Finding the right hypnotherapist to work with is just like finding any other professional. Get referrals, but ultimately you will need to make an appointment to sit down and talk to them to find out more about how they work. A qualified and experienced hypnotherapist will usually offer you the opportunity to have a short (15 to 20 minutes) free consultation so that they can answer any questions that you may have.
This initial appointment is also an excellent opportunity for you to ascertain whether or not you feel you would be comfortable working with a particular therapist. As well as it being important to find a hypnotherapist that is qualified, experienced and highly recommended, it is also essential that they are a good fit for your personality and your particular needs.
The following questions will help you gain the information you need in order to choose who to work with.
How long have you been practicing?
Experience doesn’t always equal wisdom, but if you are ready to ask a therapist to help you make changes in your life, you need to choose a hypnotherapist who is highly trained and has been in the business for a number of years. They should be able to demonstrate how they have helped people who have come to them with similar problems.
Obtaining successful, sustainable results from hypnotherapy is only possible when working with a practitioner who has many years of experience and has trained with leaders in the field.
The practitioner needs:
- to create the right environment for people to feel safe
- a deep understanding and appreciation of the complexity of the human mind
- the knowledge and tools required to address the human mind at a number of different levels
- a highly developed ability to consider and interpret the individual way of thinking
Most medical experts that use hypnosis treatments as a therapeutic tool say that if you want to get treatment for anything other than relaxation and minor stress relief you should look for a hypnotherapist that has at least three years of experience.
Where did you study and how many continuing professional developments do you complete each year?
Hypnotherapists vary greatly in the level of training and education they have received. Currently, hypnotherapy is an unregulated profession, so you must rely on referrals and a therapist reputation. You should ask any therapist you consider working with whether they are certified by a professional body.
What training do you have in other health and complementary therapies?
Try to choose a therapist with experience and training in a broad range of health and complementary therapies. This is incredibly valuable and will greatly assist your therapist in correctly identifying the real cause of your unease when a number of factors are at play, or if the real cause is hidden or camouflaged. This is particularly true if the issue that you are suffering with appears to be of the mind, but is actually to do with the body. An example of this would be an allergy, which may not be presenting as physical symptoms but may be disturbing your mental equilibrium.
As well as demonstrating the therapist commitment to obtaining the very best results for their clients, training in a broad range of health and complementary therapies shows that the therapist is prepared to invest their own time and money in finding out what really works.
In essence, the greater variety of healing modalities that a practitioner has trained in to support their hypnotherapy, the more flexible and skillful they will be in creating solutions for you that are tailored to your individual needs. Hypnotherapists who have a background in NLP, Energetic NLP and a broad understanding of the emotional, mental and physical issues that confront people in their everyday life will be better able to help you find a solution and a way to move forward with your life.
Hypnotherapists that have only completed online coursework are unlikely to be qualified or equipped to address the particular medical issues that you have, so be wary of any therapists that have only done online coursework for their certificates.
What experience do you have of working with my issues?
You need to find a hypnotherapist that has a lot of experience working with the particular issue or condition that you wish to address. Ask the hypnotherapist in detail about their experiences of treating your particular condition.
You do not have to go into great detail about your problem or issues in your initial discussion. The aim is to tell the therapist enough to get the point across and to find out what experience (and success) they have from working with people who have similar issues.
What processes and methods do you use?
A successful outcome in therapy always relies on both the therapist and client having a clear idea of the outcome they wish to achieve and a commitment to achieving it. The initial consultation will enable you to make an informed assessment of whether the therapist is experienced at directing the progress of your treatment.
The human mind is highly complex and we are all highly individual in both our experiences of life and our needs. If your therapist can only offer a standard script, or a one solution fits all approach to your treatment, they may not be right for you. You would be well advised to seek out a practitioner with the experience and training that will enable them to create a solution that is ideally suited to you as an individual.
