Do you have an Open Mind?

Open Mind – Supporting and Developing your Hypnotherapy practice
 
hypnotherapy trainingIf you’ve ever wondered how you might get to see more than half a dozen or a dozen clients a week without doing tons of prep and loads of writing up after, you may find my proposition at the Open Mind Therapist.com useful.  Coming to a group meeting and experiencing what’s on offer in terms of personal and professional development, career progression and professional support and supervision is your first step towards learning how to work more intuitively and creatively.  And what’s more, the first time you meet with us there is no charge.  The reason for that?  I know that many part with money up front and then are sorely disappointed by the training experience they receive, while others thought it was great.  How can the same course elicit such opposite experiences?  The truth is, I guess, people are all different and of course, not everything you see marketed and advertised lives up to its promise.  So I simply want you to come and try us out with no obligation.  If you like how we work and you fit in with us, then you are welcome to subscribe and join with our growing number of Open Mind Therapists who are Hypnotherapists with a difference. 
 
If you feel you fit in to one of these categories, you may find one of our groups beneficial:
  1. Fresh in practice and still finding your feet
  2. In practice a year or 2 and still not feeling settled nor busy enough to make a living
  3. In practice perhaps many years but unable to find a truly integrative or eclectic supervisor who can advise on the diverse range of clients you see.
One of my trainees turned supervisee commented that he’d come to train with me in my CPD course in ME/CFS to specialise because he found the prep for all the different cases he was managing far too time consuming.  He wanted a predictable type of client that he could offer a strict protocol to.  He was surprised when I said I have none.  What he learned instead was how to be intuitive, use his existing knowledge much more creatively, and to take the anticipation out of meeting clients.  When he joined my supervision/career development groups he received 6 weekly support, advice, personal development and career progression that supported his practice and turned him into a full time integrative hypnotherapist with a waiting list…even through the recession.  And the secret?  He learned how to read his client and be far more flexible and intuitive in his approach.  The benefits of this of course are a deeper confidence, less prep, and more clients!
 
If you’re wanting to add skills, gain a holistic view of your clients issues, treat according to their needs, to feel more confident and to find your feet in your practice, then our groups could be a great springboard for you to learn how to do just that.
 
Join me on 23rd March or our next meeting on 4th May at The Millfield Arts Centre, Edmonton North London.  Or alternatively, on 30th March or 18th May in Saracen’s Head Hotel, Great Dunmow from 10 till 2:30pm.  To register with us and to find out more go to http://www.theopenmindtherapist.com
 
Jenny is a fellow and an accredited trainer and supervisor for the National Council of Psychotherapists, a member of the BACP and a supervisor for the Hypnotherapy Association.  She has been offering integrative training and supervision to hypnotherapists for around 8 of her 11 years as a practising therapist bringing with her her former teaching experience and her 30 years of buddhist practice.  Committed to therapist personal and professional development, Jenny has been running the The Open Mind Therapist.com website for just over a year and is attracting a growing number of hypno and psychotherapists who want to learn to work more intuitively and integratively
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I’ve been galivanting about!

The bedraggled of Winterburn, Gargrave

I’ve been in lots of different places in the last fortnight starting with my first London Soul Group meeting on 10th February which was a great success and I’m so looking forward to developing this group more.  Our next meeting is on 23rd March and for more information just go straight to the home page. That was rapidly followed by a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales at the tale end of the snows! There we are, our motley collection of a family! Having spent the week laughing till my sides were splitting, I was then left in the City of my youth, Liverpool to visit some long lost friends and my good friend Tony Cawley who’s also done a teleseminar with me.  The reason I stayed ‘up North’ while my family travelled back was to attend the first meeting as a fellow of the National Council of Psychotherapists under their new leadership, Ray Freeman.

