The Creation of CPHT Dublin

The Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy School was founded in 2002 by David Newton David is an inspiring gentleman and a pleasure to know and work with. His method of therapy is hugely successful and the number of CPHT schools has expanded over the years due to that success. CPHT Dublin is school number 27 and is built on the success of CPHT Belfast that opened in 2015.
The two senior Lecturers are Jennifer Dunseath and Jemma White.

Jennifer was one of the first students in Belfast and this is her story on how CPHT Dublin came about:
“I was one of the first students in Belfast and I loved every minute of it, I went on to build a successful part time practice in Belfast and was delighted when CPHT Belfast asked me come back as assistant lecturer. Being at the front of the class was a totally different experience and I loved it, to watch the expression of the students faces as they grasp what we teach is amazing, to hear them report back every month on the work they have done and the people they have helped is the ultimate job satisfaction! I then went to teach various CPDs and qualify as a Supervisor….there is never a dull moment! I was taken completely by surprise when I got an email from David Newton a few months ago to ask if I would consider opening a school in Dublin. I was truly humbled, what a compliment. I certainly couldn’t have predicted the path that original CPHT Belfast training course could have taken me!”
First task on my list was to find a second lecturer…….that’s were Jemma comes in…….over to her!

“I have always been interested in personal development and have myself worked through issues with a therapist at different stages of my life for confidence and grief. The sessions I had showed me the immense benefit that therapy can have on a person’s life. It was this experience that prompted me to complete my MSc in Counselling & Therapeutic Communication. I knew I wanted to help others in the way that I had been helped. As part of this course I had a chance to study different modalities within therapy. I was initially drawn to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and the proactive approach this takes. After graduation I was researching different CBT courses to take when I came across Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH). Although I had heard about hypnotherapy, I had never given it much thought and most of my knowledge came from Derren Brown’s TV shows. However, the words “Solution Focused” grabbed my attention.
I would describe myself as a positive and motivated person. Although it is always beneficial to investigate and understand your feelings around an issue, I feel there comes a point when the only beneficial thing is to move forward. I have also had a great interest in psychology, so the fact that SFH is about moving forward to solutions and not dwelling on the issues, while also being based on factual neuroscience research that takes the best elements from other modalities such as CBT and NLP, meant that I knew SFH was the one for me.

Sitting in my first lecture I knew I had made the right choice. I found the course fascinating, learning all about how our brain responds to perceived threats and what we could do to break free of these negative cycles, and seeing first hand the benefits of using trance to reduce anxiety and consolidate the positive psychotherapy element of the therapy.
Another great aspect of the course was that it had you working with clients (firstly friends and family then strangers) from the very first month. It also took you through the practical side of setting up a business. Since graduating I have set up a successful part-time private practice in Bangor, NI called ‘Hello Positivity’ along with doing corporate work in the North and South of Ireland. It was on my course I also met Jennifer, one of our lecturers. I remember thinking she always wore interesting shoes and had a dry wit that I appreciated.

After graduation Jennifer and I remained friends due to our love for SFH, coffee and dogs. When she rang me up about the opportunity to open a school in Dublin I jumped at the chance. Doing the CPHT course in Belfast changed my life. I have made a career out of doing something I love and get so much satisfaction seeing my clients break free from long standing issues. Having also enjoyed doing workshops within the corporate side of my business I knew I would enjoy teaching a subject I am passionate about. We had a lot of fun on our course and it was lovely getting to know everyone. I am really excited to meet a whole new set of budding hypnotherapists, as well as being part of spreading the SFH message across Ireland.
To allow me to a Lecturer in Dublin I need to sit in on the entire course again (It’s a requirement of NCH, shows you how serious they take this qualification). So I am rejoining CPHT Belfast in their course in Sept 20 and will give you some feedback after course weekend. So if you’re considering training with us in CPHT Dublin sign up to receive our blogs and get an in-depth picture of the course each month.”

Tom’s experience with CPHT

We asked Tom a graduate from our 2019 CPHT Belfast course his thoughts on his time studying with CPHT.

Click on the link below to watch his video. Or read on to find out what he had to say.

Toms video

What made you decide to do the course? Based on my experience of guided meditation and work as a Support Worker I was looking into hypnotherapy and kept seeing adverts for CHPT, it appealed to my sensibilities.

What did you enjoy most? The content, the psychology, personal development, and the practical side of it, we were learning a tool which could be used to help people straight away.
I was the first to volunteer to receive hypnosis from one of our lecturers. I was convinced after feeling the benefits of that experience. Above all else I felt the course was delivered very well, it was interesting and interactive.

