Written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks & Rory Z Fulcher
At different phases of our lives, we can naturally reconsider the path we have chosen to take for our work or career. This type of review can also happen at times of great change, whether personal (e.g. a health concern), social (e.g. losing/gaining friends), professional (e.g. a promotion or redundancy) or environmental. It is the latter that this blog will consider. Around the world, the Coronavirus has led to many people losing or changing their jobs and even considering changing to another career path. Some of you, reading this blog, may be considering training to become a hypnotherapist. Others might have learned hypnotherapy in the past, yet haven’t worked as a hypnotherapist recently (if at all) and have found the required knowledge and skills have faded, or that there are new ways of working that are unfamiliar to you.
At Hypnosis-Courses.com we often get emails and calls from people asking for help navigating the vast number of hypnotherapy training courses that are available from a multitude of providers on the internet; all differing in terms of price, duration, delivery method and content. If you are currently sitting on the fence, unsure of which route to take, this blog may just help simplify that search, so you can stop procrastinating, get some momentum to your search and even, perhaps, help you to ‘get off the fence’ and make a positive, life-changing decision. We have given you a 6-step action list that you can put to use immediately, to work out which hypnotherapy course is right for you:
Step 1 – Consider your motivation and requirements
Firstly, take a moment to think about what you would like to be able to do with hypnotherapy, and why you want to learn it (or what you intend to do with your new skills, e.g. beginning a new career, fulfilling an interest, helping friends and family, or even self development). Having thought about it, do you know what you need to learn in order to become a confident and effective hypnotherapist? If you are new to hypnosis, it may be challenging comparing all the different topics that hypnotherapy courses can offer.
To use a popular analogy, if you only have a hammer in your toolbox, you have to treat everything like a nail. Knowing a number of different approaches can be useful, yet, initially, as you learn hypnotherapy you may not need a ‘completely full tool box’. In fact, for an absolute beginner, it can be useful to understand how to safely put someone into hypnosis and bring them out, as well as learning how to give hypnotic suggestions and how to perform simple ‘change work’ using widely used hypnotherapy approaches. This can give you enough to work with friends and family and work out whether doing hypnotherapy is something you enjoy. Our ‘Hypnotherapy 101’ course is a great example of an entry level course, that gives you enough content to get started, especially for beginners.
Step 2 – What’s your learning style?
Consider how you learn best. Do you prefer text documents? Videos? A blend? It is relatively quick and easy for a hypnosis trainer (or anybody) to create a PDF of some information and sell that as a training course. Or perhaps put the information onto webpages so that you can read it on their website. Will just a course manual alone give you enough? Will it give you any more than a book? Hypnosis is a practical therapy. Unless you already have a good understanding of hypnosis (and an incredible imagination), you will likely benefit from being able to watch demonstrations and have practical experiences that you can relate theory to.
It can be helpful, in order to optimise learning, to consider a training course that incorporates some active presentations of theoretical concepts (discussing theories and talking through techniques), as well as some practical demonstrations and experiences, all supported by a comprehensive manuals and videos that brings all the information together cohesively (and also saves you taking tons of notes). A good course may even be supported by some type of peer support forum (e.g. on Facebook), enabling you to discuss the material with other students. This is often a great solution for people who have limited regular time each day/week and need to study in the available time in an irregular schedule (e.g. shift workers).
Some people prefer the interaction of engaging with others, especially when they are studying online. Here, a course that offers both pre-recorded video presentations and demonstrations and manuals, blended with a number of ‘live online’ teaching sessions (via Zoom, Skype, or similar) can be a superb way of getting great practical training. Not only can you join this type of training course from anywhere in the world, without the costs of flights and accommodation, but you also get to regularly interact with your trainers, ask questions, engage in discussions and participate in practical activities with other students. These ‘blended learning’ courses tend to be longer in duration than a simple ‘study anytime’ type course, and can take you all the way to practitioner level.
For a good example of a well-planned, internationally accredited ‘online blended learning’ course, visit our live-online hypnotherapy certificate course page to learn more.
Step 3 – Make a shortlist
Draw up a shortlist of the top 5 that appeal to you in terms of meeting steps ‘1’ and ‘2’ as well as your availability and budget. Perhaps give each course a score for each of these areas for consideration.
Firstly, think about your availability and time commitments. Is ‘in person’ training viable for you right now, or would a ‘live online’ course work better? Consider that you’re learning a skill that involves a lot of theory, as well as requiring a large amount of practice. Could you learn how to drive a car well enough to pass a driving test with an hour of lessons? Probably not. When learning to drive, you will have studied the theory, learned the skills and practiced applying them in a number of different situations and contexts before you were ‘qualified’ to go out and safely drive by yourself. The same concept can be applied to hypnotherapy training. It is true that you can learn the absolute basics of how to hypnotise someone in a couple of hours, but learning what, when, why and how to work with that person in hypnosis, in order to create long-term changes, takes a bit longer. With this in mind, regular training intervals can help, especially when learning at practitioner level (rather than an ‘intensive’ course, where you try – and often fail – to learn everything in one go).
