Are you too old to become a hypnotherapist?
You most probably have heard all the old clichés about many a good tune played on an old fiddle and experience helps us not to repeat the mistakes of the past. You will be familiar with many more little maxims to help soften the rampant discrimination built into our culture against ‘getting old’.
Getting older is becoming easier, not just because we are all living longer but also because the definition of growing old seems to be getting younger. When you become a hypnotherapist, it is one of the few professions where age is a benefit and being young is a curse.
The cult of youth is bearing down on us ‘oldies’ like a dead weight of stone crushing the air from our lungs and the hopes from our souls. There is always someone ready to step in, someone ready to do the job at half the price, someone ready to run twice as fast, someone ready to talk faster and care less.
Have you ever wondered why all these call centres employing thousands of ‘young’ people have such a poor image for ‘customer care’, why managers spend a lifetime devising incentive programmes to get staff to answer phones competently and deal with problems efficiently?
It’s not because young people don’t care, it’s because they haven’t got the experience, they haven’t got the understanding, they haven’t got empathy.
When you become a hypnotherapist you need more than empathy
You don’t learn empathy, it’s a state of mind; it’s putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, it’s the ability to understand and share the feeling of another; unless you have experienced responsibility for others, for family, it’s tough getting that sharing feeling.
Unless you have experienced the ‘fears’ of trying to cope with the trauma of illness, the sadness of bereavement and the hopelessness of redundancy it’s difficult to understand just how others do feel.
It doesn’t matter how much training you’ve done to become a hypnotherapist, how much role-playing you have done on your hypnotherapy course, it’s going to be a giant leap.
Don’t get me wrong; I have great faith in the younger generation. In my personal experience I have never been disappointed by the enthusiasm, dedication and that refreshing sense of moral purpose of the young, especially in relation to the growing challenge of our environment, but I am talking about ‘empathy’. I want empathy in my professional life and my personal life, for me ‘older is better’. I’m not prepared to gamble; I’m not prepared to risk anything but the best fit.
Why become a hypnotherapist?
Have you worked it out yet? I am a retired lecturer in hypnotherapy training at The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy; I’ve helped people to change careers, to start a new lives, and to feel good because they enjoy what they do. I have helped hundreds of students become a hypnotherapist and the vast majority were 35 and over. There is only one thing better that being helped, and that’s helping someone else.
There are many challenges in starting a new career, but what better than using your experience of life as a stepping-stone.
I always think putting yourself in the client’s shoes is an excellent idea. How would you feel if you visited a ‘life-coach’ for advice on your career after working for 30 years in the financial services sector, to be greeted by a fresh faced young man whose only ‘occupation’ has been being a life coach, whatever that entails, and some times I do wonder!
When you become a hypnotherapist being older gives you an advantage that will help your clients make the changes they want and need.
Experience matters, maturity matters, and ‘been there, done that’ isn’t just something you put on a t-shirt. When deciding to make a change often older is better.
When is age a benefit to a career? Getting older is becoming easier, not just because we are all living longer but also because the definition of growing old seems to be getting younger. Here I talk about one career that definitely benefits with some maturity.
Paul White has been a practising hypnotherapist for many years, training at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute of Los Angeles and with the Canadian Institute of Hypnotherapy. He retired in 2020 as a Director of the Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and was a former Chairman of the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the United Kingdom’s premier Association for qualified hypnotherapists. He worked at The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy in Wallington, Surrey, UK for 20 years.