Things I Wish I’d Known: Learn What You Know!

Things I Wish I’d Known: Learn What You Know!

When I became a hypnotherapist I had already experienced and witnessed the power of hypnosis.  I had learned about it and been trained in it too - I had a certificate and insurance to prove it.   But like many other hypnotherapists starting out - I hadn’t yet had enough experience of things going right, of clients experiencing their desired change for me to believe and to know not only that this really does work, but that I could make it work.

There is a temptation born of self doubt and lack of experience that whispers in the ear of the therapist - “you need more, you don’t know enough” that can make you vulnerable to the sales pitches of the dubious in reputation to the indubitably expert.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am the perpetual student - always on the look out for the next thing to learn.  Hypnotherapy suits me then, in that its CPD requirements mean I am rarely short of things to study, learn, practice, or teach.   But what have I learned from all the training I received?

I have learned that I actually received first class training from the late David Owen.  I have not learned a single technique or approach since qualifying that he hadn’t already taught me. That’s fine - we can all do with revision, we can all benefit from deepening and refreshing out understanding. Nothing has been wasted.  But what it really taught me was that I already had most of the tools I needed, most of the skills, but that these needed to be honed, developed, and learned in every aspect in order to become an adept hypnotherapist. 


So my advice to you - if you are a new therapist who has received good training - RESIST!  Resist the urge to learn everything that is out there, because all that glisters is not gold. Consolidate what you have learned by using it over and over again until you learn that you have your own Midas Touch in the way that you work.  When you are confident with what you have been taught and are getting good results then look around and see what else there is.

If you are an experienced therapist….to you I’d say - dig out your first manual. Find that book or article that first inspired you.   Re-visit those things, go back to basics - even just for a bit with a sense of curiosity about what you might find. 


Gavin Bowtell




  1. Gavin, being 20 years into my hypnotherapy career, this is the most honest, generous and selfless advice I have read. I fear that the training facilities prey on these insecurities and compound them by loading newly trained therapists with way too much information, digging them into an ever deeper hole of insecurity.


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