Although we provide self hypnosis audio programs for a wide range of issues, we appreciate that visiting a hypnotherapist in person does have its benefits.
For a successful outcome it is extremely important to ensure you find a suitably trained and professional hypnotherapist and this requires due diligence on your part. The purpose of this article is cover a few of the things you need to consider when finding a hypnotherapist. We shall also take a look at what might typically occur during an initial consultation when you visit a hypnotherapist.
Finding a hypnotherapist
Finding a suitable hypnotherapist is not always easy. A recommendation from someone you know and trust is a good starting point. This could be from your doctor or a medical practitioner. It could be from a friend or colleague whose experience was similar to what you are looking for. You could of course look in the classified section of your local newspaper. But perhaps the best way to find a hypnotherapist these days is via the internet, by using a search engine such as Google. Almost all hypnotherapists have a website. It is then up to you to do some investigating.
Their experience and expertise
Any hypnotherapist that you intend working with should be qualified with a reputable organisation. Most hypnotherapists will clearly state their qualifications and which professional organisations they belong to on their website. It is well worth a bit of time on your part to follow up with those organisations and check their criterion for membership and the therapist’s standing within those associations. Also, check to see if they are qualified in any other areas associated with hypnotherapy, such as counselling. You can check these too by researching their certifications and affiliations. The internet is very useful for this kind of research, as is the telephone.
A true professional hypnotherapist will have a high level of skill in treating a wide range of issues. Unfortunately, not every hypnotherapist out there is a true professional. Provided they are well qualified, the vast majority of hypnotherapists should be comfortable treating the more straightforward issues which many people seek, such as quitting smoking, performance anxiety, etc. However, if you’re seeking help with more complex issues (especially severe psychological difficulties) then please understand that not every hypnotherapist will be able to help you due to a lack of expertise and experience.
Depending upon the nature of the treatment you require, your local hypnotherapist might not have the required skill set so you may need to consider searching further afield and be prepared to travel. A true professional and ethical hypnotherapist should, where possible, refer you on, if they are not able to help you.
The first contact
Your first contact with a hypnotherapist will most likely be via telephone or email. It is best to speak directly with the therapist, so call them if you can. If there is no answer then leave a message so they can call you back when it is more convenient. When you do speak, remember that all you have to go on at this stage is their voice and all they have to go on is your voice. This is not the time to commit to any paid appointments. All you can get over the telephone is cold clinical details like price, duration and number of sessions, whether or not they have previously dealt with similar problems to yours, etc. Sure, they might have lots of excellent information on their website, including case histories – but you need to see them personally to discover whether or not you can feel relaxed and easy with them.
Most hypnotherapists will provide a no-obligation, free initial consultation to discuss your problem and how they might help. So do nothing more over the telephone than arrange to arrange an initial consultation to discuss your problem in greater detail.
The initial consultation
An initial consultation need not last long – thirty minutes is usually enough, though some hypnotherapists may want more time with you. The purpose of an initial consultation is to:
- Provide relevant details about you.
- Provide full details of symptom pattern
- Establish a working rapport
- Establish what you want them to do
- Establish the price of treatment.
- Establish the length of the sessions.
- Establish the frequency of sessions.
We will look at each of these points separately.
The hypnotherapist obviously needs to know your name and contact details. They may have these already from your initial contact, but it is also likely that they will want to know relevant details about your life such as your age, your relationships, your employment status, your hobbies and interests, etc.
Full details of symptom pattern
The hypnotherapist will need to know what the symptom actually is, when it started, how long it has existed, if it has worsened in recent months, how often it occurs, what other remedies you might have tried, how often it happens and what problems it causes in your life, and so on. The more details you can provide, the better.
Establish a working rapport
Both you and the hypnotherapist need to feel as if you have known each other for far longer than a few minutes. When the client-therapist ‘mix’ is balanced enough that you both feel at ease, then the therapy will have the highest chance at success. It is possible to establish a wonderful feeling of rapport within just a minute or two – yes, that is absolutely correct, literally a minute or two. However, If you do not warm to the therapist and you feel no more ‘in touch’ with them by the end of the consultation then you would be far better off finding someone else. Good rapport is an essential part of the therapeutic process.
Establish what you want them to do
During the initial consultation it is important that you know what the ‘contract’ with your therapist is all about. What may seem obvious to you may not be clear to the hypnotherapist. You need to make sure that you both have exactly the same idea about what is required from the therapy and how it is going to work for you.
Establish the price of treatment
Make certain you understand how much each session costs and how and when the hypnotherapist wants you to pay. If they are prepared to give you a discount for paying ‘up front’ then find out before any therapy gets under way. If you wish to pay by credit card or some other means, then make sure that they can accept such methods of payment.
Establish the length of sessions
Many therapists feel that you simply cannot put a time limit on a session and that any work will take as long as feels necessary. However, the vast majority will work to some kind of structure. The most popular length for a session is an hour (although, you won’t be ‘in hypnosis’ for this length of time). Some hypnotherapists like to work to a ninety-minute slot, others set no special time at all and may be finished with a session anywhere between thirty minutes and two hours after starting. Yet others may want to set aside an entire day to ‘crash’ you through the therapy. What is of the utmost importance is that whatever structure is used, it must always be in your best interests and what works best for you.
Establish the frequency of sessions
There are no hard and fast rules here. Some therapists will see clients once a month and others like to work on alternate days. In general, weekly sessions seem to get the best overall results. This could be because they have the advantage of better continuity in the therapist’s mind. As you can imagine, when you have not seen someone for four weeks, it is easy to forget some salient details.
Making the decision
At the end of an initial consultation, you need to know that the hypnotherapist understands your problem fully and that they have dealt with it successfully in the past. You also need to feel completely comfortable with them. They could be the most knowledgeable therapist in the world, but successful therapy only truly occurs when that all-important rapport is in place.
Your research and the initial consultation will allow you to make that all-important decision:
Should I accept this person as my therapist?
If the answer is an unqualified ‘yes’, then you can safely arrange for your next appointment. If, however, there is doubt in your mind, even if it is nothing more than an uncomfortable ‘gut-feeling’ – in fact, especially if it is an uncomfortable ‘gut-feeling’ (which is your subconscious speaking!) – then you should thank them for their time and continue your search.
Whichever option you decide upon, whether it is visiting a hypnotherapist in person or using one of our self hypnosis downloads, we wish you every success!