Being A Confident Hypnotherapist – Hypnotherapy Supervision, Help & Support
I’ve worked with many hypnotherapists and coaches over the years and, just like everyone else, hypnotherapists can be affected by unwanted thoughts and feelings that impact upon your enjoyment of your work.
There may be things from other aspects of life, life’s problems and challenges that impact upon how you feel and the kind of thoughts you have. These can then ripple into your work and drain away the positive, leaving you filled with anxiety, dread and worry. Despite the fact we help people with mental health issues day in and day out, hypnotherapists aren’t immune to stresses, strains and worries in one form or another.
I’ve also worked with those therapists who are lacking in confidence and self-esteem, who feel anxious and filled with dread before sessions and who may then be harsh towards themselves afterwards. What might have seemed straight forward enough in the training room with a bunch of like minded people can be very different from sitting opposite a paying client and having to respond to their problems and goals. It can often be a lonely business being a self-employed hypnotherapist with only yourself to push you forward, lift yourself and reason with whatever comes your way (including the things inside your own head). And whatever your level of experience, there is much to be said for having effective supervision, help and support to keep you positive and enjoying helping people.
I can well remember my very first client after I had qualified (some eleven or so years ago). This person was seeking help with public speaking and was very anxious and self-conscious about the whole thing.
Although I knew I had the skills and resources to help them, there’s something very different about having a real-life client sat in front of you when compared to training. Whilst in training you are likely working with others with similar learning aims and you focus on specific areas, but with a client they can cover anything and everything (and not necessarily in a text book fashion!). Before the session there was a mix of nerves and excitement. And there was plenty for me to be thinking about during the session, from what they were saying, to time management and note keeping, to what the next steps should be, to which strategies to call upon, to arranging the next appointment (and more besides just that!).
I’ve certainly found that it is useful to keep this time in mind when I’m working with new hypnotherapists who are just starting out. There can be anxiety, worry, doubt, excitement, pressure, perfectionism and many other things that a supervisee can experience.
And it isn’t just hypnotherapists who are just starting out that can benefit from hypnotherapy supervision, help and support. I’ve worked with experienced practitioners who struggle with self-doubt, anxiety, feelings of not being good enough or impostor syndrome. They may be doing a very good job for their clients, yet the enjoyment, passion and satisfaction they once held is now lacking. I’ve even worked with hypnotherapists who get positive feedback from clients yet feel they should have done even better, or delivered even more in some (often unquantified) way. Certainly those who have been trained that a certain technique gets instant results can feel downcast when it doesn’t do so with a particular client and there still seems to be some schools that regard the client as having a passive role (so that every outcome is down to the therapist’s actions alone).
Experience is certainly part of becoming a more confident hypnotherapist but it can be a bumpy ride, that takes longer than it could, without the right support. Whatever your level of experience there is always scope to improve, to learn more and to enjoy your work more.
With my hypnotherapy supervisees, I want them to grow their sense of job satisfaction and fulfilment in their work. We’ve all come across examples of hypnotherapists who start in their role with passion and enthusiasm and then come unstuck and ultimately give up (when there are so many clients who could have benefited from working with them). That may be due to professional challenges working with clients or emotional issues that remain unaddressed without support (e.g. stress or burnout).
I want my supervisees to keep/regain that passion and desire in their work. This means that reflection, learning and growth happen, that challenges get addressed and that they become better at what they do. That growth and fulfilment translates into your working relationships with your clients, meaning you likely get better outcomes and that you just get better at what you do.
One of the key ways to become a more confident hypnotherapist is through reflective practice. That is, after your sessions you want to spend a few minutes reviewing what went well and why it went well and what didn’t go so well, why it didn’t and how you can learn from that and improve the next time. Rather than feel low, down or bad if something doesn’t go well, you want to think how you can do things differently in the future and how you can learn and grow from the experience (a bit like we often talk about with our clients).
And whilst some hypnotherapists think about the times where things go badly, it’s definitely also worth thinking about the times when things go well so you can continue to build your confidence and self-belief as a therapist and so you can replicate the things that work well for you with clients. As therapists we care and want our clients to succeed and enjoy positive outcomes, so it can be easy to forget the many times that go well and focus on a few sessions that could have gone differently. There is much to learn from what you do successfully.
As well as experience, reflective practice, ongoing learning and thinking about successes, hypnotherapy supervision is another way to increase your confidence. Whether you are just starting out, have been a therapist for a while or are very experienced, supervision can help and support you to continue to learn, grow, improve and expand professionally and personally.
Supervision supports you in your professional development so that you can identify and build upon your strengths, knowledge and successes, as well as working upon areas where you could improve and develop your skills, strategies, business and career. It also gives you the emotional and personal support you need so that you are in the best mindset to deliver effective therapy services, and you are able to do this consistently and sustainably. Supervision helps you get even better at what you do.
