Do you need help deciding on a good therapist or hypnotherapist? You are right to be choosy. To find the best hypnotherapist for you, here are some things you might like to think about:
1. Check for relevant qualifications and experience
Firstly you want somebody that is qualified to do the job, right?! A Hypnotherapist should at the very least have a diploma in hypnotherapy. Even better is an HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma), as it is awarded by an external body and therefore ensures the hypnotherapist has attended a quality course with a high standard of content. A DipH or DipHyp is assessed and awarded by the training school that the therapist learnt with, and the quality of training varies widely. ...
Check the qualifications listed are a relevant subject (e.g. hypnotherapy, psychology), as it could be a degree in mathematics or physics, which doesn't make them any more qualified as a hypnotherapist!
It is also important to see somebody who has good experience i.e. someone who's seen many clients. However, it is not essential for them to have dealt with your particular problem previously, as the therapist can apply general techniques to different problems.
2. Check they have professional membership (e.g. LNCP, MNCP, GQHP)
A professional hypnotherapist should be registered with at least one professional body. The hypnotherapist is bound by the professional body’s codes of ethics that members have to adhere to, giving you confidence in their conduct. They may have initials after their name to denote membership (e.g. GQHP means general qualification in hypnotherapy practice; LNCP means Licentiate member of the National Council for Psychotherapists).
3. Good listening skills, professional and good rapport
It is essential that a hypnotherapist should have good listening skills and should help you feel at ease. I would advise you to have a chat on the phone with them before making an appointment.
A hypnotherapist should present themselves as professional, confident, open and honest, respectful, non-judgemental and keen to help you. They should spend time asking you questions and make you feel at ease, answering any questions fully and should be open to feedback.
The therapist should be fully insured against accidents on their property, and should have professional indemnity insurance in case of malpractice, etc.
5. Consider the total cost of therapy
The fees that are therapist charges have to cover not only the time spent during sessions and in preparation, but also their training (ongoing as well as initial), therapy room, etc. Low fees are not necessarily a good thing as they may suggest the therapist is short of work, inexperienced, or undervalues themselves. More highly qualified and/or experienced hypnotherapists tend to charge more for their services.
However, you also need to think about the total cost of therapy, not just the charges per session. The hypnotherapist should be able to give you a rough guide as to how many sessions you would need if you provide them with information about your goals and your issue(s).
6. Is NHS or BUPA registered important?
This is neither good nor bad. It doesn't signify that NHS or BUPA have approved the hypnotherapist, as anyone can apply for it. The numbers are issued purely for administrative purposes in case a client is referred to a therapist.
Similarly, some hypnotherapists belong to the 'NHS Register of Complementary & Alternative Practitioners'. All this means is that the therapist has paid money to be part of a register, which is sent to NHS professionals in the hope that they will refer patients. Again, anyone can join, so it doesn't tell you anything about how good the therapist is.
7. Other practicalities
Will the hypnotherapist be able to offer you sessions at times that suit you? If you can only attend an appointment during the evening or weekend, check that the therapist can offer this.
Also, if you need to be able to park closeby or have any extra requirements because of a disability (e.g. wheelchair access) check how the hypnotherapist can assist. Some therapists can visit you in your own home, so if you would find it difficult to travel to the therapist, then ask the hypnotherapist if they would be willing to travel to you. (This service may come at extra cost e.g. time and petrol).
Maria Hancock,, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher, NLP Practitioner, MSc Health Psychology