Why train to become a hypnotherapist?

Holly Stone and Brian Noon, Senior Lecturers for CPHT Surrey

We all have different reasons to enrol on a hypnotherapy training course.  CPHT Guildford lecturers Holly and Brian both trained with CPHT ; Holly in Guildford and Brian  in Peterborough. Both had their own reasons and now run successful private practices from their respective homes as well as teaching and supporting other therapists.

When we are interviewing prospective candidates, we are keen to hear their reason for applying for the course.  Invariably the primary factor is to help people.  The applicant may have experienced hypnotherapy in the past and found it extremely beneficial.  It may be that they have a family member or close friend who is struggling with anxiety or depression and they want to be able to help.

Often it’s because they have reached a point in their life when they have choices.  They may be returning to the work place after bringing up a family and want something with flexible hours.  Perhaps they have taken early retirement or have been made redundant and want a fresh start. It may be that the day job isn’t fulfilling enough and they want to make a difference. Sometimes they are looking for extra skills to compliment their existing counselling or other therapy skills.

Whatever the reason, training to become a hypnotherapist is a great choice. First there is the benefit you will gain from learning about how the brain works and why we suffer from anxiety disorders.  Few of us are ‘baggage-free’ and we find that students receive therapy by osmosis, simply by attending the course and enjoying the mutual support of their peers. This current COVID crisis has highlighted this more than ever. Students have befitted from the training both on personal level and through the ability to start to help others from day one of the course.

Learning about different personality types often helps enormously with students’ relationships at home and at work.  Finding out about the link between our thoughts and physical symptoms such as IBS, pain and insomnia can be a life-changer too.  Although, personal wellbeing is not usually the main driver in coming on the course, it’s a welcome side effect.

Over and above the benefits the students themselves experience, they quickly begin to see beneficial changes in their volunteer clients. Each month we ask the students to share their case studies and that can be a very emotional experience, hearing how they have helped a client overcome debilitating anxiety, or find the motivation to leave the house for the first time in years, or have the confidence to apply for a new job.

With so many celebrities turning to hypnotherapy to help with anything from morning sickness to stage fright, it is becoming much more accepted as a credible approach. Potential clients are far less likely to fear they’ll be squawking like a chicken or be under the therapist’s control. The current crisis that we are facing will also have an impact; highlighting needle phobias, PTSD and increased anxiety. All things that a trained therapist can help with.

And there is more and more scientific evidence of the mind-body connection, so we find that clients are increasingly steered towards approaches such as hypnotherapy when no physical reason for their symptom can be identified.

So if you are looking for a new direction, and want a career that is flexible, credible and extremely rewarding, consider training to become a hypnotherapist.  It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

If you think you can…

American industrialist, and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford famously said: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

In other words, “attitude is everything”. If you go into a project thinking it will be difficult then the chances are you will make heavy weather of it. If, on the other hand, you enter the project with curiosity and a willingness to explore possibilities, you increase your chances of success and in all likelihood will enjoy the process.

As hypnotherapists we spend our working hours helping our clients identify what they want to achieve and, crucially, what small step they can take towards achieving their goal. As course lecturers, we extend this principal to our students, helping them to develop their skills in a structured way, encouraging them to consolidate their knowledge and perfect their techniques between course weekends.

Being Solution Focused means we help our clients and students adopt a positive attitude. Focusing on what is possible and achievable, rather than analysing perceived problems.

As a result our therapy sessions and course weekends are positively oriented, uplifting and fun. It’s not unusual for other people within earshot to comment on the amount of laughter emanating from our consulting or training rooms.

Our students embrace the Solution Focused approach and, as well as gaining technical skills, often find they cope better with life, absorbing the positivity from the classroom and from their therapy sessions with their own volunteer clients.

As with anything worth doing, qualifying as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist requires hard work and focus. Fortunately, as the focus is entirely positive, our students rise to the challenge with a ‘can do’ attitude that would undoubtedly impress Henry Ford.

CPHT Guildford is 2 years old!

Today is the second anniversary of starting our first Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma course here in Guildford.  We remember the date well – the team at the CPHT mother ship in Bristol very kindly sent us some celebratory flowers, which could not have been easy, given it was Valentine’s Day.

There is a feature of hypnotic trance known as time distortion where frequently clients feel that only a few minutes have elapsed, whereas they have actually been on the relaxation couch for up to half an hour.

We must have been in a trance for the last two years, because the time has simply vanished. We are now on our 4th course, with our 5th about to start shortly.

