Training as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist

hypnotherapist, hypnotherapy, hypnotherapy training,
On the couch

When I decided to train as a hypnotherapist the things I was looking for in a training school were pretty simple. I wanted the best quality training that gave me a recognized and accredited qualification. It was important I was able to pay monthly and I wanted to feel confident that at the end of the training I could make a success both clinically and financially.

After the first weekend I knew I had made the right decision, I couldn’t wait for the next weekend. The group was quite diverse from all different backgrounds. Careers varying from medical nurses, marketing, account clerks and more. Some students of which remain my closest colleagues practicing hypnotherapy some part time and others full time. As the weeks passed I felt fully supported not only by the lecturer but by other students in the group. We were encouraged from the very beginning to begin practicing on our family and friends. I never realized I had so many friends in need of relaxation!

This practical foundation was crucial in building my confidence. I was quickly seeing 30 people a month and the results that I saw were astounding. Friends sleeping better, family members feeling calmer and less stressed. My weight loss sessions with a group of lovely ladies often got lively at times and they seemed occasionally less concerned about losing the weight and more interested in laughing.

The change was not only apparent in the people I saw, I noticed a change in myself too. The evidence based knowledge on the course was important to me. Coming from a medical background, I needed to understand that the information that we give to our clients is current, accurate and based on a proven methodology.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works, I see it every day.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy has made the difference to many hundreds of people I have seen and it has changed my life too. I have a successful business, I can organize my work time to suit me and my passion for hypnotherapy has continued growing. If you are interested in finding out how you can become a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, training at the Trinity College, Leeds, please visit


A change of career to change your life!

When I started looking for a hypnotherapy training school, I didn’t know what to look for. There seemed to be as many different approaches as training schools. They also all seemed to offer different qualifications. Some were accredited with this body and some with that and I became quite confused. Some offered very short courses and others offered more in depth training. Some courses were local, others only operated from London.
In the end I decided that I wanted a course that would fit my philosophy on life. One that was logical and positive while being accredited. I used to be a listener for the Samaritans. So I knew that taking people back into the negative emotions that they were feeling, only made them feel worse. For this reason, I ruled out the idea of a counselling and hypnotherapy combined approach. I then stumbled across the CPHT website and realised that everything they did had a solid foundation in Neuroscience. It was a positive, Solution Focused approach that closely fitted my own philosophy. It used the best of NLP and as a trainer of NLP I felt reassured by that.
I then looked for a CPHT school close to home and realised that there was one almost on my doorstep in Manchester. The weekend dates suited my work schedule and I was able to pay for the course monthly. I contacted the school and was interviewed shortly afterwards. In the interview I was asked whether I wanted to build a career as a hypnotherapist and I said yes. I was reassured by the interviewer that if that was the case then this was the course for me. That scared me to death, I wasn’t sure that I wanted a change of career. I had a very well paid job as a senior manager and although I was sick of the extensive travelling, did I really want to give up my job? Would I lose my financial security?
Despite these concerns I attended the course. I loved every weekend which amounted to 120 hours of tutor led instruction. We got to practice on colleagues, then friends and family and then real clients. This experience really gave me the confidence in my ability as a hypnotherapist. I acquired over 100 hypnotherapy hours before I’d even qualified! In addition, I was assessed practically by my trainer. I completed a written portfolio that contained a number of case studies and on completion of the course I gained 2 Diplomas. One in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy & psychotherapy from CPHT and the Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma from the NCH – assessed by NCFE as a level 4 qualification.
Hypnotherapy Training LeedsMost importantly, when I completed the course I was already seeing paying clients. Within 12 months of completing my hypnotherapy training, I became a full time hypnotherapist. I now work from 2 clinics and have around 40 ‘live clients’ on my books at any time. I love being a self-employed hypnotherapist; it has really changed my life. The amount of travel I do has reduced markedly. I have so much more freedom and flexibility in my life. The best thing about it all is that I am helping others to achieve their goals. I love seeing the change in people as they start to get their life back on track.
If you’re looking for a new career that will change your life, I believe that you’ve just found it!

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

I am often asked the question ‘What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?’

