In our student series, we want to learn more about becoming a hypnotherapist. What steps are taken, and what makes a person want to start a career in hypnotherapy? What would a professional say to a student?
This week, Hypnotherapy Directory member Mary Burgess shares her story.
- What led you to hypnotherapy as a career?
I suffered from panic disorder and refused pharmaceutical interventions. When I asked my GP for advice, she recommended hypnotherapy. It was after I’d had great results myself that I decided to train back in 1999. So, I studied on the Clinical Hypnotherapy degree programme at St Mary’s University – which was the only programme of its kind at the time.
Being able to help people feel good about themselves is so rewarding and every day is different as you are meeting different people with different issues. I consider myself very lucky to be a clinical hypnotherapist.
- You’re very passionate about treating people with tinnitus. Could you tell us what makes hypnotherapy such a good treatment option for tinnitus?
Hypnotherapy is a great treatment for people with tinnitus. Tinnitus can cause extreme anxiety, insomnia, as well as many other issues. Every client presents differently and you have to deal with that client’s issues and tailor your hypnotherapy program to their needs.
It’s not about finding a cure, but finding a way to manage and block out the sound that sufferers have either some of the time or all of the time. It’s about turning the noise down in your mind so that, although you know it is there, you are able to function more normally and bring down your anxiety levels. By teaching people to imagine that they can bring down the level of sound that they are hearing, it can be life changing.
- Could you tell us a little bit about your tinnitus training? What specifically interested you in this training?
The tinnitus module on my course was one lecture and one practical session. We were asked to perform the techniques on our lecture partners.
I have since used these techniques many times on my clients, with a good success rate. At the time I had noisy neighbours and I remember thinking that the techniques we learnt were great – as I was able to use the techniques myself, to turn down the sound that I was hearing and sleep better.
- What advice would you give to someone currently studying hypnotherapy?
I would advise anybody currently studying hypnotherapy to ensure that their study is complex enough for them to be able to deal with the range of issues the public present us with. It’s not just about hypnotherapy, it’s about learning about the conditions that people visit your clinic with. So, I would advise getting qualifications in other areas and gaining experience.
Also, be sure that you never give out medical advice, and seek GP referrals for anyone that has had any kind of mental health problem in the past.