Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. After 27 years in the counseling field, I suggest that you
pick three individuals that are licensed, experienced, and have specialized or extensively worked with the issue(s) you want to resolve. Then, arrange an initial consultation session, so that you can meet them in person, and see if you feel comfortable with them.
Of course, a recommendation from someone you know
is helpful, however if this is not possible, follow the above steps. If you need a directory, I recommend http://www.aamft.org. This is the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Remember, in order for the work you do to have the best chance of success, insure that you are comfortable with the practitioner you choose, and that he/she is a qualified professional.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. I would suggest that when looking for a counselor/therapist, it is critical to do the following:
1. Make sure the individual is licensed by the state to practice in that state.
2. Make sure they have a great deal of experience.
3. Contact the individual to speak with them briefly regarding your situation, and what results you would like to see.
4. Meet with the individual to find out whether or not you feel comfortable with him/her. This is the most important aspect regarding the success of your treatment.
5. If you are comfortable, and have verified their credentials, then you have the best chance to receive
6. If you are currently seeing a counselor/therapist, and do not feel that you are making progress, talk with him/her to see their reaction. If you are not satisfied with the response, fire them, and look for someone better.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My work is different from others in that I offer both counseling and hypnosis, rather than just counseling. This means I am qualified to address a much greater range of issues.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The aspect of my work I like the most is assisting others to be happier within themselves, and in their lives. That's the "bottom-line for me about my work, and where I feel I can make the greatest contribution.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Many clients want to know more about my work with Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, and what does it feel like to be hypnotized. These clients have seen hypnosis done as entertainment on stage. Clinical Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation where you are awake the entire time, and with the use of suggestion, the resolution of many issues is easier.My work is clinically-based and well researched to be an effective adjunct to counseling.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I want you to know that my purpose in working in the Counseling field is first to listen. I want you to feel heard and understood, so that you are comfortable in working with me as your therapist.
I want to talk with you to learn about what matters to you, and choose the best and most efficient way of assisting them. I want their experience of counseling to be a positive one, providing the understanding and tools you need to utilize in the future to support and maintain greater happiness in your life. Above all, I want you to know that I am dedicated to providing the highest quality ,effective and caring counseling services.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Due to my being licensed, I am required to do 36 hours of Continuing Education every two years. Usually, I attend Conferences and Workshops for both Marriage and Family as well as for Clinical Hypnotherapy. These meetings deal with the latest in evidenced-based practices, which keep me informed as to the latest and most effective treatments in my field. I would choose to attend these meetings whether or not I would be required to do so, because I gain so much in more knowledge about my specific field of work.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Two research items that are "cutting edge" are as follows:
The first is the research that is being done with MRI- type
pictures of the brain which can reveal brain injuries. These injuries to the brain are caused by drug and alcohol
abuse. Inotherwords, these pictures can reveal the damage to certain areas of the brain which have been
compromised. In studies being done by Dr. Daniel Amen, football injuries to the brain are even more common than previously thought. Even just with high school football.
The other research relates to how hypnosis/hypnotherapy actually work. There is plenty of evidence that it does, however, the answers to the how
changes are made through hypnosis are yet to be answered. With MRI research of the brain, we know that
when an individual is under hypnosis, various parts of the brain become activated or "light up" in the pictures.
The process has been activated, we just need to know more about how it works.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. If you want to become a Marriage and Family therapist, the first thing to consider is going to school to obtain a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or Psychology. There are many schools with excellent programs including Alliant international University, which is located in California. You would need to check your own state's licensing bureau for information as to their process for licensing. While most state's have MFT licensure available, not many have reciprocity. This is important in terms of where you attend school.
Inotherwords, it is important that you attend school in the state where you, for now, intend to practice. By paying the state fee, and registering as an intern or trainee, you will be able to get the hours that state requires for MFT licensure. Then, with a qualified supervisor, you will be able to work under that supervisor's license to gain your hours. Every state has a licensing exam for you to pass prior to you being licensed in that state.
In terms of what advice I would have about the profession, I would say that it is a great profession.The type of person who would usually make a good therapist, in my opinion, is one who is willing to go into
therapy themselves. In order to really understand human behavior, you have to understand your own. It was the best training I received because I had an excellent therapist. It also taught me that with resolving one's own issues, you will be able to be a better therapist for someone else. I think the basic rationale for entering this profession would be a strong desire to help others, and be dedicated to maintaining a safe environment for your clients.
In terms of Clinical Hypnotherapy, I would refer you to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis for training.
However, you would have to be licensed in MFT, Social Work, Psychology, Medicine, or Dentistry in order to participate in their training.