Blog Contents (Jump to Section)
Do you want to learn hypnotherapy?
Learning how to hypnotise and how to use hypnotherapy competently and effectively is achievable, whether you haven’t really studied ‘in a classroom’ since you left school, and might remember that as a time of being ‘talked at’, followed by hours of mindless homework, or perhaps you really enjoyed school and university but haven’t studied much since. Possibly, you strive to learn something new every year, just to keep the habit of learning.
However long, or short, a time it is since you last learned something, it is likely you will find learning hypnotherapy something quite different. It isn’t something that can be fully developed by reading a book, watching YouTube videos or completing an online hypnotherapy training course. Why is that? As you will find out for yourself, hypnotherapy is a combination of science and art.
Before you read further, if you want to become a professional hypnotherapist or upskill, we recommend you check our award-winning HypnoTC Hypnotherapy Diploma course.
We can help you learn to hypnotise and use hypnotherapy
You may have already conducted some internet searches on ‘how to learn to hypnotise’, or ‘how to learn to do hypnotherapy’ or similar, and may have found a vast number of options. The vastness of choice is one of the reasons why it can be so challenging to research. How can you tell what is good hypnosis and hypnotherapy training and what isn’t?
Unlike a massage, for instance, where you can learn by rote such as ‘ankle to thigh: 6x effleurage, 6x petrissage, 6x tapotement (stroke, knead, tap)’, good hypnotherapy training will teach you how to read your client (not just a script), and adapt approaches to suit the client, rather than make the client adapt to a set technique or adjust their needs to fit your generalised script.
So, let’s say you have done your research and found a good hypnotherapy training provider (such as HypnoTC), booked your place and are eagerly awaiting that first day. These 25 tips can help you prepare to learn hypnotherapy effectively, and get the most out of your training, from before you start, to the classroom and any associated independent studying.
Before you start to learn hypnotherapy
Focus and plan ahead
Even before you start to learn hypnotherapy, what can you do to get the most out of your training? Reading and researching ahead to prepare yourself can be a good start. This means that when you cover similar material ‘in class’ you will simply be adding to your existing learning, and able to develop your initial understanding and clear up any misconceptions.
Use hypnotherapy reading lists
It can be useful to find out if there is either a mandatory or recommended reading list and what may be useful to read at the start, or later on during the course. When reading for studying purposes, apply yourself as though it is work, rather than for pure pleasure, such as getting lost in a story.
It seems obvious that you want to learn hypnotherapy from good sources of information, but what exactly is a “good” source? Avoid the temptation to just type your topic (e.g. ‘rapid induction’) straight into an online search engine hoping that something useful will come up!
Depending on who has been using the PC before, your search could bring up quite irrelevant, unexpected information! A book list (such as the one on our website HERE) will give you books that the trainers are aware provide relevant and accurate information (and they may also provide links to useful online material).
If you just read a whole hypnotherapy book you may get a general knowledge, but nothing specific to ‘hang’ it on, so it won’t linger well in your memory. If your search for information has a specific purpose you are likely to remember it for longer.
Are you looking for facts, to develop an argument, give an opinion, give examples, or a combination of these things? Do you need definitions, information on a process, advantages and disadvantages or for different views on an issue? Give your reading a purpose before you start.
When you have your purpose, select your reading material and keep to topic. It is easy to get distracted by other interesting points and end up studying something else completely for 2 hours! It can be good to skim read first and get an idea of the style of the author, and then read more thoroughly, taking notes …even better if you then rewrite or reuse those notes. The more you engage with something, the stronger the learning.
Explore beyond hypnotherapy books
As well as a reading list, look on YouTube for related videos and search for relevant podcasts. Watch and listen purposefully, taking notes as you would for a book. Again, avoid the trap of being distracted…especially on YouTube (no, you really don’t need to watch 10 funny cat videos)!
Watch a movie that has hypnosis or hypnotherapy in it
Yes really. You can learn hypnotherapy when watching a movie!
See if you can find a film or documentary on the topic, to get another perspective. This can help strengthen your knowledge. Even better, as we relax when watching films, and as we learn better when we relax, it is a double win.
Master Google searching to find a wealth of hypnosis and hypnotherapy information
Some our our students’ favourite Google search tips that may like to know include:
Two dots e.g. documentaries 1990..2001 gives you a searchable number range
Site e.g. site:hypnotc.com searches just within that site
Vertical bar e.g. hypnosis|hypnotherapy|hypnotise, searches websites that have one or more of the terms
Tilde e.g. hypnosis~classes allows for searches with synonyms as well, such as lessons, coaching, tutorials
Quotation marks e.g. “The hypnotherapy profession is rewarding“ provides searches for that exact phrase or word
Dashes e.g. hypnosis–religion, by putting a hyphen before a word excludes it from your search
By more effectively utilising Google, you are able to find more appropriate online content, streamlining your information-gathering process, making it much easier for you to learn hypnotherapy faster and more efficiently.
Learning hypnotherapy – In class
Be present in your hypnotherapy class
When you start your course, work on actually ‘being present’ in class; it takes a fair amount of concentration to stay focused and is a skill in itself. How you learn hypnotherapy can be influenced by your learning preferences. Find out how you learn best. Do you take detailed notes and never look at them, whilst missing the key points being discussed? Do you take no notes and then not remember the key points at all? If you are not fond of detailed notes, try using the mind-map approach. Explore highlighting and making notes on the course material.
