This month we talk to the wonderful Heide who tells AWN how she resigned from her job to set up her own practice and finishes with some great advice which we can all put into practice.
Q: Tell us about your career?
Originally, I trained as a wood sculptor before retraining as a Heilpraktiker (Non-medical/Healing Practitioner). I established my own private practice in Germany in 2006. Although I was mainly working with physical problems such as pain, allergies, psychosomatics and chronic diseases, Hypnotherapy was already an essential part of my work.
After moving to London, I started studying clinical hypnosis at the LCCH and at the University of West London in 2013. There were a couple of professional sideways steps before I was working as a quality manager in a call centre for four years. I was asked to evaluate monitoring processes, analyse data and develop as well as implement improvement strategies if necessary. Here I realised how important health and wellbeing at work really is, how the strength (or weakness) of leaders, managers and teams is directly reflected in the quality of work and eventually in the success.
This was also the moment when I decided to focus my work on resilience building and creating a healthy and even joyful environment at work.
In 2018, I resigned in order to set up my private practice and finally work as a therapist. There are many plans and projects I am working on. I am very excited and happy to be able to do what I really love.
Q: What inspired you to work in this field?
During and after my training as a Heilpraktiker (non-medical/healing practitioner), I was constantly looking for natural alternatives to solve physical and mental illnesses or problems. Frequently, I came across hypnosis, but knew too little to be able to get an idea of what it is and how it works and it always fascinated me. But let’s be honest, who is not at least a little curious about hypnosis? Everyone wonders how it is possible for people on the stage to behave different or to do things that normally seem impossible. Realising that the same method can be effectively used to help people in difficult situations, has finally made me even more curious.
Additionally, I was a smoker (yes I confess) for 30 years and thought of myself as a hopeless case. But I managed to stop smoking with hypnosis, which was so much easier than I thought. From that moment I was convinced.
20 years ago, I started to meditate. Over time, I have gained more and more experience and knowledge of how our mind works. The combination of hypnosis and the incredible effects of both methods ultimately led to the decision to focus on working with the mind. There is so much exciting to learn, to know and to apply in our everyday life which I would like to share with many people in the future.
Q: What does your job involve?
Working as a hypnotherapist is very versatile and complex. I am specialised in working with stress, anxiety, lack of self-esteem or -confidence and awareness. That made me realise that work stress and difficulties with growing or rapidly changing conditions are common and very serious problems.
This is why I am expanding the work in companies. I work with the management and teams to give practical tools the people can use to build resilience and bring wellbeing and a positive atmosphere to their daily work.
In order to meet the specific needs of individuals, I also work on a 1-to-1 basis in my private practice. There is a range of issues, hypnosis can be helpful with, as the main method but also a complementary approach to conventional medical treatment.
I also love to work with people giving advice support in their personal and professional development.
Q: What has been the biggest career challenge?
I came to London in 2012, leaving everything behind. My private practice, my family, friends, a band. I had two bags and a room where I could stay for the first weeks. That’s it.
Unfortunately, my job as a naturopath is not recognized in England. That’s why I initially had no choice but to quickly find any job to ensure that I was able to stay. So, I ended up in the famous coffee chain (Starbucks) and actually stayed there for a year to settle and to see how things could work for me.
After that, I worked in a call centre for five years, fortunately only 1.5 years as an agent on the phone. I have experienced many clichés myself and I can say that I know how stress can affect people at work.
The living conditions in London with a minimum salary startled and shocked me, and I have to admit that for a few years I have been struggling for existence. Some of the toughest and most challenging times of my life. Only the opportunity to study clinical hypnosis, a course that doesn’t exist in Germany, has given me a purpose, an orientation and a goal. And today I’m glad and grateful that I did not give up.
There is another motivation that I always kept in my heart. I wanted to be an example for my two amazing children. I wanted to be an example that it is worth going for your dreams despite fear and obstacles.
Q: What has been your career highlight?
A real highlight to me was the completion of my studies with the MSc in clinical hypnosis. I had the opportunity to put all my knowledge and experience on a scientific foundation. Based on this, I have developed a highly effective new method that gives my previous work and my 20 years of experience of meditation a practical framework. The method is called Hypno-Mind Meditation and offers all the wonderful benefits that meditation and hypnosis can give. Furthermore, it is possible to adapt sessions and workshops exactly to the specific needs and goals of the groups. This is extremely important when working with teams in companies where the requirement and demands are very unique.
Q: What are your goals for 2019?
My goal is to introduce Hypno-Mind Meditation to as many people as possible. Also, I would like to incorporate this method into already well-known and recognized resilience and wellbeing concepts to ensure physical and mental health in work as well as private environments.
In addition, I will be offering Hypno-Mind Meditation retreat weekends in 2019, giving time and space, when people can get some distance from everyday lives and recharge their batteries. Some of these retreats will be on the south coast, which I’m really looking forward to.
Q: What the best advice you have given and who got it from?
I got the best advice from a very good friend, the guitarist in the band I’ve being playing with for 7 years. During that time, I was single mother for almost 10 years. When I left Germany, I decided it is time to focus on my career. He then said to me: If you are just as focused as you have been in making music and just keep going, exactly as you did with the band, you certainly will be very successful.
These words were almost like a mantra in my head that helped me do exactly that. I just kept going without giving my doubt too much room in my life. I am still thankful for that!
Lastly what advice would you give to our Professional Women?
If you have anything that you are passionate about, don’t take it for granted. Not many people actually find something, they want to put their heart into. And then go for it and don’t let yourself getting discouraged by anyone and especially not by yourself. Just remain persistent, sow your very unique seeds and keep creating conditions so that they can grow, not matter what. It is likely that there will be some detours but that’s ok.
And as a hypnotherapist, I’d say: Keep your goals alive in your mind, as vivid as possible. Imagine them in all colours and with all your senses, over and over again. Everything will fall into place