Even before covid-19, working as a psychotherapist or clinical hypnotherapist was a common second career choice. This means that there are a growing number of psychotherapists and clinical hypnotherapists over the age of 40. Therapy or careers in mental healthcare are expected to be in high demand to help people recover from the impact of the pandemic or adjust to the new normal. Recent studies estimate that 66% of people will explore new career pathways over the next few years. Global increased interest in the therapeutic professions is causing speculation that this may be the career of the new decade.
STARTING A SECOND CAREER
Adult learners bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. Not everyone has formal training in psychology, and it is common to find people from diverse backgrounds such as banking, teaching, or engineering taking up the challenge of becoming a therapist. But students share common values along with their passion to help others. This together with the practical skills acquired from raising a family, managing others, or even working through one’s own personal issues provides an invaluable resource for future therapists.
TWO ROUTES TO SUCCESS
Going back to school challenges people in a positive way. It is an opportunity to flex one’s mental muscles and to learn new things. Mature students are more confident in themselves and of their values. This adds to the enjoyment of learning and many people feel that they grow emotionally along the journey. There are usually two pathways for training as a future therapist. The traditional route involves going back to University. Another popular option is to join a professional training programme. The latter offers a faster route and is focused on helping you develop your career path as a psychotherapist or clinical hypnotherapist.
BECOMING A CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST
The desire to help others is an important quality. But future therapists must also learn the skills necessary to offer safe ethical support at times of trouble. The LCCH Practitioner Diploma is divided into three stages; the first step is designed to provide therapy skills and safe ethical practice. Therapeutic work begins in the second stage and students start with simple conditions and work progressively towards more complex treatment plans. It is common to feel nervous at the thought of seeing your first clients so an important part of any training is to provide supportive practice time and clinical mentoring. Of course, adult learning must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate work and family commitments. The LCCH has been running courses for over 35 years with just the right blend of flexibility and structure.
LEARNING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD
Your first experience as a student is to have a session of clinical hypnosis. This provides a personal experience of what it feels like to receive virtual therapy. The next step is to meet your classmates and tutors in a warm supportive environment. Research has shown that psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy are effective in both virtual and in-person delivery. The same is true when it comes to learning therapeutic skills. Live lectures, watching demonstrations and ample practice time are an essential part of acquiring a new skill. One advantage of learning in a virtual classroom is that you also become competent in using teletherapy for clients.
A PROFESSION OF PASSION
Most people thoroughly enjoy learning clinical hypnotherapy. The experience of going in and out of hypnosis is emotionally and physically rejuvenating. Therapy courses provide an opportunity to work through your own feelings. Many people also make new friends and enjoy the opportunity to share ideas with people who have similar views and passions. But it is also important to be able to put these skills to good use once you graduate. It is quite common for students to start working with clients during the final part of their training. This offers an opportunity to acquire much-needed experience whilst also supporting the community. Many therapists continue to offer a small amount of time for pro bono work even after they graduate.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Starting a new career can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Some new therapists will see clients on a part-time basis whilst they build their practice. But a growing number of people are investing in a full-time career change encouraged by the very real shortage of qualified therapists. Most therapists prefer to work in private practice because it allows a good balance of work and life commitment. Some therapists will join a group practice but a growing number of therapists are also choosing to work virtually. Virtual therapy offers therapists a cost-effective way to start their practice. Overheads are low because you do not need to spend money on a consulting room. It also allows you to work easily from home and be easily available to clients in any part of the world.