We see our graduates regularly for ongoing supervision and it is such a pleasure to hear how they are helping so many clients get a better enjoyment of life, whether that’s by helping them overcome fears or phobias, deal with difficult situations or overcome lifelong debilitating habits of thought.

In fact, that is one of the unexpected side effects of lecturing for CPHT. Not only do we continue to help clients in our own hypnotherapy practices in the West Country, but it feels as if we are cascading that help through our students and graduates.

Momentum has really grown since we started and we already have more people lined up for our next course than we’ve had on any course to date – and there’s still 5 weeks to go!

Here’s to the next two years!

Who do you want to be?

One of the factors that attracts students to our courses is the fact that scientific research backs up the methodology that we teach.  We integrate the latest findings in neuroscience and brain-based therapy into all the course material, demonstrating why it’s important to interact with clients in a certain way, why we structure sessions the way that we do, the relevance and importance of using solution focused techniques and the impact of trance.

And for those students hungry for more in-depth knowledge we deliver two intense sessions exclusively focusing on the neuroscience that informs our approach.

We explain how we are able to help our clients overcome lifelong difficulties caused through unhelpful habits of thought or behaviour, and we show why no client is ever too old to change.

We learn that with 86 billion neurons in our brain, each of which can have thousands of connections, it is absolutely possible to rewire your brain. You just need to know how. And that’s what we teach our students, so that they in turn can teach their clients.

Our students are encouraged to share their knowledge with their clients, so that they can understand the importance of making the effort required to change, focusing on positive outcomes repeatedly until positive thinking becomes an unconscious habit. During the ten month course, the students get plenty of practice in employing the solution focused techniques that will encourage that positive change.

Of course, it would be difficult to attend such a course, with its emphasis on positivity without feeling the impact yourself. As lecturers we enjoy seeing our students develop and we’ve got used to hearing that they are finding themselves better able to cope with the issues in their own lives, and are enjoying working towards their own preferred futures.

With an estimated 1,000 trillion synaptic connections in our brains, the possibilities are endless.

Wow! What a year!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year, with two of our 10-month courses completing. The students graduated with CPHT’s Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, and many of the students went on to complete their written portfolios to gain the ‘Gold Standard’ Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma.

The number of successful students was brought home to us when we ran the last group supervision of the year. We had three ‘generations’ of graduates, so there was a marvellous mix of skill levels and experience. The great benefit of working in a Solution Focused environment is that everyone is willing to share their successes and support one another during group work, so there was an a amazing buzz of energy during the meeting.

An unexpected side effect for us as course leaders is when we hear of our students’ and graduates’ progress with their clients. As a result, we get the same kind of buzz we have when we see our own clients move positively with their lives. Another side effect is that we get to see the individual students gain in confidence as they begin to build a viable practice, and as they reap the benefits of working alongside other Solution Focused therapists.

Course no. 4 is now well underway with a fabulous group of students. They have already formed a close support group and, only two months in, are seeing tangible improvements in the volunteers they are helping with relaxation.

One of the hallmarks of CPHT courses is that they continually evolve when new evidence or new technology is available.  We have been lucky enough to see demonstrations of what happens to brainwaves when we use our minds for different tasks – recall, problem solving, default ‘stand-by’ mode and, of course, trance. This was made possible because a graduate of CPHT Bristol is a psychologist who works with EEG machines, which can measure brainwaves and display the output on a computer screen. Amazing! Investigations are underway to see if it is feasible for each CPHT school to have their own EEG machine. Watch this space!

What will next year bring? More courses, that’s for sure. It’s going to be fun supporting even more students and graduates, and consquently helping even more clients live the life they want.

Happy New Year!

Keeping in Touch with our Graduates

Although we’ve only been running courses in Guildford for just over 18 months, we have had two groups graduate already.  We love hearing how former students are doing and we keep in touch via regular supervision sessions, email updates and by following their progress on Social Media.  We also bump into some of them at CPD events at the mother ship at CPHT Bristol.

The Diploma course is structured in such a way as to ensure that students have built momentum with their business by the time they qualify, so they can hit the ground running, as it were.  They are nicely confident about seeing clients with a range of issues, and of course as supervisors we’re on hand in the background with advice and guidance when needed.

Finding a suitable location to practise from can be challenging, but we’ve been impressed with how resourceful our lovely graduates are – from converting a garage or annex at their home, to renting rooms at a therapy centre, to basing themselves at a GP surgery or dental practice. Whatever the location, we can be sure they all provide a professional, caring environment, enhancing their clients’ experience of the therapy.

