As individuals, we all have different needs and will have our own ideas of what type of person we would like to work with. That’s good – because there are many types of therapist out there, each with their own personality and way of doing things. Be assured – the right therapist is out there waiting to help you.
But to assist you with that first step, here are some practical tips to consider when making your choice:
There are no mandatory requirements for hypnotherapists to register with a professional body in the UK, however most qualified, experienced and practicing hypnotherapists do register, as a commitment to showing they work towards providing their clients a professional and ethical service. While professional bodies vary in their requirements for registration, most demand evidence of training, professional liability insurance, and a number of continuing professional development hours and supervision contact hours per year. Members must also adhere to a strict code of conduct.
Examples of the larger professional bodies are the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNCH), which is the governmental-recommended register and recognised by bodies such as the NHS and Royal College of Midwives as reflecting professionally accredited practitioners. The National Council of Hypnotherapists (NCH), the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) are also prominent professional bodies – there are many, so simply ask which ones the hypnotherapist has joined. If your hypnotherapist offers other therapy skills such as psychotherapy or (like myself) Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, you may find they are also registered and accredited by similar professional bodies, such as the National Council of Psychotherapists, or the Association for Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy.
You can ask over the phone, look on their website, or if going along for an initial consultation, hopefully you will see their certificates displayed in their practice room.
Ask questions about the hypnotherapist’s background, their training and how long they have been practising.
Hypnotherapists come from all walks of life, and as well as being a good way of collecting information, it will help you feel if there is a rapport.
There are many different types of hypnotherapist qualifications, but it’s always good to check they have some! If the hypnotherapist has been practising for many years they might not have an accredited qualification. And don’t discount a newly qualified hypnotherapist – while experience is useful, if their training course has been of good quality, it will have included a practical element, and they may have already seen 30-40 volunteers ahead of going into practice. They may also be very up-to-date on the latest techniques. This is where instant rapport and whether you feel you can communicate with the therapist will be very important. Check the hypnotherapist’s website, social media or leaflets to find out more about how they work and if they have any specialist areas that they cover. Is the website smart and up-to-date?Are they current and active in their profession? Sometimes hypnotherapists do provide testimonials, and while the overwhelming majority of therapists are honest, unfortunately there are no guarantees that they are real.
Ask friends who have had hypnotherapy, or do they know someone who has? This isn’t essential, but it’s a good start.
I’m going to say something a bit controversial here – professional clinical hypnotherapists should not give you guarantees, so be wary of any hypnotherapist who makes such promises. It’s simply not necessary.
That said, there may be research and solid evidence that supports the services that being offered. The hypnotherapist themselves might be excellent, confident in their tools, with many pleased clients and successful outcomes – but guaranteeing a treatment or session will work is another thing. Hypnotherapy is a collaboration, not something that is ‘done to you’.
Hypnotherapists love talking about what they do and will want you to feel involved and comfortable. They should also be asking you plenty of questions too! The hardest question for any hypnotherapist to answer will be ‘how many sessions will I need?’. Unless it is for a specific issue (such as a phobia or smoking cessation), it is next to impossible to say, because every single client and issue is different. The hypnotherapist may not have more of a clear idea until they have started working with you. It’s worth noting that the brain learns through repetition, particularly when building new templates – generally the foundation of hypnotherapy work.
Hypnotherapists have invested much in their training and professional practice, and are experts at using their tools. You need to choose a price that is right for you but also one that reflects the usual price range in your area, unless the hypnotherapist has a specialism that is in demand. It’s also worth checking the length of time that you get for each session. Generally it is 50 minutes, but others might stretch to over an hour. Some hypnotherapists may offer concessions and a few private health insurance companies will pay out for hypnotherapy consultations. Also find out about payment methods, as not all hypnotherapists take credit cards.
A free or reduced price consultation is an excellent way to find out if you feel you can work together and you understand about how the hypnotherapist works. It’s important that you both develop a good rapport together to get the best results. For example, I offer a reduced price consultation that includes a complementary CD, an explanation of the brain and how issues can arise, and gather the information I need to make a better assessment of the situation.
Can you get there without being late? Hypnotherapists often see one client after the next, so make sure you feel there is adequate parking or transport, as they are unlikely to be able to overrun. Is it professional? A large number of hypnotherapists work from home because it provides a friendly and comfortable environment for clients, others from therapy rooms in other larger practices. Are the rooms comfortable and private?
Each hypnotherapist will have their own approach and personality. Are you looking for science-based explanations, or someone who is more ‘alternative’? Will you work better with someone who is very quietly spoken and soft-natured, or more business-like? Do you prefer a male or female hypnotherapist? It is important that you feel comfortable as you need a will good working relationship for the best results.
Hypnotherapy is a widely used therapy and has helped many people, covering a broad spectrum of issues. You will find therapists in private practice, or operating as part of wider health/wellbeing organisations, and hospitals. By deciding to seek help, you have already made a big step – hopefully with these tips, finding the right therapist for you will be a great experience!
Should you have any questions about hypnotherapy or finding a therapist, you are most welcome to contact me via my website and I will be delighted to help, or refer you to someone who can.
Solution-Focused Hypnotherapist, Solution Focused Brief Therapist, Psychotherapist (all my accreditations are on my website!)
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