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  • Wendy Patetson

It took almost a generation!


The first time I was ever introduced to the word vacillation, I was reading the fabulous Mary Wesley’s The

Vacillations of Poppy Carew. (1986) Once I had looked it up in the dictionary (pre-internet folks!), I realised that I was this way- I was wont to change my mind.


Hurtling toward my “O” Levels I had vacillated between wanting to do one thing or another; an unenviable position to be in when many of your friends already knew their career direction. Me, I cannot clearly recall a time I decided to follow my professional path. Another thing I should possibly mention is my inability to stay on point…my mind will go off on a tangent, what was I writing again…vacillation must be written through me like a stick of Blackpool Rock!

One thing I do recall is that I wanted to work with people. Wowzers though; that covers an enormous range of professions, from the sublime to the frankly ridiculous. So, after much thinking, interviewing, and signing on the dotted line… I found myself turning up at a school of nursing, feeling both excited and terrified in equal measure. Thus, began my first foray into the adult world, a world filled with a host of individuals who have impacted my life; some for good, some for ill. I still have clear recollection of many of my patients and feel honoured to have helped them in some way.


The vacillating me hadn’t deserted me; however, my mind always searching. I then went to university to study Behavioural Sciences with a major in Psychology. A penny dropped! I absolutely loved it. The nitty-gritty of what makes us who we are… the study of human nature. The science of the brain, mind, and behaviour …and yes, it is a science! I developed a life-long relationship with the mind, albeit other people’s. I also had my interest in hypnotherapy peaked. My dissertation was concerned with affects and effects of chronic pain, in case you are wondering hypnotherapy is a great way to control and manage pain. This was my first real introduction, but the only courses I could locate were in London and were at that time beyond my pocket and in the manner of full disclosure, I had no real desire to travel to the big smoke.

Fast forward a few years I was again working as a nurse, this time in ITU. One of the doctors there was studying to become a hypnotherapist and I was studying Psychodynamic Therapy, I had another reminder of London based hypnosis…you know my feelings about the big smoke. In retrospect, it was so self-limiting, but there we are.

A decade or so later, after leaving the NHS behind, I attended a Women in Business group to market my Public Health company, where I was introduced to a hypnotherapist. This was significant on so many levels. One because it reignited my interest and two because she had not trained in London – bonus! Chatting to her I now had a bit of power to my elbow. I now knew that there was a respected and accredited school not too far away, based around Clinical Hypnotherapy…no chickens or past lives here; just up my strasse. It also led me to have hypnotherapy for the first time and it was absolute bliss.

So, again after much thinking, interviewing, taster day, and signing on the dotted line…I found myself turning up to a school of hypnosis, feeling both excited and terrified in equal measure.



Wesley. M. (1986). The Vacillations of Poppy Carew. UK. Macmillan


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