Finding a hypnotherapist can be tough in a time of online marketing, banner ads, Facebook ads, Twitter feeds and Instagram. Yelp shows one person who has five stars near your home but their website looks as if a four-year-old put it together and the content on the site doesn’t seem to help at all. You do a Google search for “hypnosis near me” and bam there are pages to search through and cross-references to be made to the Yelp reviews and their Google Business page before a decision can be made. Of course being a savvy Google user you understand the that the search results at the top of the page are paid advertising and so you skip on by those to find what gold has been returned just below them and you’re thrilled. The first site you visit is packed with information but as you read you start to become overwhelmed and confused with all the jargon so you move on. Now the next person down has a great website with great content but then you get to the About me section and you’re done. The person looking back at you is not someone you want to work with you are not sure why but you just know inside that it won't work. Well, you figure the third time's the charm and click on that third search result and you smile. The site's content is relevant concise and leaves you wanting a bit more. This perspective guide for your journey looks like someone you can trust and talk to. They offer a warm and friendly smile that you feel comfortable with and so you decide to take the next step and have a conversation with them. Here are the top 10 things, in no particular order, that I recommend you talk to them about before you decide to work with them or anyone you are seeking personal growth or guidance from.
I will cover these questions and point out the value of each in your search for a qualified individual.
Do you believe they can help you? I love this one. This is for me is one of the most important questions and the answer can only be found by looking within. This is when you put your head, your heart, and your intuition to work simultaneously. When you are comfortable with the logical considerations like licensure, training, and insurance then check your heart. When speaking with the perspective guide do they make you feel good and inspire you? If the answer is yes the final check comes from the “gut-brain” aka your intuition. This is a sense or a feeling that you have that says “yes, I feel good about this.” This is the trifecta of decision making and when done in earnest the results will not lead you astray.
How much training do they have? This is where things can get tricky. Each state and in some cases each county in a state have there own governing laws for the type of training one needs in order to practice hypnosis. Some states require the practitioner at the very least to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and in some states, there is no requirement beyond a high school education. The amount of college education in western psychology and diagnosis is not as important as the ability to understand where you are in your process and how best to guide you to where you want to be. Hypnosis is not a process that approaches every issue the same way so you should consider what you are wanting to overcome or change and allow that to be a guide. If you are seeking relief from chronic pain make sure that the person has been certified in a pain management protocol or hypnoanesthesia. If you seek freedom from tobacco seek out a certified tobacco cessation specialist or someone with experience in addictions. The real gift is finding someone who is trained in a multitude of techniques because that person can usually offer an approach that is more tailored to your needs. When it comes to training look for someone who has done research into the healthy human condition, philosophy, world religions, the human body, codependency, addictions, the mind-body connection, and consciousness. The more well rounded the hypnotist the better you will be served.
How much life experience do they have? There is a thin line between discernment and discrimination due to age. There are plenty of people in their 20’s who are qualified to lead a senior member of society to a greater sense of peace and achievement. These are generally individuals who have an “old soul” or experience beyond their years. The age of an individual is not as important as the experiences they have had. The important thing here is to find out what makes them believe they understand what you are going through and why they believe they can help you achieve your goals
Have they done their own work? A controversial question for sure. It is again important to find these sorts of things out. Are you going to go to a hypnotist who smokes to quit smoking? No. Would it be a good idea to see someone for relationship issues when you see them being disrespectful to their own partner or coworkers. It is not reasonable to expect anyone to be perfect or beyond the challenges we all face. It is reasonable to expect a person who is guiding you to be on a path of continual improvement for their own well being. When talking with you get a sense for how open they are to share some of the experiences that have shaped them and moved them towards what they do in helping others
Do they have a license and carry malpractice insurance? Make sure that whoever you choose to work with has a local license to practice and make sure they also have a business license. If the hypnotist claims that it is not required, do not use them. Anyone accepting money and providing a service is required to pay state and local business taxes and self-employment taxes and in order to do that they must have a business license. This all relates to ethics and integrity. Malpractice insurance is required by anyone offering any kind of therapeutic service and it is protection for you.
