Choosing a hypnotherapist
Choosing a hypnotherapist you want to work with can seem daunting. Are they properly trained? Can they really help you? How do you know whether to trust them? Could they make your condition worse?
Rebecca Sanderson is the director of The Mindset Clinic and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Practitioner of Neural Linguistic Programming. Rebecca specialises in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety related disorders. She practices in Watford, Hertfordshire and London.
by Rebecca Sanderson Director The Mindset Clinic
2nd June 2016
Lots of people are naturally hesitant and wary of hypnotherapy, including some medical professionals, because of a lack of knowledge of what it is and how it works. This is compounded by the myths perpetuated by the portrayal of hypnosis on TV and stage shows. Hypnotherapy is very different to stage hypnosis. A Clinical hypnotherapist would never do anything to cause you humiliation or embarrassment. The Hypnotherapy Directory has a list of frequently asked questions that you can read to help your understanding of what hypnotherapy is.
1. Draw up a shortlist of hypnotherapists in your local area
Do your research. The Hypnotherapy Directory or General Hypnotherapy Register list hypnotherapists in your local area and makes choosing a hypnotherapist easier as you can directly compare their qualifications and specialisms. Shortlist the therapists you like down to three or four. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you trust your instinct in terms of whether you feel that you can work with the hypnotherapist from the first impression that you make of them. Be honest and ask yourself “What is my first impression and gut instinct?” If you don’t like the look of the hypnotherapist or something about them makes you feel uncomfortable there may be a good reason to avoid them! You will be sat in a room telling them intimidate details about your life and how you feel so it is vital that you feel able to trust them and you have faith in their ability.
2. Does the hypnotherapist specialise in treating your condition or problem?
Quite often a hypnotherapist will specialise in a certain area. This maybe because they have first-hand experience of the problem themselves or because they enjoy treating people with a particular condition. So if you are suffering with anxiety then see a hypnotherapist that specialises in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety related conditions such as IBS, phobias and depression.
3. Contact your shortlisted hypnotherapists
Most hypnotherapists offer the opportunity to discuss your problem in a free consultation. This may be face to face, or via telephone or Skype. Take the opportunity to talk through your problem or email them if you don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone at first. Shortlist your list further by choosing the ones that you feel the most comfortable with and who seem to understand your problem or issue.
4. What should you ask a hypnotherapist in your free consultation?
Here are a few questions to ask at your free consultation:
What experience have you got in successfully helping people with the condition or problem that I have?
How does hypnosis work?
How many sessions will it take to treat me?
What are your qualifications?
Do you use other types of therapy in addition to hypnotherapy?
What kind of support do you offer between sessions?
Then ask yourself if you trust their answers. Use your gut instinct to gage whether they sound open an honest and if for any reason you don’t feel convinced remember that you don’t have to choose them.
5. Invest in yourself – Enquire about the cost of the session
Some people let the price of the sessions influence choosing a hypnotherapist. There are a number of reasons why you should enquire about the cost.
Hypnotherapists will have thought long and hard about what to charge the people they treat. The value and self-belief they place in themselves will be a reflection of how much they believe they are worth and this will be reflected in their prices. Someone who charges low prices may not be the most economical in the long run as you may need more sessions.
6. Check out qualifications and membership of professional bodies
Unfortunately the hypnotherapy profession is unregulated. This means that anyone can set themselves up as a hypnotherapist after doing a couple of online training courses. When choosing a hypnotherapist check whether they are a member of the following professional bodies all of which require proof and a level of training, a commitment to sign up to a strict code of conduct and ethics, and prove that they will continue their professional development:
Hypnotherapist’s websites should display the professional marks on their websites but double check that they are listed on the data bases of the professional organisations too.
Highly qualified hypnotherapists will have a good understanding of which techniques work best for the presenting symptoms and which techniques are contraindicated this is because some techniques and procedures can make some conditions worse and some should not be used if a person has a particular medical diagnosis or phobia. A clinical hypnotherapist will be trained to know what questions to ask to determine the best techniques to use.
7. Learn the difference between Clinical Hypnotherapy and Cognitive hypnotherapy
Clinical conditions are conditions that you may go and see your GP about for example, skin conditions, circulatory problems, blood pressure, various syndromes, fibromyalgia, pain, headaches, tinnitus, depression and anxiety. Cognitive problems are usually behavioural problems like bad habits eg smoking, nail biting, tics, eating habits and some phobias.
Clinically trained hypnotherapists can usually deal with a wide range of both clinical as well as cognitive problems as the training is at a higher level and usually covers cognitive behavioural therapy and a range of other psychological tools like NLP techniques and Solutions Focused Therapy. A clinical hypnotherapist is a licensed clinician who is trained to treat a range of medical and psychological conditions.
Once you have chosen which hypnotherapist you would like to work with do be clear about what you want to get out of the sessions. The hypnotherapist should help clarify your goals for therapy and the outcomes that you want to achieve.
If you feel the sessions are not progressing in the way that you would like be honest, tell your therapist. They will be able to adjust the sessions and tailor them to suit your needs. If they can’t or you aren’t committed to change then perhaps it might be an idea to look for a new therapist or resume when you feel ready to make the necessary changes required.
Share your success and spread the word!
Choosing a hypnotherapist is often one of the last avenues people try after having seen various counsellors, therapists, doctors, psychologists and specialists. So please spread the word if you find a hypnotherapist who is able to treat your condition.
By spreading the word when you’ve successfully achieved amazing results more people will be able to benefit. Recommendation helps to encourage those who are hesitant and nervous about taking the first steps if they hear about people they know who have benefited from hypnotherapy.
Rebecca Sanderson is the director of The Mindset Clinic and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Practitioner of Neural Linguistic Programming. Rebecca specialises in the treatment of Anxiety and anxiety related disorders. She practices in Watford, Hertfordshire and London.
If you would like to know how The Mindset Clinic could help you Rebecca Sanderson can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07803 603 882 and her website is www.the mindsetclinic.co.uk