Hypnotherapy Supervision: The Benefits and Importance of Supervision for Hypnotherapists

Effective hypnotherapy supervision is one of the most important resources available to help you, as a hypnotherapist, improve and succeed in your work and business. 

The therapy market is a crowded place these days. Pretty much anyone can set up and call themselves a therapist, even if they've only ever done a cursory online weekend course (something the BBC reported on in 2020 was about how anyone can call themselves a therapist and start working with clients to help them with psychological and mental health issues). And, of course, more and more 'new approaches' continue to spring up weekly offering miracle results, and that we professionals know lack the science and evidence to support them.

That means that for those of us who are qualified and ethical hypnotherapists, we have to continually improve our knowledge and skills and get better at what we do to help our clients even further. We want to aim for excellence at what we do.

I can well remember my early days as a therapist, over a decade ago, when I qualified and set up my hypnotherapy business. It can be a pretty daunting affair to find yourself first working with clients. And as you gain more experience, there are still challenges to face, improvements to be made and a level of support needed.  That's where hypnotherapy supervision is a real benefit. Rather than being alone in your work and having to figure it all out yourself in your head, the support of a good supervisor will help you get better at making therapeutic decisions, at building upon your knowledge and resources, and improving in the work you love so much.

hypnotherapy supervision dan regan hypnotherapist ely 

Hypnotherapy Supervision

Being an outstanding hypnotherapist, and enjoying what you do, has three main components that supervision can help and support you with, if you want to avoid anxiety, stress, doubt and burnout. This is true whether you are just starting out, have been a therapist for a while or are very experienced. One of the joys of our profession is that we can continue to learn, grow, improve and expand professionally and personally. 

Supervision will support you in your professional development so that you can identify and build upon your strengths, knowledge and successes, as well as working upon areas where you could improve and develop your skills, strategies, business and career. In conjunction with this, supervision gives you emotional and personal support so that you are in the best mindset to deliver effective therapy services, and you are able to do this consistently and sustainably. 

Both your professional development, and your emotional and well-being support, will then help you towards the delivery of effective services to clients. Supervision can help you get even better at what you do.

Many professional bodies will require you to have a certain level of ongoing supervision. Irrespective of these requirements, supervision is a valuable investment in yourself, your business and your clients, both now and long into your future career as a hypnotherapist.  

Working with a qualified supervisor, your hypnotherapy supervision will help, develop and support you with:

  • Professional development and growth: skills, understanding, abilities, resources.

  • Emotional support to help you deal with challenges, manage work pressures and achieve longevity of practice.

  • Delivering a high quality, valuable and beneficial service to your clients.

This can include, amongst many things, support and development for learning, to help you become more effective, ongoing professional development, building and refining skills, knowledge and abilities, personal support to help you better manage the emotional pressures and demands of your work and business and focused attention upon your personal and professional development and growth to help you provide a high standard of service to every client.

You can face many challenges as you pursue your career as a hypnotherapist. There can be more challenging clients and issues, business pressures, feelings of isolation and burnout and a host of other worries and concerns that detract from your well-being and fulfilment. On top of this, as a new or experienced hypnotherapist, you are often working on your own, in a competitive market, having to deal with everything by yourself and unsupported.

Hypnotherapy supervision can help you to get even better at what you do and to do the thing we all love most, making a massive positive difference to the people who come to us for help. 

 

Hypnotherapist Burnout and Secondary Trauma 

Being a hypnontherapist in a thriving business and receiving regular positive feedback from clients is a wonderful thing. 

However, working with the problems and challenges of others, many of which may be severe or involve trauma, can take a mental toll upon a therapist if they don't have adequate support systems. 

Burnout can happen where the stress and demands placed upon you become too great, and it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, exhaustion, stress, depression and overwhelm. You may feel stuck and try to work harder and harder, neglecting self-care and other aspects of life and with overthinking, fatigue and a need to try and achieve more.

Or, as the Cambridge dictionary describes it, "the state of having no energy or enthusiasm because of working too hard, or someone who shows the effects of this state". Supervision can help you to avoid burnout, to notice and address any signs of it so you can take early action.

Another area of potential concern for hypnotherapists is secondary traumatic stress (STS). This occurs where you experience mental and emotional distress from listening to upsetting or traumatic events experienced by another. It is common in the caring professions as these by their nature include elements of empathy, support, caring and helping others.

Within the supervisory relationship, it could apply to hypnotherapists who are helping their clients and who have heard their client’s (first hand) upsetting or traumatic stories and events. For therapists impacted by secondary traumatic stress, there can be physical, emotional and cognitive impacts. For example, you may experience anxiety, stress, fear or anger. You may struggle with focusing and concentrating, have difficulty sleeping, or experience other emotional, psychological or physical signs of stress.

Naturally, STS will impact upon professional life. You may struggle in your work with clients, in your decision making, in getting things done and so forth. Hypnotherapy supervision can help you to identify and recognise the stress you are experiencing. This would form part of supporting you in your professional practice, ensuring the safety of you and your clients and in receiving emotional support.

 

Supervision For Hypnotherapists 

Of course, hypnotherapy supervision isn't just about reviewing and learning from things that don't go well or indentifying gaps in skills and knowledge. There's also a lot to be said for learning from positive client outcomes and successes.

There are many benefits to discussing successful client outcomes with your supervisor.  By exploring and reflecting upon what you did/do well or how positive outcomes have been achieved, you can develop confidence and awareness that will benefit you professionally and also in how they help their clients.

Because supervision will naturally include looking at more challenging and difficult clients, problems and issues you have been facing, there is a risk that it turns into only reflecting upon and discussing what isn’t going well, or weakness and perceived deficits in your  professional practice and dealings with clients. And there can be a human tendency to discount what is going well and positive client outcomes and to really focus on what needs to be addressed because things did not go well. This can lead to losing overall perspective and could lead to feeling down, low, stressed, anxious or unmotivated.

In the same way we want out clients in therapy to recognise progress, successes and to build and use their resources, you can recognise what you are doing well, build confidence and belief and keep that perspective that, although there are always areas to work on to get better at what you do, there are many examples where you make a significant beneficial difference to people’s lives (which is pretty darn awesome!).

It's important and beneficial for all hypnotherapists to have regular supervisory sessions with a qualified and experienced supervisor. It supports your professional and business growth, it supports you emotionally and personally and it ensures that you deliver better and better outcomes for your clients. In a crowded therapeutic market place, getting more positive therapeutic outcomes with your clients matters, enjoyment and fulfilment in your work matters and supervision supports you to do these smartly. 

 

Dan Regan

Online Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy Supervision

Face-to-face Hypnotherapy Supervision in Ely & Newmarket

For more information about hypnotherapy supervision sessions with me, head over to this page: Hypnotherapy Supervision