Ideally you want to engage in training often enough to build layers of learning without having to re-learn forgotten information, yet not so often that you get information overload. As an example, our live (in person) hypnotherapy diploma course, consists of 20 days of face-to-face training. However, it’s not 20 days back-to-back, as that would be ‘too much too soon’. Instead, the course is delivered 2 days at a time (a Saturday and a Sunday, 9am-5pm, in person, in London). So, you might do the first course weekend in February, the next in March, the third in April, and so on. By training for 2 days a month, for 10 months, the longer overall duration of this training process allows for additional home study, and completion of development tasks, case studies and much more, resulting in a stronger theoretical and practical understanding of hypnotherapy. This is also why our live-online course modules (on Zoom) are spaced weeks apart, as opposed to ‘intensively’ over a block of days. You truly do get a better learning experience, and will remember much more of what you learn.
Next, consider the course price. Even a really quick and simple internet search will find hundreds of hypnosis courses varying from under £20 (or $ equivalent) up to £7,000, and perhaps even higher. Do you get what you pay for? Well, it would seem the answer is both possibly yes and possibly no. A course is only as good as the content and the training. There are some very expensive courses out there that aren’t that great, and vice versa, some cheaper ones that are actually quite good. Again, this goes back to step #1, where you considered what you want to do with hypnotherapy. If you want to become a hypnotherapist as a career, then it’s worth investing in the best quality training you can afford. Just as it is unlikely that you’d be able to get sufficient training from a £20 ‘how to become a dentist’ course (ouch!), you might find that a really cheap course won’t be enough for you to be able to work safely and effectively as a professional hypnotherapist. However, conversely, if you’re only learning hypnotherapy as a hobby, or a ‘bit of fun’, then a less costly course might be sufficient. Our own hypnotherapy courses range from £125 up to £2,995:
- £125 – Hypnotherapy 101 (introduction-level / 6+ hours of video & 150 page course manual)
- £1795 – Live-online training (practitioner-level / 55+ hours of pre-recorded and live-online training & 1000+ page course manual)
- £2995 – In person training (practitioner-level / 130 hours of in person training & pre-recorded course videos & 10 comprehensive course manuals)
Step 4 – What’s the end result?
Another question we often get asked is, “Should I choose a course with accreditation?” Where trainers are willing to have their training materials and processes assessed, they can gain accreditation, often by hypnosis professional associations. For an entry-level course, you may find that it isn’t as important, or relevant, as for a practitioner level course. People seeking hypnotherapy are increasingly well-informed and will often check out the hypnotherapist before even contacting them. Being a member of a professional association (which you can be, with an accredited course) adds a level of credibility that can reassure a client that they are going to someone who has been sufficiently trained.
Another point to consider is the ‘qualification’ you get at the end of the course. If you had to choose, which of the following would be of more value to you?
A.) A fancy-looking piece of paper that says you are an ‘Advanced Master Clinical Hypnosis Diploma Practitioner’ (or something similar) perhaps with a bunch of random ‘post nominal’ letters after your name.
B.) The knowledge and skills to work confidently and effectively with people, and the ability to help the people you work with to achieve meaningful change.
A grand title to a course, or an impressive looking certificate may give your clients an initial positive perception of your abilities (if they ever see that piece of paper), but real-world skills and competencies are what will help you to actually deliver and to perform well as a professional hypnotherapist. If your chosen hypnotherapy course is strong, a grand title and a fancy certificate (such as our live-online’s NGH Certificate or the HypnoTC Diploma Certificate) can be a bonus, yet on its own, without the training to back it up, the piece of paper itself may have limited uses!
Step 5 – Check out the trainers
After you’ve completed steps 1-4, now take a look at the trainers. Are they experienced? Is there any evidence that they are an expert, and qualified to teach you? Check out the ‘about us’ page on the training website. Also, do an internet search on their name(s) and find out a bit more about them. You might search their name and the word ‘news’ afterwards, to see if they have been featured anywhere else (outside of their own website) for their hypnosis work. Fundamentally, it’s at this point where you need to make an informed decision, can they teach you what you need to learn? If at all possible, phone them with a couple of questions and assess how they answer. Are they helpful? Dismissive? Do they know their stuff or might they just rely on teaching notes? Doing your research beforehand will ensure that when you sign up for a course, it will be with the right tutor for you.
Step 6 – Follow your gut instinct
Finally, as well as considering points 1-5 with your critical, logical conscious mind, notice where your feelings and emotions are leading you, notice if you are subconsciously drawn to a specific course/trainer, because if you find yourself under pressure at any point throughout the course of your training, it is your emotions, feelings and subconscious resources that will keep you moving forwards. So, get the information, go through it critically, weigh everything up, then make that all important gut decision of what feels right for you.
Know that there may never be a ‘perfect time’ to start a course, so the best time to start is as soon as you are able, because every day you put off making that decision is a day where you are missing out. So, follow these 6 steps and get started learning all about the wonders of what hypnosis and hypnotherapy can achieve, as well as how you can help yourself and others with a career (or hobby) that can truly be rewarding.
Take action now – what’s one thing you can do today, that will take you closer to your goal?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog on how to avoid procrastinating about becoming a hypnotherapist, and if you have any more questions about this topic, or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!