Ray is an ex college lecturer as well as therapist and understands the importance of educational qualifications as delivered by schools, colleges and universities as well as our professional training which is largely delivered by those of us already in the field.  Ray has pulled together a team of people who  understand the importance of business as well as the importance of education and together we are looking into the future to be  one of the first professional organisations in the hypno-psychotherapy world who will be using external validators such as the government regulators, OfQual, to lend academic as well as experiential cudos to our qualifications.  Now I’m not one for jumping through hoops and compromising on quality of experience for bits of paper that may mean nothing…..but then, so far, it looks like none of my compatriot Fellows of the NCP are either, which can only bode well.  We are keen to be seen as the leading organisation in our field with standards that we can uphold and an integrity of training that our accredited member schools can deliver, and with qualifications that can contribute to further academic education or indeed constitute an academic award in themselves.  That is exciting in itself and I will be taking an active part in developing our integrity of service.  I’ll talk another time about levels of membership and which level of membership may suit you or how you might qualify for membership.  In the meantime, watch this space.

And just this morning, I’ve delivered, for the second time around, my ‘Journey of a lifetime’ presentation to my fellow business networkers in Enfield, North London which tracks my 30 years as a buddhist and the 3 biggest turning points in my life.  If you’re a 4networking aficionado, join me in St Alban’s this Thursday where I will be delivering it again.  The feedback this time was that  people felt calm at the end of the talk, inspired, and uplifted.  Many can identify with my struggles of course, which is a great leveller when operating in the business world where we may feel that how we appear is more important than who we are.  But at the end of the day, we tend to make all sorts of decisions about our careers and lifestyles on an emotional level which will of course, mean we need to sense a person’s integrity in their business endeavours. 

To all fellow therapists who have landed on this post,  who are still struggling with their own sense of integrity in their business, please get in touch.  I can help you develop your career, provide guidance and inspiration and  make your initial training, which may have cost many hundreds if not thousands of pounds, more valuable to you than you realised.  Either sign up for my free membership level or come along  to my next North London hypnotherapist and psychotherapist supervision and career development meeting on 23rd March. Or email me.

 

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Are you cut out to be a therapist?

What made you go into therapy?  Were you thinking ‘how else can I earn money’?  Did you fancy doing something different?  Did you have a passion for healing?  Did you fancy just working for yourself? Or was it just the toss of a coin that decided you?

Was your career choice made by flipping a coin?

It may come as no surprise that many people are quite confused about what they are in the therapy world for.  On the one hand they want to heal people, on the other they want to earn money.  And often those two instincts appear to be almost diametrically at odds with each other.  Therapists may spend several years trying to run a business that is, quite honestly, unprofitable but something stops them asking for more money or more clients.

Why is that?  This is what I’ve seen.  I often realise on talking to colleagues new to the Open Mind way that a lot of our desire to heal others, is also to put right the wrongs of our own histories.  On some level or another, often quite unconscious – despite the fact we are trained to access the subconscious minds of our clients – therapists are still striving to find equilibrium in themselves and to quieten their aching souls.  Several supervisees have mentioned to me over the years that they feel like a fraud when they work with clients whose ‘stuff’ so closely resonates with their own.  And these therapists are the lucky ones.  They recognise the source of their own performance anxiety.  Many have yet to get there.

Our healing comes, as we teach others how to heal themselves.  Put another way, in order to help others out of their psychic impasses in their lives, we have to do it ourselves first.  If therapists aren’t prepared to acknowledge that their own personal development is probably the most important investment they’ll ever make into their therapy practice, then I sometimes wonder what is the point trying to advertise and raise your reputation and profile.  It becomes the paper tiger approach to therap-ing.  The outside in approach.  The ‘I-can-see-the-lights-are-on-but-there’s-no-one-at-home’ syndrome.

Some people call me or write to me to ask me what I can offer them, or why I might be different to anyone else.  Some just call because they’ve seen my site and want to know a bit more about how I can help them in their practices.  However, it seems to me that if a hypnotherapist isn’t prepared to look inside themselves to heal their own inner reality, then all the techniques or strategies in the world are rendered pretty ineffectual.  So what do I offer?  The opportunity to relate on a deeply human level.  Supported by my Buddhist practice of nearly 30 years, the ethos of Open Mind is to reach into our own hearts and minds to heal and transform our reality.  If we can do it for ourselves, then we know it is possible for others to do it too.  It’s only when we’ve not yet done it for ourselves, do we suffer these performance anxieties that send us scampering to our colleagues to find safety in numbers.

