Of all the people in my hypnotherapy class, I had the most unusual story about how I got there.
Hypnotherapy school attracts a wide variety of people. Among my classmates, we had IT professionals, retired salespeople, a pilates instructor, at least one artist, and a respiratory therapist. We had a former professional poker player, an orthodontist and a health coach. I was one of two digital marketers in my class. What united the students in the class was a deep sense of curiosity, a strong desire to understand the mind and a sincere wish help others.
I was, however, the only one in the room who was there because of a novel.
It was Fall 2018 and I was consuming every book I could by my favorite author at the time, an Australian named Liane Mortiarty. You may know her as the author of Big Little Lies, which was a novel she wrote that was later made into a TV series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. I read a book she wrote called The Hypnotist’s Love Story.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story is a short novel about a young woman who was a hypnotherapist practicing in a beach house in Sydney left to her by her grandmother. Like Mortiarty’s other novels, the main character is twisted up in a variety of confusing relationships. Filled with humor and insightful observations on humanity, it’s a lovely story.
When I finished the book, I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” The novel made the hypnotist’s job sound really interesting. I loved that she was helping people. I also liked that she was the boss of her own business, making her own decisions. Her job involved constant learning and discovery, and that sounded perfect for me.
A day or two after I finished the book, I googled “hypnotherapy school” and one popped up that was in Marin county, a short drive from my home. As it happened, they had an open house that weekend where you could go and meet the primary instructor and learn about the school. I went and met Randall Churchill, whose school, Hypnotherapy Training Institute, had been in operation for almost forty years.
Randall was sweet and charming and it was an easy “yes” to sign up for weekend training that started in January. I liked the study of hypnotherapy even more than I expected, and I wound up completing four levels of training in 2019 and another two levels in 2020. I am now a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist through the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and when it comes to my profession, it came from a novel. Be open minded; you never know where brave new thoughts will take you.