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Do I Fit the Stereotypical Therapist Role?

A large crowd of different people gathered together.
Crowd of People Together

There is a stereotypical therapist I think. A person that we all imagine in our heads when someone says they’re going to start counselling or hypnotherapy. So I’ve decided to look at some of the top opinions people hold about therapists and see how I fit into the stereotypical view.

That we are all airy, fairy and floaty all the time. Peaceful air heads.

This is something I wish I fit into. That would mean for a much calmer life. But the reality is the largest percentage of us have gotten into the field by being inspired by our own struggles. You can’t throw a stone in an office of therapists without hitting someone who’s at some point in their lives had their own diagnosis. We know first hand how it feels and that allows us a level of empathy which I think makes us good at our jobs. So no, we’re not all heads in the clouds peaceful, we’ve been fighting our own battles and growing every day. Just like you. The only difference is we’ve been taught a whole bunch of skills which we can pass on with insight to help others.

That we have our lives together and have things sorted. Living our perfect lives.

Yeah, no. This one always makes me laugh a little bit. Much like the first point suggests, we do not all have our shit together. We get stressed, overworked, overwhelmed and unorganised. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. You don’t have to be perfect in order to give good advice.

That we’re always analysing everyone.

Now I wouldn’t say I’m always analysing everyone because that’s not true but I would say being a therapist gives you a mini superpower of always trying to see the whole picture. Sometimes friends just want to be mad at someone and I’m the one that says you know let’s think about why they might have made those decisions that hurt you. It can be hard to switch that way of thinking off. The non judgemental desire to see the every aspect of the situation. But the best technique is asking are you wanting advice or just someone to listen. That way I know not to offer a different view point but just to be an ear to vent to.

Hand drawn old pencil sketch of a human brain.
Sketch of Human Brain

That we know all the answers and can tell you what to do.

Now I would never tell someone what to do. But I would work with them to discover what they really want to do. We are always taught never to use the word should. There is no right or wrong way to live life that dictates what you should and should not do. If it was that easy they’d be no need for therapists, there’d just be one book of rules to follow. It’s tempting when looking for help to ask “what should I do?” And it can also be frustrating to have that question answered with “well what would you like to happen?” But really we don’t have concrete answers for you, but we can help build confidence and teach techniques which will assist you into making your goals a reality.

Hypnotherapists are just party acts that make people bark and could be doing anything while you’re asleep.

There’s two main things people ask me when I tell them I’m a hypnotherapist. Number one is “does that mean you can make me bark like a dog and do stupid things?” And “can you make me not want to eat so I lose weight?”. To the first question, no. I can’t make you do anything let alone make you do something you don’t want to do. Hypnotherapy is merely syncing your subconscious to your conscious allowing them both to work towards the same goal. I talk more about this on my “Book Holistic Therapies” page. This works both ways, I can’t help you quit smoking (for example) if your hearts not really in it or “stop eating” because your subconscious knows it needs to eat. You have to want the change. Hypnotherapy isn’t a one session fixes all either, it’s a process. As far as I could do anything while you’re out, you’re not out. You can hear me, you might zone out and think I didn’t hear that but your subconscious does and your subconscious is the part of your brain that only ever wants to keep you safe.

That we all dress like hippies.

I had a giggle at this one. On a personal note I do fit into this stereotype. More of a grungy hippie but still the sentiment is the same. I once went for an interview with the NHS and the person conducting the interview straight up told me “I didn’t expect a hypnotherapist to look like you” I asked what had he expected and his response was “I don’t know someone a lot older, something more 60’s maybe”. So apparently an old hippie lady is what some expect. All I can speak for is my graduating class of which I’d say I was the only grungy hippie but we were all a collection of people who I never saw as being able to be divided into cliques.

So there you have it. These common stereotypical beliefs about therapies addressed to see if they’re true. A short summary, they’re not.


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