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I want you to help me lose weight

I turned another client down this week – the fourth prospective client this year that I have declined to give an appointment to.

It surprises many people that I will turn down clients, but ethically it is important that therapists don’t try to fix a problem that either, 1. cannot be fixed by NLP or hypnotherapy and is better fixed by a different treatment modality, and 2. some clients are themselves completely misunderstanding what hypnotherapy is and refuse to accept a version that differs from their [mis]understanding.

The case in point was a pleasant enough man who wanted me to hypnotise him to lose weight. I knew this because he said to me, “I want you to hypnotise me to lose weight.”

“OK,” I say, “I just need to check what your understanding is of how a session works,” I tell him.

“Well, I’ve seen the TV programs, so what I expect you to do to do is knock me out with hypnosis and do whatever it is that you people do to make me lose weight.”

I recalled a similar situation a number of years ago when I was a little more naive than I am today.

A lady arrived for a weight loss session, I went through various things with her, did some trance work, went through some other things with her, finished the session and she left 2 hours later I received a phone call from her.

“I’m not very happy,” she told me, “and I want my money back.”

This surprised me as when she left she was smiling and appeared quite happy with the way the session went. Mortified and keen to try to appease an unhappy client I agreed immediately that if she wasn’t happy then, of course, I would offer a full refund without question.

Once I said this, I thought about it momentarily then asked a question, “What is it that you are unhappy with?”

“Well, I don’t feel any different and I have just weighed myself and I weigh exactly the same.”

I was speechless for once and made a mental note to check for client’s expectation sets before booking appointments in the future.

So, I told this story to my caller who wanted me to give them an appointment to “make him lose weight.”

“You are not filling me with much confidence about your work,” is what he told me.

“That’s right,” I told my caller, “and I thank you for calling.

Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin is formerly an NLP master practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, and a nurse with a background in accident and emergency (A&E) and neurosurgery.

    He is the developer of Metaphors of Movement and Integral Eye Movement Therapy.

    #NLP #neurolinguisticprogramming #hypnotherapy

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