In fact, with their positive attitudes, Solution Focused skills, and professional surroundings, it would be difficult for their clients not to feel better after having visited one of our graduates.


shutterstock_187806872 - therapist and client lying down

Exciting news for our first group of students

We’ve had some great news!  We’ve had notification that the first tranche of Diploma Portfolios from our first course have been externally assessed – and the students passed with flying colours!

It’s been just over a year since we launched CPHT’s first Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Diploma course in Guildford. It was a small group, but that was fine as it enabled us to provide individual attention as we settled into the training facilities at the Castle Street Clinic.

As the ten month course progressed the students gained in confidence and practical skills, seeing plenty of volunteer clients to provide a solid foundation for their future career as Solution Focused Hypnotherapists.

In addition to the in-course assessment, the students had the opportunity to ‘go for gold’ and prepare a portfolio of their learning and evidence of their practical skills for external verification, in order to gain the prestigious Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma. Some of the students had pulled out all the stops to have their portfolios completed by the end of the 10 months. We assessed their files and were incredibly impressed with the quality of their work.  We had no hesitation in submitting their portfolios.

And today we’ve been able to share with them the great news that they have been awarded the HPD.

The external verifier spoke highly of the quality of their work, commenting on how well they demonstrated evidence of their learning outcomes. Words like: ‘Excellent’, ‘Professional’, ‘Impressive’ and ‘Great portfolio’ say it all really!

Well done to our students who now have their Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), the ‘Gold Standard’ hypnotherapy qualification.

Wow! What a year it has been.

Back in January we were planning to deliver our first Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD) course on behalf of the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) national training body. We’d scheduled to start on February 14, only realising later the significance of the date. Fortunately, all the students turned up and we were off.

We’d had a last minute change of venue and were delighted to have found the wonderful Castle Street Clinic in central Guildford. It’s ideal for running therapy courses – there’s a sizeable training room and plenty of therapy rooms that we can use when the students practise their skills. Practising in a true-to-life environment is enormously beneficial. Oh, and we bought a batch of more comfortable chairs at the students’ request.

The students were simply brilliant and quickly learnt the principles of the Solution Focused approach. Each month it was clear they were becoming more and more skilled and were soon making a real difference in their volunteer clients’ lives. We welcomed guest speakers Nicola Griffiths (Marketing), Glenn Catley (Sports Motivation) and Lucy Gilroy (a recent graduate sharing her experience of setting up as a practitioner). CPHT Founder David Newton also visited from Bristol to share his incredible knowledge and enthusiasm.

Glenn Catley and GU1 students
Glenn Catley and GU1 students

All too soon the group graduated in November and are already practising Solution Focused Hypnotherapy in and around Surrey. Meanwhile, we launched the second HPD course in September and those students, too, are doing fabulously. Hard to believe they are almost half-way through their Diploma already. We had to buy a second batch of chairs to accommodate the increased numbers.

GU2 Students 2
GU2 Students on their first weekend.

2016 promises to be as busy as ever. Course GU2 will graduate in June and our third course is due to start in February. We’ve had so many enquiries we’re probably going to need another batch of chairs.

Bring it on!


Learning how the brain works

One of the first things our students learn is the difference between the purpose of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Understanding this is a key factor in helping clients to develop new and more helpful habits of thought.

In his book ‘Stop Thinking Start Living’, American psychotherapist author and motivational speaker, Dr Richard Carlson explains how your thoughts determine how you feel. He also provides strategies for dismissing negative thoughts that resonate well with the Solution Focused approach we teach on our courses.

For the most part, our thoughts are played out at a subconscious level. The good news is that we can change unhelpful thought patterns by applying our the power of our conscious mind.

Even before they’re qualified, our students are helping their volunteer clients turn their habitual thinking patterns around.

This excellent short video explains in a nutshell the principles behind the process:

How our Brain Thinks





Last weekend of Observations

We’re off to CPHT Bristol today observing the last weekend the of the HPD course. It’s difficult to believe that 10 months have gone by and now there is another group of students ready to graduate and make a difference in the world.

The students have been charging student rates for the last couple of months and the busier ones could well have covered their course fees. They have been guided into getting their marketing material in place and have gained plenty of practical experience through seeing clients – volunteer clients in the early days and latterly student-rate paying clients.

We are both looking forward to hearing all their success stories and reflecting on how much they have developed since they first started. As well as learning to become first class hypnotherapists, they will have benefited personally from the positive effects of the therapy.

We can see this effect already in our own students in Guildford and fondly remember how much the course impacted on our own well-being when we studied 7 years ago.