Robin Bahr-Casey ~ Certified Consulting Hypnotist and Certified Holistic Life Coach
By Lynn N. Capri
I met Robin Bahr-Casey for the first time as we arrived within seconds of each other for our “over coffee” interview. Knowing we would be talking about her current career (which can be added to a long list of [sometimes concurrent] former careers as a high school English and Journalism teacher, classical ballet instructor, and professional dancer, not to mention “side careers” as a board member of several non-profit cultural organizations, a teachers’ union negotiator, and an editor, to name but a few of this Smith College graduate’s pursuits in the arenas of arts and education), I had researched the titles of Certified Consulting Hypnotist and Certified Holistic Life Coach ~ and was still not quite sure what to expect from someone who, at the age of 67, had begun learning and then implementing skills that might still strike some as “new-agey” or “earthy crunchy.”
The woman I met was poised, warm, articulate, thoughtful in her answers, and obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about the work she now does. Once I learned more about that work, it was clear why Robin’s clients ~ whose ages range from 17 to 70 (she does not treat children) ~ feel comfortable confiding in her, trusting her to offer advice and guidance, and allowing her to put them in a hypnotized state.
Vitality: Robin, what exactly does a Life Coach do/why would someone hire one?
RB-C: A Life Coach is a professional who helps clients reach their potentials by offering those clients insights, guidance, and feedback from an outside vantage point. The practice of coaching is an on-going relationship built on taking action. With a coach, clients do more than they would do alone; clients take themselves more seriously and are willing to take more effective and focused actions. The coach helps the client to maintain consistency and momentum.
Individuals hire a coach when they reach points in their lives when they are not sure “what to do next” ~ making a career transition (voluntarily or involuntarily), starting a new business, evaluating life choices, or feeling generally dissatisfied either personally or professionally. The coach is concerned with what is the case now and what steps can be taken to make positive change moving forward.
Vitality: And a Consulting Hypnotist?
RB-C: A consulting hypnotist places a client in a relaxed state of consciousness during which the client is more open to positive suggestions.
Vitality: What type of training/certification did you go through to become a Life Coach?
RB-C: I trained with Susan Hastings, president of Creative Communications; she literally wrote the manual for life coach training. The training in each of the two phases was rigorous, encompassing both lengthy classroom requirements (for which I travelled to Vermont at least once per month) and meeting with clients locally, documenting in detail these sessions so that they could be critiqued by the instructor and the other trainees in addition to my own evaluations. Additionally, we trainees coached each other under the supervision of the instructor and received direct feedback about our techniques. We also were familiarized with various profiles which are useful to coaches, took the assessments ourselves, and used them with our own clients. The training involved over a hundred hours and culminated in an exam.
Vitality: Was the process the same for your Consulting Hypnotist certification?
RB-C: For that, I attended 100 hours of classes ~ book learning, being hypnotized, and hypnotizing others ~ offered by the National Guild of Hypnotists.
Vitality: What made you decide to pursue this career path?
RB-C: My path to becoming a Life Coach was less than direct, but the moment I began the training, I knew the field was a perfect fit for me. Once I retired from teaching (which I loved but was ready to leave) I was not sure what I wanted to do next. I felt I still had much to offer and the energy to do it. The volunteer work I do as a member of the Elder Affairs Commission is not enough. I updated my resume and began sending it out in response to attractive job offerings I learned about. The job search was fruitless and discouraging both because prospective employers would not look beyond the word “teacher,” assuming I could not transfer my skills to another field, and because of the ageism to which few would admit.
When my husband said he was going to pursue a certificate in hypnosis to use in conjunction with his newly opened private counseling practice, I indicated I would like to go along because hypnosis fascinated me and I saw the practice of it as a way to help others deal with certain issues (weight loss, smoking cessation, test stress, chronic pain). I took the classes and received my certification, but still I felt dissatisfied. The time had come for some serious focusing on “what I wanted to do when I grew up.”
I wanted to work independently, I wanted to help individuals such as myself who were struggling to turn their dreams into their realities, and I wanted to earn some money. As I continued my soul searching, I remembered a vital woman with whom I had had many interesting conversations during the hypnosis training. At the end of the week’s training, she had asked me whether I had ever considered being a Life Coach, to which I had responded that I had not. She said, “You’d make a great one! If you ever become interested in the field, give me a call.” That woman was Susie Hastings and after some serious thought, I gave her a call. The longer we spoke, the more excited I became about studying with her and about becoming certified in the field of life coaching. One day I picked up the phone, called Susie, and enrolled in the next course she was teaching. Not once since that day have I regretted my choice. I am proud of having earned my Certified Life Coach certificate and I am pleased that I can use my Consulting Hypnotist certification and skills in conjunction with my life coaching practice.
Vitality: How do you handle patients you sense you cannot help?
RB-C: It is essential for me to recognize when I cannot help someone and ethically imperative that I am honest with that person. I am not an MD, nor am I a psychologist or a psychiatrist. When I see that someone is dealing with issues requiring the expertise of any one of these three, I must tell her or him that services beyond what I offer are needed.
Vitality: What can a client expect from his or her first session?
RB-C: A portion of the first session is spent on the coach’s gathering necessary information ~ how much depends upon how much of this information was collected prior to the first in-person meeting. The client also has the chance to ask questions of the coach in order to decide whether the coach is appropriate for her or him. The coach then finds out what it is the client really wants and if she or he would take it if she or he could have it. The coach and client look at the obstacles in the way of the client’s achieving the dream and together work out a step-by-step plan for making the dream a reality. Finally, the coach and the client decide what the client can and will do by the next session (homework).
Vitality: What is the usual length of sessions for both coaching and hypnosis?
RB-C: The first coaching session generally takes approximately 60 to 75 minutes and the second session approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Subsequent sessions are of varying length but usually under 60 minutes. As much coaching can be done over the phone, and some sessions are for the sole purpose of “checking in”, a session may be as brief as 10 minutes. If a session requires substantial work, it may run as long as 50 to 60 minutes. The first hypnosis session takes approximately 75 to 90 minutes. Subsequent sessions last approximately 60 minutes.
Vitality: And how many sessions should someone expect?
RB-C: I would count on a minimum of three coaching sessions, but there may be more once the particular plan has been established. Also, if the client needs time management skills and/or communication skills, additional sessions will be necessary. For hypnosis, I expect a client to plan on three sessions. However, clients often choose to return periodically for what they refer to as “tune ups.”
Vitality: And finally, for our readers who may be considering your services, what is the confidentiality policy for coaching and hypnosis?
RB-C: Ethical and moral considerations of confidentiality are certainly appropriate in the coach-client relationship. I would not release client information unless such release were in the best interest of the client and unless I first obtained written permission from the client.
Robin Bahr-Casey CCH, CHLC
Spring ~ Time Life Coaching
48 Cedar Street, Worcester, MA 01609 | 774-239-3263
www.Spring-TimeLifeCoaching.com (under construction)
Health Insurance Not Accepted