Kerry Seymour is a UK-based Clinical Hypnotherapist. Kerry talks to The Industry Leaders about the daunting process of re-starting her career after taking a 4-year break to start a family. She also gives a hot-tip for a book that everyone should read to understand how their brain works.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I have always been interested in mental health, learning about how the brain works and understanding why we behave in the way we do. Since studying psychology at university, my career has been focused on supporting mental health services and practitioners to provide high-quality support to the people who need it. Over the years, this has been through various roles, including research and clinical governance both in the NHS and the voluntary sector. In 2017, I decided to go self-employed to balance work around having a family, and in 2020, I trained as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist. This role would enable me to work flexibly whilst also delivering a meaningful and valuable service.
What kind of work does your role involve?
In my role as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I work online with people, helping them to take back control of their life so that they can go from surviving life to thriving in life. I help my clients understand how their brain works to get it working with them and not against them. I also help them take back control from the exhaustion of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm to build their confidence and self-esteem and discover the best version of themselves.
What gets you excited about your industry?
The latest neuroscience discoveries really get me excited about working in my industry. Learning how the brain works is fascinating. As technology develops, we can learn more and more and constantly adapt our practice to reflect the most up-to-date neuroscientific findings for our clients' benefit.
In my practice, seeing the transformation in the clients I work with is the most exciting thing. I will never get bored of helping people to move their life forward from something that thought they'd always have to struggle with.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Show up consistently. Whether that's for yourself or in your business. Making that commitment and always taking small steps towards my goals has been the best advice I ever received, and it's really something I try to live by.
What, or who inspires you?
The team at Inspired To Change Hypnotherapy inspire me every day. Learning from the Directors and all of the other Associates is really invaluable. It's really inspiring to see how everyone has grown their practice and how each of us has our own passions and interests that we can either work into or run alongside our practices.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
Continual Professional Development is an essential part of being a practising therapist and I love attending CPD, where I can, to boost my knowledge and skills. I also have a reading list as long as my arm!
The Inspired To Change team is always sharing new videos, webinars, and articles internally to keep everyone up to date.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I think this would have to be rebuilding my career after taking a career break to be a military wife and start a family. My husband was in the Royal Navy, and when my daughter was 2 months old, we were posted to Cyprus. Taking a career break wasn't really something I'd planned to do; it just seemed to happen.
I ended up taking a 4-year break, in which time our son was born, and it was when he was 18 months old that I decided it was time to start refocusing on my career. Rebuilding a career after taking a career break felt really daunting as I'd lost a lot of confidence in my professional abilities - quite a familiar feeling, I think.
Rather than returning to the workplace, I decided to set up my own business, offering business support to health and wellbeing providers. Over the last 3 to 4 years, I have been continuously evolving my role as my confidence, knowledge, and experience of the small business world has improved. I certainly pleased I decided to dive into the small business world. I've learned so much, met some amazing people, and ended up on a path I might otherwise not have found.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Wow, that would definitely be amazing - there'd be so much I would like to do! I would love to set up a shared therapy centre as a one-stop-shop for people looking for help with mental health and wellbeing. I'm also a huge fan of Escape to the Chateau, so I think buying and renovating a French chateau would be on the list - perhaps as a health and wellbeing retreat venue. I'd also love to go travelling across Australia and New Zealand. And last but not least, adopting a whole pack of retired greyhounds would definitely be a must too!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
Since becoming a solution-focused therapist, I've become a lot better at taking the time to properly switch off. Regularly using guided relaxations has become part of my self-care routine, and I really notice the difference if I don't make time for these. I also enjoy crafting, yoga, and movie nights.
I'm looking forward to spending more time out and about as the restrictions start to lift too!
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
For Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to be better understood as a profession and commonly viewed as a viable option for when people are looking for help. I think it's often the case with mental health issues that people think that medication or counselling are their only two options, and if they don't want to go down either of those routes, they just don't ask for help at all.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
The Chimp Paradox is a great read and a really great place to start with understanding how your brain works so that you can get it working with you and not against you.
How should people connect with you?
I also host weekly Facebook Lives over on my page:
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