I've been getting a few startled looks recently when I've admitted that I've begun the long journey towards becoming a Hypnotherapist. For I firmly believe that that is what it will be - a long journey. I've been running Sea Breeze Therapies and working part-time as a massage therapist for the last 10 years - long enough to know that working in any kind of therapy is one big, ongoing learning curve.
And hypnotherapy is a bit of a weird one, isn't it? People often just don't get it. "Oh, you don't believe in that, do you?" ... "Ooh, I'll need to be careful around you - don't want to end up squawking like a chicken!" - and so on. There are a myriad of misconceptions.
I love giving massages. I love being hands on - feeling the tension and tightness in muscles melting under my hands. And I love the fact that my clients love me for the way I make them feel. But sadly, my body does not love me for it.
After the birth of my first child I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia - a chronic pain condition which means that most days I wake up feeling like I've been hit by a bus and go to bed feeling like I've run a marathon. However good my own body mechanics are, giving a massage takes its toll on me physically. With the best will in the world, I would never be able to do it full time.
So I began thinking ... what if I could find an alternative, hands-off therapy to offer? I love working as a therapist and there's always been a drive and a need in me to help others. I began reading up on counselling qualifications, CBT, coaching and NLP ... all of which ultimately led me to hypnotherapy. I enrolled in one of those online courses on Udemy to see if I thought I might enjoy it ... and was instantly hooked. Hypnotherapy ticks all the boxes for me. It allows me to explore and utilise all kinds of fascinating psychological theory, I can do it sitting down (bonus) and I'm still working in the field of therapy.
Finding the right hypno training was not easy though - I work full time in arts marketing, can often find myself doing massage several evenings a week and have a husband and children to consider. Plus - when you retrain in any career, it doesn't come cheap! Luckily, Hypnotic World came to my rescue. Their distance learning hypnotherapy diploma course comes in 8 modules that you can work through at your own pace, completing an exam or assignment at the end of each. And more importantly for me, I'm able to purchase and work my way through it on a module by module basis - ideal! There are regular workshops where you can gain that all-important practical experience too, and work with qualified hypnotherapists.
I also discovered there's a fantastic facebook group for Hypnotic World students where you can ask questions, share experiences and feel like you're not alone. They instantly made me feel very welcome.
For all my lovely massage clients .. please don't worry! I will still be doing the massage. I love it too much to give up completely ... and I would miss you all. But I am excited about what lies ahead, and I hope you'll enjoy reading about my hypno journey.