I sit at my desk, here in my hypnotherapy clinic, having taken all of 10 seconds to walk over from my house. The sun is shining and I can look out at the garden and see the leaves need clearing from the lawn. They can wait until the weekend because, right now, now I am waiting for my next client.
My client has not been here before, so I go out to the road to greet him. We shake hands and walk back to the clinic in the garden. The clinic is a purpose-built room, where we can talk confidentially. He gets the nice comfortable chair, while I sit in my office chair. He looks at the pictures on the wall, and the garden through the window, but mostly he looks at me, wondering what will happen next.
I ask him how I can help and he tells me all his problems. I listen to what he has to say, but what I really want to know comes in the next question … “You have told me about your problems … now what do you want instead?” You see, I am not really interested in where the problem came from; what I am interested in is how he wants to be when it’s all sorted out.
I get some more background information, and then start to explain what is actually going on in his head. I get out a diagram of a human brain and show him the different parts and how they interact. I explain what stress does to the brain, and how the brain naturally deals with it. I show him the part of the brain that is probably giving rise to the problems he has. Understanding the mechanics of the brain, even in the simplest terms, is the first step to moving on.
And then I ask him if he would like to try a bit of hypnotherapy – just for relaxation, you understand; just so you get a feel for what it is. I show him how the seat goes back and he can put his feet up. He lies back and just listens as I start talking. I notice his breathing slows as he relaxes and drifts in and out of a light trance, until at last I come to the end. He sits up with a smile on his face.
And so ends the initial consultation. He understands a bit more about it all and has an experience of what hypnotherapy is all about. He can now decide if this is right for him, and whether to book in for a series of session. And I have enough information about him to prepare for when he comes next week.
I shake hands again as he leaves. I sit and type up my hand written notes. As I put the paper notes through the shredder, I go through, in my own head, what to do when he comes back next week.
The real delight for me at the end of the day, as I make my 10 second commute back to the house, is all the people who thank me for what I have done for them. And maybe I shouldn’t take delight in that – because really, they have done it all themselves – I just went along for the journey.