My journey to becoming a therapist.
I had succeeded for four years the first time; just two years the second time. And on both occasions I had used only willpower and copious amounts of chewing gum.
Now, it was time for a different approach. Perhaps I needed help.
It is 1993 and I’m managing a team of Financial Planning Consultants at an American Express Company.
On this particular day, I’m out on a joint call with one of my team to meet his clients, Brian and Debbie.
During our discussions, particularly in relation to protection planning, the subject of smoking comes up. Brian puffs out his chest and declares “I’m a non-smoker now… after 20 years!” “Yes,” says his equally proud spouse, “he was recommended to a hypnotherapist and after just three sessions…”
Somewhat unprofessionally, I have stopped listening. Hypnotherapy, there’s a thought, I wonder if…
Later that evening…
Good old Yellow Pages! Yes, here looks a likely candidate — letters after his name and based in Groombridge, only a couple of miles away. The initial appointment is scheduled.
I really don’t know what to expect, so treat it like an adventure. And it had worked for Brian… and others apparently, so why not me?
The “Consulting Room” is the front parlour, I would term it, of an Edwardian terrace house. The furnishings and furniture are a little faded and dishevelled… but comfortable. My hypnotherapist is younger than I’d expected, tall, fair-haired and Canadian. He also has a calm, reassuring demeanour and a thoroughly professional approach.
At his request, I sink into a comfy old lounge chair. He explains his “terms of business” and, with my agreement, proceeds to ask me a series of searching questions about my 40 plus a day habit.
After about 20 to 30 minutes, he begins taking me into hypnosis with a seemingly ad hoc induction, into which he cleverly weaves statements and suggestions lifted from the notes he had taken during our initial discussion.
I just relax, close my eyes and relax more and more. I am fully awake throughout our session and do not drift into sleep at any point. When the session ends and I emerge from trance, a major surprise is that 45 minutes have elapsed which, to me, seem like 20!
We were to meet again for two more sessions. I have not smoked a cigarette since the day before my first visit… and that was in 1993!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by behaviour — mine, but mainly that of others. I love to discover what makes us tick. I remember former work colleagues being surprised at how I seemed to care so much about WHY people behaved in certain ways.
So it has not been surprising that throughout my life I have been increasingly interested in “Personal Development”.
Working within a sales environment for the majority of this time has also fuelled my interest, as it has been natural to want to discover ways to:
- Better build rapport so as to build client banks more quickly.
- Better develop influencing skills so as to achieve more/ higher value sales.
- Better control my state for optimum results.
- Better learn new skills.
- Better teach/coach colleagues.
I then reached a realisation — probably in my late 40’s that, on the basis that “one should ideally make one’s living doing something one truly LOVES”, I should pursue a career in the Personal Development arena. I have always seemed to “come alive” when studying, working with, or teaching and passing on Personal Development truths and strategies for growth.
In 2007, the opportunity presented itself to work with someone I greatly admire and become qualified as a Hypnotherapy and NLP Practitioner.