The Importance of Beginners Mind When You Learn Hypnotherapy and Mind Coaching

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Today you’ll learn hypnotherapy and mind coaching tools around the topic of beginners mind in therapy.  I’ll share my top tips to make sure you build a great therapy practice from your very first client.

Watch the free hypnotherapy and mind coaching training below and discover the importance of cultivating a ‘beginners mind’.

People Who Learn Hypnotherapy and Mind Coaching

About 50% of the students who decide to learn hypnotherapy and mind coaching with me are counsellors, psychotherapists, medical professionals and holistic therapists.

The other 50% of my students have little or no therapy experience but they are there because they have a burning desire to help others and to make the world a better place.

You might think that the students who have previous experience in therapy would have an advantage.  And you might be right but to learn hypnotherapy and mind coaching, they have to step away from familiar therapy skills to learn a very action orientated modality and that can be a little uncomfortable at times.

Students with no experience often think that they have a disadvantage and that might be true if they were to believe it.  But the key is to remember that everyone has to start somewhere.  I started back in 1995 and I every day I learn something new from the best teachers in life – my clients and my students.

Shoshin – Cultivating Beginners Mind

Ultimately, as the principal of Hypnotherapy Business Academy, it’s my job to create a level playing field so that everyone can learn together and everyone can develop what I call beginners mind or Shoshin as it is called in Zen Buddism.

Beginners mind means having an openness and an eagerness to learn without pre-conceptions even if you are at an advanced level.

When You Learn Hypnotherapy and Mind Coaching It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Know!

You see when you are working with clients, it doesn’t matter how much you know as a therapist or as an individual.  When it comes to helping clients you have to approach your work with a beginners mind.

Each client is an individual and regardless of how advanced your therapy skills might be or how much you know about problem they present, you still need to commence therapy at the start.  You can’t start in the middle and you can’t jump into the end of the process.  You might know so much that you think you can take short cuts and jump in with some deep work but that would be too much, too soon and too fast for your clients and they would be likely to shut down before they got started.

And it’s the same when my students are learning hypnotherapy and mind coaching, we have to start the course at the beginning. Each student has to build their skills on strong foundations and well-formed outcomes.

Adopt Beginners Mind At All Times

So cultivating a beginners mind first as a student and then as a therapist are two key skills that will help you learn hypnotherapy and mind coaching skills that will stand the test of time.

So to help you cultivate a beginners mind in therapy I’ve compiled a handy lists of do’s and don’ts for you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Therapy

When a client labels a problem such as depression, comfort eating or focal dystonia, never assume you know what a label means, always ask your client to describe the labels they use. For example what does depression mean to you, what does comfort eating involve for you, exactly what happens when you get focal dystonia or the Yips when you are playing golf.

Never second guess a client or assume you know why they are acting a certain way.  In other words avoid asking client questions with multiple choice answers. For example, so tell me why you are afraid of driving on motorways, is it because of the speed of the traffic or because you had a bad experience? Questions like that make the assumption that you know something about it.  You don’t.  Just ask and listen.

Aim to break a problem or a challenge down into individual parts by asking specific questions. What, when, where?

Beginners mind means swapping out a lot of why based questions for how based questions.  

When we are asked Why questions they can cause us to become defensive, erm why did you do that? why did it matter? why are you upset? They cause a reactive response.

Whereas how questions often cause us to reflect more deeply on how something happen. So how does it happen exactly? how is it affecting you? Why questions are more gentle and collaborative.

As you assemble your skills you’ll learn a lot of deep interventions designed to shift negative beliefs and overcome past trauma. With such great skills in your tool kit, you might want to get ‘stuck in’ when working with clients.

The Wise One Will Start At The Beginning

But it’s important to remember, just because you have all these great skills, you can’t just jump in the deep end, you have to move at the pace that is right for your clients.

And when our clients come to therapy, they don’t know what you know. they haven’t had the opportunity to learn hypnotherapy and mind coaching and so you’ve got to start with them at the beginning, help them advance at their own pace, guide them through their challenges before they can get to the end.

Beginners mind means starting the therapeutic process with each new client with the curiosity and open-ness of a beginner, someone who sees the client not as another weight loss client or a smoking client or a phobic client or a client with depression or anxiety or a stress related condition but an individual with their own unique story and history and their own unique learning process and their own specific goals.

Every Journey Starts With A Single Step

And if you are just starting out as a therapist, you can take comfort in the fact that no matter how big a clients challenge might seem to be, know that the best place to start is at the beginning.  And that first session of therapy will be very easy for you as you and your client, both find your feet and you teach your client how to tap into their confidence and some of the other resources they need as you both put your heads together and map out the journey ahead.

So as always I’m finishing this episode with my musical anchor, this piece of music is designed to give you a few moments of space and calmness amid all the noise and business of life, so that you can enjoy the music with an openness and an eagerness to just listen and relax.