A few years ago when I first began going to 'networking' meetings, I met people (including a few hypnotherapists), who came up with all sorts of interesting and creative ways to say what they do for a living. Very, very rarely  did anyone come out and say what it is they really did, unless they were accountants or lawyers.

I find it really quite sad that when asked, some people dodge giving a direct answer. And this is particularly true of hypnotherapists. In fact, recently, I met with one very well known hypnotherapist who even dodged giving me an answer about why she doesn't give a real answer. It seemed one step away from being deceptive and oh... I don't know... wrong somehow. To me, it feels as though the old snake oil salesman has just stepped into the room. And I struggle with this because I'm definitely proud of the hard work and studying I've done to become a Certified Hypnotherapist. To be able to use the skills I've acquired to help people make effective and profound change in their lives is a gift beyond measure.

Above all, I was raised to be open and honest. I don't feel that cutesy phrases like "I help people with life changes."  or "I help people move forward," really sets the tone for trust. When I ask somebody what it is they do, it's because I genuinely want to know. Give me a sideways answer and I will walk away as quickly as I can. Chances are I'll never seek you or your services out, no matter how 'nice' you may be. Do you really believe that being 'mysterious' is going to help you at all? In my opinion, being evasive serves no one. It certainly doesn't put the profession in a good light. And it reeks of snake oil.

Granted, in the past alternative healers, energy workers and hypnotherapists were often treated as charlatans and no doubt, some were. But more and more the science and medical communities are recognizing that what we now call "Alternative Health" actually has very valid and measurable results. Each and every day renowned universities are conducting studies that prove that these alternate practices work. This is validating to those who are called to the healing arts and who spend a lot of money and time learning and honoring ancient healing practices. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that Chiropractors and Massage Therapists were thought to be quacks.

What is my point?  There is a huge shift happening in society's perceptions of alternative healing and particularly clinical hypnotherapy. Over the last few weeks, I've attended several social gatherings and been pleasantly surprised with the acceptance and respect that I've been met with when I say, "I'm a clinical hypnotherapist." Night and day attitude changes compared to what I've encountered in the not so distant past.

So what has changed? With the ease and accessibility of information, people are beginning to understand that those who practice outside of the box are actually making a difference. Perceptions are changing. And it is refreshing and empowering.

When people are not up front about who they are, what they do or what they represent, it leaves a taint on everybody in that industry. If you are afraid to step out and be up-front and honest with people, then maybe you shouldn't be doing what you're doing. You don't help advance the credibility of the industry you are in when you dodge and side-step.

 Own it. Be proud of it.


  1. A good post, Laurie. I think, though, that there still is a oh, call it stigma, with regard to alternative therapies, particularly those that haven't made it into the mainstream yet. I don't mean hypnotherapy specifically, I mean just generally. So I can see that people might be reluctant to fully disclose to a stranger what they do, at least in some settings, until there is real interest. However, if a practitioner chooses a more standard, pat answer, an opportunity for education is lost. But still, I can see it might be an uphill battle for many, and perhaps they've learned that a simple, pat answer is easier.


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