Mental health is a very broad term that encompasses a wide variety of situations, from addictions, anxiety, depression or psychosis. Fortunately, the stigma that accompanied therapies has been disappearing. Today more and more people publicly admit the benefit that therapies have had in their lives. To understand this further, we interviewed Jimmy Hutton, a professional therapist.
How did you become a therapist? My friend Charlotte trained at the same school I did (The Quest Institute), and I volunteered to be a practice client for her when she was close to graduating. I didn't think I needed therapy, but I was interested to see what it was all about. I had no idea how much it would change my life. I discovered all about limiting beliefs which are the stories we tell ourselves, such as 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not loveable' and how to rewire your thinking about these beliefs. Having previously worked in the charity sector, I'd always wanted to help people, but I knew as soon as I had finished my sessions, this was what I wanted to be doing. I quit my job within three months and began training right away.
Today, everybody is talking about mental health, but it was not the case only a few years ago. What do you think changed? I do not think it was one specific thing that changed the conversation, but rather a collection of things such as clinical research, globalisation, social media and more mainstream media in general. I think all these things have contributed to changing people's understanding of what mental health is. Mental health is now more an umbrella term for more common conditions such as anxiety. Whereas previously, when people mentioned 'mental health' it was associated with psychosis or Bi-Polar. So it has become more of an aspect of our overall health.
Is therapy for everyone. Do we all need some therapy? I would say yes to this. But let me caveat that. It is not always apparent whether you would benefit from therapy or not. The point is not to be scared of seeking help. Even for something that you might see as a minor issue because sometimes, just a conversation can help you see something in a new light. And therapy is nothing more than that. Just a conversation to help you find the answers that are already within you. Sometimes they just need some teasing out. We are all fellow strugglers in our own unique ways. Are there some themes that are recurring among your clients? Absolutely. So often, the presenting issues that clients come to me are there in the first place because of limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. Limiting beliefs are stories we tell ourselves that keep us from living the life we want. But they are just that. Stories. They aren't true. They just feel like they are. And they are always there because of what we call 'serious emotional events, or a drip feed or serious emotional events throughout our childhood. There are so many types of therapies that some people are really confused about it. How to know which one is the right one for us? I would say that the most important thing isn't necessarily about the type of therapy but rather the rapport you have with the therapist. A good therapeutic relationship is essential. It has to feel suitable for both the client and the therapist. Once you have that, everything else will follow. Most therapists these days will offer a free consultation before working with you, so my advice if looking, would be to ask for that. And don't be afraid to 'shop around' so to speak. Have a conversation, ask lots of questions, and trust your intuition, as you will know when it feels right. What is yours? How do you approach your sessions with your clients? I'm trained in Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Most people, when they think of hypnosis, think I'm going to wave a pendulum in front of them and put them in a trance. But that's a myth. Trance states are an everyday occurrence (think: brushing your teeth, driving to work, sitting in a boring meeting). We also experience our issues in trance states (happening at the unconscious level), so the hypnosis side is more about de-hypnotising you out of those trance states. So sessions are a combination of conversational coaching and hypnotic therapeutic approaches. Another confusing thing for those who are new to therapy sessions (but are considering to give it a go) is the lengh of the whole process. Cognitive. Hypnotherapy is a Solution-Focused therapy which means that we work together over a relatively short period of time to move you from your problem state towards your solution state. Every client's problem pattern is unique. No one person's issues are experienced in the same way. So within our sessions, there are no set treatment protocols, but generally, I would work with a client for around three-four months. Is there an average number of sessions or it really depends on each individual case? This really does depend on the client. So rather than offering single sessions. I prefer to work with clients on a program of therapy. This essentially means we work together for a period of time. During this time, I am effectively your mind coach with unlimited scheduled sessions, email support, ad hoc calls and resourcing you with books and bespoke hypnotic audio tracks. During the lockdown a lot of people had therapy sessions online. Do you think they are as effective as face to face visits? The short answer to this is yes. 80% of my clients are currently online, and the therapy is just as effective, but again it boils down to personal preference.
For more information about Jimmy and his work, please see below: