On a Saturday morning in January, I gathered with the four of my classmates I’d met the previous day for breakfast. As we looked out at the snow-covered Highland scenery I think we were all feeling a degree of apprehension. As we drank our tea and ate our cereal, we were joined by the two non-resident students, Gillian, a Human Resources Manager from Inverness, and Marina, a colonic hydrotherapist (gulp!) from just around the corner but working in Inverness. Our group was complete.
At 9.00am we drifted through to the training room and Matthew began his introduction to the course by explaining his own background, telling us how he met Jan and how the two of them came to be running a Hypnotherapy training school in the wilds of Scotland. He also warned us about his two major idiosyncrasies – his tendency to rant about his pet subjects and his liberal use of expletives. Matthew turned out to be one of those people who is practically unable to exhale without swearing but manages to do it with such charm and humour as to be completely inoffensive.
The day then got properly underway, setting a pattern for the rest of our stay – the morning devoted to theory, practical demonstrations and videos of Matthew at work, then lunch followed by the opportunity for us to practise the techniques we’d been shown. We worked in pairs for this; as I was sitting next to Andy we agreed to work together and quickly developed a good rapport, finding ourselves comfortable in being honest about what worked well and what less well, and able to bounce ideas off each other. At various points during the course Matthew suggested that we should change partners. None of us did!
In the evenings, the five of us staying in the house sat up drinking wine, chatting and laughing until Jan came through to send us to bed.
As time went on we found ourselves becoming increasingly confident in our ability to induce hypnotic trance and to use this in order to bring about change in people’s lives. it almost felt as if Matthew had been covertly hypnotising us and implanting confidence in our unconscious minds. While we have a lot more to learn, this first module certainly gave us a good grounding in the basics of hypnotherapy.
On the last night of the course, the seven of us went for a meal at the Cairn Hotel in Carrbridge. Along with the excellent food we allowed ourselves a small sweet sherry each. A couple of the regulars thanked us on their way out for providing such great entertainment. I don’t know what they were talking about!
The following morning, feeling much better than we deserved to (apart from Marta, who wanted to die), we were delighted to be presented with what Matthew referred to as “a quiz” and was quick to reassure us was not a test. I think he was lying. There was much scratching of heads and frantic reference to our course manuals as we tried to answer the taxing questions. We all hurriedly scribbled down what we hoped bore some resemblance to the correct responses and handed our efforts in for marking. The results will be waiting for us when we get back.
All that remained was for us to be given our assignment to complete, and for Matthew to talk us through the reading list. The assignment was to conduct three hypnotherapy sessions with family members or friends and to write these up for discussion at the start of the next module. We were also required to read one book from the reading list.
Excited at the prospect of trying out our new skills, we took our leave of Motivation Training in a frenzy of hugs and handshakes before starting our journeys back to reality.