tardis waste paper bin, a Red Dwarf mouse mat, a big framed poster of my running idol Steve Prefontaine with a motivational quote of his, big antique bookcases filled with hypnosis books and my collection of antique hypnosis texts, my iMac, my Italian handmade reading chair and my beloved rug.
Ok, so not everyone has a home office as well as a client office as I do, but I can tell that graduates of my school who really love their work are those who have taken some time to make their offices a space they love.
For many of us, we spend more time in this space than we do in our own homes! With that being the case, make it as agreeable as your working environment permits.
If your office space makes you smile, then this is a good thing, right?
Even if you don’t own your own office where you see clients, the space where you do your accounts or send your emails from could be personalised perhaps. Or perhaps you can find a space that will help you to feel relaxed during your working day.
4. Step out of the hypnotherapist’s shoes.
Many people I know refuse to go on holiday because they worry about losing clients or falling behind with client’s treatment plans, or getting emails piling up and going unanswered.
The reality is that hypnotherapists all need to spend time away from being a hypnotherapist. Even if it means making sure you switch off your iPad or PC at home in the evenings, but taking a holiday is more like it. We need to step out of the hypnotherapist hoes from time to time…
I appreciate that going on holidays are not always within the means of everyone. Taking time out and being at home going for days out, doing things differently is just as good. Have a “stay-cation.”
I have had times in my working career when even the books I read in my free time were about my work – texts and research studies. We need a break from that stuff! Being sure to engage in non-work related activities is important. I am certain that my marathon running, gardening and having two young children are what keep my love for my work in tact.
5. Enjoy some mindfulness exercises:
Engage in a mindful breathing exercise or do a mindfulness body scan technique. it costs nothing and is proven to have lots of benefit for us physically and mentally.
If you are not aware of any mindfulness exercises, you can google and track down many online, or find some of the classic books on the topic. It is as simple as sitting quietly, closing your eyes, and being mindful of yourself and your breathing – just observing yourself, your thoughts and your feelings with absolute patience. Allowing yourself to just observe and watch your own being and stream of consciousness.
6. Use Self-hypnosis:
Of course!…. As hypnotherapists, this is something we we all know how to do. Evidence proves we get better with practice, so why not enjoy the benefits of our own field?
After each client I see, I use a couple of self-hypnosis techniques to help me feel ‘cleansed’ of that client and ready for the next one, duly energised.
Go grab my Science of Self-Hypnosis book or work your way through the masses of free techniques here on this very hypnosis blog for tips and techniques on how to do this.
You can combine a variety of mental imagery techniques within your self-hypnosis sessions too, this can include imagining being in a safe place, mentally rehearsing facets of your work that are coming up, or simply encouraging and supporting yourself with suggestion.
I know, I know, there is nothing new here… I can hear that sentiment working it’s way through the minds of readers around the world… Yet how many of these things do you truly and actively engage in every day? And how much more do you think you’d enjoy your hard working day if you punctuated your day with all of these things?
Enjoy the remainder of your day fellow hypnotherapists, I’ll be back here very soon.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.
Great reminder, Adam and I completely agree about supervision and peer support – totally essential throughout practice.
Also like the idea of having something that makes you smile in your offices. I have some juggling balls in my office, and it does make me smile, especially as most of my clients are far better at using them than I am!
Thanks Cathy – loved reading that you have juggling balls 🙂
Best wishes, Adam.