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How Becoming A Hypnotherapist Has Improved My Writing

March 26th, 2021

I took voluntary redundancy in 2005 and planned to take some time off to complete the Writers Bureau Course.  I got away with taking six months before the pressing financial need was imminent, and although I had had some success with articles in magazines, it couldn’t be called an income.

Before I left my job as an HR Advisor, my manager told me I had a natural level of counselling skills, but unfortunately this wasn’t a skill that was needed in HR.  This got me thinking about my next career, which was clearly not a full time writer just yet.   I researched counselling courses, and signed up to a three  year course that offered a Diploma in Hypnotherapy in the first year.  I completed the qualification in 2012, and have been in full time practice ever since.  I run a Therapy Centre, and am also a hypnotherapy supervisor and trainer.

I would honestly say that having an understanding of the human mind has really helped me to create complex and interesting characters.  The course taught me that the subconscious mind takes up around 90% of our minds, whereas our logic and reasoning is only 10%.  The subconscious includes our Autonomic Nervous System, which is our primitive survival mechanism, and this will react almost entirely out of instinct when we are either in real danger or perceived danger.  Perceived danger includes modern day situations such as job interview nerves, first date anxiety or public speaking avoidance.

The course also taught me about all the other influences that are stored in the subconscious mind, such as our deep seated belief systems which influence our confidence and self-worth, the ‘labels’ that are given to us by significant adults during childhood (i.e. the quiet one, the clever one, the practical one etc), and the positive and negative experiences that we have had that affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

The root causes of phobias are also stored in the subconscious and are often quite different from the actual event.  There is a famous study about how phobias are formed called ‘Little Albert and the Rat.’  This human experiment was conducted by a psychologist called John Watson and makes very interesting reading.

For example:  I created a character who has hospital phobia.  It started when she had to visit her father in hospital at the age of five, and saw unpleasant images in the ward.  Years later, her mother has to stay in hospital, and the story is around the conflict and anxiety she experiences when she tries to visit her.  Her logic knows it’s a completely different situation but her subconscious overrides this and she experiences extreme anxiety.

When I wrote Sackcloth and Ashes (which won first prize in the Writers Bureau 2008 Short Story Competition), I created a character who has OCD due to his mother’s strict religious beliefs.  His behaviour causes him to lose concentration whilst driving, and he crashes into the car in front of him, causing injury to a man and his daughter.  When he is sentenced, he doesn’t believe the outcome is harsh enough, and takes matters into his own hands.

Giving your characters issues that come from their childhood are just a few areas to explore in order to make your characters interesting and relatable.

If any of the Writers Bureau students would like more information, I would be more than happy to provide further information on any of these topics.

About Me

I have wanted to be a writer ever since my English teacher in Secondary School told me that Bram Stoker would’ve approved of my story.  I went on to win the first ever Essay Cup presented at the school.   After that there was a gap of many years where I experienced life changing events i.e. sick father who passed away when I was 17, older brother who has since been diagnosed with a personality disorder, to name but a few, and writing took a back seat.  But during this time I realised that I see life through words and stories.  Every time something happens to me, I see it as a film, a TV drama, or a novel.  I chose the home study course by The Writers Bureau in 2005 and this is where it really started.  I don’t have a university degree or any academic qualifications.  What I do have is a wild and vivid imagination and a strong desire to have a career in writing. 

Horses and riding has always been my passion, and I have used my knowledge to write stories with an equestrian theme.  Dogs are my second love, and most of my characters will have a dog.  Walking in the countryside, particularly forests and lakes, is where I get most of my inspiration.  I also meditate regularly and have a strong interest in all things paranormal. 



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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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