Using our supervision and mentorship groups as a base to ‘come home to’ many of our Open Mind therapists are finding a deeper inner confidence and are learning to trust their own instincts and intuition.  If you would like to join a group of us our next one will be on 15th June in the Millfield Arts Centre in Edmonton, North London.  You can register for it on the home page.  Meanwhile, give me a call on 07773 919071 or send me an email and tell me what it is in your practice you are looking for.  If I hear what your particular unique issue is, then I’ll be able to better advise you on the route to take to improve your sense of wellbeing, your client numbers, and your profitability.

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Our personal journey as therapists

Generally speaking people learn when they DO something: here’s the age-old saying oft quoted in teacher staff rooms

Tell me and I’ll forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I’ll understand

When it comes to working as a therapist, we need to have been involved deeply in our own journey as healers, healing and healed to be able to understand the twists and turns in the journey we ask our clients to make. This is where our performance anxiety truly stems from: on a deeper level we sense in ourselves the same kinds of anxieties our clients have. How can I heal my client if I haven’t healed myself? This is the question that many hypnotherapists, psychotherapists, and coaches wrestle with in their practices.

We may have listened to our lectures, we may have witnessed a few demonstrations, but until we have embarked on the whole journey ourselves, we may come over as inauthentic and lacking in skill and personal confidence. That may also mean, we have to face our fear of exposure in our classes, our teaching and learning groups, and our general lives. If I can’t find my inner peace in amongst the ‘noise and haste’ of my every day life, how can I rely upon my inner self to guide me when I really need it?

Many sit back and DO nothing about their fears. They continue to blame seemingly external causes for their inner turmoil or lack of success. But the truth is, there is only one cause of inner turmoil, and that is not having the courage to take our own personal inventory.

As shiny and superficial as the world may appear at times with its hedonistic emphasis on outward appearances, there is a simultaneous undercurrent of a movement which is looking for the deeply authentic, the real, the meaningful. It’s almost as if, as a society, we need the authentic the more emphasis is placed on the superficial and frivolous. A bit like the spiritual equivalent of ‘supersize v superskinny’: a spiritual famine or feast.

Training with me at Open Mind means we look for the authentic. We are searching for the unique gift that each therapist or coach brings to their practice: their personality, their style, and their experience. There is no prescriptive way to practice working in the healing arts: each one of us is individual. And if you are looking to find more about who you are in your practice, think about joining us on my Soul level membership. Take a look.

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Saint FM – Local Radio talk on Grief

It was 2 Sundays ago now that I was invited to talk on Nigel Waymark’s Sunday Brunch show on Saint FM about grief and grieving.  Though the subject matter was rather intense, it was curiously very enjoyable.  Nigel has a genuine curiosity about the process of grieving as he checks what I’m saying against his own experience of grief which makes for a very authentic interview.  It was a sheer pleasure to appear on his show and I’m looking forward to many future dates.  I have a whole bunch of subjects I have offered to talk about so I wonder if you might like to tell me which ones you’d like to hear by leaving a comment in the comment box below.  In the meantime, if you want to listen to the show click on the link below.

Suggested topics:

  • Relationships: good ones, ones gone bad – how to take responsibility in relationships
  • Marriage breakdown: how to navigate the pitfalls of divorce and separation maturely!
  • The myth of chemical imbalance in the mind: what is depression? Do anti depressants work?
  • How natural is it to hear voices?
  • Is ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome really all in the mind?
  • How to choose a therapist: A discussion of the pitfalls of finding the right therapist.
  • Insomnia: what is it caused by? How can we resolve it?
  • Anxiety and phobia: What are they? How can we resolve them?

 

 

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The Therapists Guide to Internet Marketing

Being a therapist you may not be so savvy at running your business or marketing yourself.  I started out on the long old road to find my way round the internet around 3 years. It was, and perhaps still is, a fairly incongruous thing for therapists to get themselves involved in, that is unless they have a background in something technical and complicated!

I subscribed to a bunch of online marketing newsletters, listened to some of the greats in online marketing such as Alex Mandossian and Frank Kern, not to mention John Reece and waded through the painful process of:

  • getting articles written with the right number of keywords in with titles that meant something:
  • putting back links up to my site so that I could be found on google:
  • getting myself going on social media – a work still in progres:
  • getting my copy right on my website:
  • getting a newsletter up and running with interesting and inspiring content

The list was endless and took hours and hours of research, learning by trial and error.

