Friday, 25 July 2014

What to look for when choosing a Hypnotherapist

Searching for a hypnotherapist can be a daunting task, with so many to choose from on the internet, how do you decide who is going to be right for you?

Ultimately it will come down to who you like the look of and you may well end up going with your ‘gut instinct’, however the following pointers will help guide you in the right direction.
  •  Professional Membership of a recognised association or society 
Any hypnotherapist who is running a full time professional practice should show they are a member of a professional body, such as the National Hypnotherapy and Counselling Society (HS and NCS), the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR), the British Society for Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) or the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH). When a hypnotherapist is registered with a body such as these, it means they adhere to a code of conduct and ethics. It also provides you the customer with a formal means of making a complaint should you need to and the relevant support. 
  • Hypnotherapy Qualifications
You may find some hypnotherapists with a long list of letters after their name. Whilst this can look very impressive, be cautious that people are not just ‘padding’ their qualifications! Make sure any qualifications are RELEVANT to hypnotherapy. For example a BSc or MSc degree is all very well but it may not be anything to do with their therapy. In particular, look for either ‘DipHyp’ (Diploma in Hypnotherapy) or ‘HPD’ (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma) as a minimum. Other relevant qualifications could include the letters; SportsHyp (Sports Hypnosis), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), TFT (Thought Field Therapy). 
  • Member of an Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) scheme
Hypnotherapy is an unregulated industry so it does not have any formal professional standard applicable to training and qualification. The good news is that within the past 2 years, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has created an Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) scheme which accredits voluntary registers of people working in a variety of health and social care occupations, including Hypnotherapy.  
In order to be accredited, organisations that hold voluntary registers must prove that they meet the PSA’s demanding standards. This means the public can now choose to use people who are on a register that has been independently assessed and approved.  This provides assurance that the registers are well run and that they require their registrants to meet high standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and, where relevant, business practice. (Look out for this AVR logo)
  • Evidence of Professional Insurance
A good hypnotherapist will be more than happy to provide details of their professional and public liability insurance including the details of the insurance company and policy number. This shows that the therapist is concerned and thoughtful about their practice and the clients they see and are willing to invest in their client's safety.
  • Do they offer a niche or specific area of expertise?
Hypnotherapy is a very diverse form of therapy and can be very effective for wide variety of issues. Some hypnotherapists try to be all things to all people in order to market themselves as broadly as possible however. This does not make them a bad therapist, however a good therapist will often specialise in a just one or two areas which interest them in particular and which they may have additional qualifications. This means they are far more likely to have the knowledge and skills to help people in that area.
  • Do they mention ‘stage hypnosis’ or hypnosis for entertainment purposes?
If you find a hypnotherapist who also offers stage hypnosis or does stage entertainment shows, my personal advice is be very cautious about going to see this person. Hypnosis done for therapeutic benefit and hypnosis done on a stage for entertainment are two completely different things. If someone has completed an online course in stage hypnosis, they will not necessarily have the relevant skills and knowledge to offer someone effective hypnotherapy for more serious issues such as trauma, anxiety and depression. Stage hypnosis is not governed by any code of ethics as the person is not obliged to act under the guidance of a professional organisation. Your own instinct should be your guide here and please be highly cautious.
  • Look for testimonials
A really good hypnotherapist who regularly achieves successful results will naturally receive positive feedback and testimonials from happy clients. The hypnotherapist will naturally been keen to display this feedback to prospective clients, so take note of what other people say about a therapist on their website, social media etc, in particular what results they have achieved.

If you have any questions not covered here, please either email Christy or pick up the phone and I will be delighted to help in any way I can. I also offer a free, no-obligation, 20 minute telephone consultation to all. Email me: or call 07527 576245