That time has come around yet again… When us hypnotherapists of Dorset and Hampshire gather for peer supervision in Bournemouth.
Each meeting we have a guest speaker, we discuss our businesses and client case load and assess our thoughts and feelings on the rationale we adopted when dealing with our clients… All in a strictly anonymous fashion in order to maintain the confidentiality of our hypnotherapy clients of course.
Tonight we welcome former stage hypnotist of 30 years, Jon Chase.
Some people might be inclined to ask me the reasons why I would bring in a former stage hypnotist to a hypnotherapist supervision group. Well let me tell you of one of my key principles in my own hypnotherapy training ethos:
As a hypnotherapist, you ought to be able to demonstrate understanding of both sides of a subject or a theme or an underlying philosophy.
For example, I recently encountered someone trained by a school that specialised in regression therapy. That person was trained very well in regression therapy. However, that person had no understanding what so ever of any counter argument about the efficacy of regression therapy, about related matters of informed consent, of potential retraumatisation, or even of the huge litigation cases in the US in the 19990s concerning false memory syndrome.
The person dug their heels in and defended their understanding to the hilt. It was admirable, but it was also ill-founded and demonstrated limited understanding of the field.
A current student of mine went to a peer supervision group in her locality recently and when she mentioned tasking her client (that is, giving a set of homework tasks to enhance and consolidate the work they had done in a hypnotherapy session, knowledge and application of which should be included in any basic accredited Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma training), another professionally qualified hypnotherapist who never was trained to offer such tasking to clients, said that this was not needed and the client should simply have the session and allow her unconscious mind to make the changes??? That was all that was needed.
The tasking was dismissed because hse had no knowledge of it. She could not argue one side of the argument, let alone two sides. She had no knowledge of it.
It is vital that a competent hypnotherapist be able to understand both for and against notions and key theories surely, isn’t it? I certainly expect nothing less from my students.
So returning to my opening here… many people expect that hypnotherapists simply demonise stage hypnotists and that we all simply read about stooges, trickery and baby-eating when it comes to stage hypnosis. Yet before we readily accept that dogma espoused by many a hypnotherapy training school, why not actually see stage hypnosis in action? Why not hear from stage hypnosists? Why not study what they do and what they know? Why not (God forbid) actually attempt to learn and develop and be better as a result of what they do?
There are many skills that I personally think are incredibly valuable to any hypnotherapist that are used regularly by stage hypnotists.
Now if you add to that the fact that Mr Chase is not only provocative, erudite, hilarious, in league with the devil, someone I have learned a great deal from over the years… Then we are going to have a fabulous evening tonight.He is someone whose personal advice has been invaluable to me, with whom I have publicly debated and argued with, someone who is incredibly valued by me.
If you are a hypnotherapist based in the Dorset or Hampshire area and want to come along to our GHR peer supervision evening this evening, we are at the Marsham Court hotel and will be starting at 7pm… There is a paltry fee to cover room cost (Â£3.50) and you won’t get that kind of value for money anywhere else when developing and furthering your understanding in this field.
Really like this post and would have left a reply yesterday hadn’t it been for our broadband being cutoff – so was sorting it yesterday (5 days before I’m online again)…
I was speaking to a friend regarding my hypnotherapy course (your diploma) and received really negative feedback off him saying how he thought hypnosis was a load of sh*t and doesn’t do anything.
My friend had gone to a stop smoking hypnotherapist who’d given him a cd to listen to ‘if the problem ever returned’. My friend mentioned he left the session and lit up a cigerette and chucked the cd in the bin – he wasn’t offered any sort of tasking etc (again I pressume his ‘unconscious mind’ was to take care of all the stuff, hmmm ok).
A few people I’ve been in touch with said hypnosis didn’t work for them for issues like stop smoking, weightloss etc also mentioned no tasking was set and that “hypnosis didn’t work for me” was the general sort of attitude.
Reading your article made me think a bit – it’s not hypnosis didn’t work, but maybe the way they were expecting it to do something to them and without effort; ie they suddenly become someone else – a none smoker or a slim person overnight. the client hasn’t been educated properly about what to expect, don’t you think?
It also seems that there’s a lack of good training such as your diploma which offers both sides of argument / overview and a thorough understanding of the subject.
My belief is that both sides need paying attention to in order for long term change to occur; be that termed unconscious and conscious or another choice of words that to me mean the same (subconscious, pre conscious, id, ego and other unecessary definations in my opinion).
I’m a firm believer in coaching and tasking between sessions – I’ve been coached myself and found it helpful – the one thing missing for me was the hypnosis (which I did myself).
Thanks for this article – great addition to a persuasive argument when others say hypnosis doesn’t work.
Thank you for that Andy.
Sadly, many people choose cheap options, tootle along to see a hypnotherapist that is perhaps underqualified or not had a depth and breadth of training, the client has not been fully educated or had the correct expectation created, maybe even not developed enough trust, demonstrated enough congruence… And it all adds up to a less than successful episode for the client who then bemoans the entire field, makes a sweeping generalisation about hypnotherapy and hypnosis in general and we end up fighting the kinds of things you have encountered.
The field of hypnotherapy is looking to set a minimum standard of qualification as you are going to be finding out, as such I hope to see a recognised qualification being a minimum requirement for practice and ensuring that these situations you have encountered happen less.
You can simply attempt to re-educate against the previous experience and be an ambassador.
ps. The blogs coming along nicely Andy, good work 🙂
One poor hypnotherapist is not the whole field of hypnotherapy. After one bad experience with a GP, nurse, car mechanic would we honestly say all GPs etc are rubbish?
NCH seems to be doing good work in trying to professionalise hypno.
I had one experience as a hypnotherapy client that was pretty poor and one that changed my life and inspired me to train.
The thing I notice in my own journey and in my clients is readiness for change is all.
Thanks Lindsay, I appreciate your comments… I had not seen this particular entry for a while as it was written a few years ago… I am not sure who you are addressing or what you are referring to in your comments, perhaps you could be more specific and I’ll happily respond.
I am not sure that anyone here is suggesting that “one poor hypnotherapist is representative of the entire field” and my school is an NCH accredited one so I am aware of their virtues.
Not sure what else to say as I am not sure of your reference or inference.
Great hearing from you and delighted that you are reading through the archives of the blog here, I send you my very best and warmest wishes, Adam.