Sharon Dyke is a graduate of CPHT Bristol, having qualified in 2008. She runs a busy Hypnotherapy practice in Taunton, Somerset.
Sharon lives in Taunton, Somerset, with her family and three dogs. She has spent most of her career working within the field of health and social care, primarily supporting people with mental health needs.
She began her career in 1987 as an Auxiliary Nurse, and describes the care and support of people as being horrific at times. She acknowledges that we have come a long way since the days of huge institutions and most services are now as person centered as possible.
As an Auxiliary Nurse she quickly realised that the only way to exert any influence over how people were treated was to become a manager and she returned to school to enhance her qualifications.
The Nineties saw the demise of institutions and the Government introduced the Community Care Act. The ethos of this legislation meant that, finally we would no longer lock people away unnecessarily, patients were being asked what their preferred future looked like and support was offered to help them achieve it.
“I enjoyed managing services and felt my career had started to head in the right direction, however, something was missing. Although the philosophy of the Community Care Act was good, the process seemed to lead to many people being placed in their own housing with very little support networks and the consequences were astounding. People became isolated, they didn’t have the key skills required to live independently and placements started to fail. This seemed to lead to an increase in depression and anxiety and staff struggled to know how to help people get better.
That’s when Counselling seemed to take off, everyone seemed to want to be a counsellor, myself included, I thought if I could do my counselling degree I could contribute to making the world well again.”
Sharon found the course to be unhelpful, as she was focusing on all that was wrong with her life. She quit the course at the end of year one and went back to managerial roles.
Sharon’s career progressed and she was managing services, teaching health and social care and generally focusing on helping people to have the best life they could with the resources available. But still something was missing.
In 2004 she was working for Rethink Mental Illness and stumbled upon the Human Givens Approach, which is a set of organising ideas that provides a holistic, scientific framework for understanding the way that individuals and society work. This framework encompasses the latest scientific understandings from neurobiology and psychology. The core philosophy is that Human Beings come into this world with a set of needs and if those needs are met in full they suggest it is not possible to be mentally ill.
Sharon was intrigued by this highly empowering idea and decided to explore further, signing up to do the Human Givens Diploma.
“Two years later I gained my Diploma in Human Givens. I had finally found a positive way to start helping people, however, I still felt something was missing.
“I spent some time consolidating my learning and began reflecting on an element of the Human Givens Diploma they called Guided Imagery. This fascinated me, the idea that people could make life changes through the power of visualisation, I wanted to learn more.
“I started to do some research and found that Guided Imagery was linked to Hypnotherapy, a subject I had never considered before. However, the more I read the more I realised this might be the missing piece of my jigsaw. Then In 2007 I found David Newton and CPHT.
“David kindly interviewed me for the HPD course, intake 41, and strangely he felt I would be suitable for his course. Little did I know that would be the beginning of a whole new journey, and what a journey it has been.
“David’s words that stand out most from day one of the course, are: “seeing clients”, practise on people right from the start and by the end of the course you will be a “Clinical Hypnotherapist with your own practice”. I could never envisage this would be me and I am sure if the course was purely theoretical it would just be another notch on my CV.
“To this day, my journey goes from strength to strength, not only did I utilise these amazing skills in my day job as a Registered Manager of a Nursing Home for people with Mental Health problems, I also run a very successful practice in Somerset.
“Without doubt I believe that CPHT is the gold standard of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, teaching the latest findings in Neuroscience and research. Our founder and leader David Newton has set the bar high and I have yet to find another school that compares.
“The focus is on preparing people for practice and producing Clinical Hypnotherapists that are safe, effective, caring, responsive and fun. In fact my experience at CPHT was so encapsulating that not only am I an experienced practitioner helping people every day to take back control of their lives, I also became one of the founders of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, a qualified supervisor and latterly a senior course leader for CPHT Guildford and CPHT Southampton, where I now help to train the next wave of elite Solution Focused Hypnotherapists.”
Debbie Pearce is a graduate of CPHT, having qualified in 2008. She runs a busy Hypnotherapy practice in East Devon and lectures on HPD courses across the country.
Debbie’s interest in the subconscious began in 1970 when the BBC aired a documentary created by science writer Nigel Calder, The Mind of Man. One particular topic made a huge impression: the recent discovery that the conscious mind can control basic bodily functions. This was demonstrated by locking a Yoga devotee, Shri Ramanand Yogi, in an airtight box and measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The results demonstrated that he could reduce oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output significantly below ‘normal’ levels. At the time, this was a ground-breaking discovery. So, if we can consciously control something as basic as breathing, previously believed to be beyond the reach of the conscious mind – what else could be achieved with appropriate training?
Following graduating with a Physics degree from University College London, her varied career included computer programming, systems analysis and IT consultancy. She ran the local branch of a national charity as a volunteer before changing careers and joining the charity as a Regional Development Manager then their national Operations Director. She moved back to the West Country and became Head of Fundraising and Marketing for an international animal charity.
In her spare time Debbie trained as a Holistic Massage therapist and taught the theory modules of the ITEC Massage course under supervision at an independent ITEC registered college. She gained the City & Guilds Certificate in Further Education Teaching and she developed several recreational courses for adult learners, which she delivered both independently and for Devon Adult and Community Learning (DACL).
During this time she maintained her interest in matters of the mind and in 2008 enrolled on CPHT’s HPD course in Clifton, Bristol, training under David Newton and Susan Rodrigues.
“The course appealed to me because it had a clear basis in neuroscience. Since the primitive methods used to investigate the workings of the mind demonstrated in the 1970’s TV documentary, MRI scanners were proving beyond doubt that the way we think has a direct influence on our physiology.
“I was also attracted by the principles of the Solution Focused approach. I have always tended to look for ways of solving problems rather than analysing their cause or apportioning blame, both at work and in my personal life. At those times in my life where I found things challenging I had avoided seeking professional help as I did not want to ruminate on my problems.
“The thought of being able to help people without needing to focus on an unhappy past was immensely appealing. I was delighted to be accepted onto intake 41 and can honestly say that the HPD course is the best thing I have ever done in my life.”
Since then Debbie has built up a busy Hypnotherapy practice in East Devon, operating from therapy rooms in Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth. She has helped hundreds of clients over the years, accumulating many thousands of hours of clinical practice.
She has kept her skills up to date by regularly attending CPD courses run by CPHT in Clifton and group supervision sessions. She trained as a Supervisor and now runs group Supervision sessions in Sidmouth, Guildford and Southampton. She has also gained the Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma, which has been accredited by the NCFE as having measurable learning outcomes that have been benchmarked at level 5 (using Ofqual’s Qualification and Accreditation Framework). It is at an equivalent level to a Foundation Degree.
She was a founder executive committee member of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH), a professional Association set up to further awareness of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and to support its members in the development of their business. As part of this support she co-developed and co-presented a range of acclaimed marketing courses and webinars for complementary therapists. She co-delivers the introductory marketing course as an integral part of the HPD course at CPHT Bristol, Bournemouth and Guildford.
Debbie established the CPHT schools in Guildford and Southampton with colleague Sharon Dyke, where they deliver the Hypnotherapy Diploma course as part of CPHT’s national network. They also run group supervision sessions in both locations for qualified hypnotherapists.