Do they practice full time or is hypnosis something they practice on the side? Seek out a full-time hypnotist. Someone who’s entire practice is based on hypnosis. A full-time hypnotist will be better able to assist you in reaching the proper trance state and they will have the ability to guide you through a more rewarding hypnotic experience. A part-time therapist is not fully vested in what they are doing. They are split between two areas either due to interest or financial reasons. If it they have only a passing interest in hypnosis or it is a hobby they may not possess the dedication or strength needed in order to hold you up through the painful parts of your journey, if there are any. If they practice part-time because they need another job to support themselves that's okay, if your new to the business. This is not an easy profession so many hypnotists supplement their income when they start our, however if they have been in practice for multiple years and are not in full-time practice find out why. You want someone who is dedicated to the art of hypnosis and loves what they do. When you find the hypnotist who loves what they do it will be easier for your goals.
How involved in the hypnosis profession are they? Most hypnotherapist work alone in private practice so it is of the utmost importance that they are deeply involved with the larger hypnosis community. There are multiple conventions in the US and around the world for professionals to meet and improve their skills. You want someone who has their finger on the pulse of the profession so you can be assured you are always receiving the most up to date and empirically proven methods. Do they write for any journals? Are they involved in leading their profession forward? Have they been recognized for their contributions? All of these things demonstrate a level of drive and desire to be the best at what they do. The primary benefactor for this sort of dedication is always the client.
How many continuing education hours do they participate in each year? States that regulate hypnosis will have a required number of continuing education units for maintaining licensure. All the major professional hypnosis organizations and governing bodies all require yearly continuing education so the question really becomes are they doing the minimum to get by or are they going above and beyond in order to offer the highest level of service available. Attending one hypnosis convention a year meets most requirements. If the person you are wanting to work with is not motivated or interested in learning more about the profession they practice or growing their skills I would question their ability to help you get unstuck and grow.
How successful are their clients in achieving their goals? This is a doozy of a question and is so multifaceted that it definitely needs to be addressed. The first thing you must understand is that hypnosis is not minded control. No hypnotist has the power to control the actions or thoughts of another person. This can be confusing especially when you see people in a hypnosis show acting silly in front of strangers and their family. The reality is those people on stage are not doing what they don’t want to do they are doing what they do want to do, being part of the show. Each of the participants in the show could be considered successful clients. Why? They got what they wanted. Unrealistic expectations can be avoided when you understand that in order for hypnosis to be successful at any level you must really want to make the change for yourself. You are not doing it to shut up the nagging wife, husband, kids or grand kids. You are not because the doctor says so or because of peer pressure. In order for the hypnosis to be successful, you have to really want to change. You have to be doing it because you want to do it! A hypnotist specializing in weight loss is not going to follow you around to make sure you don’t put unhealthy food in your body and the smoking specialist isn’t going to smack the cigarette out of your hand if you decide to have one. If you WANT those things then guess what... you don’t want to change and that is okay. It is best to discover this prior to spending your hard earned dollar on something you are not ready for, yet. So the success rate of the client is largely dependent on the clients' desire to be successful. There is also the responsibility of the hypnotist to be considered, after all, it takes two to tango. It is their job to provide you with a safe environment that encourages growth through introspection, forgiveness, and acceptance or whatever tools or theories they employ to help you be successful. Hypnosis is very much a dance between those involved there is an ebb and flow that must be honored. It is like a dance teacher and their student. The teacher can instruct the student in the proper technique and movements but it is up to the student to make those movements into something beautiful. What professional organizations are they belong to?
The importance of your perspective hypnotherapist being a member in good standing to a professional hypnosis association is very important. It signifies that they have agreed to the standards of practice and ethics. It demonstrates a level of competency and core values. Here are a few of the professional hypnosis associations there are many and each has different requirements to be a member. ICBCH- International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapists. NGH- National Guild of Hypnotists, IAHP- International Association of Hypnosis Professionals.
The process of finding someone to help you can be accompanied with a sense of trepidation and that’s okay because change and growth can feel scary but do not let fear confuse the messages and divert you. Separate the fear from the facts and your desire to have what you really want out of life and double check your willingness to do what is necessary to create that life. Once you have done this your choice is easy.