It was so endless that I longed for someone to be able to share this arduous task with, someone who I was prepared to pay to help, as long as they knew what I knew and more and could take some of the toil out of me wearing just too many hats in my therapy practice.

I met that man through 4n. Robert Keating. This guy’s been working on internet marketing for around 4 years making it his job to be one step ahead of the competition. He is a gem of a find and despite 2 years of hard networking, I hadn’t met anyone I could trust with my business.

Now Rob is my right hand man. He knows what the internet is doing. He takes some of the legwork out of my online marketing and helps in so many constructive ways. I feel like I have a team in him. In fact, just so that other therapists, who may be as clueless as I once was can benefit too, we’ve devised a teleseminar that went out Wednesday evening.   However so you get every opportunity to learn from Rob, we’ve made it available as an audio download!  So go to  http://theopenmindtherapist.com/rob-keating-online-marketing.html  and get your copy now.

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The ME/CFS debate rages on

You may have caught the media interest surrounding the militantism of some of the ME community’s spokespeople over the last few months.  It started with an article in the BMJ which decried the use of violent threats and insults to medical and psychiatric researchers who are attempting to find answers to the mystery disease which is ME/CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  The much maligned Professor Wessely, a main contender in the psychiatric corner of the ME/CFS debate, has been repeatedly villified and demonised: you do not have to search far across the internet to discover just how despised this man is among some sectors of the ME/CFS community.  And even in the BMJ, he cites a section from a hate mail to him as follows: “I hope that you die and your death wil come soon.  I’ll follow your casket on a pale afternoon and what while you’re lowered unto your deathbed and stand over your grave till I am sure that your dead” – which, from my own humble experiences of some of the messages from a few choice unsubscribes from my list, doesn’t exactly inspire you to keep going back for more!
 The Microscopic XMRV Virus
However, of equal objection according to this militant part of the ME/CFS mouthpiece, is the research into purely medical avenues which would seem a proverbial shot in its own foot.  Research that has sought to replicate the breakthroughs with the retrovirus that indicated in its initial research that 68 out of 101 sufferers had been infected, failed.  The fallout of this kind of finding provides a feeding ground for those that are still on a mission to derail even the merest suggestion that this condition is not physical.  And sadly, Professor Wessely’s understandable but perhaps more retaliatory than reasoned response is that this segment of the ME/CFS fraternity “have personality problems. They are damaged and disturbed with an obsession about psychiatry.” (BMJ vol 342 p 1395)
 
So disillusioned and intimidated are some researchers that they claim to have been chased out of their chosen research field to take up posts in lesser controversial areas of medical research, one even claiming he felt safer now working in Iraq and Afghanistan!
 
The debate overflowed into the broadsheet newspapers a couple of weeks later to which came some very sensitive letters from sufferers of ME/CFS who have found this whole militancy rather distasteful and in fact, disgraceful.   I wonder what sends one small section of a community into melt down in this way?  Does suggesting they have a personality disorder help the ME/CFS cause?
 
This bipolar approach to ME/CFS is so poignantly indicative of the either/or debate that rages through modern medicine.  We’re on a high one moment that there is a medical breakthrough in this field, and then a low the next when evidence cannot be replicated.  We are on a high when practitioners of the mind element of this condition report phenomenal success and then on a low when the successes of that too, cannot be rolled out to all sufferers.
 
The moral of the story seems to be, that the treatment of illness is an art not a science: that we have all been shoe-horned into believing there is a single traceable cause for each disease that, if we treat with the right magic bullet, will reach the spot.  We have been brainwashed by the tide of popular medical research into believing ‘they’ will find the answers, and thereby have given up our personal responsibility.  We are looking for answers outside of ourselves.  We are looking for someone else to pick up the pieces of our lives for us so that we can carry on living the lives we’ve become accustomed to.  We have become so out of touch with our own hearts, minds and bodies that, we have surrendered to the ‘higher power’ that is the medical profession, and placed a faith in them to fix our ills and woes. And this ethos at times spills over into our world of therapy as clients want us to just ‘fix them’.
 
