How to choose a hypnotherapist

Clinical hypnotherapy has a history going way back to ancient times, with more recent eminent practitioners such as Franz Mesmer, James Braid, James Esdaile, Milton Hyland Erickson, to name but a few. The intention of this article is to assist those of you who have already decided that hypnotherapy is your chosen path and how to choose a therapist.

You should search for somebody who meets your criteria, perhaps specialising in a particular condition, they may be geographically close to you, or you might like the look of them. Don’t search by price alone.

Any symptoms you may have ideally should have been discussed with your G.P first. For example, general nervousness may be due to a shortage of vitamins, lack of sleep or a neurone disease. Tiredness may be due to the menopause, anaemia, poor diet, lack of exercise or have a neurological cause. And people with addictions may want to explore the free services available first.

Professional body membership and training

Hypnotherapy has become increasingly popular, and there are many professional training bodies who train hundreds of professional clinical hypnotherapists annually. When searching you may like the look or sound of a particular therapist, it is important that you find somebody you feel you can trust. Check out if they hold membership with a professional organisation. If so, then you will have a professional body that you can turn to if you have any complaints, and can follow their codes of conduct and ethics guidelines.

Many hypnotherapists also specialise and do additional training. It is worthwhile researching their qualifications particularly if you are looking for an expert on your specific problem. For example, some hypnotherapists are specialists in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), some have extra qualifications in smoking cessation or may specialise in stress, phobias or hypnobirthing, etc.

Follow your ‘gut’ instinct

If there is no information easily available, such as a website, or a leaflet etc. and no clear pricing structure then steer clear. The advice is to check out a therapist’s qualifications and memberships, and also e-mail or call them and ask for more information before making a decision.

If upon your first meeting they are late, rude, untidy or if simply you feel at all uncomfortable with the venue or with them, then do not proceed, and do not feel obliged to continue at all.

Concentrate on what your goal is and who do you feel would be the ideal therapist who could help you achieve that goal.

The first meet

Check out the venue. You should feel safe and comfortable both with parking and going into the building, and feel at ease in the therapy room.

Ideally, the therapist should present themselves to you in a calm professional and confident manner, and be able to do all they can to make you feel at ease. The therapy room should be comfortable, but it need not be specially adapted. Sometimes sitting on a hardback chair with the lights on, and sounds of traffic during therapy can result in an equally effective result as lying on a couch with dimmed lights and background music. It is the quality of the therapy that is important.

The terms of payment should be clearly stated at the outset, so you know exactly how much you will pay per session and the likelihood of further sessions. It’s important that the therapist finds out what your expectation is about the therapy and the expected outcome.

Having decided that you would like to try hypnotherapy you have already made a very important step forward and it is important to continue and take your time and get the best help you can for yourself by choosing wisely.  

Remember too it is a two-way process. Your cooperation is required and you may have some work to do, or homework, so keep an open mind. Most people describe the experience in a very positive way. For further information make enquiries directly to therapists you are thinking of booking a consultation with.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stanley DH9
Written by Susan Boggon-Smith
Stanley DH9

Sue Smith SRN.RGN. Ba.HPD, CBH Adv. CBC (coach), TFT, EFT, NLP, conscious analytical cert. Stress/phobia. Ptlls NVQ L. 4 teaching, inner child cert, conversational decoding NVQ L 4, hyp supervisor, mindfulness practitioner. MAPHP accr. MNRPC accr, CNHC accr. IANLPC silver int. Association of Holistic Therapists. Stress, anxierty, weight specialist.

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