For Plus-Size Practitioners Only
by Karen Hand, BCH, CI
How many times have you heard a Hypnosis, NLP, or other healing-arts Trainer or Practitioner say that “fat” hypnotists better learn how to “walk the walk” before trying to help weight loss clients? It has to do with being congruent, dontcha know….
Well, I want to say, “stop body-shaming and stop installing negative self-image suggestions in your students and peers”!
A full-figured female student recently posed the question about whether or not she would be able to work with weight loss clients…you know…considering her size. I’m guessing she felt comfortable asking me since I’m no “skinny-mini” and I work with clients on a wide variety of issues…including weight loss!
It’s interesting that I’ve never heard anyone argue against helping a client improve their golf game just because the hypnotist doesn’t play golf. Have you ever heard someone say a Type-A- personality Hypnotist shouldn’t help clients relax or slow down or focus on one thing at a time? Just because I don’t have a law degree doesn’t mean I can’t help someone pass the LSAT. After all, I’m not giving them the answers to the test, I’m discovering what’s in their way of passing the test so I can help them develop strategies to create success.
Like many people, my weight fluctuates. I’ve done MANY things over the years to lose, literally, hundreds of pounds. And I’ve been successful MANY times. I even went to a doctor back in the 1980’s who handed out a box of pills to his clients every two weeks with instructions written on the box such as: take two blue pills in the morning, one blue and one yellow pill at noon and one white pill before dinner. (I lost weight and I still don’t know what kind of “crap” was in those pills). Incidentally...did I mention that that diet doc was about 400+ pounds? I didn’t care! My friends went to him and all I wanted was for his little pills to work for ME! And they did...until one day I passed out hailing a cab in downtown Chicago and was nearly run over! I quit taking the pills and in time without even paying attention to it, I started finding that lost weight like cute little colored Easter Eggs filling up my basket.
I can go quite a long time without caring anything at all about those extra “eggs”. And then suddenly something will pop up that gets me back on the weight loss bandwagon. I use hypnosis these days and the journey starts again. And just like any diet…when I stop using the plan (self-hypnosis) the weight creeps back on again.
Maybe this sounds familiar to you...maybe not. I’ve been a hypnotist for more than a dozen years...and over that time I’ve lost and found many eggs...uh…pounds (let’s get real)!
So, this is MY strategy when I am overweight and work with weight loss clients. I realize they don’t really care about me...they care about what will work for them. I interrupt their judgmental thinking of ‘how is this heavy woman gonna help me?’ (or however their inner dialogue questions it) by saying something in the pre-talk such as:
“As you can clearly see, I’m not skinny. So, I definitely understand what you’re going through. But weight simply isn’t my issue. I’m healthy and happy. What is important for YOU to know is that I have a lot of success helping people who want to make positive changes in their lives, including those who want to lose weight. And that is why you are here today. You know you want to make a change for good and hypnosis is the best (no side-effect) modality I know of to help you along that journey. The best news for you is that I am an expert Hypnotist. Now, tell me, what is contributing to your extra weight and let’s develop a strategy to easily help you make the change you want to make.”
That addresses the elephant in the room (yes, pun intended) and gets them talking about themselves so that I can help THEM!
As Roy Hunter famously says, “All clients on all issues are listening to the same radio station WII-FM--What’s In It-For Me”. As soon as you turn your client’s inner focus back onto themselves, they go into a trance. On Harry Aaron’s Depth Scale, the deepest level of trance is negative hallucination. That means NOT seeing something that is there. As soon as you turn their attention back onto their own issue…they can instantly negatively hallucinate your size and begin working on what they came in for.
Your job is to do what you do with every client on any issue: listen and discover what is contributing to their problem so you’ll know exactly how to help them make a change. If the client snacks too much, work on that. If their portions are too big, work on that. If it’s emotional eating, that’s the focus of the change. And as soon as they easily release the first pound or two...they’re encouraged to continue.
Perhaps because they perceive that you’ve had this struggle too...they may be even more likely to open up about pitfalls or plateaus so that you can help them there as well.
You don’t have to feel obligated to work with weight loss clients. You never have to take a weight loss client if you don’t want to, there are plenty of other issues on which to build a practice. And if you’re not confident in your ability to help, you may not be their best option, so refer them out to an expert. But realize you CAN, at any size, work with this “mainstay” matter if you choose to believe in your ability as a hypnotist. Your congruence will come through in your self-confidence as you leave your limiting beliefs (and those of others) outside of the session and focus instead on doing something to help a person who wants to make a change!