Well, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a model of excellence that uses interventions that are effective. It will use the very best procedures that science and research prescribe. In reality though its core philosophy is very much based on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the basic tenets of SFBT.

Hypnotherapy, and SFH is no exception, has a history of being associated with many forms of therapeutic practice. Often, but not always, this can be a force for good. What follows could be described as the foundation philosophies on which SFH is built. Dr James Braid (1795-1860), who could be thought of as the inventor of modern hypnotism, successfully created a blueprint that could be described as the original hypnotherapy model.

“He was best known in the medical world from his theory and practice of hypnotism, as distinguished from Mesmerism, a system of treatment he applied in certain diseases with great effect.” (Obituary. The Lancet 1860)

Braid’s influence and success was very much a result of his empirical and scientific approach. In effect he said that the clinical progress should be verified by research and related to the latest understanding of psychology. He attributed the success of trance to ordinary psychological or physiological factors such as focused attention, expectation, motivation and endeavour. SFH is very much based on Braid’s basic premise that mental focus on imagery and language mediates the physical and psychological effects of dominant ideas.

It would have appeared sensible to consolidate the work done by Braid and to capitalise on what worked. This was not to be the case. In late Victorian and post Victorian times ‘wackiness’ once more sabotaged the credible scientific clinical practice. Even worse, in the late 19th and most of the 20th Century the pseudo-scientific ‘hi-jacked’ hypnotherapy and kept it in a state, often a delusional state of stagnation.

Fortunately, as Robertson says in the ‘Complete Writings of James Braid “The Father of Hypnotherapy in the 21st Century”, “Braid’s ‘Common Sense’ and empirical orientation have become fashionable once again”‘.

Hypnotherapy was partially rescued from post-Victorian ‘quackery’ and later from Freudian ‘analytical’ theory by psychiatrist, Milton H Erickson. He practised as a hypnotherapist from the 1940’s until his death in the early 1980’s. Erickson’s ideas reached far beyond hypnotic technique. He posed radical ideas regarding the role of therapist and the competency of clients. Milton Erickson was convinced that everyone has a reservoir of wisdom and competency and emphasised the importance of accessing client’s resources and strengths. Major interest in his work gathered momentum in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Erickson’s success and creativity spawned a variety of approaches. There was in particular great interest in one of his primary approaches entailing first learning the problem pattern and then prescribing a small change in the pattern.

Steve de Shazer’s first contact with psychotherapy happened when he read ‘Strategies of Psychotherapy’, the ideas and work of Erickson by Jay Haley. It has been said that this book coupled with the work of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Paolo Alto, formed the foundations for what would later be called Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).

The basic tenets of SFBT are well known and are different in many ways from traditional forms of treatment. It is a competency based model and the focus is on the clients’ desired future rather than on past problems or current conflicts. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are exceptions and that small changes can lead to large increments of change. The setting of specific, concrete and realistic goals is an important component. In SFBT it is the client that sets the goals. Once formulated the therapist will use a number of specific responding and questioning techniques to assist the client construct the steps that may be required to reach the ‘preferred future’. Solution Focused Hypnotherapists note Steve de Shazer’s often repeated assertion that solution work is “the same whatever problem the client brings”.

In the 1990’s modern technology led to what some have referred to as a sequel of the Copernican revolution. MRI, PET and CAT scans can photograph the brain. Electronic microscopes, the nuclear tagging of living human molecules and other biochemical investigative techniques, enable scientists to have an ever increasing understanding of how the brain works. With at least 500 therapeutic methods, all proffering special theories, techniques and philosophies, psychotherapy could be described as bordering on dysfunctional. The neuroscientific revolution beginning in the 1990’s and progressing with ever increasing vigour into the 21st Century has begun to give the field uncharacteristic coherence. Certainly the days when therapists could make things up have gone.

“For future generations of therapists training will certainly change” says Mary Sykes Wylie and Richard Simon, (Discoveries from Black Box 2002), “Curricula will have to face the accumulation of knowledge coming from neuroscientists… having an understanding of such clinical relevant areas of knowledge as neural networks and brain structures”.