The Mind Body Spirit Triad

The Mind Body Spirit Triad

I don’t mean to discredit the huge breakthroughs that have come about through conventional medical research, but I do wish to ask each and every one of us whether we have scratched the surface and looked any deeper than the symptoms.  Because it is my belief that behind most physical disorders there is a spiritual root: not a psychological one that only reduces our being to measurements yet again.  By spiritual I mean our sense of identity, our sense of belonging, not only to a community, but to our family, and indeed to our very selves.  This is where healing takes place.  The awareness of this is what makes a good doctor, a good therapist, a good researcher.  Stripping spiritual meaning from a set of results strips the heart and soul out of the human condition.  I wonder if more funding for PsychoNeuroImmunology Research would help bridge the gap in the either/or debate and lead us to making meaningful sense of the evidence? 

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We all had an amazing day last Friday….never long enough these intensives! Just want to carry on training and sharing all weekend. I think there’s an argument there somewhere for a 3 day residential in a retreat somewhere, wouldn’t you say?

If you were there, you’ll have experienced that I love working inclusively. From the moment someone walks in the room to the moment they leave, their learning experience is my pleasure and I work to achieve a relaxed and intimate space for the therapist to grow and share. You’ll know there’s nothing wishy washy about that though – I’m not going to nod my head in the right places and pay lip service to someone’s questions. I will answer them honestly, sometimes challengingly, and, as I’ve just been called on a forum, candidly, ingenously and thoroughly – but with always one goal in mind: to encourage people to experience something of great value to them and their clients.
Here’s some of the feedback that came through from last Friday:

“Thank you. It has given me some new perspectives and ideas to think about, as well as techniques I will use with clients’ Chris Claytor NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist www.achievewithnlp.co.uk

“I have more awareness of myself and an even better awareness of the client.  I’m going away with a few good techniques too!” Linda Blacker www.hypnosisforhealth.co.uk

“I have reflected on my role in the process, the clients role and whether or not they want to participate in therapy. I realise now that the client may benefit from some exploration rather than just suggestion hypnotherapy, for example with weight loss” Irene Smith, hypnotherapist www.ceratocentre.com

I’ve also a couple of videos of some of my participants which they’ve given me their kind permission to host.  When they arrive, I’ll post again!

I have gained a subscriber to my course in the autumn from this group and am looking for minimum 6 in the group.  If you would like to find out more about training with me on this course at Open Mind go to http://theopenmindtherapist.com/read-your-client.html.  Feel free to email me with any questions or if you’re new to Open Mind go to the home page and download your free Read Your Client ebook.

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Do you ever self disclose?

You know, you’ve probably got a raft of techniques you’ve learned from your original training, from CPDs, and from forums and colleagues. But still you’re wondering why some work with some people and not with others. Why would one approach be more effective than another?

Adding Depth to your hypnotherapy practice

If you’re growing a busy therapy practice, or even if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to keep your further investment to a minimum: Perhaps you have no spare time because you’re working flat out with prep and clients, or perhaps you just want to see how you get on with a few clients each week. Either way, time or money may be a factor in what you decide to study. I can help you reduce your prep and add insight into you hypnotherapy practice if you choose to engage in the Monthly Counselling and Psychotherapy programme I offer.

Each month you can receive a 1 hour lecture in various aspects of counselling and psychotherapy for the silly price of just £15 per month! If you missed any of them, they’re all there in the members area archived so you will never miss out on a lecture that has already passed.

On 3rd August my next Mind Level Teleseminar is about self disclosure and challenging your clients. So many psychotherapy and hypnotherapy schools insist that you should never self disclose as the therapeutic relationship needs to remain untarnished by your own stuff. The official line goes that the client needs to feel free to express themselves without you interfering with stories of your own. However, have you ever tried to talk to a therapist who never self discloses? It can be like facing a wall of intransigence as platitude after platitude is delivered: “that must be difficult for you”, or “it’s not about me it’s about you” – personally? I could sometimes just punch someone who isn’t prepared to be human with me!

On this call I’ll show you how to self disclose but more importantly why it’s important at times. I’ll also show you how to challenge your clients and I’ll be drawing on a rich case load of my own to illustrate how you can do it effectively.

