If you’ve Googled “hypnotherapy” or “hypnotherapist” then you may be surprised or overwhelmed by the sheer number of results.  With that in mind here are 6 things to look out for when you’re looking for, and speaking with, your potential hypnotherapist.

1 – They’re a professional. 

Check that they’re a member of a professional organisation like the National Council for Hypnotherapy.  If they’re registered with the CHNC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) then that’s a sign that they’re registered with a reputable professional association and will be insured. 

That means it can be fine to see people who are training as they can be “associate” members while they are. 

2 – They talk about your needs, not their therapy. 

Good therapy is responsive to individuals, their beliefs and their inner lives.  If they’re more interested in talking more about a process then that can be a size that they have a “one size fits all” approach that will be unlikely to be your size. 

Good hypnotherapists may have a preferred therapeutic model but they’ll have a range of approaches available to make sure you get the best approach for you.

3 – They don’t just talk about hypnosis. 

Hypnosis is the delivery method for the therapy element, not an end in itself.  The analogy would be (and apologies to people with needle phobia) an injection.  Its what’s in the syringe that matters, not just giving an injection.  In the same way good hypnotherapists will have a model of psychotherapy that they use hypnosis to help them deliver incredibly effectively.

4 -They don’t do all the work. 

Good hypnotherapists will expect you to work outside of the sessions – even if that’s as simple as listening to the recordings that they have provided you with.  Therapy, and achieving change, isn’t a passive process.

5 – They’re friendly… 

Rapport is fundamental to any therapeutic process, and especially so in hypnotherapy.  This is someone who you will be invited to feel very deeply relaxed in front of while they guide your subconscious to new ways of thinking and understanding.

Therapy works best when you and the therapist develop a therapeutic alliance.

6 … but they’re not your friend.

They set boundaries – about attendance and engagement- and they help frame your expectations.  Every session should have an aim and should take you towards the goal that you agreed with your therapist.

It’s fine to review those goals but it’s never fine to feel that you’re still drifting.  If you ever leave a session wondering what the point of it was then it’s probably time to ask yourself six questions based on the points above.

If you found this useful then why not sign up for my monthly newsletter here with four stories every month on the quirky side of psychology and relationships.