Finding a Good Hypnotherapist

When looking for a hypnotherapist, it's important to understand that very few states regulate hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapists don't need a license to practice. This is good because you can find more hypnotherapists in your area, but bad because you end up with untrained hypnotherapists who don't actually know what they're doing. Hypnotherapy is a proven therapy that helps with a large range of mental and physical problems. It's a therapy based on a deep understanding of how the mind works. When looking for a hypnotherapist, you should be looking for somebody who takes their profession seriously, the same way a doctor would.

Would your doctor practice reiki on the side? Probably not.

Would they track their success rate? Yes.

Would they have real training through a respectable institution? Yes.

The following is a list of questions that you can ask potential hypnotherapists to separate the ones who take their work seriously from the ones who don't. When in doubt, ask yourself how an exemplary doctor would answer the question.

The suggested answers are not ideals, they're minimums for finding a quality hypnotherapist. While our hypnotherapists far exceed many of these qualifications, not all hypnotherapists or even hypnotherapy clinics have these requirements, which is why it's always important to ask questions.

Questions to Ask:

1. Do you practice any other form of alternative healing?

The answer should generally be no. Alternative healing often ranges from scientific to supernatural. Remember that a qualified hypnotherapist should take their quality of work seriously enough that they don't need to rely on fads or the supernatural to help you. In general, your practitioner should stand behind whatever modality they specialize in, whether that's traditional therapy, hypnotherapy, or something else.

Note: NLP is an exception to this rule, and can be an effective adjunct to Hypnotherapy

2. What is your success rate?

The answer should be below 100%. The important point here, is that they are tracking their success rate, and that they include their failures. No hypnotherapist has a 100% success rate, and if they say they do, they're lying to you. Some clients, for a variety of reasons, aren't responsive to Hypnotherapy. Anybody who claims otherwise is probably ignoring clients that didn't see results, or doesn't have very many clients.

3. How much hypnotherapy training have you had?

The answer should be a minimum of 100 credit hours. Hypnotherapy programs are sometimes accelerated programs that offer cheap certifications over the course of one single weekend. Obviously, there is no upper limit on how much training your Hypnotherapist should have, but it's important to ensure that their core training program was a well rounded, complete education that had a minimum of 100 credit hours.

Note: Hypnotherapy has similarities with other mental health professions, but has very different methodologies. You should generally ignore credits in other fields, even if they seem related.

4. How many sessions will I need?

The answer should be less than 7 sessions. The important point here is that your hypnotherapist doesn't promise an exact number of sessions. Would your doctor? Would your psychiatrist? Any qualified hypnotherapist knows that some problems can have multiple sources. Hypnotherapy doesn't usually require more than 3 sessions for any one issue, but there are reasons it can. If your hypnotherapist is offering you a guarantee, they're probably trying to overcompensate for a low success rate, or charging you for more sessions than you will need. Also, because there's no way to accurately predict how many sessions someone will need for an issue, avoid anyone who tries to sell you a package deal or a bundle of sessions. One thing that we do when someone is not seeing results as quickly as expected is an audio recording to listen to at home. Through repetition, you can build up your responsiveness and increase the speed at which you see results from home, therefore not increasing the number of sessions that you'll need to come in for. This method is usually preferred by those with financial concerns, or who have a long history with the issue they want to work on. Some things take time and reflection to unravel.

5. What issues do you work with?

The answer should include more issues than weight loss, smoking, anxiety, and pain. If your hypnotherapist doesn’t work with depression, scoliosis, sciatica, PTSD, or other medical issues, they're not confident in the work that they do and probably don’t produce the results you want. Working with the subconscious mind can be intimidating for some, especially when they haven't had adequate training.

6. How do you work with deeply rooted problems?

The answer should be any interactive approach, like Analytical Hypnotherapy or Regression Therapy. Not Suggestion Therapy or NLP. There are as many techniques in hypnotherapy as there are schools that teach it, and they all have their own patented terminology. Getting caught up in exactly which trademarked method each person uses isn't important, however most hypnotherapy falls under two broad categories: Suggestion Hypnotherapy and Analytical Hypnotherapy. The simplest difference is that Suggestion Hypnotherapy uses reinforced affirmations to fix problems, while Analytical Hypnotherapy uses interactive psychology to get to the root of serious issues. If you're listening to a recording, it's a suggestion. If you're having something closer to a conversation, it's analytical.

Suggestion Hypnotherapy works well for many issues, but deeper issues often require a more complex approach. Hypnotherapists can't address the root of a problem without input from the client. Most hypnotherapists will know what Analytical Hypnotherapy is, but if they don't, they should at least be able to describe an interactive approach to healing deeper issues rather than only relying on Suggestion Hypnotherapy.