On Mind Level what’s more, if you wanted to listen to any of my guest teleseminar speakers again, they’re all archived there in the members area: Some of my past speakers have been: 

  • Patrick Dieter – Alcoholism specialist with a spiritual perspective from the US:
  • Jack Elias – Hypnotherapist and NLPer and Buddhist also from the US:
  • Matt Sison – Regression Hypnotherapist from the US shares his transpersonal insights:
  • David Moat – Working with Autism Transpersonally:
  • Sue Cook – Working with Autism through physical movement.
  • Jure Biechonski – When the Body speaks, Listen! Psychoneuroimmunology in Hypnotherapy.

There’s also one from me in there on using Buddhism in your hypnotherapy practice.

In fact there is now a whole wealth of experience building up in the membership banks that you can have access to, and study as much as you like, when it suits you. And for just £15 per month it really is a no brainer. That’s no more than a round of drinks and at today’s prices not even half a tank of petrol! And the benefits will just keep coming in. Learning more skills is not always about learning more techniques: it’s about gaining a framework, a structure, within which to operate that creates calm and perspective in you, let alone your clients. Why not give it a go. Click here  to read more about it.

Remember, to study this on your own from books and then to make sense of it and use it, could take you hours and even months if you join a course. I’ve done all that for you. I’ll give you an essential and practical, working insight into both these approaches in 1 hour that will help you make sense of your hypnotherapy practice.  Click here to join me.

Mark Reader – Practice Building for the Hypnotherapist

My next Teleseminar guest is Mark Reader who will be talking to us about Practice Building from a marketing perspective.  How to build your practice and attract more clients! Take a look

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Worrying about your clients again?

Today’s email: 6th July 2011 –
You’ve opened this email because you know this is you! It was me. New in practice I worried whether what I’d done was right or appropriate, whether I’d missed something, whether the client had taken offence at something I’d said. The list went on. I can still remember my first smoking cessation client who had chronic migraines and all sorts of issues going on, but still he wanted to give up smoking! Talk about kick the stick away from a cripple! I had him for around 4 sessions, realised that his migraines were repressed anger, (for what use it did him) but still he wanted to stop smoking. So eventually, I just did the whizzy whiz thing and zapped him…successfully? Who knows. I cringe when I think of my first half dozen or more clients.

However, I was lucky to have an amazing teacher and a sound buddhist practice behind me which meant I’ve never rested in looking to understand the bigger picture. Once it started to develop about 6 months into my practice, I realised I was having success with a particular client group: the chronic fatiguers and the GP’s were referring like I was the best thing since sliced bread. Noticing patterns that spanned almost every case I was working with I started to develop a much broader and more inclusive and integrative way of looking at CFS till I realised I could train my colleagues in the same way.

However, what I saw from my first couple of training experiences was that the self doubt and confusion that I’d experienced in the first 3 or 4 months of my practice could sometimes stay with hypnotherapists for years! In fact, it is probably what stops many people ever really getting started. I asked myself “Why is that?”

I realised from my classes it was because many felt lost with a handful of techniques, cut adrift with no ongoing support, and no real psychological underpinning or real insight into their own fears and anxieties.

So after a few years of professional expansion, I decided to offer Psychological or psychotherapeutic underpinning for the hypnotherapist who wanted to gain more inner confidence and to never be lost with their clients again.

Join me, for just one intensive day on 15th July, and discover how you could enhance your practice and build a much more solid foundation. Not only will you learn about styles, approaches and even techniques, you’ll realise that you can sit much more comfortably in the therapist’s chair and therefore earn more money! For just £69 for one or £99 if you bring a colleague with you, it is a bargain that you cannot afford to miss!

Ultimately, I’m looking for people who want to study more with me in the autumn. However, there is absolutely no obligation if you join me for this one day intensive on 15th July. All you need to do is follow the link and make your subscription! http://theopenmindtherapist.com/events/intensive-read-your-client/

Don’t want to go back to basics with your psychotherapy training?

You don’t have to go back to scratch to add psychotherapy skills to your hypnotherapy practice. I’ll show you how to develop the skills, while still practising hypnotherapy and learning every step of the way. If you want some evidence that it can be done, come on my one day intensive on 15th July. Join me by going to http://theopenmindtherapist.com/events/intensive-read-your-client/

Happy theraping!

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