I’m too scared to work with hypnotherapy clients!

In addition to my hypnotherapy diploma course, I work with students who undertake my CPD training courses. One of the biggest issues that newly qualified therapists have is their fear of actually working with clients – and of putting themselves out there to attract the clients in the first place.

This is completely understandable! At the end of the day, not only is this likely to be the first time you’ve done client work, it’s also the likely to be the first time you’ve run a business. When you’re at work, someone else takes care of your work identity – you’re given a role, you get paid, and (hopefully) you’re given the training and support you need. When you set up as a hypnotherapist it’s a completely different situation. You’re putting yourself out there -and it takes a lot of guts to do this. It’s easy to take every no-show client personally. It’s hard to ask for money when you feel like a fraud. And it’s way too easy to responsibility for those clients who don’t achieve their desired changes.

Hypnotherapy training courses – with some exceptions – tend not to go into detail about the intricacies of actually running your business, of how crap you might feel when a client only shows up once and how difficult it is to feel confident in working with clients. I see so many newly qualified hypnotherapy students just find it all too hard and they give up and go back to the day job.

Fear of doing harm to a client is another major fear – is there a possibility you might make them worse?! You need to take a step back and realise that – whilst it’s imperative to do the best, most ethical job you can with someone – that ultimately you are not responsible for their change. They are. If they stop smoking, THEY did it – not you. You may have helped them, but they created the change. Equally, if they don’t stop smoking, THEY created that situation – if you did your best, that’s all you can do.

I work with students who have emerged from their courses with great knowledge and tools but with little self belief or resilience in the face of clients who don’t turn up, or break other boundaries or who fail to create change. If you care about people and genuinely want to help then you’ve got it in you to be a great hypnotherapist – the fact that you care so much can have a downside, which is that you take too much responsibility for your clients’ outcomes and can become worried that you’re not doing the best job for them. It’s important to reframe ‘fear’ as ‘commitment’ and use that to work in the best possible way you can.