This dedicated medical hypnotherapist has succeeded in this specialty field in the Windy City of Chicago. Find out details about his experiences in this field, the ups and downs, the earning potential and everything in between – everything you’d want to know if you’re interested in pursuing this field.
What is your job title? How many years of experience do you have in that field?
I’m a medical hypnotherapist, and have been in private practice for 12 years.
Would you describe the things you do on a typical day?
On a typical day, I spend about half of my day doing phone consultations for prospective clients, and writing session plans. The other half of the day is seeing clients to do hypnotherapy.
What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what response worked best?
I’m Asian, but in this profession I don’t think it has had any effect, positive or negative. As long as you present yourself in a polished professional manner, clients will come.
Do you speak any language other than English? If so, how has it helped you in your job?
I do not speak any other language fluently. Hypnotherapy is built around using language and therapeutic trance to help clients relearn and reprogram deeply held habits and beliefs, so absolute fluency in a client’s native tongue is essential.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What would it take to increase that rating?
My job satisfaction is an 8. It would be higher if the industry was accepted more within the mainstream of healthcare. It should be, since it has been approved by the American Medical Association since the 1950’s!
What did you learn the hard way in this job and how did that happen?
There is no room for amateurs in this business. On days when I have not gotten enough sleep the night before, or in some other way have not brought my “A” game, I can feel it, and I believe the client can too.
What don’t they teach in school that would’ve been helpful to you?
As with most industries in which most school graduates will work in private practice, not nearly enough is taught about marketing yourself and maintaining structure within your practice. If you do not have these skills, you won’t last. Thus, I think everyone who seeks entry into this line of work should take additional classes in accounting, practice management and marketing.
How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
Getting started as a hypnotist is easy. You can take year long courses through many community colleges. However, since I specialize in medical hypnotherapy, I have taken additional classes in psychology, pathology, neurology, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and so forth. Based on a chosen specialty a person should plan to educate themselves in both the art of hypnosis as well as their area of focus. This amounts to needing to pursue two branches of education. Hypnotherapy is an evolving field though, so there is no single direct path to take.
What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?
Strange things happen every day in this job. People have spontaneous regressions, women give birth without pain killers while appearing to be daydreaming- there’s no end to the unusual things that will occur in a normal day.
On a good day when things are going well, can you give an example of something that really makes you feel good?
Boiled down to its essence, my job is about helping people achieve the things they hope are possible, but in which they do not yet believe. So, every time a client walks out feeling newly empowered to live a healthy, uninhibited life, I feel like I have the best job in the world.
When nothing seems to go right, what kind of snafus do you handle and what do you dislike the most?
Things generally go great for me as a hypnotist. After all, I am giving my clients positive suggestions all day, but at the same time, I’m getting their residual effect myself. Snafus usually involve someone not showing up for an appointment or canceling last minute. Over time, I have learned the hard way that I have to charge them for this time, or I would be driven out of business. It’s surprising how often, when you remind someone of a cancellation fee, their “emergency” or death in the family just ceases to exist. On the bright side, I suppose that shows you something about human nature and modern culture.
How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?
My job is challenging and time consuming, but not stressful. I maintain a healthy work-life balance by establishing very firm boundaries with my clients. A lack of boundaries in any relationship, professional or personal, is a sure path to dysfunction. As the old saying goes, “good fences make good neighbors.”
What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough considering your responsibilities?
Hypnotherapists charge between $100 and $250 per hour depending on their level of expertise and fame. Although I am not famous, I possess an advanced level of expertise; most hypnotists do not have my health background. Thus I charge $150 per hour. I live in Chicago, so this is enough to remain viable in a Midwestern market while still making what, in this city, is merely a lower middle class living at about $80,000 per year.
What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced in this position? Of all the things you’ve done at work, what are you most proud of?
A top moment in this profession is hard to choose. One of the things I specialize in is helping infertile couples to conceive. Every time I receive a thank you letter and picture of a new baby, I feel like I’m on top of the world.
What’s the most challenging moment you’ve experienced? What would you prefer to forget?
A large part of my work is helping people to release harmful emotions that are the result of abuse or trauma. Hearing the deep sadness in their voices is always very painful. It’s hard to see that so many people are walking through life with such dark memories haunting them. There are definitely some intense stories of abuse that I wish I had never heard.
What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
To succeed you need a high quality education as a hypnotist. The best programs involve about a year to two years of training and internships.
What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
I would tell a friend that he or she needs to be devoted fully to the well being of the clients. There is much egotism in this field, and frankly, it does not serve the client’s welfare. This is a helping profession, so a practitioner needs to make that a priority. If a person can do this, then it is a wonderful profession that allows us to transform hopeless cases into grand successes.
How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
I don’t take vacations the way most people do. To keep up with new developments in hypnosis, psychology, and neurology, I use all of my travel time to take classes and attend conferences. I love it, so I don’t mind. It’s not for everyone though.
Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?
Hypnosis is not mind control. In fact. hypnosis teaches a client how to take more control of their own mind. Thoughts, beliefs, and habits that they may have once felt powerless to change can be reprogrammed with the concentrated application of their own will and attention. If everyone knew this truth about hypnosis, they’d all want to learn how to do it.
Does this job move your heart? If not, what does?
This job definitely moves my heart. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be good at it. Every person that comes to me walks away more empowered to seek out the life that is most in alignment with their true selves. What could be more powerful than that?
If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
In five years, I’d like to be taking people on extended weekend hypnosis retreats where they would learn how to dissolve their self-doubts and regain their health.
Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
I have been interested in hypnosis since the age of 14, so my relationship to the field is over twenty years old. Anyone can do this so long as their heart is guided by an extreme dedication to excellence and compassion. If they are willing to truly devote themselves to giving their clients their best, they will succeed.