Earlier this week, on Wednesday evening we held our quarterly peer support group here in Bournemouth. Usually, I’d post a review or report the next day, but I had a very rare day off yesterday and hung out with some long lost hypno friends at my beach hut whereby I forgot to put suncream on my ears and they are currently glowing crimson red and have been regularly dunked in aloe vera after sun cooling gel this morning. I think my ears are warming my office up today that’s for sure.

On Wednesday, we had a lovely turn-out of nearly 50 hypnosis professionals from neighbouring areas and we welcomed Gemma Bailey as our first solo speaker for a while (our other format of several speakers returns in September).

Hypnotherapist Peer Support Group 01

Gemma Bailey is the director of People Building (an NLP and Hypnotherapy training school) and NLP4Kids – a team of practitioners who specialise in working with children, parents and teachers using NLP and Hypnotherapy.

NLP4Kids was created after Gemma became a hypnotherapist trainer in NLP and a fellow delegate suggested she combine her new skills with her previous qualifications as a nursery nurse. As a therapist and coach, Gemma specialises in using her hypnotherapy skills with children in one to one sessions for a range of issues from confidence challenges to selective mutism. She does so by weaving humour and great rapport into her sessions and by utilising deep trance work with lighter metaphors that she builds for children.

Gemma shared some methods used to create both light and deep trance in young minds. She offered up a number of stories of her experiences and used them to illustrate a number of key principles that underpin her approach to working with children. It is easy to see why her business thrives when you see how she conducts herself and the way she delivers her material.


Everyone actively participated in the exercises as we came up with child-friendly ways to describe to children how to let go, relax and go deeper, and activities we could engage in to aid hypnotic responsiveness in sessions.

Over and above the content of what she offered up, Gemma presents with enthusiasm, energy, a wonderful sense of humour, and when she does so wearing these shoes, it is hard not to love what she does:

Gemma Bailey Red Shoes

I showed my daughter this photo and she will now not stop asking me for some red sparkly Princess shoes.

In the bar afterwards, the feedback I received was incredibly positive and our hypnotherapy community was very enthusiastic and motivated. Even more so than usual.

Also… I came back through the hotel after having a late dinner out, and at 11.30pm, still in the bar were a bunch of last year’s diploma graduates drinking bubbly celebrating the recent certifications, it was lovely to see.

I’ve said it several times before and I’ll say it again here…. I personally find these events to be highly motivating and it is lovely to have a sense of community and togetherness. Not just because we belong to a very diverse and sometimes unusual field, not just because it is good for therapists to come out of the isolation of the therapist role from time to time and reconnect with fellows doing the same thing, but because we are social creatures who deserve support, encouragement and of course ongoing development.

I’d like to think that as I run a respectable training college in this field, that I know a thing or two about this and some related fields. Yet, each of these events, I come away knowing more than when it began. I joked with Gemma in the bar afterwards that I was actually looking forward to one of my own children telling me that “there is a monster under the bed” because I learned a lovely way of dealing with and approaching that subject following Wednesday’s presentation. I had some interesting points clarified in my own thinking that were discussed earlier in the day during our group supervision too, and there were some stimulating ideas being shared with a couple of the questions the audience were posed too. This stimulated healthy discussion and insight sharing afterwards.

All very good stuff, all beneficial and healthy for us hypnotherapists, professionally and personally. Heck, it’s a non-profit quarterly event where the fee is still a measly £3.50 to cover cost only – what’s not to absolutely LOVE about these events?

My thanks again go out Gemma who was superb and I’d love to welcome back again to our hypnotherapist support group meetings in the future to talk about how she runs her business so effectively, my thanks to all you enthusiastic hypnosis professionals who continue to support the group and each other. The next meeting is September the 2nd and we have a veritable smorgasbord of presentations and hypnotic joy to share with you then, more details will be announced soon.