How to choose a hypnotherapist

To entrust something you value into the care of a stranger is a big deal. So it’s important that you take the time to find the right person to trust with that most precious of all things – YOU.

There’s no law that prevents anyone from setting themselves up in business and calling themselves a hypnotherapist, so it’s important that you take what measures you can to ensure that you aren’t about to hand your hard-earned money over to a charlatan and invite them to poke around your personal issues – no matter how charming and professional they seem.

How to choose a hypnotherapist: four things to consider

Do you feel comfortable talking to the hypnotherapist?
What training has the hypnotherapist done?
What are the hypnotherapist’s professional affiliations?
Does the hypnotherapist’s approach suit your needs?

Do you feel comfortable talking to the hypnotherapist?

There’s a lot to be said for going with your gut instinct when choosing a hypnotherapist. Take a look around the websites of several within travelling distance and get a feel for what sort of issues they seem to take an interest in working with. Most well-trained hypnotherapists will be qualified to deal with a wide range of problems and behaviours, but some also choose to specialise.

After finding a few that you have a good feeling about, the best thing you can do is get on the phone to them (or send an email if you’re more comfortable introducing yourself that way) and just have an initial chat. Therapy works best when the relationship between hypnotherapist and client is good, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to gauge how comfortable you feel about working with them.

What training has the hypnotherapist done?

There are a huge amount of training institutions and individuals purporting to offer qualifications in hypnotherapy. Some of these run for just one weekend, some last a year or longer. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter the course the lighter the training. Anyone can set up their own private practice as a hypnotherapist without any training or qualification whatsoever, so you do need to be somewhat vigilant as to your potential therapist’s background.

The only qualification that currently exists that has been externally accredited is the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (look for HPD after the therapist’s name). This exam is accredited by the National Council for Hypnotherapists (NCH) and NCFE National Awarding Body and conforms with national occupational standards for hypnotherapy. So when considering how to choose a hypnotherapist, if they hold the HPD, like I do, then you can be assured that they have undertaken training to the highest standard available in the UK.

Who are their professional affiliations?

Hypnotherapy, like other complementary therapies, has been largely unregulated in the past. The closest we’ve got to ensuring standards and ethics are being upheld in the interest of public safety is the NCH. Those who are registered with the NCH have all agreed to conform to their Code of Ethics as well as undertake Continued Professional Development throughout their careers.

Registration with the Complementary and Natural Health Council (CNHC) also shows that the hypnotherapist has met national occupational standards and agree to abide by a strict code of conduct.

Is their approach right for you?

When considering how to choose a hypnotherapist, you’ll notice that there seem to be many ‘types’ of hypnotherapists out there. A lot of therapists like to call themselves ‘clinical’ hypnotherapists, which sounds great but doesn’t mean much really as all hypnotherapists use hypnosis in a clinical setting – so we are all clinical hypnotherapists! Other therapists might have a particular interest in past life regression, or Freudian hypno-analysis, for instance, which might not be right for you, so always phone and talk through your concerns before deciding to start treatment with them. I am aCognitive Hypnotherapist in Colchester, and you can find out more about that here.