Below is a little story about how and why I became a Hypnotherapist. I hope it conveys to you my passion for the field and my desire to share insight and help others grow. I love hearing people's stories. We are all unique and textured, and deserve to be heard. The beautiful thing about hypnotherapy is that we can take difficult and painful stories, and transform them into new and empowering tales.
My Story: The Theory of Labeling
As a young Chemical Engineering student, I took an elective in Sociology and learned about the theory of labeling. The American Psychological Association (APA) Dictionary of Psychology defines Labeling Theory as:
”the sociological hypothesis that describing an individual in terms of particular behavioral characteristics may have a significant effect on his or her behavior, as a form of self-fulfilling prophecy”
In other words, people tend to become what you tell them they are. When I looked at my own behaviours through this lens, the link between what I was told about myself as a child and how I was living my life at that moment was abundantly clear. But then my mind immediately jumped another step further, outside of the sociological perspective, and dove into the psychological perspective… what have I been telling myself about myself? It then became apparent that both my upbringing and my own interpretations of myself were fuelling the way I lived my life.
I decided I didn’t actually want to be an engineer. My family consists of a comical number of engineers and I was raised with an elitist attitude about the profession – I was certainly playing that out as a cocky engineering student making jokes about the lack of value of an Arts degree. Oddly enough, this one Arts elective turned out to be priceless.
Fearing ridicule and being labeled a 'quitter' (who might label me as such? probably myself more than anyone) I forced myself through the engineering degree, but I immediately returned to school for a Bachelor of Applied Arts, followed by a diploma in Fashion Design. I was finally learning to make decisions that I genuinely felt called toward. Though I hadn't quite found my North Star to direct me, I knew I was on the right path to finding it. What I realize now is that what I was really doing was removing beliefs about myself, little by little, as I deliberately explored who I wanted to be, while I was simultaneously learning to let go of who I had been told I was.
I am still absolutely fascinated by the science of psychology, as well as many others such as neurology, biology, and quantum physics, to name a few, but I now study these topics informally (it started with obsessive consumption of TED talks and has now morphed into a few hours of daily reading) and continue to internalize, practice, and share the concepts and ideas I learn about.
I also took courses in Reiki, a modality with which I really connected and enjoy practicing, but I still felt there was something more I could offer. I was missing the verbal communication through which I feel I best connect with others. I knew there was something out there, a modality through which I could communicate everything I’ve learned about ‘self’ and living your truest, best life, so I simply held onto that idea and continued living my life, trying new things and building stronger connections with loved ones.
Finally, one plain old winter day, I saw it. An ad for Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT). I had seen several talks online by Marisa Peer (founder of RTT and renowned UK-based Therapist). It just clicked. I took the course and began practicing. Nothing has resonated with me more than this modality. Dialoguing with the self; understanding that what others (or you) told you about yourself (directly or indirectly) isn’t actually who you are; and then rewiring neural pathways to support the person you actually want to be. That’s what I help my clients do, and that is my North Star.
I am so grateful for the clients I work with because their successes bring so much joy and wonder into my own life. One label I am beyond proud to carry: Certified Hypnotherapist!
Much love and many thanks for reading,