Whilst flicking through the local trades and services section of the local free newspaper yesterday evening, I came across a bit of a bugbear of mine… I tend to go and look at the local hypnotherapists and how they market themselves and I cannot understand it when people write this type of thing:

Hypnosis for smoking, weight, phobias and all other problems. Call to book your appointment with John Smith on 01234 567890

What, what, what?? Aren’t you supposed to get hypnosis to stop smoking?

You see this thing a great deal in the Yellow Pages too – “Hypnosis for anxiety“! Maybe those with a little extra extravangance put the word ‘anxiety’ in scary looking bold letters or italics too, just to make it seem even more forceful… Go have a look through your Yellow Pages and you’ll see hypnotherapists that still communicate this way.

I don’t want anxiety, I can get it without the aid of hypnosis thank you very much.

This may seem like I am being a pedant when it comes to semantics. Yet when so much of the field of hypnotherapy relies on how we use language, does it not make sense to use it in our advertising and public communication too?

So many blog entries I see have similar titles “hypnosis for psoriasis” for example – I don’t want psoriasis, I got rid of that years ago using hypnosis and don’t want to use hypnosis to get it back!

Of course I know what they really mean, and I am guessing Jo Public are not so stupid that they’d think anything other than the message meaning “to over come psoriasis.”

Why not write “hypnosis for healthier skin” ?? Why not change the free newspaper ad (at the start of todays entry) to state that “Hypnosis can help you be a non-smoker, achieve your ideal size, shape and weight, enhance mental calmness” etc, etc, ??? Why not state this stuff progressively in a way that is going to help people focus in on what they want to achieve rather than what they want to avoid.

Many people may say that fear motivates people more than desired outcomes, and they’d be right. But do we want to frighten people into coming and seeing us… Although i don’t think the vast majority of people who advertise “hypnosis for anxiety” are actually attempting to use that notion to develop motivation… I think they have not fully considered the way they advertise or market their message and their services.

I mena, why not just write “Hypnosis for a crappy life” ??? It is the same sort of message as “hypnosis for depression.” i think it is a lazy message and needs some polishing, some effort and some energy invested in it… Though I appreciate I am not a typical hypnotherapy potential client/consumer, but if I flicked through the advertisements in my local paper, I’d go for the one with a more progressive message, with more of an energised message and one that felt good as I read it.

Have a great weekend, I’ll be back next week.