Monday, November 14, 2011

Career Opportunities

You are getting sleepy.

No I'm not!

Yes you are.

O.k., I guess I am.

Because as of last June I am officially a Certified Consulting Hypnotherapist with the National Guild of Hypnotists.  I had to pass an exam and everything.  It probably seems an odd career leap, Professional Structural Engineer to Hypnotherapist but when I was an undergrad studying engineering I was interested in psychology and took every class I could that didn't require the lab class prerequisite.  Because that class made you electric shock animals and since Animal Rights movements/protests were starting to become popular back then they even warned you up front that you had to shock the animals, there was no other way to complete the course work.  So if you wanted a psychology degree from the University of Illinois back in the mid-80's you had to be willing to pull the switch on the lab animals and I was so not o.k. with that.  I also wasn't interested in pursuing a career where that was a common method of 'research'.  Plus if you've ever taken a psychology course, yikes, the experiments they did were the stuff of horror movies.  I couldn't fathom the sort of twisted minds who thought them up and didn't want any part of it really. 

But I have a friend in Chicago whose wife is a hypnotherapist (as well as massage therapist for the Chicago Bears) and after talking to her I decided that that's what I have to do with the rest of my life.  Because the construction industry is getting worse rather than better and predictions are for even more decline.  And to be honest I was getting a little burnt out.  It wasn't so bad that I was looking to change careers but so far I love my new one.  Hypnotherapy is very fun and I love helping people.  I'm not so thrilled with having to start my own business, never was one of those folks who dreamed of being an entrepreneur and I knew it would be a lot of work but most hypnotherapists work for themselves so that's how it goes.  There's a lot to learn about running a business and marketing but I'm soaking up all I can and experimenting with different things to see what's effective.  I get a little more business each month and hopefully one day enough to pay my mortgage.

In addition to my regular certification course I took a specialty course in Sports Hypnosis and I'm working on creating a little niche for myself in that area.  Lots of athletes in Boulder.  I even wrote an article on using hypnosis for mental management in agility for Clean Run that is supposed to run in January so keep your eyes peeled for that.

I'm also looking into doing medical type stuff, chronic pain relief, IBS, Fybromyalgia, etc.  The specialized training is expensive but it sounds really interesting and how cool would it be to help people with those sorts of issues?

Creating my own website has been an adventure in itself.  Like I said in a previous post, if you're looking to start a website do not let some well meaning (or perhaps evil meaning) friend convince you that Wordpress is easy, especially if you're not familiar with the jargon of website design.  It still needs a lot of work and a lot more content but this is what I have so far:

I need a more professional looking photo and a lot more content but so far it's bringing in the bulk of my business.

The one nice thing about being the boss is that I get to pick my office location and I found a place 2.8 miles/9 mins. from home.  I'm in a chiropractor's office and there is also a naturopath, massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc.  I've also got Skype set up because I've already got one potential client who lives a couple of hours away.  Lots of hours spent figuring all this stuff out but at some point it'll all pay off.


  1. My mom quit smoking after 1 session with a hypnotist. This is after 30 years of pack a day smoking, so I can certainly respect the industry.
    I hope you do well - quite the change from the engineering work!

  2. I love working with smokers and so far that's been the bulk of my clients. I only do 1 session for smokers, no need to drag it out. I did a separate course for smoking in addition to my regular certification so I've got a whole special session for it. I thought I'd have more weight loss clients than smokers but so far I've only had one. But she did lose weight and more importantly has made some great changes to her eating/lifestyle. I have a plan for getting more though so we'll see.

  3. Wow, how completely cool! I had no idea that you were already geared up and bringing in clients and doing this at all. Your site is wonderful--it appeals to the my logical side, no woo-woo kinds of things. As an editor and writer, I often have things to say about people's web sites, but yours looks great. My only quibble is with the lack of the serial comma (before the "and" in a list of 3 or more things) but that's not a rule that everyone lives by. I just find that it always makes things a little more readable. You used it once or twice but not at other times. And believe me, if that's my only comment, you've done a great job.

    I love your header photo, too--is that one of your own?

    And you can do hypnosis over the phone? how does that work?

  4. Sales people do hypnosis over the phone all the time ;)

    Skype is better than just the phone but before Skype lots of hypnotherapists used (and still use) the phone. The session is just conducted over the phone rather than in an office. I don't really use a swinging pendulum to put people into trance, there are a zillion ways to do it without the person needing to see me. In fact the person has their eyes closed the whole time anyway unless we're working on eyes open/alert hypnosis but even then the person could follow my instructions without me seeing them. Of course it's much easier to monitor people on Skype to see how deep they're going but the phone is still a good option if someone is somewhere remote or has agoraphobia or whatever.

    And thanks for the feedback on the website. It is encouraging to hear. Still I look at other professionally created websites and they look so cool compared to mine and have so much more content. But I'll get there. I thought I usually put a comma before 'and' in a list but I was taught both ways were equally correct and I suppose sometimes it must slip by me.

  5. Wow, that is pretty darn cool! I would never in a million years have guessed that this was your new career. Way to go -- sounds like you're really enjoying it and very well suited to the work as well.