Friday, January 4, 2008

10 Questions with Sophie Nicholls

Location: Yorkshire, England

Cyber locations:

1. Are you a full time hypnotist, part-time or hobbyist?

I work full-time running my practice, Sophie Nicholls Personal Development. This includes working with people one-to-one and running group workshops, using hypnotherapy together with lots of other techniques including creative writing for personal development.

2. Do you specialize in any type of hypnosis?

I help people to overcome all kinds of problems and challenges but I'm particularly experienced in helping people with stress and anxiety, eating problems and body-image issues.

3. Is there any type of hypnosis you do not do? Why?

I don't believe in guiding people into hypnosis in order to make lots of direct suggestions to them: "You will not do this.. you will not do that...' I don't think that's particularly useful. Everyone is different and I prefer to work with people on the underlying causes of a problem and to help them to discover their own solutions, abilities and approaches. For me, it's all about helping people to go on a journey, to have a real adventure.

4. Do you use self-hypnosis regularly in your life?If so, how?

I believe that self-hypnosis has transformed me as a person. It continues to transform me. I use self-hypnosis constantly. I think self-hypnosis is not just about being in a quiet place on your own with your eyes closed - although this is wonderful - but it can also be about doing something that absorbs you creatively, such as my writing. Hence, the Hypnotic Journaling techniques. I use self-hypnosis on the train or just before I fall asleep or in a traffic jam or before I give a presentation. I think it's something that you can integrate into your entire approach to life.

5. Describe your hypnosis office or work setting.

I am lucky enough to be able to work from home because I've been able to create a lovely room in my house. My clients tell me that it is very peaceful and welcoming. I also travel to lots of other places to run workshops.

6. Describe a typical day in your life.

Most weeks, I see private clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; I teach two creative writing workshops on Thursdays; and I try to keep Fridays for catching up with paperwork, my own creative writing - which I find enormously helpful and nurturing - and working on my personal development articles, books and CDs.

My absolute favorite thing to do at the weekend is to go for a long walk - preferably by the sea - and then perhaps curl up with a glass of delicious chilled white white in front of our woodburning stove. I'm a big romantic.

7. Where did you get your training in hypnosis and are you certified?

That's quite funny because in the UK being 'certified' means that you have been deemed clinically insane (whatever that actually indicates). So, yes, I am a certified clinical hypnotherapist - ha! I am registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register.

I trained initially with a wonderful therapist called Steve Burgess here in the UK and I have since gone on to do more training with many other people in the personal development field. A huge influence on my work and thinking is Stephen Gilligan, a psychotherapist and apprentice of the great Milton Erickson, who uses trance-work in very creative ways. I did my doctoral research in creative writing and personal development at the University of Sussex. I'm still learning...

8. Most fabulous hypnosis technique you use?

You know, I think all hypnosis is fabulous when it puts the client in charge of their own destiny and future. It's so exciting to see someone discovering that they can grow the resources they need to achieve what they want to achieve. I get such a buzz out of seeing that happen and the amazing transformations that people bring about for themselves.

9. Worse moment ever in a hypnosis setting that ended up being a valuable learning experience.

I don't think I've had any 'worst moments'. It may sound corny but I love the challenges involved in my work. I am always learning new things, which is what I thrive on.

10. Any words of advice to potential clients or other hypnotist.

I don't feel that I can offer any better advice than that of Joseph Campbell's 'follow your bliss.' But sometimes, we first need to find out what that 'bliss' is, what we really want from life and what makes us happy. I think we all spend too much time living in our heads and we need, quite literally, to get out of our heads and into our bodies, to reconnect with what we feel rather than what we think we ought to feel or do or be.

Self-hypnosis is a great way to reconnect with how you are really feeling in your body. Spending time outside in nature is another way. I think it's all about discovering what works for you - and then remembering to practice it.

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