Working with a qualified supervisor, your hypnotherapy supervision will help, develop and support you with professional development and growth: skills, understanding, abilities, resources, emotional support to help you deal with challenges, manage work pressures and achieve longevity of practice and delivery of a high quality, valuable and beneficial service to your clients.
Be Confident As A Hypnotherapist
You may have all the qualifications and training yet that doesn’t necessarily equate to being a confident hypnotherapist. Being confident is all about your mindset, the thoughts you think to yourself, how you feel and your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions as a hypnotherapist in your client work and professionally in your business. You want to have faith in yourself, to relax and to trust in yourself, your knowledge and your capability.
If you want to enjoy what you do then you need to develop your mental calmness, ability to relax, trust you can handle, deal and cope with what ever comes your way, your self-belief and your sense of knowing you are capable and that you can do it.
Here’s a process to help you to increase your confidence as a hypnotherapist:
1. Sit somewhere quiet, take a deep breath and enter hypnosis. You can use whichever self-hypnosis method you tend to usually prefer or teach to your clients. Alternatively, start to extend your out breath and say the word ‘relax’ to yourself on every breath out. You could tense and relax each part of your body or tell yourself that each part of your body is relaxing. You could imagine a calm colour or sensation spreading through you or fill your mind with a relaxing sound. You could engage your imagination and imagine being in a remembered or created place of calmness, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds. Or you can draw upon and utilise any other ways that allow you to feel comfortable, calm and relaxed. Your aim here is just to feel as safe, calm and comfortable as you can right now.
2. Now, start to remind yourself and recall a successful time with a client. This could be a particular session with a client that went really well, a particular client where you achieved a great outcome and felt accomplished and proud, it could be a time during your training that went really well, or any other time where you felt accomplished, pleased and proud as a hypnotherapist or handled a situation successfully.
Recall it as vividly as you can and imagine being back in that moment now, like you are there again, seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard and feeling the feelings. Notice the colours, shades of light and the details. Notice the sounds nearby and any further away and run through this event where you felt accomplished, you overcame a challenge or you succeeded, as vividly and with as much detail as you can.
As you run through this time, notice all the things that tell you that you are managing this situation successfully, that you are displaying personal confidence and capability and doing things well. Maybe you are demonstrating personal strength and drawing upon your capabilities. Maybe you are handling a challenge well or achieving a certain goal. Notice everything that tells you that you are managing things successfully here. Remind yourself of what you accomplished here and of how capable and confident you are and that you managed this thing successfully.
Imagine the sense of capability and confidence is a feeling that is spreading through you and that you are getting more and more used to. Give it a colour and spread it into every part of you, or a sound that resonates within you and imagine amplifying and magnifying that feeling.
3. Now, with that feeling of confidence, imagine watching yourself in a future session with a client. See yourself being calm, relaxed, confident and in control of your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. Notice that confidence is there in your posture, in the look behind your eyes and in the expression on your face. You are confident in the way you talk and in the things you say to yourself. you handle any challenges capably and confidently and you achieve your goals for the session.
Imagine watching yourself successfully feeling and being calm, confident, capable and in control before the session, as you greet your client, as you talk and interact, during the induction and the hypnosis and all the way through to the end of the session, everything having gone successfully. Trust and believe that you know how to do that. And as you look at yourself mentally calm, physically relaxed, confident, capable and in control, really think to yourself; ‘I just know that’s going to happen.’ Think it to yourself with real belief and conviction that your session will go this way.
4. Then, imagine stepping into that confident version of you and being this you. See through your eyes, hear the sounds and feel the feelings of being your confident hypnotherapist self as you run through this time. Notice the colours, shades of light and the details. Notice the sounds nearby and any further away, and feel the feelings of confidence that you have as you go successfully through your work. Imagine being there feeling calm, relaxed, confident and in control of your feelings, having the behaviours and handling things as someone who is now calm, confident and in control. And as you imagine successfully going through the session, doing things well, think to yourself how you are now a calm, confident and capable hypnotherapist.
Think that positive thought to yourself like you really mean it and know it to be true – that you are, now, a calm, confident and capable hypnotherapist, and with every session it gets better and better. Repeat it to yourself with real belief and conviction and feel the feelings of confidence as you run through that time inside your mind.
5. And then, keeping those good feelings and to bring this process to an end, take a deep breath, count up from 1 up to 3 inside your mind and then open your eyes and reorient yourself to your surroundings.
Repeat this often and enjoy your feelings of confidence increasing in your work. If you want to streamline it a bit, so that you can fit it in before each client, then enter hypnosis, deepen, repeat a positive affirmation to yourself with conviction (e..g ‘I am a calm, confident and capable hypnotherapist and I get better and better with every session’) and then imagine watching a movie of yourself from just before the session to when your client leaves, everything having gone successfully in a way that pleases you.
Our work helping people is so awesome that I really do hope that you grow and develop the confidence that will allow you to reach your potential, to enjoy what you do and to feel good as you do it.
To your success,
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