Why choosing the right training for a ‘supporting career’ matters

Each month, so far this year, I have received more and more requests from people in entertainment and arts for advice about setting up a viable ‘supporting career’. What’s a viable ‘supporting career’? Well, it’s hei!’s name for something that people in this industry can do that doesn’t stop them from pursuing their №1 vocation – yet is a lot more than casual work.

I’ve worked with a couple of hei! members on discovering the essentials for a successful ‘supporting career’.  So far they seem to be:

  • that the ‘supporting career’ can be put to one side or redirected to someone else
  • that the hours can be flexible
  • that it has a high degree of real interest – a supporting career shouldn’t be boring!
  • that it should actually make a decent amount of money!
  • Yes, the one about money did come last – but it was there.

It’s not surprising then, particularly in light of what hei! is doing, that the most frequently asked question is ‘I’d like to know more about training to do something in psychology or some sort of talking therapy – can you help me choose a course?’

The answer is, absolutely yes, hei! can and will help members with this. Choosing a course is a minefield and we know a route through.

But here’s one tiny piece of critical, direct advice in case you are thinking of doing some sort of talking therapy course but may not get around to contacting us. Choosing a course is about accreditation. Be ruthless about this or you could well be wasting an awful lot of money.

Any training course you contemplate must be accredited by a government-recognised agency and it should be accredited by more than one university.

Your course should also have a wide appeal to people like you (many of your clients are likely to be quite like you) and not be too specialist.  So, unless you have a lifelong fascination with the psychoanalytical theories of Jacques Lacan as applied to error and knowledge in pre-school children, a course concentrating on this is best avoided.

For hei! members, training to be a psychotherapist can be a good choice and it really is well worthwhile making sure that the course includes safe, proper training in clinical hypnosis. Changing habits and overcoming panics and phobias are common requests from people in entertainment and the arts, and clinical hypnosis (which is nothing like stage hypnosis) is a fantastic tool for this.  But please, please, remember that it is about accreditation. There are dozens of quite dodgy training set-ups out there – so, I repeat, the course must be accredited by a government recognised body and it should be accredited by more than one university.

In the opinion of hei! the government recognised bodies that matter in UK psychotherapy are only three, despite many others claiming otherwise. Out of these three, the only one that accredits clinical hypnosis courses is the UK Council for Psychotherapy  www.psychotherapy.org.uk

When hei! went looking for a partner to develop courses for the new profession of Registered Stress Practitioners, it soon became clear that one college fulfilled both the requirements of our supporting universities and those of the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Do get in touch with us if you are contemplating a ‘supporting career’ in the talking therapies.  But if you’re in a hurry, do check out the National College http://www.hypnotherapyuk.net  first. We believe that it is the most broadly accredited college that trains people in the therapies that can earn a good secondary income – in the UK; probably in all of Europe.

Tadhg Ó Séaghdha, trustee at The ELK-Foundation, one of hei!’s sponsors, offers some critical advice


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