Experienced hypnotherapists recognise that no two people are the same. We each have unique natures, a unique upbringing and unique genetics and all vary hugely in how we interpret experiences. This means that no two anxieties and phobias are the same and that, to be effective, your treatment session must be individually tailored to your needs. Your practitioner should want to know what worries you, what you are afraid of and what makes you feel anxious.
Only by considering your individual way of thinking and your individual experience will your practitioner be able to provide you with a solution that will both help you in your immediate situation, and provide you with a lasting sustainable outcome.
How many sessions will I need?
No therapist can be certain on how many sessions you will need without first having an in-depth discussion with you about what you want to achieve and diagnosing the extent of the problem. A good therapist should be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions it will take in order for you to see some results, but be wary of any therapist that tells you he or she can cure you in a pre-defined number of sessions.
How much does it cost?
Dont make the mistake of using cost as the deciding factor when it comes to your treatment. Although it might be tempting to have a cheaper treatment session from a less qualified or experienced therapist, its a good idea to ask yourself whether cutting costs is the best approach when you are dealing with your mind. Usually you get what you pay for and it worth paying more to get hypnotherapy from an experienced, educated therapist.
When your thinking about the cost, consider that whilst the cost might seem high if the therapist is experienced and educated, it might take fewer sessions to see results. The goal in a hypnotherapy treatment session is to create a sustainable and effective strategy that helps you control (and not be overwhelmed by) your stress and anxiety. Although this can be achieved quite quickly, only an experienced and highly trained hypnotherapist will achieve lasting results.
Choosing the right source of help is essential. There are many factors other than price that need to be considered. Making a decision solely based on price can result in a waste of money and time.
Although some low cost hypnotherapists attempt to treat conditions like anxiety or phobias by using pre-written hypnosis scripts, a very brief consideration of how unique we all are and how different our life experiences have been, will reveal how limited (and limiting) this and other one approach fits all solutions will be.
As a general rule its a good idea to not consider any estimates that are excessively low when your considering which hypnotherapist to choose.
Do you teach self-hypnosis?
This is a very important question to ask if you have any interest in using self-hypnosis either to treat yourself at home between sessions or to use as an ongoing treatment. Your therapist will use his or her own unique treatment method based on his or her own education and experience. Therefore if you are going to use self-hypnosis in conjunction with the treatment it will be much more effective to use your therapist hypnosis style and tools in order to hypnotise yourself. If your therapist does not teach his or her own style of meditation its worth asking if they can recommend a style that is similar to their style so that you can learn on your own.
What is your success rate?
Keep in mind that no therapist is going to have a 100% success rate. It is useful to ask how many patients the therapist has helped to manage the same condition that you are dealing with.
Bear the following in mind:
Everyone is unique (so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another). Your own feeling of whether you would be comfortable working with a particular therapist after you have spoken to them is still important regardless of how many successes a particular therapist has had with other clients.
Hypnotherapy is a learning procedure, so the emphasis of the treatment is better placed on achieving sustainable results rather than obtaining a quick fix. Try to gauge whether the therapist you are considering working with has an appreciation of this when they tell you about their successes with the clients they have worked with. Are the results the kind that last?
Please bear in mind that patient confidentiality is very important in hypnotherapy and this will limit how much a practitioner can relate to you as evidence of managed cases.
Do you ask your clients to do homework?
The last question that you ask a potential hypnotherapist is whether or not he or she asks patients to do homework. Homework could consist of readings about a particular condition or self-hypnosis sessions that will help you relax and reinforce the new patterns that you are learning.
If a therapist assigns homework to patients it shows that their priorities are right. By giving homework the therapist is preparing you to take over as your own hypnotherapist. Using self-hypnosis and other exercises is something that you can do on your own in the future after you have stopped formal treatments, to make sure that you don’t fall back into unhealthy patterns and your original condition doesn’t return.
Not all therapists believe in assigning homework and a therapist that doesn’t shouldn’t be left out of the running. However, if it comes down to picking a therapist that assigns homework and one that doesn’t, you should always pick the one that does because the therapist is going to work hard from the start to make you independent and not dependent on treatment.
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