What changes did you notice as the course progressed? I gained confidence, I was a shy at first when we had to start working with members of the public but I took a leap of faith and it paid off and I haven’t looked back since.
I quit the vape after we did the smoking module; having previously been a smoker for years then moved over to vaping from that module I am vape free nearly a year. I had previously found it difficult trying to quit on will power alone but its been easy using the knowledge and the theory from the course. For me that was important as I feel you must practice what you preach so it gave me that accountability.
What are you up to now? As a hypnotherapist I am seeing clients a few evenings a week. During lockdown I was seeing clients over zoom, thankfully now we are back to face to face. I have a steady number of clients. It is really starting to take flight, the more I do it the more I get enthused by it. I am passionate about it and would like to keep developing it.

Would you recommend the course? Yes, I would recommend the course if you have a sense that you want to do something to help others. There is no shortage of people with anxiety or depression and if you have experienced that on a personal level, like many of us have and like working with people give it a go.

Tom runs Thomas James Hypnotherapy in Nerwy @Elysium Wellness Centre follow him on Facebook:

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

I am often asked the question ‘What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?’

Well, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a model of excellence that uses interventions that are effective. It will use the very best procedures that science and research prescribe. In reality though its core philosophy is very much based on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the basic tenets of SFBT.

Hypnotherapy, and SFH is no exception, has a history of being associated with many forms of therapeutic practice. Often, but not always, this can be a force for good. What follows could be described as the foundation philosophies on which SFH is built. Dr James Braid (1795-1860), who could be thought of as the inventor of modern hypnotism, successfully created a blueprint that could be described as the original hypnotherapy model.

“He was best known in the medical world from his theory and practice of hypnotism, as distinguished from Mesmerism, a system of treatment he applied in certain diseases with great effect.” (Obituary. The Lancet 1860)

Braid’s influence and success was very much a result of his empirical and scientific approach. In effect he said that the clinical progress should be verified by research and related to the latest understanding of psychology. He attributed the success of trance to ordinary psychological or physiological factors such as focused attention, expectation, motivation and endeavour. SFH is very much based on Braid’s basic premise that mental focus on imagery and language mediates the physical and psychological effects of dominant ideas.

It would have appeared sensible to consolidate the work done by Braid and to capitalise on what worked. This was not to be the case. In late Victorian and post Victorian times ‘wackiness’ once more sabotaged the credible scientific clinical practice. Even worse, in the late 19th and most of the 20th Century the pseudo-scientific ‘hi-jacked’ hypnotherapy and kept it in a state, often a delusional state of stagnation.

Fortunately, as Robertson says in the ‘Complete Writings of James Braid “The Father of Hypnotherapy in the 21st Century”, “Braid’s ‘Common Sense’ and empirical orientation have become fashionable once again”‘.

Hypnotherapy was partially rescued from post-Victorian ‘quackery’ and later from Freudian ‘analytical’ theory by psychiatrist, Milton H Erickson. He practised as a hypnotherapist from the 1940’s until his death in the early 1980’s. Erickson’s ideas reached far beyond hypnotic technique. He posed radical ideas regarding the role of therapist and the competency of clients. Milton Erickson was convinced that everyone has a reservoir of wisdom and competency and emphasised the importance of accessing client’s resources and strengths. Major interest in his work gathered momentum in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Erickson’s success and creativity spawned a variety of approaches. There was in particular great interest in one of his primary approaches entailing first learning the problem pattern and then prescribing a small change in the pattern.

Steve de Shazer’s first contact with psychotherapy happened when he read ‘Strategies of Psychotherapy’, the ideas and work of Erickson by Jay Haley. It has been said that this book coupled with the work of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Paolo Alto, formed the foundations for what would later be called Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).

The basic tenets of SFBT are well known and are different in many ways from traditional forms of treatment. It is a competency based model and the focus is on the clients’ desired future rather than on past problems or current conflicts. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are exceptions and that small changes can lead to large increments of change. The setting of specific, concrete and realistic goals is an important component. In SFBT it is the client that sets the goals. Once formulated the therapist will use a number of specific responding and questioning techniques to assist the client construct the steps that may be required to reach the ‘preferred future’. Solution Focused Hypnotherapists note Steve de Shazer’s often repeated assertion that solution work is “the same whatever problem the client brings”.

In the 1990’s modern technology led to what some have referred to as a sequel of the Copernican revolution. MRI, PET and CAT scans can photograph the brain. Electronic microscopes, the nuclear tagging of living human molecules and other biochemical investigative techniques, enable scientists to have an ever increasing understanding of how the brain works. With at least 500 therapeutic methods, all proffering special theories, techniques and philosophies, psychotherapy could be described as bordering on dysfunctional. The neuroscientific revolution beginning in the 1990’s and progressing with ever increasing vigour into the 21st Century has begun to give the field uncharacteristic coherence. Certainly the days when therapists could make things up have gone.

“For future generations of therapists training will certainly change” says Mary Sykes Wylie and Richard Simon, (Discoveries from Black Box 2002), “Curricula will have to face the accumulation of knowledge coming from neuroscientists… having an understanding of such clinical relevant areas of knowledge as neural networks and brain structures”.