See what works best for you. If you don’t like taking notes during class, explore making quick summary notes in the breaks.
Take great notes
Record key points and link related ideas. Use a system that works for you, whether linear notes (list) or pattern / illustrated notes (mindmap), and review them within 48 hours to cement the learning even more.
Draw your hypnotherapy notes
There is no need to be Picasso! However, by making a drawing that is meaningful to you, then you are engaging more of your mental powers.
Make connections and mental associations
The more you engage your intelligence and creativity the more you will enable your memory to work well.
Where possible, engage in a discussion of the topics, whether by asking questions or expressing an opinion.
Create a positive hypnotherapy study environment
Learn where and when you study and learn best
Do you need lots of hustle and bustle around you to focus? If so, then a coffee shop may be the ideal place for you. Do you need to be away from distractions? Then consider a library study area. Happiest at home? Then give yourself a dedicated study area if possible, so you can focus when you need to and relax at other times.
Are you a music listener?
Listening to music can help your studying be more productive. If you already associate some types of music (or songs) with feeling positive and relaxed that can be a helpful thing to incorporate.
You can time your playlist to your 40 minute study period and have different playlists for different types of studying, focus, positive, relaxing, energising… Avoid listening to music on the radio, as the chat between tracks can disrupt your train of thought. Be in control of what you are listening to and when! Also, quietly does it… Too loud and it can distract you, keeping it in the background can help you focus better.
If you are not particularly into music, explore nature sounds, such as rain or waves. This can be more effective than no sound, and then hearing every noise! If you find yourself singing along to the tracks, explore instrumental or classical music. Movie soundtracks can be good, and there is always the ‘Mozart Effect’ which is thought to reduce learning time, engaging both sides of the brain for more efficient learning and improving creativity and clarity.
Optimising your hypnotherapy learning
Discover your own learning style
It is good to be able to absorb information in a wide range of environments and circumstances. However, knowing your preferred learning style enables you to adapt your own study in a way to best suit you. Think about it, do you prefer reading, listening, taking notes, discussing, interacting, watching… If you’re not sure, google “learning styles quiz” to get some insight.
…in your studying. Instead of just reading the course material, find different and varied ways that you can interact with the course topics.
Create flashcards for definitions, key concepts, script, theory and protocol summaries. Consider using images, drawings, symbols and diagrams, not just words.
Make learning emotive
We tend to remember emotional events long after just facts. So create a story about a particular condition or technique you need to learn. You are more likely to remember ‘Sally’ who presented with a serious ‘salted caramel latte’ weight gain issue and the behavioural approaches, including aversion linked in with bad eggs and yellow slime, that worked with her to enable her to lose 2 stone and feel more active and confident in herself, rather than some unconnected techniques.
Say it out loud
You can be 50% more likely to remember something said out loud, rather than reading it over and over again.
Teach the teddies (really???)
One of the best ways of testing your knowledge and understanding is to teach it. Ideally, within a study group or practice group, but if this isn’t possible, borrow some stuffed animals and use your imagination…after all, as a hypnotherapist you know how important a good imagination is!
Turn off the WiFi
Shock, horror! It is amazing how much precious study time can be lost to catching funny Facebook videos or chatting with friends on Messenger or Grindr…
Efficient study time
Organise your study materials – gather together all that you need for that study session. Take a couple of minutes to decide on your goal for that session, be realistic! Before you start to study, take a few moments to put yourself into the right frame of mind. Close your eyes, relax your breathing, focus on a positive scene or sensation for a few moments before taking a deep refreshing breath and opening your eyes. Focus on your study for 40 minutes, then take a 10 minute break… and then spend 7 minutes recapping on what you covered.
Share your hypnotherapy learning
Hypnotherapy study groups
Forming a study group is an excellent way of developing your understanding. It can be on your PC or phone, such as a ‘WhatsApp’ or a Facebook group, via Skype or, even better, in person. As you develop your knowledge and skills, discussing your perspective on a technique and then actually using it and reflecting on it afterwards can really add to your confidence and competence levels.
The more you engage with your study material, the stronger your understanding and memory. A really good way of getting to know a topic even better is to prepare a short presentation for your study group.
Hypnotherapy is a practical therapy. Yes you can learn the theory, in whatever way that works best for you. However, it is really important to practice your skills regularly, learning the techniques and how to adapt them to each new person. It can also be really useful to record yourself practicing a technique and then experience that recording for yourself.
Finally… enjoy the process!
Go for a walk
Just before you start to study or before an exam. Exercise can boost memory and brain power (Dr Chuck Hillman, University of Illinois) – 20 minutes of exercise before an exam can improve performance)
Assign ‘treats’ according to your personality
Extroverts tend to prefer bigger treats, less often (a reward per chapter?), whereas introverts do better with more frequent treats (a reward per section or page perhaps).
Down time gives you greater focus…
Allow time for you. Just like work-life balance, work-study balance enables you to have down time to recharge. Also, at the times when you are most under pressure, this is the time to make your diet as healthy as it can be. Your body has to work harder when stressed so needs better quality fuel. The more demands that are placed upon you, the better your diet needs to be to support you.
There are many other study resources online, but hopefully if you’re ready to really learn hypnotherapy and give it your all, this blog has given you a great idea of where to start…
Thanks for reading, and do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.
– written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks